Notice of Request for Comments on Updates to National Transit Database Information Collection, 49146-49151 [2014-19605]

Download as PDF 49146 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 19, 2014 / Notices 2014–0508 using any of the following methods: • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Send comments to the Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. • Fax: Fax comments to the Docket Management Facility at 202–493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Bring comments to the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Privacy: We will post all comments we receive, without change, to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information you provide. Using the search function of our docket Web site, anyone can find and read the comments received into any of our dockets, including the name of the individual sending the comment (or signing the comment for an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477–78). Docket: To read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 of the West Building Ground Floor at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jake Troutman, (202) 267–9521, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, 20951. This notice is published pursuant to 14 CFR 11.85. Issued in Washington, DC, on August 13, 2014. Lirio Liu, Director, Office of Rulemaking. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Petition for Exemption Docket No.: FAA–2014–0508. Petitioner: Advanced Aviation Solutions LLC. Section of 14 CFR: parts 21 Subpart H, 45.23, 45.29, 61.113, 61.133, 91.9, 91.109, 91.119, 91.121, 91.151, 91.203(a) and (b), and 91 Subpart E. Description of Relief Sought: The petitioner seeks an exemption for the eBee Ag Unmanned Aircraft System manufactured by SenseFly SA of VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Aug 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 Switzerland which would support an application for a commercial Certificate of Authorization to use the system to support agriculture. [FR Doc. 2014–19592 Filed 8–18–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA–2014–0006] Notice of Request for Comments on Updates to National Transit Database Information Collection Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of request for comments. AGENCY: This notice announces the intent of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to revise certain aspects of National Transit Database (NTD) reporting guidance as described in the NTD Reporting Manual. The proposed revisions are prompted, in part, by enactment of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP– 21). The changes in this notice primarily relate to urbanized area transit providers. FTA is seeking public comment before implementing these changes to 49 U.S.C. 5335 National Transit Database. DATES: Comments must be received by September 18, 2014. Any comments filed after this deadline will be considered to the extent practicable. ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by only one of the following methods, identifying your submission by Docket Number (FTA–2014–0006) • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Submit electronic comments and other data to http://www.regulations.gov. • U.S. Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Room W12– 140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12–140 of the West Building, Ground Floor, at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, at (202) 493–2251. Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit Administration) and Docket Number (FTA–2014–0006) for this notice, at the beginning of your comments. If sent by mail, submit two copies of your PO 00000 Frm 00099 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 comments. Due to security procedures in effect since October 2001, mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties submitting comments should consider using an express mail firm to ensure their prompt filing of any submissions not filed electronically or by hand. If you wish to get confirmation that FTA received your comments, you must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. All comments received will be posted without change to http:// www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You may review U.S. DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000, at 65 FR 19477–8 or http:// DocketsInfo.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Gates, National Transit Database Program Manager, Office of Budget and Policy, (202) 366–1794, or email: keith.gates@dot.gov Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The National Transit Database (NTD) is the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) primary database for statistics on the transit industry. Congress established the NTD to ‘‘help meet the needs of . . . the public for information on which to base public transportation service planning . . .’’ (49 U.S.C. 5335). Currently, 821 transit providers in urbanized areas report to the NTD through its online reporting system. Each year, performance data from these submissions are used to apportion over $7 billion of FTA funds for Urbanized Area Formula (Section 5307) grants, Rural Area Formula (Section 5311) grants, Tribal Transit Formula grants, Bus and Bus Facilities Formula (Section 5339) grants, and State of Good Repair (Section 5337) grants. These data are made available on the NTD Web site at www.ntdprogram.gov for the benefit of the public, transit systems, and all levels of government. These data are also used in the annual National Transit Summaries and Trends report, the biennial Conditions and Performance Report to Congress, and in meeting FTA’s obligations under the Government Performance and Results Act. Reporting requirements are governed by a Uniform System of Accounts (USOA) and Reporting Manuals that are issued each year. Both the USOA and the Reporting Manual are available for review on the NTD Web site at www.ntdprogram.gov. E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 19, 2014 / Notices Every year, FTA refines and clarifies reporting requirements for the NTD in an ongoing effort to improve our reporting system, to be responsive to the needs of transit providers reporting to the NTD, and to address the needs of the transit data user community. This notice proposes a number of updates to the NTD Urban Reporting Manual necessary to implement policy changes established by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP– 21), to clarify ambiguous reporting guidance, and to eliminate unnecessary reporting requirements. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES II. Background This notice proposes various changes to the requirements for the Urbanized Area Systems reporting to the NTD. These changes are primarily updates to the guidance in the NTD Reporting Manual, and FTA proposes that these changes will take effect for the FY 2014 data reporting cycle, which will begin this Fall. These changes do not apply to rural transit systems reporting through the NTD Rural Module. The proposed changes are as follows: A. Clarification for reporting subset data on ADA paratransit services B. Clarification on the reporting of contractual relationships C. Updates to definition of the bus rapid transit mode D. Guidance for service on HOT lanes E. Updates to the definition of commuter service and allocation of data attributable to an urbanized area F. Proposed elimination of consolidated reporting and update of small systems waiver reporting G. Clarification on consistent use of transit system names and organization types I. Policy clarification allowing delegation of CEO certification responsibility J. Elimination of unnecessary reporting requirements K. Updated guidance for sampling of passenger miles L. Expansion of capital asset reporting required by MAP–21 Although this notice proposes an expansion of capital asset reporting in the NTD, it is independent of the separate rulemaking process that is underway to define FTA asset management guidance and requirements. It is, likewise, not a part of transit safety regulatory rulemaking or any other FTA rulemaking activities. Nothing in this notice should be construed as being a preliminary activity that will eventually lead to new FTA regulations. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Aug 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 III. Proposed Changes to National Transit Database Reporting A. Clarification for Reporting Subset Data on ADA Paratransit Services Urbanized area transit systems that operate demand response (or demand response taxi) service must report their total number of annual unlinked passenger trips and their total annual operating expenditures for that mode to the NTD. These urban transit systems must also report the portion of their total demand response passenger trips and total demand response operating expenses that are attributable to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA.) The ADA requires public agencies operating fixed-route transit systems to provide complementary and comparable ADA paratransit services to eligible persons with disabilities between points that are within 3⁄4-mile of their fixed routes or between a point that is within a 3⁄4-mile radius of one rail station to a point within a 3⁄4-mile radius of another rail station. Many agencies provide additional demand-responsive (dial-aride) service that is beyond the minimum required under the ADA by serving a larger service area than the above minimums or by providing service to a broader segment of the public than required by the ADA. These additional services do not meet the legal definition of ADA paratransit. Other transit systems provide demandresponsive service to the general public, or provide demand-responsive service with no fixed-route service at all. Service data required by the ADA have been reported inconsistently to the NTD in the past. In order to generate consistent and useful data from these questions, FTA is proposing the following guidance for how urban transit systems should report these data. This guidance only applies to full reports from urbanized areas; it does not apply to rural reporting, nor to reporting under a small systems waiver. (1) Transit systems that operate demand response services that are not intended to fulfill the ADA paratransit requirements of any fixed route service should report that zero (0) of their service and operating expenses are attributable to ADA requirements. (2) Transit systems that operate demand response services to fulfill the ADA paratransit requirements of a fixed-route service must report their unlinked