Fiscal Year 2018 Competitive Funding Opportunity; Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program, 29609-29614 [2018-13554]

Download as PDF 29609 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2018 / Notices TABLE 1—FY 16 GRANTS FOR BUSES AND BUS FACILITIES COMPETITION PROJECT SELECTIONS—Continued Funded amount State Applicant Project ID Project description WA .................. Intercity Transit ...................... D2017–BUSC–116 WA .................. King County Department of Transportation. D2017–BUSC–117 WA .................. Muckleshoot Indian Tribe ...... D2017–BUSC–118 WA .................. Pierce County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corporation. Skagit Transit System ........... D2017–BUSC–119 Pattison Street Facility Renovation and Expansion Project. 2 Projects: (1) Eastlake OffStreet Layover Facility/ (2) King County Metro Fleet Replacement—Battery Electric Buses. Muckleshoot Transit Bus Facility Rehabilitation. CNG Bus Replacement ......... WA .................. WA .................. D2017–BUSC–120 WI ................... WI ................... City of Janesville ................... City of Sheboygan ................. D2017–BUSC–127 D2017–BUSC–128 WI ................... Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). D2017–BUSC–129 WV .................. Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority. D2017–BUSC–130/ D2017–BUSC– 131 WI ................... D2017–BUSC–121 D2017–BUSC–122 D2017–BUSC–123 D2017–BUSC–124 D2017–BUSC–125 D2017–BUSC–126 .................... [FR Doc. 2018–13558 Filed 6–22–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration Fiscal Year 2018 Competitive Funding Opportunity; Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity (NOFO). amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 AGENCY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the opportunity to apply for approximately $366.3 million in fiscal year (FY) 2018 funds under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program (CFDA #20.526). As required SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jun 22, 2018 $1,375,000 Highly Recommended. $1,375,000 Highly Recommended. $800,000 Highly Recommended. $1,375,000 Highly Recommended. $1,375,000 Highly Recommended. $1,375,000 Highly Recommended. $1,375,000 $1,200,000 $32,000 Highly Recommended. Highly Recommended. Highly Recommended. $134,880 Highly Recommended. $350,506 Highly Recommended. $350,506 $350,506 Highly Recommended. Highly Recommended. Jkt 244001 Skagit Transit System Maintenance Operations and Administration Facility Project. Double Decker Replacement Buses. Fixed Route Coaches ............ Bus Replacement .................. City of Hartford Replacement non-accessible Mini-van. Rural Transit Technology Improvements. 2 Projects: (1) Bus Replacement/ (2) Facilities Renovation Project. Replacement Buses .............. Roof Replacement for Shoreline Metro Administrative and Maintenance Facility. City of West Bend—Replacement non-accessible minivan and replacement ADAaccessible cutaway minibuses. Transit Operations and Transfer Center. $181,600 Highly Recommended. $4,491,510/ $8,490 Highly Recommended. Total ............................... WI ................... Snohomish County Transportation Benefit Area. Spokane Transit Authority ..... City of Oshkosh ..................... Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). City of Appleton ..................... WA .................. WI ................... WI ................... Project rating $264,446,775 by federal transit law and subject to funding availability, funds will be awarded competitively to assist in the financing of capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, purchase or lease buses and related equipment, and to rehabilitate, purchase, construct or lease bus-related facilities. Projects may include costs incidental to the acquisition of buses or to the construction of facilities, such as the costs of related workforce development and training activities, and project administration expenses. FTA may award additional funds if they are made available to the program prior to the announcement of project selections. Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the GRANTS.GOV ‘‘APPLY’’ function by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 6, 2018. Prospective applicants should initiate the process by promptly registering on the GRANTS.GOV DATES: PO 00000 Frm 00082 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 website to ensure completion of the application process before the submission deadline. Instructions for applying can be found on FTA’s website at http://transit.dot.gov/howtoapply and in the ‘‘FIND’’ module of GRANTS.GOV. The GRANTS.GOV funding opportunity ID is FTA–2018– 005–TPM. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Bathrick, FTA Office of Program Management, 202–366–9955, or mark.bathrick@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents A. Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission Information E. Application Review F. Review and Selection Process E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1 29610 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2018 / Notices G. Federal Award Administration H. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information I. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 A. Program Description Section 5339(b) of Title 49, United States Code, as amended by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. 114–94, Dec. 4, 2015), authorizes FTA to award funds for the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program (Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program) through a competitive process, as described in this notice, for capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, purchase or lease buses and related equipment and to rehabilitate, purchase, construct or lease bus-related facilities. The purpose of the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program is to assist in the financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing or leasing buses or related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, constructing or leasing bus-related facilities. The Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program provides funds to designated recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, and to States, and local governmental authorities that operate fixed route bus service. FTA also may award grants to eligible recipients for projects to be undertaken by subrecipients that are public agencies or private non-profit organizations engaged in public transportation. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(2), FTA will ‘‘consider the age and condition of buses, bus fleets, related equipment, and bus-related facilities’’ in selecting projects for funding. FTA may prioritize projects that demonstrate how they will address significant repair and maintenance needs, improve the safety of transit systems, and deploy connective projects that include advanced technologies to connect bus systems with other networks. B. Federal Award Information Federal transit law at 49 U.S.C. 5338(a)(2)(M) authorizes $246,514,000 in FY 2018 funds for the Section 5339(b) Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 appropriated an additional $161,446,000 for the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program. After the oversight takedown and previously announced allocations of $37,973,775 in FY 2018 Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program funds to projects competitively selected during the FY 2017 Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program competition on April 5, 2018, $366,293,150 is available for the Buses and Bus VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jun 22, 2018 Jkt 244001 Infrastructure Program through this notice. As required under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(5), a minimum of 10 percent of the amount awarded under the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program will be awarded to projects located in rural areas. As required by 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(8), no single grantee will be awarded more than 10 percent of the amounts made available. FTA will grant pre-award authority to incur costs for selected projects beginning on the date that project selections are announced. Funds are only available for projects that have not incurred costs prior to the selection of projects and will remain available for obligation for three Federal fiscal years, not including the year in which the funds are allocated to projects. C. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(1), eligible applicants include designated recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, states or local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service, and Indian tribes. Eligible subrecipients include all otherwise eligible applicants and also private nonprofit organizations engaged in public transportation. Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(3), States may submit a statewide application on behalf of public agencies or private nonprofit organizations engaged in public transportation in rural areas or for other areas for which a State allocates funds. Except for projects proposed by Indian tribes, all proposals for projects in rural (non-urbanized) areas must be submitted by a State, either individually or as a part of a statewide application. States and other eligible applicants may also submit consolidated proposals for projects in urbanized areas. The submission of a statewide or consolidated urbanized area application shall not preclude the submission and consideration of any application from other eligible recipients in an urbanized area in a State. Proposals may contain projects to be implemented by the recipient or its subrecipients. To be considered eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate the requisite legal, financial and technical capabilities to receive and administer Federal funds under this program. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching The maximum federal share for projects selected under the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program is 80 percent of the net project cost, unless noted below by one of the exceptions. PO 00000 Frm 00083 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 i. The maximum federal share is 85 percent of the net project cost of acquiring vehicles (including clean-fuel or alternative fuel vehicles) that are compliant with the Clean Air Act (CAA) and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. ii. The maximum federal share is 90 percent of the net project cost of acquiring, installing or constructing vehicle-related equipment or facilities (including clean fuel or alternative-fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities) that are required by the ADA of 1990, or that are necessary to comply with or maintaining compliance with the Clean Air Act. The award recipient must itemize the cost of specific, discrete, vehicle-related equipment associated with compliance with ADA or CAA to be eligible for the maximum 90 percent Federal share for these costs. Eligible sources of local match include the following: Cash from nonGovernment sources other than revenues from providing public transportation services; revenues derived from the sale of advertising and concessions; amounts received under a service agreement with a State or local social service agency or private social service organization; revenues generated from value capture financing mechanisms; or funds from an undistributed cash surplus; replacement or depreciation cash fund or reserve; or new capital. In addition, transportation development credits or documentation of in-kind match may substitute for local match if identified in the application. 3. Eligible Projects Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(1), eligible projects are capital projects to replace, rehabilitate purchase, or lease buses, vans, and related equipment, and capital projects to rehabilitate, purchase, construct, or lease bus-related facilities. Recipients are permitted to use up to 0.5 percent of their requested grant award for workforce development activities eligible under 49 U.S.C. 5314(b) and an additional 0.5 percent for costs associated with training at the National Transit Institute. Applicants must identify the proposed use of funds for these activities in the project proposal and identify them separately in the project budget. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. General information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV can E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 be found at https://www.transit.dot.gov/ funding/grants/applying/applying-ftafunding along with specific instructions for the forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: The SF424 Application for Federal Assistance (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV) and the supplemental form for the FY 2018 Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV or the FTA website at www.transit.dot.gov/busprogram). Applicants may also attach additional supporting information. Failure to submit the information as required can delay or prevent review of the application. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: The SF424 Application for Federal Assistance and the FY 2018 Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program supplemental form. The supplemental form and any supporting documents must be attached to the ‘‘Attachments’’ section of the SF424. A complete application must include responses to all sections of the SF424 Application for Federal Assistance and the supplemental form, unless indicated as optional. The information on the supplemental form will be used to determine applicant and project eligibility for the program, and to evaluate the proposal against the selection criteria described in part E of this notice. FTA will accept only one supplemental form per SF424 submission. FTA encourages States and other applicants to consider submitting a single supplemental form that includes multiple activities to be evaluated as a consolidated proposal. If a State or other applicant chooses to submit separate proposals for individual consideration by FTA, each proposal must be submitted using a separate SF424 and supplemental form. Applicants may attach additional supporting information to the SF424 submission, including but not limited to letters of support, project budgets, fleet status reports, or excerpts from relevant planning documents. Supporting documentation must be described and referenced by file name in the appropriate response section of the supplemental form, or it may not be reviewed. Information such as proposer name, Federal amount requested, local match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be requested in varying degrees of detail on both the SF424 and VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jun 22, 2018 Jkt 244001 Supplemental Form. Proposers must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the forms. Applicants should not place N/A or ‘‘refer to attachment’’ in lieu of typing in responses in the field sections. If information is copied into the supplemental form from another source, applicants should verify that pasted text is fully captured on the supplemental form and has not been truncated by the character limits built into the form. Proposers should use both the ‘‘Check Package for Errors’’ and the ‘‘Validate Form’’ validation buttons on both forms to check all required fields on the forms, and ensure that the federal and local amounts specified are consistent. The SF424 Mandatory Form and the Supplemental Form will prompt applicants for the required information, including: a. Applicant Name b. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number c. Key contact information (including contact name, address, email address, and phone) d. Congressional district(s) where project will take place e. Project Information (including title, an executive summary, and type) f. A detailed description of the need for the project g. A detailed description on how the project will support the Bus Infrastructure Program’s objectives h. Evidence that the project is consistent with local and regional planning objectives i. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost share j. A description of the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the applicant k. A detailed project budget l. An explanation of the scalability of the project m. Details on the local matching funds n. A detailed project timeline 3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) Each applicant is required to: (1) Be registered in SAM before submitting an application; (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which the applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FTA. These requirements do not apply if the applicant: (1) Is an individual; (2) is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c); or (3) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 25.110(d). FTA may not make an award until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique PO 00000 Frm 00084 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29611 entity identifier and SAM requirements. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. All applicants must provide a unique entity identifier provided by SAM. Registration in SAM may take as little as 3–5 business days, but since there could be unexpected steps or delays (for example, if you need to obtain an Employer Identification Number), FTA recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, for completion of all steps. For additional information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit www.sam.gov. 4. Submission Dates and Times Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on August 6, 2018. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. FTA urges proposers to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the due date to allow time to correct any problems that may have caused either Grants.gov or FTA systems to reject the submission. Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances not under the applicant’s control. Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled website maintenance. GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV website. Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the applicant should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV and (2) confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV. If confirmations of successful validation are not received or a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials is received, the applicant must address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, applicants must include all original attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the box on the supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission. Proposers are encouraged to begin the process of registration on the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. Registration is a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to complete before an application can be submitted. Registered proposers may still be required to take E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1 29612 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2018 / Notices steps to keep their registration up to date before submissions can be made successfully: (1) Registration in the System for Award Management (SAM) is renewed annually; and, (2) persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. 5. Funding Restrictions Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse applicants for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to FTA award of a Grant Agreement until FTA has issued preaward authority for selected projects. 6. Other Submission Requirements Applicants are encouraged to identify scaled funding options in case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full requested amount. If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the program and meets all relevant program requirements. The applicant must provide a clear explanation of how the project budget would be affected by a reduced award. FTA may award a lesser amount whether or not a scalable option is provided. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 E. Application Review FTA will evaluate project proposals for the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program based on the criteria described in this notice. Projects will be evaluated primarily on the responses provided in the supplemental form. Additional information may be provided to support the responses; however, any additional documentation must be directly referenced on the supplemental form, including the file name where the additional information can be found. a. Demonstration of Need Applications will be evaluated based on the quality and extent to which they demonstrate how the proposed project will address an unmet need for capital investment in bus vehicles and/or supporting facilities. For example, an applicant may demonstrate an excessive reliance on vehicles that are beyond their intended service life, insufficient maintenance facilities due to size or condition, a vehicle fleet that is insufficient to meet current ridership demands, or passenger facilities that are insufficient for their current use. Applicants should address whether the project represents a one-time or periodic need that cannot reasonably be funded VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jun 22, 2018 Jkt 244001 from FTA formula program allocations and State or local resources. As a part of the response for demonstration of need, applicants should provide the following information: i. For bus projects (replacement, rehabilitation or expansion): Applicants must provide information on the age, condition and performance of the asset(s) to be replaced or rehabilitated by the proposed project. For service expansion requests, applicants must provide information on the proposed service expansion and the benefits for transit riders and the community from the new service. For all vehicle projects, the proposal must address how the project conforms to FTA’s spare ratio guidelines. ii. For bus facility and equipment projects (replacement, rehabilitation, and/or expansion): Applicants must provide information on the age and condition of the asset to be rehabilitated or replaced relative to its minimum useful life. b. Demonstration of Benefits Applications will be evaluated based on how well they describe how the proposed project will improve the condition of the transit system, improve the reliability of transit service for its riders, and enhance access and mobility within the service area. System Condition: FTA will evaluate the potential for the project to improve the condition of the transit system by repairing and/or replacing assets that are in poor condition or have surpassed their minimum or intended useful life benchmarks, lowering the average age of vehicles in the fleet, and/or reducing the cost of maintaining outdated vehicles, facilities and equipment. Service Reliability: FTA will evaluate the potential for the project to reduce the frequency of breakdowns or other service interruptions as caused by the age and condition of the agency’s bus fleet. Applicants should document their current service reliability metrics and benchmark goals, including their strategy for improving reliability with or without the award of Bus Infrastructure Program funds. Enhanced Access and Mobility: FTA will evaluate the potential for the project to improve access and mobility for the transit riding public, such as through increased reliability, improved headways, creation of new transportation choices, or eliminating gaps in the current route network. Proposed benefits should be based on documented ridership demand and be well-described or documented through a study or route planning proposal. PO 00000 Frm 00085 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 c. Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed project will be consistent with local and regional long-range planning documents and local government priorities. This will involve assessing whether the project is consistent with the transit priorities identified in the long range plan; and/or contingency/ illustrative projects included in that plan; or the locally developed human services public transportation coordinated plan. Applicants are not required to submit copies of such plans, but should describe how the project will support regional goals. Additional consideration will be given to applications including support letters from local and regional planning organizations, local government officials, public agencies, and/or nonprofit or private sector partners attesting to the consistency of the proposed project with these plans. Applicants may also address how the proposed project will impact overall system performance, asset management performance, or specific performance measures tracked and monitored by the applying entity to demonstrate how the proposed project will address local and regional planning priorities. Evidence of additional local or regional prioritization (i.e., STIP and LRTP) should include letters of support for the project from local government officials, public agencies (i.e., MPOs), and non-profit or private sector partners. d. Local Financial Commitment Applicants must identify the source of the local cost share and describe whether such funds are currently available for the project or will need to be secured if the project is selected for funding. FTA will consider the availability of the local cost share as evidence of local financial commitment to the project. Additional consideration will be given to those projects for which local funds have already been made available or reserved. Applicants should submit evidence of the availability of funds for the project, for example by including a board resolution, letter of support from the State, or other documentation of the source of local funds such as a budget document highlighting the line item or section committing funds to the proposed project. e. Project Implementation Strategy Projects will be evaluated based on the extent to which the project is ready to implement within a reasonable E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2018 / Notices amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 period of time and whether the applicant’s proposed implementation plans are reasonable and complete. In assessing whether the project is ready to implement within a reasonable period of time, FTA will consider whether the project qualifies for a Categorical Exclusion (CE), or whether the required environmental work has been initiated or completed for projects that require an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended. The proposal must also state whether grant funds can be obligated within 12 months from time of award, if selected, and indicate the timeframe under which the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and/or Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) can be amended to include the proposed project. Additional consideration will be given to projects for which grant funds can be obligated within 12 months from time of award. In assessing whether the proposed implementation plans are reasonable and complete, FTA will review the proposed project implementation plan, including all necessary project milestones and the overall project timeline. For projects that will require formal coordination, approvals or permits from other agencies or project partners, the applicant must demonstrate coordination with these organizations and their support for the project, such as through letters of support. f. Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity Applicants must demonstrate that they have the technical, legal and financial capacity to undertake the project. FTA will review relevant oversight assessments and records to determine whether there are any outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues with the applicant that would affect the outcome of the proposed project. Applicants with outstanding legal, technical, or financial compliance issues from a Federal Transit Administration compliance review or Federal Transit grant-related Single Audit finding must explain how corrective actions taken will mitigate negative impacts on the project. F. Review and Selection Process In addition to other FTA staff that may review the proposals, a technical evaluation committee will evaluate proposals based on the published evaluation criteria. After applying the VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jun 22, 2018 Jkt 244001 above preferences, the FTA Administrator will consider the following key Departmental objectives: (A) Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional level; (B) Utilizing alternative funding sources and innovative financing models to attract non-Federal sources of infrastructure investment; (C) Accounting for the life-cycle costs of the project to promote the state of good repair; (D) Using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and (E) Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance and achieving specific, measurable outcomes identified by grant applicants. Prior to making an award, FTA is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS). An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM. The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection of projects for program funding. FTA may consider geographic diversity, diversity in the size of the transit systems receiving funding, and/or the applicant’s receipt of other discretionary awards in determining the allocation of program funds. Not less than 10 percent of the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program funds will be distributed to projects in rural areas. In addition, FTA will not award more than 10 percent of the funds to a single grantee. G. Federal Award Administration i. Federal Award Notice Subsequent to an announcement by the FTA Administrator of the final project selections, which will be posted on the FTA website, FTA will publish a list of the selected projects, a summary of final scores for selected projects, Federal award amounts and recipients in the Federal Register. Project recipients should contact their FTA regional offices for additional information regarding allocations for projects under the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program. At the time the project selections are announced, FTA will extend pre-award authority for the selected projects. There is no blanket pre-award authority for these projects before announcement. PO 00000 Frm 00086 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 29613 ii. Award Administration Funds under the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program are available to designated recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, or state or local governmental entities, including Indian tribes, that operate fixed route bus service. There is no minimum or maximum grant award amount; however, FTA intends to fund as many meritorious projects as possible. Only proposals from eligible recipients for eligible activities will be considered for funding. Due to funding limitations, proposers that are selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are still viable stand-alone projects that can be completed with the amount awarded. iii. Administrative and National Policy Requirements a. Pre-Award Authority The FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-award authority at the time of selection. The FTA does not provide pre-award authority for discretionary funds until projects are selected and even then there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs are incurred. Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse applicants for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to FTA award of a Grant Agreement until FTA has issued pre-award authority for selected projects through a notification in the Federal Register, or unless FTA has issued a ‘‘Letter of No Prejudice’’ for the project before the expenses are incurred. For more information about FTA’s policy on pre-award authority, please see the FY 2017 Apportionment Notice published on January 19, 2017. b. Grant Requirements If selected, awardees will apply for a grant through FTA’s Transit Award Management System (TrAMS). Recipients of Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program funding in urban areas are subject to the grant requirements of section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grant program, including those of FTA Circular 9030.1E. Recipients of Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program funding in rural areas are subject to the grant requirements of section 5311 Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, including those of FTA Circular 9040.1G. All recipients must follow the Grants Management Requirements of FTA Circular 5010.1E, and the labor protections of 49 U.S.C. 5333(b). Technical assistance regarding these E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1 29614 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 122 / Monday, June 25, 2018 / Notices requirements is available from each FTA regional office. c. Buy America The FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA’s Buy America requirements, which require that all iron, steel, or manufactured products be produced in the U.S. These requirements help create and protect manufacturing jobs in the U.S. The Bus Infrastructure Program will have a significant economic impact toward meeting the objectives of the Buy America law. The FAST Act amended the Buy America requirements to provide for a phased increase in the domestic content for rolling stock. For FY 2018 and FY 2019, the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the United States must be more than 65 percent of the cost of all components. For FY 2020 and beyond, the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the United States must be more than 70 percent of the cost of all components. There is no change to the requirement that final assembly of rolling stock must occur in the United States. FTA issued final guidance on the implementation of the phased increase in domestic content on September 1, 2016. Any proposal that will require a waiver must identify the items for which a waiver will be sought in the application. amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with NOTICES1 d. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise FTA requires that its recipients receiving planning, capital and/or operating assistance that will award prime contracts exceeding $250,000 in FTA funds in a Federal fiscal year comply with the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program regulations at 49 CFR part 26. Applicants should expect to include any funds awarded, excluding those to be used for vehicle procurements, in setting their overall DBE goal. Note, however, that projects including vehicle procurements remain subject to the DBE program regulations. The rule requires that, prior to bidding on any FTAassisted vehicle procurement, entities that manufacture vehicles, perform postproduction alterations or retrofitting must submit a DBE Program plan and goal methodology to FTA. Further, to the extent that a vehicle remanufacturer is responding to a solicitation for new or remanufactured vehicles with a vehicle to which the remanufacturer has provided post-production alterations or retro-fitting (e.g., replacing major components such as engine to provide a ‘‘like new’’ vehicle), the vehicle remanufacturer is considered a transit VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:58 Jun 22, 2018 Jkt 244001 vehicle manufacturer and must also comply with the DBE regulations. FTA will then issue a transit vehicle manufacturer (TVM) concurrence/ certification letter. Grant recipients must verify each entity’s compliance with these requirements before accepting its bid. A list of compliant, certified TVMs is posted on FTA’s web page at https://www.fta.dot.gov/ regulations-and-guidance/civil-rightsada/eligible-tvms-list. Please note, that this list is nonexclusive and recipients must contact FTA before accepting bids from entities not listed on this webposting. Recipients may also establish project specific DBE goals for vehicle procurements. The FTA will provide additional guidance as grants are awarded. For more information on DBE requirements, please contact Janelle Hinton, Office of Civil Rights, 202–366– 9259, email: janelle.hinton@dot.gov. e. Planning FTA encourages proposers to notify the appropriate State Departments of Transportation and MPOs in areas likely to be served by the project funds made available under this program. Selected projects must be incorporated into the long-range plans and transportation improvement programs of states and metropolitan areas before they are eligible for FTA funding. f. Standard Assurances By submitting a grant application, the applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, directives, FTA circulars, and other federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by the FTA grant. Further, the applicant acknowledges that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may affect the implementation of the project. The applicant agrees that the most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project, unless FTA issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not have current certifications on file. g. Reporting Post-award reporting requirements include the electronic submission of Federal Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports in FTA’s electronic grants management system. PO 00000 Frm 00087 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 H. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, ‘‘Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.’’ FTA will consider applications for funding only from eligible recipients for eligible projects listed in Section C. Complete applications must be submitted through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on August 6, 2018. For assistance with GRANTS.GOV please contact GRANTS.GOV by phone at 1–800–518– 4726 or by email at support@grants.gov. Contact information for FTA’s regional offices can be found on FTA’s website at https://www.transit.dot.gov/about/ regional-offices/regional-offices. I. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts For further information concerning this notice please contact the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program manager, Mark Bathrick, via email at mark.bathrick@dot.gov, or by phone at 202–366–9955. A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 800–877–8339. In addition, FTA will post answers to questions and requests for clarifications on FTA’s website at http://transit.dot.gov/ busprogram. FTA staff will also conduct a webinar for potential applicants to learn more about the program and submittal process. To ensure applicants receive accurate information about eligibility or the program, applicants are encouraged to contact FTA directly, rather than through intermediaries or third parties, with questions. Issued in Washington, DC. K. Jane Williams, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2018–13554 Filed 6–22–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Office of Foreign Assets Control Notice of OFAC Sanctions Actions Office of Foreign Assets Control, Treasury. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is publishing the names of one or more persons that have been placed on OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List based on OFAC’s determination that one or more applicable legal criteria were satisfied. All property and interests in property subject to U.S. jurisdiction of SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\25JNN1.SGM 25JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 122 (Monday, June 25, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 29609-29614]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-13554]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Fiscal Year 2018 Competitive Funding Opportunity; Grants for 
Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity (NOFO).