trips provided to all eligible paratransit passengers (eligibility determined by local policy), excluding only the following: (i) Trips that are sponsored by a third party (e.g. Medicare-sponsored trips); PO 00000 Frm 00100 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49147 (ii) Trips whose origin or destination (or both) are outside the minimum service area required by the ADA; and, (iii) Trips taken during times when the fixed-route system is not operating. (3) Transit systems that operate demand response services to fulfill the ADA paratransit requirements of a fixed-route service would then report their operating expenses for such services as attributable to the ADA on the same basis. In general, if a transit system does not have an accounting system for tracking this, then it may report on the basis of the percentage of total demand response trips that were identified as ADA trips, per the above criteria. That is, if ADA trips were 76% of all demand-response mode trips, then ADA operating expenses would be reported as 76% of total demandresponse mode operating expenses. FTA seeks comment from transit systems on how difficult it would be to report data based on the above criteria, particularly #2. You should comment on whether transit systems that provide paratransit service beyond the minimum requirements under the ADA (for example, to and from points that are outside of the minimum 3⁄4-mile service area) would be able to reasonably differentiate such services. B. Clarification on the Reporting of Contractual Relationships Public transportation services reported to the NTD by an urbanized area transit system are classified as either directly operated (DO) by a transit provider or as purchased transportation (PT) service from a third-party contractor. Services provided by a purchased transportation contract are reported to the NTD in the name of the buyer. FTA would like to clarify that in order for service to be classified as PT, the service must meet three criteria: (1) The contract or agreement must provide for the buyer to be responsible for the fully-allocated cost of providing the service, either through direct contract payments to the seller, or else through allowing the seller to retain fare and advertising revenue; (e.g. the seller of the service is not using any outside funding sources to support the service, and if the seller provides services to other buyers, then the seller must maintain separate accounting records for each service); (2) The service must be operated in the name of the buyer; (e.g. the presence of the seller must generally be transparent to the riding public); and, (3) The seller must operate and manage the service (e.g. Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services are not considered to be purchased E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1 49148 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 19, 2014 / Notices transportation, a grantee using a PEO would report the service to the NTD as directly operated). To be clear, public transportation services that do not meet the above criteria may still be reported to the NTD. However, these services would instead be reported to the NTD as directly operated, and would be reported by the organization that is actually operating the service. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES C. Updates to Definition of the Bus Rapid Transit Mode The NTD introduced the new Bus Rapid Transit (RB) mode in the 2011 Report Year. However, MAP–21 provides a new legal definition of bus rapid transit, which includes requirements such as separated right-ofway along a majority of the route during peak periods and features that emulate the services provided by rail fixed guideway public transportation systems. MAP–21 also directs the Secretary to determine other features that produce high-quality public transportation services that emulate the services provided by rail fixed guideway public transportation systems. To be consistent with the new provisions from MAP–21, on March 3, 2014, FTA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comment on Circular FTA C 5300.1 State of Good Repair Grants Programs: Circular and Application Instructions. In that draft circular FTA proposed the following definition of the bus rapid transit (RB) mode as a service that meets five criteria. These criteria are re-published below in order to provide additional notice to impacted parties, in particular with regards to changing the definition of the BRT Mode in the NTD. However, comments on whether the below criteria should be used for funding eligibility in the State of Good Repair Formula Program will be handled through notice and comment on the circular. The five criteria are as follows: (1) Over 50 percent of the route operates in a separated right-of-way dedicated for transit use during peak periods; (However, other traffic may make turning movements through the separated right-of-way.) (2) the route has defined stations that are accessible for persons with disabilities, offer shelter from the weather, and provide information on schedules and routes; (3) the route offers faster passenger travel times through congested intersections by using active signal priority in separated guideway, and either queue-jump lanes or active signal priority in non-separated guideway; VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Aug 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 (4) the route offers short headway, bidirectional, service that is provided for at least a 14 hour span on weekdays and a 10 hour span on weekends; (Short headway service on weekdays, consists of maximum headways that are either: 15 minutes or less throughout the day; or, 10 minutes or less during peak periods and 20 minutes or less at all other times. Short headway service on weekends consists of maximum headways that are 30 minutes or less for at least 10 hours for the day.) and, (5) a separate and consistent brand identity applied to stations and vehicles. Bus services that implement features of bus rapid transit systems, but which do not meet all of the above criteria, particularly corridor-based bus rapid transit projects, would still be reported to the NTD under the fixed-route bus (MB) mode. D. Guidance for Service on HOT Lanes On January 11, 2007, FTA published a final policy on the inclusion of transit service operated on High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes in the apportionment of formula funds. In this policy, FTA said that it would allow transit service operated on HOV Lanes that were reported to the NTD as of January 11, 2007, and were converted to HOT Lanes after that to be counted as transit service operated on an HOV Lane. FTA indicated at that time that this policy was intended to be temporary in anticipation of further statutory direction from Congress. With the passage of MAP–21, Congress repealed the Fixed Guideway Modernization Program and replaced it with a new State of Good Repair Formula Grant Program, which includes a High-Intensity Motorbus (HIMB) service tier for transit service operated on HOV Lanes. This new formula does not make any reference to transit service on HOT lanes. Thus, FTA proposes, beginning with the Fiscal Year 2015 apportionment, to no longer consider transit service operated on any HOT lane to be the same as transit service operated on an HOV lane, for purposes of the formula apportionment for the High-Intensity Motorbus Tier. Comments on this were solicited in the previously mentioned March 3, 2014, FTA Federal Register notice, C 5300.1 State of Good Repair Grants Programs: Circular and Application Instructions. FTA is currently reviewing the comments received and is not seeking additional comments on the impact of this policy change on the State of Good Repair Formula Program. However, FTA is proposing to continue to collect the amount of transit service operated on PO 00000 Frm 00101 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 HOT Lanes in the NTD for future use. FTA is accepting comments on this proposal to continue collecting data on transit service operated in HOT Lanes through this notice. E. Updates to the Definition of Commuter Service and Allocation of Data Attributable to an Urbanized Area The definition of Public Transportation at 49 U.S.C. 5302 excludes intercity passenger rail operated by Amtrak, and also intercity bus service. FTA proposes to amend the definition of public transportation in the NTD Reporting Manual to implement this definition, and to clarify the distinction between commuter and intercity services as follows: Commuter rail is local passenger rail transportation usually having multipleride tickets and having, at a minimum, operations during morning and evening peak periods. Commuter rail is characterized by service with relatively long distances between stops, connecting a central city with outlying areas. Local transportation generally means that 50% or more of the passengers boarding at each key rail station over the full route must make a same-day return trip; otherwise, the service is intercity service. A key rail station is a station at the end of a line, a major transfer point, or one that otherwise accounts for a substantial portion of boardings. Commuter rail excludes services provided by Amtrak; services provided by Amtrak are considered to be intercity rail. Provided by Amtrak means any service that uses one or more of the following: Amtrak branding, Amtrak schedules, Amtrak tickets, Amtrak’s customer loyalty program, or Amtrak’s priority access to Class I railroads. Services provided pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 24702 are also considered to be provided by Amtrak, whereas services provided pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 24101(a)6 and 24104(f) are not. However, services that were reported to the National Transit Database as of the 2012 Report Year, but which are excluded from the definition of commuter rail, may continue to report to the NTD and their data will continue to be treated as commuter rail only for purposes of the apportionment of, and eligibility for, FTA’s formula grant programs. Commuter bus is local fixed-route bus transportation primarily connecting outlying areas with a central city. Commuter bus is characterized by usually using a motorcoach (aka overthe-road-bus), having multiple trip tickets, multiple stops in outlying areas, limited stops in the central city, and E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 19, 2014 / Notices having at least five miles of closed-door service. Local transportation generally means that 50% or more of the passengers boarding at each key bus stop over the full route must make a same-day return trip; otherwise, the service is intercity service. A key bus stop is a bus stop at the end of a line, a major transfer point, or one that otherwise accounts for a substantial portion of the boardings. A determination that a service qualifies as public transportation will ordinarily be made when a system first reports to the NTD. This determination will usually be based on a ticket analysis or rider survey conducted by the transit system. This analysis or survey must be based on the totality of the service (i.e. the full length of the route, including all runs on all days of the week across the entire year). When a transit system’s route structure changes, by extension or other significant restructuring, the transit system must submit a new analysis or survey to FTA. If it has been more than five years since the last analysis or survey, FTA may require the transit system to submit a new one. For purposes of Federal funding allocations in the NTD, only local transportation may normally be reported as attributable to and serving an urbanized area. When intercity service provided by rail, or other nonbus modes (intercity bus is completely ineligible per 49 U.S.C. 5302), is reported to the NTD, only the miles of the service physically located within the boundaries of the Urbanized Area may be reported as being attributable to that area. MAP–21 established a new provision at 49 U.S.C. 5336(b)(2)(E) for how to handle services not attributable to an urbanized area for purposes of the formula apportionment. This provision will be applied to intercity non-bus modes that are not able to allocate their services outside the boundaries of an urbanized area as attributable to that urbanized area. This provision will also be applied to urbanized area passenger ferry services that connect two points located outside the boundary of the urbanized area, and thus are not attributable to the urbanized area. Finally, FTA wishes to clarify the instructions in the Reporting Manual regarding the allocation of transit service between multiple areas. Transit service classified as commuter service that connects one or more urbanized areas or that connects rural areas with one or more urbanized areas must be allocated to the urbanized area that is primarily being served. Each transit agency may determine what proportion VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Aug 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 of service to allocate to each urbanized area according to some reasonable methodology. Normally this determination is based on the percent of unlinked passenger trips on a route originating or terminating in the urbanized area, or both. For example, if 100% of the passengers on the service either board or alight the service in the Metropolis Urbanized Area, then it is reasonable to say that 100% of the service ‘‘serves’’ the Metropolis Urbanized Area. As another example, if only 85% of passengers on a route board or alight in Urbanized Area A then it would not be reasonable to report that 100% of the route serves Urbanized Area A. It would only be reasonable to attribute, at most, 85% of the service on the route to Urbanized Area A. The remaining 15% of the service must be attributed to the other geographical areas served. Reasonable alternative methodologies for establishing which urbanized areas are primarily being served that are based on available data (such as ticket or survey analysis) may also be used if approved by NTD staff in the efile of the NTD Online Reporting System. F. Proposed Elimination of Consolidated Reporting and Update of Small Systems Waiver Reporting FTA proposes to eliminate consolidated reports and have all urbanized area transit providers report directly to the NTD. FTA has previously allowed some urbanized area transit agencies to submit consolidated NTD reports for other transit providers. Typically this involves a large municipal operator reporting for smaller fixed-route, demand-response, and vanpool services in their area. These exceptions have been allowed to minimize the reporting burden on small transit operators that might not otherwise report to the NTD. In particular, by consolidating their NTD Reports, small transit operators were able to avoid the burden of filing separate reports, as well as the burden of reporting operating expenses by object class. However, consolidated NTD reporters have been still required to conduct passenger mile sampling, and have been still required to report to the Monthly Module and the Safety and Security Module. Since 2011, FTA has reduced reporting requirements for urbanized area transit systems with 30 or fewer vehicles through the small system waiver. These systems are exempt from sampling for passenger miles and report only summary financial and operating statistics, similar to what is required of rural subrecipients. They also report PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49149 contact information, funding allocation information, a revenue vehicle inventory, data on stations and maintenance facilities, and total injuries, fatalities, and safety incidents. FTA requires their reports to be reviewed by an auditor and certified by the CEO. Systems using the small systems waiver are exempt from the reporting requirements for the Monthly and Safety & Security Modules. There are currently fewer than ten consolidated reporters in the NTD. However, consolidated reporting makes it difficult to validate and assure the accuracy of NTD data. It complicates NTD data presentation and makes it harder to use the NTD to answer basic questions about the transit industry. With the introduction of the small systems waiver in the 2011 reporting cycle, small urban transit systems can now enjoy reduced reporting requirements without having to participate in a consolidated report. In fact, small transit systems that currently participate in a consolidated report will actually be required to provide less data under this change, as a small systems waiver will eliminate the requirement to report passenger miles and monthly operational statistics. Under this proposal, reports for each transit system would have to be filed under a unique NTD ID number and consolidated reports would no longer be allowed. Additionally, FTA wishes to clarify the requirements for a small systems waiver report to require that a reporter must use a B–30 form to identify each contractor used for purchased transportation service (see above), and must also use a D–10 Form to certify their data at the end of their report. G. Clarification on Consistent Use of Transit System Names and Organization Types The reporting of organization names in the NTD has been inconsistent. FTA is proposing that the name and organization type on the B–10 form must now match the total revenues and total expenses reported on the F forms. That is to say that an NTD reporter must include the total revenues and total expenses for the organization identified on the B–10 form when completing the F-Forms. Further, FTA is proposing that the responsible certifying official on the B–20 form must be a direct employee of the reporting organization, and the independent auditor statements must be done on the basis of the reporting organization. E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1 49150 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 19, 2014 / Notices H. Policy Clarification Allowing Delegation of CEO Certification Responsibility The formal guidance for the NTD has historically required that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or equivalent officer of a reporting entity, must submit the NTD report and certify its accuracy. This proposed policy would formally allow the CEO (or equivalent officer) to delegate those duties to another individual within the organization. This delegation shall be indicated by submission of a delegation letter, signed by the CEO on organization letterhead, naming the individual who will act in the CEO’s name for this purpose. This letter will be attached to the report when it is originally submitted and will remain valid for subsequent reporting years as long as both the CEO and the designated official continue to hold their respective positions. This process is intended to simplify the submission process but does not change the CEO’s overall responsibility for the accuracy of data submitted in the report. I. Elimination of Unnecessary Reporting Requirements In its ongoing efforts to streamline NTD reporting requirements and to eliminate unnecessary data collection FTA is proposing to eliminate the requirement for rail systems to report vehicle revenue miles, vehicle revenue hours, unlinked passenger trips, and passenger miles traveled for morning peak and evening peak periods. FTA is no longer using these data and has determined that this data collection is unnecessary. This will align the service data reporting requirements for rail modes with other modes. FTA also proposes to eliminate that B–60 and B–70 forms for identifying funds passed from one public entity to another public entity. The clarifications to the reporting of purchased transportation proposed above will render these forms unnecessary, and FTA will no longer require these data. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES J. Updated Guidance for Sampling of Passenger Miles FTA proposes to withdraw several outdated Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA) Circulars that remain in effect. In particular, FTA proposes to withdraw UMTA C2710.1A, UMTA C2710.2A, and UMTA C2710.4A, which relate to procedures for conducting statistical samples to collect passenger mile data. FTA proposes to replace these Circulars with the NTD Sampling Manual, which has been in use as optional guidance for several years now. Withdrawing these VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Aug 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 outdated circulars would make the NTD Sampling Manual permanent guidance for procedures on sampling for passenger miles. In addition, FTA proposes to withdraw UMTA C2710.6 and UMTA C2710.7. Both of these are outdated circulars that have been superseded by the NTD Reporting Manual. The texts of these circulars, as well as the NTD Sampling Manual may be reviewed at www.ntdprogram.gov. K. Expansion of Capital Asset Reporting Currently, the NTD only collects asset inventory information on revenue vehicles. The NTD just collects summary counts for other asset categories, such as maintenance facilities and fixed guideway. For some assets, such as signaling and telecommunications systems, NTD collects no data at all. FTA proposes to collect additional asset inventory data to remedy this situation and to meet the baseline asset condition reporting requirements required by MAP–21. These changes are proposed pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5335(c), which requires grantees to report to the NTD any information relating to a transit asset inventory or condition assessment conducted by the recipient; and pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5326(b)(3), which establishes new requirements for reporting on the condition of assets to FTA. The proposed NTD Asset Inventory Module will support collection of national-scale information about the quantity, replacement values, and condition of transit capital assets. Data reported to this module will come from transit agencies’ asset inventories. Assembling a nationwide inventory of asset conditions will improve FTA’s ability to project future costs for the replacement and renewal of transit capital assets as reported in the Department of Transportation’s biennial Conditions and Performance Report to the Congress. The information reported in the module will facilitate analysis using both the Federal version of the Transit Economic Requirements Model (TERM), the analysis tool used for Conditions and Performance Report investment scenarios, and for TERMLite, a capital needs tool based on the Federal version that is designed for use by local agencies. This proposal is not intended to establish a definition of state of good repair nor define official performance measures. Parties interested in these topics should look for them to be addressed in a future FTA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). PO 00000 Frm 00103 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Beginning with the 2015 NTD reporting cycle (beginning September 2015), a new ‘Asset Inventory Module’ (AIM) and associated updates to NTD’s Annual Reporting Manual will be added to FTA’s annual NTD reporting requirement for urban agencies. FTA will, however, grant an optional firstyear AIM reporting waiver upon request to any transit system for the 2015 reporting year. FTA proposes that AIM reporting will then become mandatory beginning in the 2016 NTD reporting cycle, with reporting waivers issued on a case-by-case basis. For the first year, AIM data will be submitted by grantees using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that shares the ‘‘look and feel’’ of other NTD reporting forms in the current Internetbased reporting system. The Excel spreadsheet includes many userfriendly features, including user prompts, validation features, and dropdown menus. Preliminary versions of the above spreadsheet and its user manual can be found on the NTD Web site at: http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ ntdprogram/pubs/other_data_products/ AssetModule.xlsx http:// www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/ pubs/other_data_products/ AssetReportingManual.docx In subsequent years, the AIM will be incorporated into NTD’s Internet-based submittal format and will also be required of rural reporters. FTA aims to minimize the reporting burden on the transit industry, while still meeting MAP–21 mandates, by collecting data at the minimum level of detail required to provide accurate needs forecasts. The data requested in the AIM will consist of objective and verifiable aspects of assets that represent significant capital costs. The data collection is also designed to require minimal updates from year to year once it is originally submitted. The proposed AIM consists of a series of electronic forms that grantees will use to report categories of asset condition data. The AIM forms include: 1. Agency Identification. Collects organizational and contact information. This form will only apply to the spreadsheet version of the data collection (2014 collection cycle). 2. Administrative and Maintenance Facilities. Collects information on administrative and maintenance facilities used to supply transit service. For each facility, the facility’s name, street address, square footage, year built or substantially reconstructed, primary transit mode supported, and estimated cost are collected. 3. Passenger and Parking Facilities. Collects information on passenger and passenger parking facilities used to E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 160 / Tuesday, August 19, 2014 / Notices supply transit service. For each facility, the facility’s name, street address, square footage and number of parking spaces, year built or substantially reconstructed, primary mode, and estimated cost are collected. 4. Rail Fixed Guideway. Collects data on linear guideway assets and power and signal equipment including the length of specific types of guideway and corresponding equipment reported as network totals by mode and operating agreement. The data includes quantity, expected service years, date of construction or major rehabilitation (within a ten year window), and estimated cost. 5. Track. Collects data on track assets including length and total number of track special work reported as network totals by rail mode and operating agreement. The data includes expected service years and date of construction or major rehabilitation. 6. Service Vehicles. Collects data on service vehicles that support transit service delivery, maintain revenue vehicles, and perform administrative activities. The data includes quantity, expected service life, year of manufacture, and estimated cost. FTA thanks our stakeholders in advance for providing comment on the above proposed changes to the NTD Reporting Manual. Therese McMillan, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2014–19605 Filed 8–18–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–57–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration [Docket No. MARAD–2014 0113] Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel FV CODZILLA; Invitation for Public Comments Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: As authorized by 46 U.S.C. 12121, the Secretary of Transportation, as represented by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), is authorized to grant waivers of the U.S.-build requirement of the coastwise laws under certain circumstances. A request for such a waiver has been received by MARAD. The vessel, and a brief description of the proposed service, is listed below. DATES: Submit comments on or before September 18, 2014. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:30 Aug 18, 2014 Jkt 232001 Comments should refer to docket number MARAD–2014–0113. Written comments may be submitted by hand or by mail to the Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. You may also send comments electronically via the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. All comments will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection and copying at the above address between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An electronic version of this document and all documents entered into this docket is available on the World Wide Web at http:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Williams, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W23–453, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone 202– 366–0903, Email Linda.Williams@ dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: As described by the applicant the intended service of the vessel FV CODZILLA is: Intended Commercial Use of Vessel: ‘‘This vessel will be used for ‘‘Six Pack’’ charter fishing. Coastwise endorsement required.’’ Geographic Region: ‘‘Rhode Island waters only for ‘‘Six Pack’’ charters.’’ The complete application is given in DOT docket MARAD–2014–0113 at http://www.regulations.gov. Interested parties may comment on the effect this action may have on U.S. vessel builders or businesses in the U.S. that use U.S.flag vessels. If MARAD determines, in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 12121 and MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR Part 388, that the issuance of the waiver will have an unduly adverse effect on a U.S.vessel builder or a business that uses U.S.-flag vessels in that business, a waiver will not be granted. Comments should refer to the docket number of this notice and the vessel name in order for MARAD to properly consider the comments. Comments should also state the commenter’s interest in the waiver application, and address the waiver criteria given in § 388.4 of MARAD’s regulations at 46 CFR Part 388. ADDRESSES: Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, PO 00000 Frm 00104 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49151 business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 70; Pages 19477–78). By Order of the Maritime Administrator. Dated: August 11, 2014. Julie P. Agarwal, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2014–19647 Filed 8–18–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration [Docket No. MARAD–2014 0115] Requested Administrative Waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws: Vessel GRATITUDE; Invitation for Public Comments Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: As authorized by 46 U.S.C. 12121, the Secretary of Transportation, as represented by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), is authorized to grant waivers of the U.S.-build requirement of the coastwise laws under certain circumstances. A request for such a waiver has been received by MARAD. The vessel, and a brief description of the proposed service, is listed below. DATES: Submit comments on or before September 18, 2014. ADDRESSES: Comments should refer to docket number MARAD–2014–0115. Written comments may be submitted by hand or by mail to the Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. You may also send comments electronically via the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. All comments will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection and copying at the above address between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. An electronic version of this document and all documents entered into this docket is available on the World Wide Web at http:// www.regulations.gov. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Linda Williams, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W23–453, Washington, DC 20590. Telephone 202– E:\FR\FM\19AUN1.SGM 19AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 160 (Tuesday, August 19, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49146-49151]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19605]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No. FTA-2014-0006]