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
opportunity to apply for approximately $366.3 million in fiscal year 
(FY) 2018 funds under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities 
Infrastructure Investment Program (CFDA #20.526). As required by 
federal transit law and subject to funding availability, funds will be 
awarded competitively to assist in the financing of capital projects to 
replace, rehabilitate, purchase or lease buses and related equipment, 
and to rehabilitate, purchase, construct or lease bus-related 
facilities. Projects may include costs incidental to the acquisition of 
buses or to the construction of facilities, such as the costs of 
related workforce development and training activities, and project 
administration expenses. FTA may award additional funds if they are 
made available to the program prior to the announcement of project 
selections.

DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the 
GRANTS.GOV ``APPLY'' function by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 6, 
2018. Prospective applicants should initiate the process by promptly 
registering on the GRANTS.GOV website to ensure completion of the 
application process before the submission deadline. Instructions for 
applying can be found on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/howtoapply and in the ``FIND'' module of GRANTS.GOV. The GRANTS.GOV 
funding opportunity ID is FTA-2018-005-TPM. Mail and fax submissions 
will not be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Bathrick, FTA Office of Program 
Management, 202-366-9955, or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

A. Program Description
B. Federal Award Information
C. Eligibility Information
D. Application and Submission Information
E. Application Review
F. Review and Selection Process

[[Page 29610]]

G. Federal Award Administration
H. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information
I. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

A. Program Description

    Section 5339(b) of Title 49, United States Code, as amended by the 
Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. 114-94, 
Dec. 4, 2015), authorizes FTA to award funds for the Grants for Buses 
and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment Program (Buses and Bus 
Infrastructure Program) through a competitive process, as described in 
this notice, for capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, purchase or 
lease buses and related equipment and to rehabilitate, purchase, 
construct or lease bus-related facilities.
    The purpose of the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program is to 
assist in the financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, 
including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing or leasing buses or 
related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, constructing or 
leasing bus-related facilities.
    The Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program provides funds to 
designated recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, 
and to States, and local governmental authorities that operate fixed 
route bus service. FTA also may award grants to eligible recipients for 
projects to be undertaken by subrecipients that are public agencies or 
private non-profit organizations engaged in public transportation. In 
accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(2), FTA will ``consider the age and 
condition of buses, bus fleets, related equipment, and bus-related 
facilities'' in selecting projects for funding. FTA may prioritize 
projects that demonstrate how they will address significant repair and 
maintenance needs, improve the safety of transit systems, and deploy 
connective projects that include advanced technologies to connect bus 
systems with other networks.

B. Federal Award Information

    Federal transit law at 49 U.S.C. 5338(a)(2)(M) authorizes 
$246,514,000 in FY 2018 funds for the Section 5339(b) Buses and Bus 
Infrastructure Program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 
appropriated an additional $161,446,000 for the Buses and Bus 
Infrastructure Program. After the oversight takedown and previously 
announced allocations of $37,973,775 in FY 2018 Buses and Bus 
Infrastructure Program funds to projects competitively selected during 
the FY 2017 Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program competition on April 
5, 2018, $366,293,150 is available for the Buses and Bus Infrastructure 
Program through this notice.
    As required under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(5), a minimum of 10 percent of 
the amount awarded under the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program will 
be awarded to projects located in rural areas. As required by 49 U.S.C. 
5339(b)(8), no single grantee will be awarded more than 10 percent of 
the amounts made available.
    FTA will grant pre-award authority to incur costs for selected 
projects beginning on the date that project selections are announced. 
Funds are only available for projects that have not incurred costs 
prior to the selection of projects and will remain available for 
obligation for three Federal fiscal years, not including the year in 
which the funds are allocated to projects.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(1), eligible applicants include designated 
recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, states or 
local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service, and 
Indian tribes. Eligible subrecipients include all otherwise eligible 
applicants and also private nonprofit organizations engaged in public 
transportation.
    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(3), States may submit a statewide 
application on behalf of public agencies or private nonprofit 
organizations engaged in public transportation in rural areas or for 
other areas for which a State allocates funds. Except for projects 
proposed by Indian tribes, all proposals for projects in rural (non-
urbanized) areas must be submitted by a State, either individually or 
as a part of a statewide application. States and other eligible 
applicants may also submit consolidated proposals for projects in 
urbanized areas. The submission of a statewide or consolidated 
urbanized area application shall not preclude the submission and 
consideration of any application from other eligible recipients in an 
urbanized area in a State. Proposals may contain projects to be 
implemented by the recipient or its subrecipients.
    To be considered eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate 
the requisite legal, financial and technical capabilities to receive 
and administer Federal funds under this program.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The maximum federal share for projects selected under the Buses and 
Bus Infrastructure Program is 80 percent of the net project cost, 
unless noted below by one of the exceptions.
    i. The maximum federal share is 85 percent of the net project cost 
of acquiring vehicles (including clean-fuel or alternative fuel 
vehicles) that are compliant with the Clean Air Act (CAA) and/or the 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
    ii. The maximum federal share is 90 percent of the net project cost 
of acquiring, installing or constructing vehicle-related equipment or 
facilities (including clean fuel or alternative-fuel vehicle-related 
equipment or facilities) that are required by the ADA of 1990, or that 
are necessary to comply with or maintaining compliance with the Clean 
Air Act. The award recipient must itemize the cost of specific, 
discrete, vehicle-related equipment associated with compliance with ADA 
or CAA to be eligible for the maximum 90 percent Federal share for 
these costs.
    Eligible sources of local match include the following: Cash from 
non-Government sources other than revenues from providing public 
transportation services; revenues derived from the sale of advertising 
and concessions; amounts received under a service agreement with a 
State or local social service agency or private social service 
organization; revenues generated from value capture financing 
mechanisms; or funds from an undistributed cash surplus; replacement or 
depreciation cash fund or reserve; or new capital. In addition, 
transportation development credits or documentation of in-kind match 
may substitute for local match if identified in the application.