Notice of Request for Comments on Updates to National Transit 
Database Information Collection

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

    This notice announces the intent of the Federal Transit 
Administration (FTA) to revise certain aspects of National Transit 
Database (NTD) reporting guidance as described in the NTD Reporting 
Manual. The proposed revisions are prompted, in part, by enactment of 
the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The 
changes in this notice primarily relate to urbanized area transit 
providers. FTA is seeking public comment before implementing these 
changes to 49 U.S.C. 5335 National Transit Database.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 18, 2014. Any comments 
filed after this deadline will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: Please submit your comments by only one of the following 
methods, identifying your submission by Docket Number (FTA-2014-0006)
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Submit electronic comments and 
other data to http://www.regulations.gov.
     U.S. Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations; U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket 
Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building, Ground Floor, at 1200 
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, at (202) 493-2251.
    Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit 
Administration) and Docket Number (FTA-2014-0006) for this notice, at 
the beginning of your comments. If sent by mail, submit two copies of 
your comments. Due to security procedures in effect since October 2001, 
mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. 
Parties submitting comments should consider using an express mail firm 
to ensure their prompt filing of any submissions not filed 
electronically or by hand. If you wish to get confirmation that FTA 
received your comments, you must include a self-addressed stamped 
postcard. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You 
may review U.S. DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement published in the 
Federal Register on April 11, 2000, at 65 FR 19477-8 or http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Keith Gates, National Transit Database 
Program Manager, Office of Budget and Policy, (202) 366-1794, or email: 
keith.gates@dot.gov
    Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Introduction

    The National Transit Database (NTD) is the Federal Transit 
Administration's (FTA's) primary database for statistics on the transit 
industry. Congress established the NTD to ``help meet the needs of . . 
. the public for information on which to base public transportation 
service planning . . .'' (49 U.S.C. 5335). Currently, 821 transit 
providers in urbanized areas report to the NTD through its online 
reporting system. Each year, performance data from these submissions 
are used to apportion over $7 billion of FTA funds for Urbanized Area 
Formula (Section 5307) grants, Rural Area Formula (Section 5311) 
grants, Tribal Transit Formula grants, Bus and Bus Facilities Formula 
(Section 5339) grants, and State of Good Repair (Section 5337) grants. 
These data are made available on the NTD Web site at www.ntdprogram.gov 
for the benefit of the public, transit systems, and all levels of 
government. These data are also used in the annual National Transit 
Summaries and Trends report, the biennial Conditions and Performance 
Report to Congress, and in meeting FTA's obligations under the 
Government Performance and Results Act. Reporting requirements are 
governed by a Uniform System of Accounts (USOA) and Reporting Manuals 
that are issued each year. Both the USOA and the Reporting Manual are 
available for review on the NTD Web site at www.ntdprogram.gov.

[[Page 49147]]

    Every year, FTA refines and clarifies reporting requirements for 
the NTD in an ongoing effort to improve our reporting system, to be 
responsive to the needs of transit providers reporting to the NTD, and 
to address the needs of the transit data user community. This notice 
proposes a number of updates to the NTD Urban Reporting Manual 
necessary to implement policy changes established by the Moving Ahead 
for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), to clarify ambiguous 
reporting guidance, and to eliminate unnecessary reporting 
requirements.

II. Background

    This notice proposes various changes to the requirements for the 
Urbanized Area Systems reporting to the NTD. These changes are 
primarily updates to the guidance in the NTD Reporting Manual, and FTA 
proposes that these changes will take effect for the FY 2014 data 
reporting cycle, which will begin this Fall. These changes do not apply 
to rural transit systems reporting through the NTD Rural Module. The 
proposed changes are as follows:

A. Clarification for reporting subset data on ADA paratransit services
B. Clarification on the reporting of contractual relationships
C. Updates to definition of the bus rapid transit mode
D. Guidance for service on HOT lanes
E. Updates to the definition of commuter service and allocation of data 
attributable to an urbanized area
F. Proposed elimination of consolidated reporting and update of small 
systems waiver reporting
G. Clarification on consistent use of transit system names and 
organization types
I. Policy clarification allowing delegation of CEO certification 
responsibility
J. Elimination of unnecessary reporting requirements
K. Updated guidance for sampling of passenger miles
L. Expansion of capital asset reporting required by MAP-21
    Although this notice proposes an expansion of capital asset 
reporting in the NTD, it is independent of the separate rulemaking 
process that is underway to define FTA asset management guidance and 
requirements. It is, likewise, not a part of transit safety regulatory 
rulemaking or any other FTA rulemaking activities. Nothing in this 
notice should be construed as being a preliminary activity that will 
eventually lead to new FTA regulations.