3. Eligible Projects

    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(1), eligible projects are capital projects 
to replace, rehabilitate purchase, or lease buses, vans, and related 
equipment, and capital projects to rehabilitate, purchase, construct, 
or lease bus-related facilities.
    Recipients are permitted to use up to 0.5 percent of their 
requested grant award for workforce development activities eligible 
under 49 U.S.C. 5314(b) and an additional 0.5 percent for costs 
associated with training at the National Transit Institute. Applicants 
must identify the proposed use of funds for these activities in the 
project proposal and identify them separately in the project budget.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address

    Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. 
General information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV can

[[Page 29611]]

be found at https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/applying/applying-fta-funding along with specific instructions for the forms and 
attachments required for submission. Mail and fax submissions will not 
be accepted. A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: The 
SF424 Application for Federal Assistance (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV) 
and the supplemental form for the FY 2018 Buses and Bus Infrastructure 
Program (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV or the FTA website at 
www.transit.dot.gov/busprogram). Applicants may also attach additional 
supporting information. Failure to submit the information as required 
can delay or prevent review of the application.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: The SF424 
Application for Federal Assistance and the FY 2018 Buses and Bus 
Infrastructure Program supplemental form. The supplemental form and any 
supporting documents must be attached to the ``Attachments'' section of 
the SF424. A complete application must include responses to all 
sections of the SF424 Application for Federal Assistance and the 
supplemental form, unless indicated as optional. The information on the 
supplemental form will be used to determine applicant and project 
eligibility for the program, and to evaluate the proposal against the 
selection criteria described in part E of this notice.
    FTA will accept only one supplemental form per SF424 submission. 
FTA encourages States and other applicants to consider submitting a 
single supplemental form that includes multiple activities to be 
evaluated as a consolidated proposal. If a State or other applicant 
chooses to submit separate proposals for individual consideration by 
FTA, each proposal must be submitted using a separate SF424 and 
supplemental form.
    Applicants may attach additional supporting information to the 
SF424 submission, including but not limited to letters of support, 
project budgets, fleet status reports, or excerpts from relevant 
planning documents. Supporting documentation must be described and 
referenced by file name in the appropriate response section of the 
supplemental form, or it may not be reviewed.
    Information such as proposer name, Federal amount requested, local 
match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be requested in 
varying degrees of detail on both the SF424 and Supplemental Form. 
Proposers must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the forms. 
Applicants should not place N/A or ``refer to attachment'' in lieu of 
typing in responses in the field sections. If information is copied 
into the supplemental form from another source, applicants should 
verify that pasted text is fully captured on the supplemental form and 
has not been truncated by the character limits built into the form. 
Proposers should use both the ``Check Package for Errors'' and the 
``Validate Form'' validation buttons on both forms to check all 
required fields on the forms, and ensure that the federal and local 
amounts specified are consistent.
    The SF424 Mandatory Form and the Supplemental Form will prompt 
applicants for the required information, including:

a. Applicant Name
b. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number
c. Key contact information (including contact name, address, email 
address, and phone)
d. Congressional district(s) where project will take place
e. Project Information (including title, an executive summary, and 
type)
f. A detailed description of the need for the project
g. A detailed description on how the project will support the Bus 
Infrastructure Program's objectives
h. Evidence that the project is consistent with local and regional 
planning objectives
i. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost share
j. A description of the technical, legal, and financial capacity of the 
applicant
k. A detailed project budget
l. An explanation of the scalability of the project
m. Details on the local matching funds
n. A detailed project timeline

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

    Each applicant is required to: (1) Be registered in SAM before 
submitting an application; (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier 
in its application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM 
registration with current information at all times during which the 
applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under 
consideration by FTA. These requirements do not apply if the applicant: 
(1) Is an individual; (2) is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 
25.110(b) or (c); or (3) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 
25.110(d). FTA may not make an award until the applicant has complied 
with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If 
an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time 
FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may determine that the applicant is 
not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis 
for making a Federal award to another applicant. All applicants must 
provide a unique entity identifier provided by SAM. Registration in SAM 
may take as little as 3-5 business days, but since there could be 
unexpected steps or delays (for example, if you need to obtain an 
Employer Identification Number), FTA recommends allowing ample time, up 
to several weeks, for completion of all steps. For additional 
information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit 
www.sam.gov.

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on August 6, 2018. Mail and fax 
submissions will not be accepted.
    FTA urges proposers to submit applications at least 72 hours prior 
to the due date to allow time to correct any problems that may have 
caused either Grants.gov or FTA systems to reject the submission. 
Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be considered under 
extraordinary circumstances not under the applicant's control. 
Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled website maintenance. 
GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the 
GRANTS.GOV website.
    Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the 
applicant should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) 
Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV and (2) 
confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV. If confirmations 
of successful validation are not received or a notice of failed 
validation or incomplete materials is received, the applicant must 
address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the email 
notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a 
resubmission for any reason, applicants must include all original 
attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the 
box on the supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission.
    Proposers are encouraged to begin the process of registration on 
the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. 
Registration is a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to 
complete before an application can be submitted. Registered proposers 
may still be required to take

[[Page 29612]]

steps to keep their registration up to date before submissions can be 
made successfully: (1) Registration in the System for Award Management 
(SAM) is renewed annually; and, (2) persons making submissions on 
behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be 
authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions.

5. Funding Restrictions

    Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse applicants for 
otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to FTA award of a Grant 
Agreement until FTA has issued pre-award authority for selected 
projects.

6. Other Submission Requirements

    Applicants are encouraged to identify scaled funding options in 
case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full 
requested amount. If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, 
the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that 
will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the 
program and meets all relevant program requirements. The applicant must 
provide a clear explanation of how the project budget would be affected 
by a reduced award. FTA may award a lesser amount whether or not a 
scalable option is provided.

E. Application Review

    FTA will evaluate project proposals for the Buses and Bus 
Infrastructure Program based on the criteria described in this notice. 
Projects will be evaluated primarily on the responses provided in the 
supplemental form. Additional information may be provided to support 
the responses; however, any additional documentation must be directly 
referenced on the supplemental form, including the file name where the 
additional information can be found.

a. Demonstration of Need

    Applications will be evaluated based on the quality and extent to 
which they demonstrate how the proposed project will address an unmet 
need for capital investment in bus vehicles and/or supporting 
facilities. For example, an applicant may demonstrate an excessive 
reliance on vehicles that are beyond their intended service life, 
insufficient maintenance facilities due to size or condition, a vehicle 
fleet that is insufficient to meet current ridership demands, or 
passenger facilities that are insufficient for their current use. 
Applicants should address whether the project represents a one-time or 
periodic need that cannot reasonably be funded from FTA formula program 
allocations and State or local resources. As a part of the response for 
demonstration of need, applicants should provide the following 
information:
    i. For bus projects (replacement, rehabilitation or expansion): 
Applicants must provide information on the age, condition and 
performance of the asset(s) to be replaced or rehabilitated by the 
proposed project. For service expansion requests, applicants must 
provide information on the proposed service expansion and the benefits 
for transit riders and the community from the new service. For all 
vehicle projects, the proposal must address how the project conforms to 
FTA's spare ratio guidelines.
    ii. For bus facility and equipment projects (replacement, 
rehabilitation, and/or expansion): Applicants must provide information 
on the age and condition of the asset to be rehabilitated or replaced 
relative to its minimum useful life.