III. Proposed Changes to National Transit Database Reporting

A. Clarification for Reporting Subset Data on ADA Paratransit Services

    Urbanized area transit systems that operate demand response (or 
demand response taxi) service must report their total number of annual 
unlinked passenger trips and their total annual operating expenditures 
for that mode to the NTD. These urban transit systems must also report 
the portion of their total demand response passenger trips and total 
demand response operating expenses that are attributable to the 
requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA.)
    The ADA requires public agencies operating fixed-route transit 
systems to provide complementary and comparable ADA paratransit 
services to eligible persons with disabilities between points that are 
within \3/4\-mile of their fixed routes or between a point that is 
within a \3/4\-mile radius of one rail station to a point within a \3/
4\-mile radius of another rail station. Many agencies provide 
additional demand-responsive (dial-a-ride) service that is beyond the 
minimum required under the ADA by serving a larger service area than 
the above minimums or by providing service to a broader segment of the 
public than required by the ADA. These additional services do not meet 
the legal definition of ADA paratransit. Other transit systems provide 
demand-responsive service to the general public, or provide demand-
responsive service with no fixed-route service at all.
    Service data required by the ADA have been reported inconsistently 
to the NTD in the past. In order to generate consistent and useful data 
from these questions, FTA is proposing the following guidance for how 
urban transit systems should report these data. This guidance only 
applies to full reports from urbanized areas; it does not apply to 
rural reporting, nor to reporting under a small systems waiver.
    (1) Transit systems that operate demand response services that are 
not intended to fulfill the ADA paratransit requirements of any fixed 
route service should report that zero (0) of their service and 
operating expenses are attributable to ADA requirements.
    (2) Transit systems that operate demand response services to 
fulfill the ADA paratransit requirements of a fixed-route service must 
report their unlinked trips provided to all eligible paratransit 
passengers (eligibility determined by local policy), excluding only the 
following:
    (i) Trips that are sponsored by a third party (e.g. Medicare-
sponsored trips);
    (ii) Trips whose origin or destination (or both) are outside the 
minimum service area required by the ADA; and,
    (iii) Trips taken during times when the fixed-route system is not 
operating.
    (3) Transit systems that operate demand response services to 
fulfill the ADA paratransit requirements of a fixed-route service would 
then report their operating expenses for such services as attributable 
to the ADA on the same basis. In general, if a transit system does not 
have an accounting system for tracking this, then it may report on the 
basis of the percentage of total demand response trips that were 
identified as ADA trips, per the above criteria. That is, if ADA trips 
were 76% of all demand-response mode trips, then ADA operating expenses 
would be reported as 76% of total demand-response mode operating 
expenses.
    FTA seeks comment from transit systems on how difficult it would be 
to report data based on the above criteria, particularly 2. 
You should comment on whether transit systems that provide paratransit 
service beyond the minimum requirements under the ADA (for example, to 
and from points that are outside of the minimum \3/4\-mile service 
area) would be able to reasonably differentiate such services.

B. Clarification on the Reporting of Contractual Relationships

    Public transportation services reported to the NTD by an urbanized 
area transit system are classified as either directly operated (DO) by 
a transit provider or as purchased transportation (PT) service from a 
third-party contractor. Services provided by a purchased transportation 
contract are reported to the NTD in the name of the buyer. FTA would 
like to clarify that in order for service to be classified as PT, the 
service must meet three criteria:
    (1) The contract or agreement must provide for the buyer to be 
responsible for the fully-allocated cost of providing the service, 
either through direct contract payments to the seller, or else through 
allowing the seller to retain fare and advertising revenue; (e.g. the 
seller of the service is not using any outside funding sources to 
support the service, and if the seller provides services to other 
buyers, then the seller must maintain separate accounting records for 
each service);
    (2) The service must be operated in the name of the buyer; (e.g. 
the presence of the seller must generally be transparent to the riding 
public); and,
    (3) The seller must operate and manage the service (e.g. 
Professional Employer Organization (PEO) services are not considered to 
be purchased

[[Page 49148]]

transportation, a grantee using a PEO would report the service to the 
NTD as directly operated).
    To be clear, public transportation services that do not meet the 
above criteria may still be reported to the NTD. However, these 
services would instead be reported to the NTD as directly operated, and 
would be reported by the organization that is actually operating the 
service.

C. Updates to Definition of the Bus Rapid Transit Mode

    The NTD introduced the new Bus Rapid Transit (RB) mode in the 2011 
Report Year. However, MAP-21 provides a new legal definition of bus 
rapid transit, which includes requirements such as separated right-of-
way along a majority of the route during peak periods and features that 
emulate the services provided by rail fixed guideway public 
transportation systems. MAP-21 also directs the Secretary to determine 
other features that produce high-quality public transportation services 
that emulate the services provided by rail fixed guideway public 
transportation systems.
    To be consistent with the new provisions from MAP-21, on March 3, 
2014, FTA published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comment on 
Circular FTA C 5300.1 State of Good Repair Grants Programs: Circular 
and Application Instructions. In that draft circular FTA proposed the 
following definition of the bus rapid transit (RB) mode as a service 
that meets five criteria. These criteria are re-published below in 
order to provide additional notice to impacted parties, in particular 
with regards to changing the definition of the BRT Mode in the NTD. 
However, comments on whether the below criteria should be used for 
funding eligibility in the State of Good Repair Formula Program will be 
handled through notice and comment on the circular. The five criteria 
are as follows:
    (1) Over 50 percent of the route operates in a separated right-of-
way dedicated for transit use during peak periods; (However, other 
traffic may make turning movements through the separated right-of-way.)
    (2) the route has defined stations that are accessible for persons 
with disabilities, offer shelter from the weather, and provide 
information on schedules and routes;
    (3) the route offers faster passenger travel times through 
congested intersections by using active signal priority in separated 
guideway, and either queue-jump lanes or active signal priority in non-
separated guideway;
    (4) the route offers short headway, bi-directional, service that is 
provided for at least a 14 hour span on weekdays and a 10 hour span on 
weekends; (Short headway service on weekdays, consists of maximum 
headways that are either: 15 minutes or less throughout the day; or, 10 
minutes or less during peak periods and 20 minutes or less at all other 
times. Short headway service on weekends consists of maximum headways 
that are 30 minutes or less for at least 10 hours for the day.) and,
    (5) a separate and consistent brand identity applied to stations 
and vehicles.
    Bus services that implement features of bus rapid transit systems, 
but which do not meet all of the above criteria, particularly corridor-
based bus rapid transit projects, would still be reported to the NTD 
under the fixed-route bus (MB) mode.

D. Guidance for Service on HOT Lanes

    On January 11, 2007, FTA published a final policy on the inclusion 
of transit service operated on High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lanes in the 
apportionment of formula funds. In this policy, FTA said that it would 
allow transit service operated on HOV Lanes that were reported to the 
NTD as of January 11, 2007, and were converted to HOT Lanes after that 
to be counted as transit service operated on an HOV Lane. FTA indicated 
at that time that this policy was intended to be temporary in 
anticipation of further statutory direction from Congress.
    With the passage of MAP-21, Congress repealed the Fixed Guideway 
Modernization Program and replaced it with a new State of Good Repair 
Formula Grant Program, which includes a High-Intensity Motorbus (HIMB) 
service tier for transit service operated on HOV Lanes. This new 
formula does not make any reference to transit service on HOT lanes. 
Thus, FTA proposes, beginning with the Fiscal Year 2015 apportionment, 
to no longer consider transit service operated on any HOT lane to be 
the same as transit service operated on an HOV lane, for purposes of 
the formula apportionment for the High-Intensity Motorbus Tier. 
Comments on this were solicited in the previously mentioned March 3, 
2014, FTA Federal Register notice, C 5300.1 State of Good Repair Grants 
Programs: Circular and Application Instructions. FTA is currently 
reviewing the comments received and is not seeking additional comments 
on the impact of this policy change on the State of Good Repair Formula 
Program. However, FTA is proposing to continue to collect the amount of 
transit service operated on HOT Lanes in the NTD for future use. FTA is 
accepting comments on this proposal to continue collecting data on 
transit service operated in HOT Lanes through this notice.

E. Updates to the Definition of Commuter Service and Allocation of Data 
Attributable to an Urbanized Area

    The definition of Public Transportation at 49 U.S.C. 5302 excludes 
intercity passenger rail operated by Amtrak, and also intercity bus 
service. FTA proposes to amend the definition of public transportation 
in the NTD Reporting Manual to implement this definition, and to 
clarify the distinction between commuter and intercity services as 
follows:
    Commuter rail is local passenger rail transportation usually having 
multiple-ride tickets and having, at a minimum, operations during 
morning and evening peak periods. Commuter rail is characterized by 
service with relatively long distances between stops, connecting a 
central city with outlying areas. Local transportation generally means 
that 50% or more of the passengers boarding at each key rail station 
over the full route must make a same-day return trip; otherwise, the 
service is intercity service. A key rail station is a station at the 
end of a line, a major transfer point, or one that otherwise accounts 
for a substantial portion of boardings.
    Commuter rail excludes services provided by Amtrak; services 
provided by Amtrak are considered to be intercity rail. Provided by 
Amtrak means any service that uses one or more of the following: Amtrak 
branding, Amtrak schedules, Amtrak tickets, Amtrak's customer loyalty 
program, or Amtrak's priority access to Class I railroads. Services 
provided pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 24702 are also considered to be provided 
by Amtrak, whereas services provided pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 24101(a)6 
and 24104(f) are not. However, services that were reported to the 
National Transit Database as of the 2012 Report Year, but which are 
excluded from the definition of commuter rail, may continue to report 
to the NTD and their data will continue to be treated as commuter rail 
only for purposes of the apportionment of, and eligibility for, FTA's 
formula grant programs.
    Commuter bus is local fixed-route bus transportation primarily 
connecting outlying areas with a central city. Commuter bus is 
characterized by usually using a motorcoach (aka over-the-road-bus), 
having multiple trip tickets, multiple stops in outlying areas, limited 
stops in the central city, and

[[Page 49149]]

having at least five miles of closed-door service. Local transportation 
generally means that 50% or more of the passengers boarding at each key 
bus stop over the full route must make a same-day return trip; 
otherwise, the service is intercity service. A key bus stop is a bus 
stop at the end of a line, a major transfer point, or one that 
otherwise accounts for a substantial portion of the boardings.
    A determination that a service qualifies as public transportation 
will ordinarily be made when a system first reports to the NTD. This 
determination will usually be based on a ticket analysis or rider 
survey conducted by the transit system. This analysis or survey must be 
based on the totality of the service (i.e. the full length of the 
route, including all runs on all days of the week across the entire 
year). When a transit system's route structure changes, by extension or 
other significant restructuring, the transit system must submit a new 
analysis or survey to FTA. If it has been more than five years since 
the last analysis or survey, FTA may require the transit system to 
submit a new one.
    For purposes of Federal funding allocations in the NTD, only local 
transportation may normally be reported as attributable to and serving 
an urbanized area. When intercity service provided by rail, or other 
non-bus modes (intercity bus is completely ineligible per 49 U.S.C. 
5302), is reported to the NTD, only the miles of the service physically 
located within the boundaries of the Urbanized Area may be reported as 
being attributable to that area.
    MAP-21 established a new provision at 49 U.S.C. 5336(b)(2)(E) for 
how to handle services not attributable to an urbanized area for 
purposes of the formula apportionment. This provision will be applied 
to intercity non-bus modes that are not able to allocate their services 
outside the boundaries of an urbanized area as attributable to that 
urbanized area. This provision will also be applied to urbanized area 
passenger ferry services that connect two points located outside the 
boundary of the urbanized area, and thus are not attributable to the 
urbanized area.
    Finally, FTA wishes to clarify the instructions in the Reporting 
Manual regarding the allocation of transit service between multiple 
areas. Transit service classified as commuter service that connects one 
or more urbanized areas or that connects rural areas with one or more 
urbanized areas must be allocated to the urbanized area that is 
primarily being served. Each transit agency may determine what 
proportion of service to allocate to each urbanized area according to 
some reasonable methodology. Normally this determination is based on 
the percent of unlinked passenger trips on a route originating or 
terminating in the urbanized area, or both. For example, if 100% of the 
passengers on the service either board or alight the service in the 
Metropolis Urbanized Area, then it is reasonable to say that 100% of 
the service ``serves'' the Metropolis Urbanized Area. As another 
example, if only 85% of passengers on a route board or alight in 
Urbanized Area A then it would not be reasonable to report that 100% of 
the route serves Urbanized Area A. It would only be reasonable to 
attribute, at most, 85% of the service on the route to Urbanized Area 
A. The remaining 15% of the service must be attributed to the other 
geographical areas served. Reasonable alternative methodologies for 
establishing which urbanized areas are primarily being served that are 
based on available data (such as ticket or survey analysis) may also be 
used if approved by NTD staff in the efile of the NTD Online Reporting 
System.

F. Proposed Elimination of Consolidated Reporting and Update of Small 
Systems Waiver Reporting

    FTA proposes to eliminate consolidated reports and have all 
urbanized area transit providers report directly to the NTD. FTA has 
previously allowed some urbanized area transit agencies to submit 
consolidated NTD reports for other transit providers. Typically this 
involves a large municipal operator reporting for smaller fixed-route, 
demand-response, and vanpool services in their area. These exceptions 
have been allowed to minimize the reporting burden on small transit 
operators that might not otherwise report to the NTD. In particular, by 
consolidating their NTD Reports, small transit operators were able to 
avoid the burden of filing separate reports, as well as the burden of 
reporting operating expenses by object class. However, consolidated NTD 
reporters have been still required to conduct passenger mile sampling, 
and have been still required to report to the Monthly Module and the 
Safety and Security Module.
    Since 2011, FTA has reduced reporting requirements for urbanized 
area transit systems with 30 or fewer vehicles through the small system 
waiver. These systems are exempt from sampling for passenger miles and 
report only summary financial and operating statistics, similar to what 
is required of rural subrecipients. They also report contact 
information, funding allocation information, a revenue vehicle 
inventory, data on stations and maintenance facilities, and total 
injuries, fatalities, and safety incidents. FTA requires their reports 
to be reviewed by an auditor and certified by the CEO. Systems using 
the small systems waiver are exempt from the reporting requirements for 
the Monthly and Safety & Security Modules.
    There are currently fewer than ten consolidated reporters in the 
NTD. However, consolidated reporting makes it difficult to validate and 
assure the accuracy of NTD data. It complicates NTD data presentation 
and makes it harder to use the NTD to answer basic questions about the 
transit industry. With the introduction of the small systems waiver in 
the 2011 reporting cycle, small urban transit systems can now enjoy 
reduced reporting requirements without having to participate in a 
consolidated report. In fact, small transit systems that currently 
participate in a consolidated report will actually be required to 
provide less data under this change, as a small systems waiver will 
eliminate the requirement to report passenger miles and monthly 
operational statistics. Under this proposal, reports for each transit 
system would have to be filed under a unique NTD ID number and 
consolidated reports would no longer be allowed.
    Additionally, FTA wishes to clarify the requirements for a small 
systems waiver report to require that a reporter must use a B-30 form 
to identify each contractor used for purchased transportation service 
(see above), and must also use a D-10 Form to certify their data at the 
end of their report.

G. Clarification on Consistent Use of Transit System Names and 
Organization Types

    The reporting of organization names in the NTD has been 
inconsistent. FTA is proposing that the name and organization type on 
the B-10 form must now match the total revenues and total expenses 
reported on the F forms. That is to say that an NTD reporter must 
include the total revenues and total expenses for the organization 
identified on the B-10 form when completing the F-Forms. Further, FTA 
is proposing that the responsible certifying official on the B-20 form 
must be a direct employee of the reporting organization, and the 
independent auditor statements must be done on the basis of the 
reporting organization.

[[Page 49150]]

H. Policy Clarification Allowing Delegation of CEO Certification 
Responsibility

    The formal guidance for the NTD has historically required that the 
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or equivalent officer of a reporting 
entity, must submit the NTD report and certify its accuracy. This 
proposed policy would formally allow the CEO (or equivalent officer) to 
delegate those duties to another individual within the organization. 
This delegation shall be indicated by submission of a delegation 
letter, signed by the CEO on organization letterhead, naming the 
individual who will act in the CEO's name for this purpose. This letter 
will be attached to the report when it is originally submitted and will 
remain valid for subsequent reporting years as long as both the CEO and 
the designated official continue to hold their respective positions. 
This process is intended to simplify the submission process but does 
not change the CEO's overall responsibility for the accuracy of data 
submitted in the report.

I. Elimination of Unnecessary Reporting Requirements

    In its ongoing efforts to streamline NTD reporting requirements and 
to eliminate unnecessary data collection FTA is proposing to eliminate 
the requirement for rail systems to report vehicle revenue miles, 
vehicle revenue hours, unlinked passenger trips, and passenger miles 
traveled for morning peak and evening peak periods. FTA is no longer 
using these data and has determined that this data collection is 
unnecessary. This will align the service data reporting requirements 
for rail modes with other modes.
    FTA also proposes to eliminate that B-60 and B-70 forms for 
identifying funds passed from one public entity to another public 
entity. The clarifications to the reporting of purchased transportation 
proposed above will render these forms unnecessary, and FTA will no 
longer require these data.

J. Updated Guidance for Sampling of Passenger Miles

    FTA proposes to withdraw several outdated Urban Mass Transportation 
Administration (UMTA) Circulars that remain in effect. In particular, 
FTA proposes to withdraw UMTA C2710.1A, UMTA C2710.2A, and UMTA 
C2710.4A, which relate to procedures for conducting statistical samples 
to collect passenger mile data. FTA proposes to replace these Circulars 
with the NTD Sampling Manual, which has been in use as optional 
guidance for several years now. Withdrawing these outdated circulars 
would make the NTD Sampling Manual permanent guidance for procedures on 
sampling for passenger miles.
    In addition, FTA proposes to withdraw UMTA C2710.6 and UMTA 
C2710.7. Both of these are outdated circulars that have been superseded 
by the NTD Reporting Manual. The texts of these circulars, as well as 
the NTD Sampling Manual may be reviewed at www.ntdprogram.gov.

K. Expansion of Capital Asset Reporting

    Currently, the NTD only collects asset inventory information on 
revenue vehicles. The NTD just collects summary counts for other asset 
categories, such as maintenance facilities and fixed guideway. For some 
assets, such as signaling and telecommunications systems, NTD collects 
no data at all. FTA proposes to collect additional asset inventory data 
to remedy this situation and to meet the baseline asset condition 
reporting requirements required by MAP-21. These changes are proposed 
pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 5335(c), which requires grantees to report to the 
NTD any information relating to a transit asset inventory or condition 
assessment conducted by the recipient; and pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 
5326(b)(3), which establishes new requirements for reporting on the 
condition of assets to FTA.
    The proposed NTD Asset Inventory Module will support collection of 
national-scale information about the quantity, replacement values, and 
condition of transit capital assets. Data reported to this module will 
come from transit agencies' asset inventories. Assembling a nationwide 
inventory of asset conditions will improve FTA's ability to project 
future costs for the replacement and renewal of transit capital assets 
as reported in the Department of Transportation's biennial Conditions 
and Performance Report to the Congress. The information reported in the 
module will facilitate analysis using both the Federal version of the 
Transit Economic Requirements Model (TERM), the analysis tool used for 
Conditions and Performance Report investment scenarios, and for TERM-
Lite, a capital needs tool based on the Federal version that is 
designed for use by local agencies. This proposal is not intended to 
establish a definition of state of good repair nor define official 
performance measures. Parties interested in these topics should look 
for them to be addressed in a future FTA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
(NPRM).
    Beginning with the 2015 NTD reporting cycle (beginning September 
2015), a new `Asset Inventory Module' (AIM) and associated updates to 
NTD's Annual Reporting Manual will be added to FTA's annual NTD 
reporting requirement for urban agencies. FTA will, however, grant an 
optional first-year AIM reporting waiver upon request to any transit 
system for the 2015 reporting year. FTA proposes that AIM reporting 
will then become mandatory beginning in the 2016 NTD reporting cycle, 
with reporting waivers issued on a case-by-case basis. For the first 
year, AIM data will be submitted by grantees using a Microsoft Excel 
spreadsheet that shares the ``look and feel'' of other NTD reporting 
forms in the current Internet-based reporting system. The Excel 
spreadsheet includes many user-friendly features, including user 
prompts, validation features, and drop-down menus. Preliminary versions 
of the above spreadsheet and its user manual can be found on the NTD 
Web site at: http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/pubs/other_data_products/AssetModule.xlsx http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/pubs/other_data_products/AssetReportingManual.docx In subsequent years, 
the AIM will be incorporated into NTD's Internet-based submittal format 
and will also be required of rural reporters.
    FTA aims to minimize the reporting burden on the transit industry, 
while still meeting MAP-21 mandates, by collecting data at the minimum 
level of detail required to provide accurate needs forecasts. The data 
requested in the AIM will consist of objective and verifiable aspects 
of assets that represent significant capital costs. The data collection 
is also designed to require minimal updates from year to year once it 
is originally submitted. The proposed AIM consists of a series of 
electronic forms that grantees will use to report categories of asset 
condition data. The AIM forms include:
    1. Agency Identification. Collects organizational and contact 
information. This form will only apply to the spreadsheet version of 
the data collection (2014 collection cycle).
    2. Administrative and Maintenance Facilities. Collects information 
on administrative and maintenance facilities used to supply transit 
service. For each facility, the facility's name, street address, square 
footage, year built or substantially reconstructed, primary transit 
mode supported, and estimated cost are collected.
    3. Passenger and Parking Facilities. Collects information on 
passenger and passenger parking facilities used to

[[Page 49151]]

supply transit service. For each facility, the facility's name, street 
address, square footage and number of parking spaces, year built or 
substantially reconstructed, primary mode, and estimated cost are 
collected.
    4. Rail Fixed Guideway. Collects data on linear guideway assets and 
power and signal equipment including the length of specific types of 
guideway and corresponding equipment reported as network totals by mode 
and operating agreement. The data includes quantity, expected service 
years, date of construction or major rehabilitation (within a ten year 
window), and estimated cost.
    5. Track. Collects data on track assets including length and total 
number of track special work reported as network totals by rail mode 
and operating agreement. The data includes expected service years and 
date of construction or major rehabilitation.
    6. Service Vehicles. Collects data on service vehicles that support 
transit service delivery, maintain revenue vehicles, and perform 
administrative activities. The data includes quantity, expected service 
life, year of manufacture, and estimated cost.
    FTA thanks our stakeholders in advance for providing comment on the 
above proposed changes to the NTD Reporting Manual.

Therese McMillan,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-19605 Filed 8-18-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P