b. Demonstration of Benefits

    Applications will be evaluated based on how well they describe how 
the proposed project will improve the condition of the transit system, 
improve the reliability of transit service for its riders, and enhance 
access and mobility within the service area.
    System Condition: FTA will evaluate the potential for the project 
to improve the condition of the transit system by repairing and/or 
replacing assets that are in poor condition or have surpassed their 
minimum or intended useful life benchmarks, lowering the average age of 
vehicles in the fleet, and/or reducing the cost of maintaining outdated 
vehicles, facilities and equipment.
    Service Reliability: FTA will evaluate the potential for the 
project to reduce the frequency of breakdowns or other service 
interruptions as caused by the age and condition of the agency's bus 
fleet. Applicants should document their current service reliability 
metrics and benchmark goals, including their strategy for improving 
reliability with or without the award of Bus Infrastructure Program 
funds.
    Enhanced Access and Mobility: FTA will evaluate the potential for 
the project to improve access and mobility for the transit riding 
public, such as through increased reliability, improved headways, 
creation of new transportation choices, or eliminating gaps in the 
current route network. Proposed benefits should be based on documented 
ridership demand and be well-described or documented through a study or 
route planning proposal.

c. Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization

    Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed project will be 
consistent with local and regional long-range planning documents and 
local government priorities. This will involve assessing whether the 
project is consistent with the transit priorities identified in the 
long range plan; and/or contingency/illustrative projects included in 
that plan; or the locally developed human services public 
transportation coordinated plan. Applicants are not required to submit 
copies of such plans, but should describe how the project will support 
regional goals. Additional consideration will be given to applications 
including support letters from local and regional planning 
organizations, local government officials, public agencies, and/or non-
profit or private sector partners attesting to the consistency of the 
proposed project with these plans. Applicants may also address how the 
proposed project will impact overall system performance, asset 
management performance, or specific performance measures tracked and 
monitored by the applying entity to demonstrate how the proposed 
project will address local and regional planning priorities.
    Evidence of additional local or regional prioritization (i.e., STIP 
and LRTP) should include letters of support for the project from local 
government officials, public agencies (i.e., MPOs), and non-profit or 
private sector partners.

d. Local Financial Commitment

    Applicants must identify the source of the local cost share and 
describe whether such funds are currently available for the project or 
will need to be secured if the project is selected for funding. FTA 
will consider the availability of the local cost share as evidence of 
local financial commitment to the project. Additional consideration 
will be given to those projects for which local funds have already been 
made available or reserved. Applicants should submit evidence of the 
availability of funds for the project, for example by including a board 
resolution, letter of support from the State, or other documentation of 
the source of local funds such as a budget document highlighting the 
line item or section committing funds to the proposed project.

e. Project Implementation Strategy

    Projects will be evaluated based on the extent to which the project 
is ready to implement within a reasonable

[[Page 29613]]

period of time and whether the applicant's proposed implementation 
plans are reasonable and complete.
    In assessing whether the project is ready to implement within a 
reasonable period of time, FTA will consider whether the project 
qualifies for a Categorical Exclusion (CE), or whether the required 
environmental work has been initiated or completed for projects that 
require an Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact 
Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended. The proposal must also state whether grant funds 
can be obligated within 12 months from time of award, if selected, and 
indicate the timeframe under which the Metropolitan Transportation 
Improvement Program (TIP) and/or Statewide Transportation Improvement 
Program (STIP) can be amended to include the proposed project. 
Additional consideration will be given to projects for which grant 
funds can be obligated within 12 months from time of award.
    In assessing whether the proposed implementation plans are 
reasonable and complete, FTA will review the proposed project 
implementation plan, including all necessary project milestones and the 
overall project timeline. For projects that will require formal 
coordination, approvals or permits from other agencies or project 
partners, the applicant must demonstrate coordination with these 
organizations and their support for the project, such as through 
letters of support.

f. Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity

    Applicants must demonstrate that they have the technical, legal and 
financial capacity to undertake the project. FTA will review relevant 
oversight assessments and records to determine whether there are any 
outstanding legal, technical, or financial issues with the applicant 
that would affect the outcome of the proposed project. Applicants with 
outstanding legal, technical, or financial compliance issues from a 
Federal Transit Administration compliance review or Federal Transit 
grant-related Single Audit finding must explain how corrective actions 
taken will mitigate negative impacts on the project.

F. Review and Selection Process

    In addition to other FTA staff that may review the proposals, a 
technical evaluation committee will evaluate proposals based on the 
published evaluation criteria. After applying the above preferences, 
the FTA Administrator will consider the following key Departmental 
objectives:
    (A) Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional 
level;
    (B) Utilizing alternative funding sources and innovative financing 
models to attract non-Federal sources of infrastructure investment;
    (C) Accounting for the life-cycle costs of the project to promote 
the state of good repair;
    (D) Using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite 
project delivery; and
    (E) Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance and 
achieving specific, measurable outcomes identified by grant applicants.
    Prior to making an award, FTA is required to review and consider 
any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity 
and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS). An 
applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated 
integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM and comment on 
any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously 
entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance 
system accessible through SAM.
    The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection of 
projects for program funding. FTA may consider geographic diversity, 
diversity in the size of the transit systems receiving funding, and/or 
the applicant's receipt of other discretionary awards in determining 
the allocation of program funds. Not less than 10 percent of the Buses 
and Bus Infrastructure Program funds will be distributed to projects in 
rural areas. In addition, FTA will not award more than 10 percent of 
the funds to a single grantee.

G. Federal Award Administration

i. Federal Award Notice

    Subsequent to an announcement by the FTA Administrator of the final 
project selections, which will be posted on the FTA website, FTA will 
publish a list of the selected projects, a summary of final scores for 
selected projects, Federal award amounts and recipients in the Federal 
Register. Project recipients should contact their FTA regional offices 
for additional information regarding allocations for projects under the 
Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program.
    At the time the project selections are announced, FTA will extend 
pre-award authority for the selected projects. There is no blanket pre-
award authority for these projects before announcement.

ii. Award Administration

    Funds under the Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program are available 
to designated recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus 
operators, or state or local governmental entities, including Indian 
tribes, that operate fixed route bus service. There is no minimum or 
maximum grant award amount; however, FTA intends to fund as many 
meritorious projects as possible. Only proposals from eligible 
recipients for eligible activities will be considered for funding. Due 
to funding limitations, proposers that are selected for funding may 
receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, 
applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are 
still viable stand-alone projects that can be completed with the amount 
awarded.

iii. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

a. Pre-Award Authority
    The FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-
award authority at the time of selection. The FTA does not provide pre-
award authority for discretionary funds until projects are selected and 
even then there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs 
are incurred. Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse 
applicants for otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to FTA award 
of a Grant Agreement until FTA has issued pre-award authority for 
selected projects through a notification in the Federal Register, or 
unless FTA has issued a ``Letter of No Prejudice'' for the project 
before the expenses are incurred. For more information about FTA's 
policy on pre-award authority, please see the FY 2017 Apportionment 
Notice published on January 19, 2017.
b. Grant Requirements
    If selected, awardees will apply for a grant through FTA's Transit 
Award Management System (TrAMS). Recipients of Buses and Bus 
Infrastructure Program funding in urban areas are subject to the grant 
requirements of section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grant program, 
including those of FTA Circular 9030.1E. Recipients of Buses and Bus 
Infrastructure Program funding in rural areas are subject to the grant 
requirements of section 5311 Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, 
including those of FTA Circular 9040.1G. All recipients must follow the 
Grants Management Requirements of FTA Circular 5010.1E, and the labor 
protections of 49 U.S.C. 5333(b). Technical assistance regarding these

[[Page 29614]]

requirements is available from each FTA regional office.
c. Buy America
    The FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA's Buy 
America requirements, which require that all iron, steel, or 
manufactured products be produced in the U.S. These requirements help 
create and protect manufacturing jobs in the U.S. The Bus 
Infrastructure Program will have a significant economic impact toward 
meeting the objectives of the Buy America law. The FAST Act amended the 
Buy America requirements to provide for a phased increase in the 
domestic content for rolling stock. For FY 2018 and FY 2019, the cost 
of components and subcomponents produced in the United States must be 
more than 65 percent of the cost of all components. For FY 2020 and 
beyond, the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the United 
States must be more than 70 percent of the cost of all components. 
There is no change to the requirement that final assembly of rolling 
stock must occur in the United States. FTA issued final guidance on the 
implementation of the phased increase in domestic content on September 
1, 2016. Any proposal that will require a waiver must identify the 
items for which a waiver will be sought in the application.
d. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
    FTA requires that its recipients receiving planning, capital and/or 
operating assistance that will award prime contracts exceeding $250,000 
in FTA funds in a Federal fiscal year comply with the Disadvantaged 
Business Enterprise (DBE) program regulations at 49 CFR part 26. 
Applicants should expect to include any funds awarded, excluding those 
to be used for vehicle procurements, in setting their overall DBE goal. 
Note, however, that projects including vehicle procurements remain 
subject to the DBE program regulations. The rule requires that, prior 
to bidding on any FTA-assisted vehicle procurement, entities that 
manufacture vehicles, perform post-production alterations or 
retrofitting must submit a DBE Program plan and goal methodology to 
FTA. Further, to the extent that a vehicle remanufacturer is responding 
to a solicitation for new or remanufactured vehicles with a vehicle to 
which the remanufacturer has provided post-production alterations or 
retro-fitting (e.g., replacing major components such as engine to 
provide a ``like new'' vehicle), the vehicle remanufacturer is 
considered a transit vehicle manufacturer and must also comply with the 
DBE regulations.
    FTA will then issue a transit vehicle manufacturer (TVM) 
concurrence/certification letter. Grant recipients must verify each 
entity's compliance with these requirements before accepting its bid. A 
list of compliant, certified TVMs is posted on FTA's web page at 
https://www.fta.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/eligible-tvms-list. Please note, that this list is nonexclusive and 
recipients must contact FTA before accepting bids from entities not 
listed on this web-posting. Recipients may also establish project 
specific DBE goals for vehicle procurements. The FTA will provide 
additional guidance as grants are awarded. For more information on DBE 
requirements, please contact Janelle Hinton, Office of Civil Rights, 
202-366-9259, email: [email protected].
e. Planning
    FTA encourages proposers to notify the appropriate State 
Departments of Transportation and MPOs in areas likely to be served by 
the project funds made available under this program. Selected projects 
must be incorporated into the long-range plans and transportation 
improvement programs of states and metropolitan areas before they are 
eligible for FTA funding.
f. Standard Assurances
    By submitting a grant application, the applicant assures that it 
will comply with all applicable federal statutes, regulations, 
executive orders, directives, FTA circulars, and other federal 
administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by 
the FTA grant. Further, the applicant acknowledges that it is under a 
continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the 
grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant 
understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and 
administrative practices might be modified from time to time and may 
affect the implementation of the project. The applicant agrees that the 
most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project, unless FTA 
issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the 
Certifications and Assurances before receiving a grant if it does not 
have current certifications on file.
g. Reporting
    Post-award reporting requirements include the electronic submission 
of Federal Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports in FTA's 
electronic grants management system.

H. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.'' FTA will consider 
applications for funding only from eligible recipients for eligible 
projects listed in Section C. Complete applications must be submitted 
through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on August 6, 2018. For 
assistance with GRANTS.GOV please contact GRANTS.GOV by phone at 1-800-
518-4726 or by email at [email protected]. Contact information for 
FTA's regional offices can be found on FTA's website at https://www.transit.dot.gov/about/regional-offices/regional-offices.

I. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information concerning this notice please contact the 
Buses and Bus Infrastructure Program manager, Mark Bathrick, via email 
at [email protected], or by phone at 202-366-9955. A TDD is 
available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 800-877-
8339. In addition, FTA will post answers to questions and requests for 
clarifications on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/busprogram. 
FTA staff will also conduct a webinar for potential applicants to learn 
more about the program and submittal process. To ensure applicants 
receive accurate information about eligibility or the program, 
applicants are encouraged to contact FTA directly, rather than through 
intermediaries or third parties, with questions.

    Issued in Washington, DC.
K. Jane Williams,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-13554 Filed 6-22-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE P