Notice of Funding Opportunity for Positive Train Control Systems Grants Under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program, 46243-46251 [2018-19740]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices • 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 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. • Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations at 202–493–2251. Privacy: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these comments, without edit, including any personal information the commenter provides, to https://www.regulations.gov, as described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL–14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at https://www.dot.gov/ privacy. Docket: Background documents or comments received may be read at https://www.regulations.gov at any time. Follow the online instructions for accessing the docket or go to the Docket Operations 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: Mark Forseth, AIR–673, Federal Aviation Administration, 2200 South 216th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198, phone and fax 206–231–3179, email mark.forseth@faa.gov; or Alphonso Pendergrass, ARM–200, Office of Rulemaking, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591, phone 202–267–4713, email Alphonso.Pendergrass@faa.gov. This notice is published pursuant to 14 CFR 11.85. Issued in Renton, Washington. Victor Wicklund, Manager, Transport Standards Branch. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Petition for Exemption Docket No.: FAA–2018–0746. Petitioner: The Boeing Company. Section(s) of 14 CFR Affected: Special Conditions No. 25–626A–SC. Description of Relief Sought: The Boeing Company seeks 18 months’ relief from the requirements of Special Conditions No. 25–626A–SC, as it relates to dynamic test requirements on the Model 787–9 airplane for singleoccupant oblique seats with or without airbags and 3-point restraints. [FR Doc. 2018–19792 Filed 9–11–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration Notice of Funding Opportunity for Positive Train Control Systems Grants Under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO or notice). AGENCY: This NOFO details the application procedures and requirements to obtain remaining grant funding for eligible positive train control (PTC) system projects of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program as provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, (2018 Appropriation). The funding in this NOFO remains from the 2018 Appropriation after DOT selected applications submitted in response to an initial NOFO for PTC systems deployment published on May 18, 2018. The opportunity described in this notice is made available under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number 20.325, ‘‘Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements.’’ DATES: Applications under this solicitation are due no later than 5 p.m. EDT, October 12, 2018. Applications for funding or supplemental material in support of such an application received after 5 p.m. EDT on October 12, 2018 will not be considered for funding. Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding. See Section D of this notice for additional information on the application process. ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted via www.Grants.gov. Only applicants who comply with all submission requirements described in this notice and submit applications through www.Grants.gov will be eligible for award. For any supporting application materials that an applicant is unable to submit via www.Grants.gov (such as oversized engineering drawings), an applicant may submit an original and two (2) copies to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36–412, Washington, DC 20590. However, due to delays caused by enhanced screening of mail delivered via the U.S. Postal Service, applicants are advised to use other means of conveyance (such as courier service) to assure timely receipt SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46243 of materials before the application deadline. For further information in this notice, please contact Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36–412, Washington, DC 20590; email: amy.houser@dot.gov; phone: 202–493– 0303. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Notice to applicants: FRA recommends that applicants read this notice in its entirety prior to preparing application materials. A list providing the definitions of key terms used throughout the NOFO is in Section A(2) below. These key terms are capitalized throughout the NOFO. There are several administrative prerequisites and specific eligibility requirements described herein that applicants must comply with to submit an application. Additionally, applicants should note that the required Project Narrative component of the application package may not exceed 25 pages in length. Table of Contents A. Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission Information E. Application Review Information F. Federal Award Administration Information G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts A. Program Description 1. Overview The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for competitive PTC system project funding authorized under Section 11301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 114–94 (2015); 49 U.S.C. 24407 and funded in the 2018 Appropriation. Together with the FAST Act, the 2018 Appropriation provides funding made available under this NOFO to fund the deployment of PTC system technology for Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation, freight rail transportation and/or Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation. Projects selected under this NOFO for Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation may be transferred to the Federal Transit Administration for grant administration. Projects selected for Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation and freight rail transportation will be administered by the FRA. A railroad must fully implement a PTC system on all required route miles by December 31, 2018, unless a railroad qualifies for and obtains FRA approval E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1 46244 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES of an alternative schedule (i.e., a deadline no later than December 31, 2020) under the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015 (PTCEI Act). The PTCEI Act authorizes, and requires, FRA to approve a railroad’s alternative schedule only if the railroad demonstrates in a written notification that it has met all statutory criteria for an alternative schedule, including that it has: (1) Installed, by December 31, 2018, all PTC system hardware consistent with the governing PTC Implementation Plan (PTCIP); (2) acquired, by December 31, 2018, all spectrum necessary to implement its PTC system consistent with the governing PTCIP, and (3) made sufficient progress on employee training, revenue service demonstration, and other criteria as specified under 49 U.S.C. 20157(a)(3)(B)(i)–(vii). 2. Definitions of Key Terms a. ‘‘Benefit-Cost Analysis’’ (‘‘BCA’’ or ‘‘Cost-Benefit Analysis’’) is a systematic, data driven, and transparent analysis comparing monetized project benefits and costs, using a no-build baseline and properly discounted present values, including concise documentation of the assumptions and methodology used to produce the analysis; a description of the baseline, data sources used to project outcomes, and values of key input parameters; basis of modeling including spreadsheets, technical memos, etc.; and presentation of the calculations in sufficient detail and transparency to allow the analysis to be reproduced and sensitivity of results evaluated by FRA. Please refer to the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to preparing a BCA at https:// www.transportation.gov/office-policy/ transportation-policy/benefit-costanalysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer to the BCA FAQs on FRA’s website for some rail specific examples of how to apply the BCA Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs to CRISI applications. b. ‘‘Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation’’ means short-haul rail passenger transportation in metropolitan and suburban areas usually having reduced fare, multiple ride, and commuter tickets and morning and evening peak period operations. See 49 U.S.C. 24102(3). c. ‘‘Construction’’ means the production of fixed works and structures or substantial alterations to such structures or land and associated costs. d. ‘‘Final Design’’ (‘‘FD’’) means design activities following Preliminary Engineering, and at a minimum, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 includes the preparation of final Construction plans, detailed specifications, and estimates sufficiently detailed to inform project stakeholders (designers, reviewers, contractors, suppliers, etc.) of the actions required to advance the project from design through completion of Construction. e. ‘‘Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation’’ means rail passenger transportation, except Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation. See 49 U.S.C. 24401(3). In this notice, ‘‘Intercity Passenger Rail Service’’ and ‘‘Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation’’ are equivalent terms to ‘‘Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation.’’ f. ‘‘National Environmental Policy Act’’ (‘‘NEPA’’) is a Federal law that requires Federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts of a proposed action in consultation with appropriate federal, state, and local authorities, and with the public. The NEPA class of action depends on the nature of the proposed action, its complexity, and the potential impacts. For purposes of this NOFO, NEPA also includes all related Federal laws and regulations including Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. (See FRA’s Environmental Procedures at: https:// www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L02561.) g. ‘‘Positive Train Control system’’ (‘‘PTC system’’) is defined by 49 CFR 270.5 to mean a system designed to prevent train-to-train collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work zone limits, and the movement of a train through a switch left in the wrong position, as described in 49 CFR part 236, subpart I. h. ‘‘Preliminary Engineering’’ (‘‘PE’’) means engineering design to: (1) Define a project, including identification of all environmental impacts, design of all critical project elements at a level sufficient to assure reliable cost estimates and schedules, (2) complete project management and financial plans, and (3) identify procurement requirements and strategies. The PE development process starts with specific project design alternatives that allow for the assessment of a range of rail improvements, specific alignments, and project designs—to be used concurrent with NEPA and related analyses. PE occurs prior to FD and Construction. i. ‘‘Rail Carrier’’ means a person providing common carrier railroad transportation for compensation, but does not include street, suburban, or interurban electric railways not operated as part of the general system of PO 00000 Frm 00109 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 rail transportation. See 49 U.S.C. 10102(5). j. ‘‘Rural Project’’ means a project in which all or the majority of the project (determined by the geographic location or locations where the majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a Rural Area. k. ‘‘Rural Area’’ is defined in 49 U.S.C. 24407(g)(2) to mean any area not in an urbanized area as defined by the Census Bureau. The Census Bureau defines ‘‘Urbanized Area’’ (‘‘UA’’) as an area with a population of 50,000 or more people.1 Updated lists of UAs as defined by the Census Bureau are available on the Census Bureau website at https://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/ dc10map/UAUC_RefMap/ua/. B. Federal Award Information 1. Available Award Amount The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is $46,301,702 for eligible PTC system projects under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(1). Should FRA identify additional funding available under the 2018 Appropriation after the release of this NOFO, FRA may elect to award such additional funds to projects submitted under this NOFO. At least 25 percent of CRISI funding made available in the 2018 Appropriation will be available for Rural Projects as required in 49 U.S.C. 24407(g). 2. Award Size There are no predetermined minimum or maximum dollar thresholds for awards. FRA anticipates making multiple awards with the available funding. FRA may not be able to award grants to all eligible applications, nor even to all applications that meet or exceed the stated evaluation criteria (see Section E, Application Review Information). Projects may require more funding than is available. FRA encourages applicants to propose projects or components of projects that have operational independence that can be completed and implemented with the level of funding available together with other sources. FRA strongly encourages applicants to identify and include other state, local, public, or private funding or financing to support the proposed project. 3. Award Type FRA will make awards for projects selected under this notice through grant agreements and/or cooperative agreements. Grant agreements are used when FRA does not expect to have 1 See 74 FR 53030, 53043 (August 24, 2011) available at https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/ reference/fedreg/fedregv76n164.pdf E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices substantial Federal involvement in carrying out the funded activity. Cooperative agreements allow for substantial Federal involvement in carrying out the agreed upon investment, including technical assistance, review of interim work products, and increased program oversight. The funding provided under these grant agreements and cooperative agreements will be made available to recipients on a reimbursable basis. Applicants must certify that their expenditures are allowable, allocable, reasonable, and necessary to the approved project before seeking reimbursement from FRA. Additionally, the recipient is expected to expend matching funds at the required percentage alongside Federal funds throughout the life of the project. See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/ L19057. 4. Concurrent Applications As DOT and FRA are concurrently soliciting applications for transportation infrastructure projects for several financial assistance programs, applicants may submit applications requesting funding for a particular project to one or more of these programs. In the application for PTC system project funding, applicants must indicate the other programs to which they submitted or plan to submit an application for funding the entire project or certain project components, as well as highlight new or revised information in the PTC system project application that differs from the application(s) for other federal financial assistance programs. C. Eligibility Information daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES This section of the notice explains applicant eligibility, cost sharing and matching requirements, project eligibility, and project component operational independence. Applications that do not meet the requirements in this section will be ineligible for funding. Instructions for submitting eligibility information to FRA are detailed in Section D of this NOFO. 1. Eligible Applicants The following entities are eligible applicants: a. A State; b. A group of States; c. An Interstate Compact; VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 d. A public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States; 2 e. A political subdivision of a State; f. Amtrak or another Rail Carrier that provides Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation (as defined in 49 U.S.C. 24102); g. A Class II railroad or Class III railroad (as those terms are defined in 49 U.S.C. 20102); h. Any Rail Carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership with at least one of the entities described in paragraph (a) through (e); i. The Transportation Research Board together with any entity with which it contracts in the development of railrelated research, including cooperative research programs; j. A University transportation center engaged in rail-related research; or k. A non-profit labor organization representing a class or craft of employees of Rail Carriers or Rail Carrier contractors. Applications must identify an eligible applicant as the lead applicant. The lead applicant serves as the primary point of contact for the application, and if selected, as the recipient of the PTC system grant award. Eligible applicants may reference entities that are not eligible applicants in an application as a project partner. 2. Cost Sharing or Matching The Federal share of total costs for projects funded under this notice will not exceed 80 percent, though FRA will provide selection preference to applications where the proposed Federal share of total project costs is 50 percent or less. The estimated total cost of a project must be based on the best available information, including engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment and/or facilities. Additionally, in preparing estimates of total project costs, applicants should refer to FRA’s cost estimate guidance documentation, ‘‘Capital Cost Estimating: Guidance for Project Sponsors,’’ which is available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0926. The minimum 20 percent non-Federal match may be comprised of public sector (e.g., state or local) and/or private sector funding. FRA will not consider any Federal financial assistance, nor any non-Federal funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered) that do not comply with 2 CFR 200.458 toward the 2 See Section D(2)(a)(iv) for supporting documentation required to demonstrate eligibility under this eligibility category. PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46245 matching requirement. FRA is limiting the first 20 percent of the non-Federal match to cash contributions only. FRA will not accept ‘‘in-kind’’ contributions for the first 20 percent in matching funds. Eligible in-kind contributions may be accepted for any non-Federal matching beyond the first 20 percent. In-kind contributions, including the donation of services, materials, and equipment, may be credited as a project cost, in a uniform manner consistent with 2 CFR 200.306. Amtrak or another Rail Carrier may use ticket and other non-Federal revenues generated from its operations and other sources as matching funds. Applicants must identify the source(s) of its matching and other funds, and must clearly and distinctly reflect these funds as part of the total project cost. Before applying, applicants should carefully review the principles for cost sharing or matching in 2 CFR 200.306. See Section D(2)(a)(iii) for required application information on non-Federal match and Section E for further discussion of FRA’s consideration of matching funds in the review and selection process. FRA may approve pre-award costs for reimbursement and matching contributions consistent with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable. See Section D(6). 3. Other a. Project Eligibility Projects eligible for funding under this NOFO must be used to deploy PTC systems technology for Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation, freight rail transportation, and/or Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation. Eligible projects include: Back office systems; wayside, communications and onboard hardware equipment; software; equipment installation; spectrum; any component, testing and training for the implementation of PTC systems; and interoperability. Maintenance and operating expenses incurred after a PTC system is placed in revenue service are ineligible. Applicants considering more comprehensive projects that include both PTC elements and other passenger/ freight improvements are directed to request only the PTC element under this NOFO or submit applications for the more comprehensive project under the subsequent NOFO, which FRA will soon be issuing for the remainder of the 2018 CRISI funding. Applicants are not limited in the number of projects for which they seek funding. Applicants must complete all necessary Planning, PE and NEPA requirements for projects funded under this NOFO. Projects for FD must: E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1 46246 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices Resolve remaining uncertainties or risks associated with changes to design scope; address procurement processes; and update and refine plans for financing the project or program to reflect accurately the expected year-ofexpenditure costs and cash flow projections. Applicants selected for funding under this NOFO must demonstrate the following to FRA’s satisfaction: i. PE is completed for the proposed project, resulting in project designs that are reasonably expected to conform to all regulatory, safety, security, and other design requirements, including those under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); ii. NEPA is completed for the proposed project; iii. Signed agreements with key project partners, including infrastructure-owning entities; and iv. A project management plan is inplace for managing the implementation of the proposed project, including the management and mitigation of project risks. b. Project Component Operational Independence If an applicant requests funding for a project that is a component or set of components of a larger project, the project component(s) must be attainable with the award amount, together with other funds as necessary, obtain operational independence, and must comply with all eligibility requirements described in Section C. In addition, the component(s) must be capable of independent analysis and decision making, as determined by FRA, under NEPA (i.e., have independent utility, connect logical termini, if applicable, and not restrict the consideration of alternatives for other reasonably foreseeable rail projects.) daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES c. Rural Project FRA will consider a project to be in a Rural Area if all or the majority of the project (determined by geographic location(s) where the majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a Rural Area. However, in the event FRA elects to fund a component of the project, then FRA will reexamine whether the project is in a Rural Area. D. Application and Submission Information Required documents for the application are outlined in the following paragraphs. Applicants must complete and submit all components of the application. See Section D(2) for the application checklist. FRA welcomes the submission of additional relevant supporting documentation, such as planning, engineering and design documentation, and letters of support from partnering organizations that will not count against the Project Narrative 25-page limit. 1. Address To Request Application Package Applicants must submit all application materials for PTC system projects in their entirety through www.Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, on October 12, 2018. FRA reserves the right to modify this deadline. General information for submitting applications through Grants.gov can be found at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/ P0270. For any supporting application materials that an applicant cannot submit via Grants.gov, such as oversized engineering drawings, an applicant may submit an original and two (2) copies to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36–412, Washington, DC 20590. However, due to delays caused by enhanced screening of mail delivered via the U.S. Postal Service, FRA advises applicants to use other means of conveyance (such as courier service) to assure timely receipt of materials before the application deadline. Additionally, if documents can be obtained online, providing instructions to FRA on how to access files on a referenced website may also be sufficient. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission FRA strongly advises applicants to read this section carefully. Applicants must submit all required information and components of the application package to be considered for funding. Additionally, applicants selected to receive funding must generally satisfy the grant readiness checklist requirements on https:// www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0268 as a precondition to FRA issuing a grant award, as well as the requirements in 49 U.S.C. 24405 explained in part at https://www.fra.dot.gov/page/P0185. If a project is selected for PTC systems in Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(1) and such funds are transferred in the Secretary’s discretion, applicants will be required to comply with chapter 53 of Title 49 of the United States Code. Required documents for an application package are outlined in the checklist below. i. Project Narrative (see D.2.a) ii. Statement of Work (see D.2.b.i) iii. Benefit-Cost Analysis (see D.2.b.ii) iv. SF424—Application for Federal Assistance v. Either: SF 424A—Budget Information for Non-Construction projects or SF 424C— Budget Information for Construction vi. Either: SF 424B—Assurances for NonConstruction projects or SF 424D— Assurances for Construction vii. FRA’s Additional Assurances and Certifications viii. SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities a. Project Narrative This section describes the minimum content required in the Project Narrative of the grant application. The Project Narrative must follow the basic outline below to address the program requirements and assist evaluators in locating relevant information. I. Cover Page .................................................................................................................................................................................... II. Project Summary ......................................................................................................................................................................... III. Project Funding .......................................................................................................................................................................... IV. Applicant Eligibility .................................................................................................................................................................. V. Project Eligibility ........................................................................................................................................................................ VI. Detailed Project Description ..................................................................................................................................................... VII. Project Location ........................................................................................................................................................................ VIII. Evaluation and Selection Criteria .......................................................................................................................................... IX. Project Implementation and Management ............................................................................................................................... X. PTC Readiness ............................................................................................................................................................................ XI. Environmental Readiness .......................................................................................................................................................... The above content must be provided in a narrative statement submitted by VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 the applicant. The Project Narrative may not exceed 25 pages in length PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 See See See See See See See See See See See D.2.a.i. D.2.a.ii. D.2.a.iii. D.2.a.iv. D.2.a.v. D.2.a.vi. D.2.a.vii. D.2.a.viii. D.2.a.ix. D.2.a.x. D.2.a.xi. (excluding cover pages, table of contents, and supporting E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices documentation). FRA will not review or consider for award applications with Project Narratives exceeding the 25-page limitation. If possible, applicants should submit supporting documents via website links rather than hard copies. If supporting documents are submitted, applicants must clearly identify the page number(s) of the relevant portion in the Project Narrative supporting 46247 documentation. The Project Narrative must adhere to the following outline. i. Cover Page: Include a cover page that lists the following elements in a table: Project Title. Lead applicant. Was a Federal grant application previously submitted for this project? ...................................................... If yes, state the name of the Federal grant program and title of the project in the previous application .. Is this a Rural Project? What percentage of the project cost is based in a Rural Area? ............................... Yes/no. Federal Grant Program: Project Title: Yes/no. Percentage of total project cost: City(ies), State(s) where the project is located. Urbanized Area where the project is located. Population of Urbanized Area. ii. Project Summary: Provide a brief 4–6 sentence summary of the proposed project and what the project will entail. Include challenges the proposed project aims to address, and summarize the intended outcomes and anticipated benefits that will result from the proposed project. iii. Project Funding: Indicate in table format the amount of Federal funding requested, the proposed non-Federal match, identifying contributions from the private sector if applicable, and total project cost. Describe the non-Federal funding arrangement. Include funding commitment letters outlining funding agreements, as attachments or in an appendix. Identify any specific project components that the applicant proposes for partial project funding. If all or a majority of a project is located in a Rural Area, identify the Rural Area(s) and estimated percentage of project costs that will be spent in the Rural Area. Identify any previously incurred costs, as well as other sources of Federal funds committed to the project and any Task name/project component Task No. pending Federal requests. Also, note if the requested Federal funding under this NOFO or other programs must be obligated or spent by a certain date due to dependencies or relationships with other Federal or non-Federal funding sources, related projects, law, or other factors. If applicable, provide the type and estimated value of any proposed inkind contributions, and demonstrate how the in-kind contributions meet the requirements in 2 CFR 200.306. Example Project Funding Table: Cost Percentage of total cost 1 2 Total Project Cost Federal Funds Received from Previous Grant Federal Funding Request Non-Federal Funding/Match Cash: In-Kind: Portion of Non-Federal Funding from the Private Sector Portion of Total Project Costs Spent in a Rural Area daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Pending Federal Funding Requests iv. Applicant Eligibility: Explain how the applicant meets the applicant eligibility criteria outlined in Section C of this notice, including references to creation or enabling legislation for public agencies and publicly chartered authorities established by one or more States. v. Project Eligibility: Explain how the project meets the project eligibility criteria. vi. Detailed Project Description: Include a detailed project description that expands upon the brief project summary. This detailed description should provide, at a minimum, VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 background on the challenges the project aims to address; the expected users and beneficiaries of the project, including all railroad operators; the specific components and elements of the project; and any other information the applicant deems necessary to justify the proposed project. If applicable, explain how the project will benefit communities in Rural Areas. Applicants must also: (A) Document submission of a revised Positive Train Control Implementation Plan (PTCIP) to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a); PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 (B) Document that it is a tenant on one or more host railroads that submitted a revised PTCIP to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), which states the tenant railroad is equipping its rolling stock with a PTC system and provides all other information required under 49 CFR 236.1011 regarding the tenant railroad; or (C) Document why the applicant is not required to submit a revised PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), and whether the proposed project will assist in the deployment (i.e., installation and/ or full implementation) of a PTC system required under 49 U.S.C. 20157. E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 46248 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices For all projects, applicants must provide information about proposed performance measures, as discussed in Section F(3)(c) and required in 2 CFR 200.301 and 49 U.S.C. 24407(f). vii. Project Location: Include geospatial data for the project, as well as a map of the project’s location. On the map, include the Rural Area boundaries, if applicable, in which the project will take place. viii. Evaluation and Selection Criteria: Include a thorough discussion of how the proposed project meets all the evaluation criteria and selection criteria, as outlined in Section E of this notice. If an application does not sufficiently address the evaluation and selection criteria, it is unlikely to be a competitive application. ix. Project Implementation and Management: Describe proposed project implementation and project management arrangements. Include descriptions of the expected arrangements for project contracting, contract oversight, change-order management, risk management, and conformance to Federal requirements for project progress reporting (see https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0274). Describe past experience in managing and overseeing similar projects. x. PTC Readiness: If the railroad is subject to the statutory PTC mandate or if the railroad is a tenant railroad that operates on PTC-equipped territory and must equip its locomotives and other controlling rolling stock under 49 CFR 236.1006(a), provide a brief summary about the railroad’s current progress toward fully implementing a PTC system under 49 CFR part 236, subpart I. For such railroads and for any other railroad, provide information about the railroad’s progress towards completing all hardware installation required for implementation of a PTC system, testing the PTC system (including field testing and revenue service demonstration), training personnel under 49 CFR 236.1041– 236.1049, conducting interoperability testing with any other railroads that operate on the same main line, and operating an FRA-certified PTC system in revenue service. In addition, and if applicable, applicants may refer to their most recent Quarterly PTC Progress Report (FRA Form F 6180.165) to provide additional details. xi. Environmental Readiness: If the NEPA process is complete, an applicant should indicate the date of completion, and provide a website link or other reference to the documents demonstrating compliance with NEPA, which might include a final CE, Finding of No Significant Impact, or Record of VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 Decision. If the NEPA process is not yet underway or is underway, but is not complete, the application should detail the type of NEPA review underway, where the project is in the process, and indicate the anticipated date of completion of all NEPA and related milestones. If the last agency action with respect to NEPA documents occurred more than three years before the application date, the applicant should describe why the project has been delayed and include a proposed approach for verifying, and if necessary, updating this information in accordance with applicable NEPA requirements. Additional information regarding FRA’s environmental processes and requirements are located at https:// www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L05286. b. Additional Application Elements Applicants must submit: i. A Statement of Work (SOW) addressing the scope, schedule, and budget for the proposed project if it were selected for award. The SOW must contain sufficient detail so FRA, and the applicant, can understand the expected outcomes of the proposed work to be performed and monitor progress toward completing project tasks and deliverables during a prospective grant’s period of performance. Applicants must use FRA’s standard SOW template to be considered for award. The SOW template is located at https:// www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L18661. When preparing the budget as part of the SOW, the total cost of a project must be based on the best available information as indicated in cited references that include engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, environmental analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment or facilities. ii. A Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA), as an appendix to the Project Narrative for each project submitted by an applicant. The BCA must demonstrate in economic terms the merits of investing in the proposed project. The project narrative should summarize the project’s benefits. Benefits may apply to existing and new rail users, as well as users of other modes of transportation. In some cases, benefits may be applied to populations in the general vicinity of the project area. Improvements to shared-use rail corridors may benefit all users involved. All benefits claimed for the project must be clearly tied to the expected outcomes of the project. Please refer to the BenefitCost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to preparing a BCA at https:// www.transportation.gov/office-policy/ transportation-policy/benefit-cost- PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 analysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer to the BCA FAQs on FRA’s website for some rail specific examples of how to apply the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs to CRISI applications. iii. SF 424—Application for Federal Assistance; iv. SF 424A—Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C—Budget Information for Construction; v. SF 424B—Assurances for NonConstruction or SF 424D—Assurances for Construction; vi. FRA’s Additional Assurances and Certifications; and vii. SF LLL—Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. Forms needed for the electronic application process are at www.Grants.gov. c. Post-Selection Requirements See subsection F(2) of this notice for post-selection requirements. 3. Unique Entity Identifier, System for Award Management (SAM), and Submission Instructions To apply for funding through Grants.gov, applicants must be properly registered. Complete instructions on how to register and submit an application can be found at www.Grants.gov. Registering with Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, it can take up to several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation and a user password. FRA recommends that applicants start the registration process as early as possible to prevent delays that may preclude submitting an application package by the application deadline. Applications will not be accepted after the due date. Delayed registration is not an acceptable justification for an application extension. FRA may not make a grant award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and SAM requirements. (Please note that if a Dun & Bradstreet DUNS number must be obtained or renewed, this may take a significant amount of time to complete.) Late applications that are the result of a failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in a timely manner will not be considered. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the submission deadline, the application will not be considered. To submit an application through Grants.gov, applicants must: E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices a. Obtain a DUNS Number A DUNS number is required for Grants.gov registration. The Office of Management and Budget requires that all businesses and nonprofit applicants for Federal funds include a DUNS number in their applications for a new award or renewal of an existing award. A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal standard for the government in identifying and keeping track of entities receiving Federal funds. The identifier is used for tracking purposes and to validate address and point of contact information for Federal assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients. The DUNS number will be used throughout the grant life cycle. Obtaining a DUNS number is a free, one-time activity. Applicants may obtain a DUNS number by calling 1– 866–705–5711 or by applying online at https://www.dnb.com/us. b. Register With the SAM at www.SAM.gov All applicants for Federal financial assistance must maintain current registrations in the SAM database. An applicant must be registered in SAM to successfully register in Grants.gov. The SAM database is the repository for standard information about Federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and sub recipients. Organizations that have previously submitted applications via Grants.gov are already registered with SAM, as it is a requirement for Grants.gov registration. Please note, however, that applicants must update or renew their SAM registration at least once per year to maintain an active status. Therefore, it is critical to check registration status well in advance of the application deadline. If an applicant is selected for an award, the applicant must maintain an active SAM registration with current information throughout the period of the award. Information about SAM registration procedures is available at www.sam.gov. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES c. Create a Grants.gov Username and Password Applicants must complete an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) profile on www.Grants.gov and create a username and password. Applicants must use the organization’s DUNS number to complete this step. Additional information about the registration process is available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/ applicants/organizationregistration.html. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 d. Acquire Authorization for Your AOR From the E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC) The E-Biz POC at the applicant’s organization must respond to the registration email from Grants.gov and login at www.Grants.gov to authorize the applicant as the AOR. Please note there can be more than one AOR for an organization. e. Submit an Application Addressing All Requirements Outlined in This NOFO If an applicant experiences difficulties at any point during this process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1–800–518–4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see instructions at: https:// www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/ apply-for-grants.html. Note: Please use generally accepted formats such as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx and .ppt, when uploading attachments. While applicants may embed picture files, such as .jpg, .gif, and .bmp, in document files, applicants should not submit attachments in these formats. Additionally, the following formats will not be accepted: .com, .bat, .exe, .vbs, .cfg, .dat, .db, .dbf, .dll, .ini, .log, .ora, .sys, and .zip. 4. Submission Dates and Times Applicants must submit complete applications for PTC system projects to www.Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, October 12, 2018. FRA reviews www.Grants.gov information on dates/ times of applications submitted to determine timeliness of submissions. Late applications will be neither reviewed nor considered. Delayed registration is not an acceptable reason for late submission. In order to apply for funding under this announcement, all applicants are expected to be registered as an organization with Grants.gov. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to ensure all materials are received before this deadline. To ensure a fair competition of limited discretionary funds, the following conditions are not valid reasons to permit late submissions: (1) Failure to complete the Grants.gov registration process before the deadline; (2) failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to register and apply as posted on its website; (3) failure to follow all instructions in this NOFO; and (4) technical issues experienced with the applicant’s computer or information technology environment. PO 00000 Frm 00114 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46249 5. Intergovernmental Review Executive Order 12372 requires applicants from State and local units of government or other organizations providing services within a State to submit a copy of the application to the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC), if one exists, and if this program has been selected for review by the State. Applicants must contact their State SPOC to determine if the program has been selected for State review. 6. Funding Restrictions Consistent with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable, FRA will only approve preaward costs if such costs are incurred pursuant to the negotiation and in anticipation of the grant agreement and if such costs are necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. Under 2 CFR 200.458, grant recipients must seek written approval from the administering agency for preaward activities to be eligible for reimbursement under the grant. Activities initiated prior to the execution of a grant or without written approval are not eligible for reimbursement and will not be counted toward a recipient’s matching contribution. 7. Other Submission Requirements If an applicant experiences difficulties at any point during this process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1–800–518–4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see instructions at: https:// www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/ apply-for-grants.html. E. Application Review Information 1. Criteria a. Eligibility and Completeness Review FRA will first screen each application for applicant and project eligibility (eligibility requirements are outlined in Section C of this notice), completeness (application documentation and submission requirements are outlined in Section D of this notice), and the 20 percent minimum match in determining whether the application is eligible. FRA will then consider the applicant’s past performance in developing and delivering similar projects and previous financial contributions, and previous competitive grant technical evaluation ratings that the proposed project received under previous competitive grant programs administered by the DOT if applicable. E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1 46250 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES b. Evaluation Criteria FRA subject-matter experts will evaluate all eligible and complete applications using the evaluation criteria outlined in this section to determine project benefits and technical merit. i. Project Benefits: FRA will evaluate the Benefit-Cost Analysis of the proposed project for the anticipated private and public benefits relative to the costs of the proposed project and the summary of benefits provided in response to subsection D(2)(a)(ii) including— (A) Effects on system and service performance; (B) Effects on safety, competitiveness, reliability, trip or transit time, and resilience; (C) Efficiencies from improved integration with other modes; and (D) Ability to meet existing or anticipated demand. ii. Technical Merit: FRA will evaluate application information for the degree to which— (A) The tasks and subtasks outlined in the SOW are appropriate to achieve the expected outcomes of the proposed project. (B) Applications indicate strong project readiness and meet project requirements. (C) The technical qualifications and experience of key personnel proposed to lead and perform the technical efforts, and the qualifications of the primary and supporting organizations to fully and successfully execute the proposed project within the proposed timeframe and budget are demonstrated. (D) The proposed project’s business plan considers potential private sector participation in the financing, construction, or operation of the proposed project. (E) The applicant has, or will have the legal, financial, and technical capacity to carry out the proposed project; satisfactory continuing control over the use of the equipment or facilities; and the capability and willingness to maintain the equipment or facilities. (F) If applicable, the proposed project is consistent with planning guidance and documents set forth by DOT, including those required by law or State rail plans developed under Title 49, United States Code, Chapter 227. c. Selection Criteria In addition to the eligibility and completeness review and the evaluation criteria outlined in this subsection, the FRA Administrator will select projects applying the following selection criteria: i. The FRA Administrator will give preference to projects for which the: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 (A) Proposed Federal share of total project costs is 50 percent or less; and (B) Net benefits of the grant funds will be maximized considering the BCA, including anticipated private and public benefits relative to the costs of the proposed project, and factoring in the other considerations in 49 U.S.C. 24407(e). ii. After applying the above preferences, the FRA Administrator will take into account the following key Departmental objectives: (A) Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional level; (B) Leveraging Federal funding to attract other, non-Federal sources of infrastructure investment, as well as accounting for the life-cycle costs of the project; (C) Using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and, (D) Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance and achieving specific, measurable outcomes identified by grant applicants. F. Federal Award Administration Information 2. Review and Selection Process 2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements Due to funding limitations, projects that are selected for funding may receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, applicants must be able to demonstrate the proposed projects are still viable and can be completed with the amount awarded. Recipients and entities receiving funding from the recipient, must comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Examples of administrative and national policy requirements include: 2 CFR part 200; procurement standards; compliance with Federal civil rights laws and regulations; requirements for disadvantaged business enterprises, debarment and suspension requirements, and drug-free workplace requirements; FRA’s and OMB’s Assurances and Certifications; Americans with Disabilities Act; safety requirements including those applicable to PTC projects; NEPA; environmental justice requirements; performance measures under 49 U.S.C. 24407(f); 49 U.S.C. 24405, including the Buy America requirements and the provision deeming operators rail carriers and employers for certain purposes. Grants for PTC system projects selected under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(1) for Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation, if transferred to FTA, must comply with the requirements of chapter 53 of Title 49. See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at FRA will conduct a three-part application review process, as follows: a. Screen applications for completeness and eligibility; b. Evaluate eligible applications (completed by technical panels applying the evaluation criteria); and c. Select projects for funding (completed by the FRA Administrator applying the selection criteria). Prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, FRA 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) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). 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. FRA will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 2 CFR 200.205. PO 00000 Frm 00115 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 1. Federal Award Notice FRA will announce applications selected for funding in a press release and on the FRA website after the application review periods. FRA will contact applicants with successful applications after announcement with information and instructions about the award process. This notification is not an authorization to begin proposed project activities. A formal cooperative agreement or grant agreement signed by both the recipient and the FRA, including an approved scope, schedule, and budget, is required before the award is obligated and complete. For all projects, obligation occurs when a selected applicant and FRA enter a written project specific cooperative agreement or grant agreement and is after the applicant has satisfied applicable requirements. For FD/Construction projects, these requirements may include transportation planning, PE and environmental reviews. E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 177 / Wednesday, September 12, 2018 / Notices https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/ L19057. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration 3. Reporting a. Progress Reporting on Grant Activity Each applicant selected for a grant will be required to comply with all standard FRA reporting requirements, including quarterly progress reports, quarterly Federal financial reports, and interim and final performance reports, as well as all applicable auditing, monitoring and close out requirements. Reports may be submitted electronically. b. Performance Reporting Each applicant selected for funding must collect information and report on the project’s performance using measures mutually agreed upon by FRA and the recipient to assess progress in achieving strategic goals and objectives. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts For further information regarding this notice and the grants program, please contact Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36–412, Washington, DC 20590; email: amy.houser@dot.gov; phone: 202–493– 0303. H. Other Information All information submitted as part of or in support of any application shall use publicly available data or data that can be made public and methodologies that is accepted by industry practice and standards, to the extent possible. If the application includes information the applicant considers to be a trade secret or confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should do the following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission ‘‘Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI)’’; (2) mark each affected page ‘‘CBI’’; and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI portions. DOT protects such information from disclosure to the extent allowed under applicable law. In the event DOT receives a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the information, DOT will follow the procedures described in its FOIA regulations at 49 CFR 7.17. Only information that is ultimately determined to be confidential under that procedure will be exempt from disclosure under FOIA. Issued in Washington, DC. Ronald Louis Batory, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2018–19740 Filed 9–11–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:41 Sep 11, 2018 Jkt 244001 Pilot Program for Expedited Project Delivery AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT. Notice; request for expressions of interest to participate. ACTION: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is soliciting expressions of interest for the Expedited Project Delivery Pilot Program (Pilot Program) authorized by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST). The Pilot Program is aimed at expediting delivery of new fixed guideway capital projects, small starts projects, or core capacity improvement projects that utilize public-private partnerships, are planned to be operated and maintained by employees of an existing public transportation provider, and have a Federal share not exceeding 25 percent of the project cost. It is also aimed at increasing innovation, improving efficiency and timeliness of project implementation, and encouraging new revenue streams. The law specifies that not more than eight projects can be awarded grants under the Pilot Program. FTA intends to work with selected project sponsors to further define the steps that must be completed before a construction grant can be awarded under the Pilot Program, including expedited FTA reviews of technical capacity, local financial commitment, and project justification. This announcement is available on the FTA’s website at: www.transit.dot.gov/ funding/grants/expedited-projectdelivery-capital-investment-grants-pilot3005b. DATES: Expressions of interest to become one of the participants in the Pilot Program for Expedited Project Delivery must be submitted to FTA by mail, email or facsimile by 11:59 p.m. EDT November 13, 2018. ADDRESSES: Mail submission must be addressed to the Office of Planning and Environment, Federal Transit Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room E45–119, Washington, DC 20590 and postmarked no later than November 13, 2018. Email submissions must be sent to ExpeditedProjectDelivery@dot.gov by 11:59 p.m. EDT on November 13, 2018. Facsimile submissions must be submitted to the attention of Expedited Project Delivery Pilot Program at 202– 493–2478 by 11:59 p.m. EDT ON November 13, 2018. If there are insufficient candidate projects that FTA SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00116 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46251 determines meet the requirements of the Pilot Program, FTA may conduct additional requests for expressions of interest in the future. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Eddy, FTA Office of Planning and Environment, telephone (202) 366–5499 or email Susan.Eddy@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1. Background FTA, together with its transit industry partners, invests billions of dollars in capital projects designed to improve public transportation by reinvesting in existing assets to expand capacity or by increasing the extent and quality of public transportation service by making new investments. These projects take considerable time to plan, develop, design, approve, and deploy. While it is important for FTA to ensure that it selects only well-conceived projects that are implemented in the most efficient and effective manner, a lengthy process delays the delivery of the intended benefits to the riding public. 2. Pilot Program Section 3005(b) of the FAST Act, Public Law 114–94 (December 4, 2015), authorizes the Pilot Program for FTA to make not more than eight grants for new fixed guideway capital projects, small starts projects, or core capacity improvement projects that have not yet entered a construction grant agreement with the FTA. The law defines these types of eligible projects for the Pilot Program in a manner similar to, but not entirely the same as, the CIG program. Thus, FTA encourages project sponsors to review closely the definitions found in Section 3005(b) to ensure the project’s eligibility. Eligible applicants to the Pilot Program are state or local government authorities. Proposed projects must utilize public-private partnerships; be operated and maintained by employees of an existing provider of fixed guideway or bus rapid transit public transportation in the service area of the project, or if none exists, by employees of an existing public transportation provider in the service area; and have a Federal share not exceeding 25 percent of the net capital project cost. Project sponsors also must have financial advisors providing guidance to them on the terms and structure of the project that are independent from investors in the project. Sponsors must further certify that the existing public transportation system is in a state of good repair as defined by law. (See Pub. L. 114–94, 129 STAT. 1458; 49 U.S.C. 5302; 49 U.S.C. 5326(b)(1); 49 CFR 625.5.) E:\FR\FM\12SEN1.SGM 12SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 177 (Wednesday, September 12, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46243-46251]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-19740]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration


Notice of Funding Opportunity for Positive Train Control Systems 
Grants Under the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety 
Improvements Program

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO or notice).

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SUMMARY: This NOFO details the application procedures and requirements 
to obtain remaining grant funding for eligible positive train control 
(PTC) system projects of the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and 
Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program as provided by the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2018, (2018 Appropriation). The funding in this 
NOFO remains from the 2018 Appropriation after DOT selected 
applications submitted in response to an initial NOFO for PTC systems 
deployment published on May 18, 2018. The opportunity described in this 
notice is made available under Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
(CFDA) number 20.325, ``Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety 
Improvements.''

DATES: Applications under this solicitation are due no later than 5 
p.m. EDT, October 12, 2018. Applications for funding or supplemental 
material in support of such an application received after 5 p.m. EDT on 
October 12, 2018 will not be considered for funding. Incomplete 
applications will not be considered for funding. See Section D of this 
notice for additional information on the application process.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted via www.Grants.gov. Only 
applicants who comply with all submission requirements described in 
this notice and submit applications through www.Grants.gov will be 
eligible for award. For any supporting application materials that an 
applicant is unable to submit via www.Grants.gov (such as oversized 
engineering drawings), an applicant may submit an original and two (2) 
copies to Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36-412, Washington, DC 
20590. However, due to delays caused by enhanced screening of mail 
delivered via the U.S. Postal Service, applicants are advised to use 
other means of conveyance (such as courier service) to assure timely 
receipt of materials before the application deadline.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information in this 
notice, please contact Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, 
Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36-
412, Washington, DC 20590; email: [email protected]; phone: 202-493-
0303.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Notice to applicants: FRA recommends that applicants read this 
notice in its entirety prior to preparing application materials. A list 
providing the definitions of key terms used throughout the NOFO is in 
Section A(2) below. These key terms are capitalized throughout the 
NOFO. There are several administrative prerequisites and specific 
eligibility requirements described herein that applicants must comply 
with to submit an application. Additionally, applicants should note 
that the required Project Narrative component of the application 
package may not exceed 25 pages in length.

Table of Contents

A. Program Description
B. Federal Award Information
C. Eligibility Information
D. Application and Submission Information
E. Application Review Information
F. Federal Award Administration Information
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

A. Program Description

1. Overview

    The purpose of this notice is to solicit applications for 
competitive PTC system project funding authorized under Section 11301 
of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, Public Law 
114-94 (2015); 49 U.S.C. 24407 and funded in the 2018 Appropriation. 
Together with the FAST Act, the 2018 Appropriation provides funding 
made available under this NOFO to fund the deployment of PTC system 
technology for Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation, freight rail 
transportation and/or Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation. Projects 
selected under this NOFO for Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation may 
be transferred to the Federal Transit Administration for grant 
administration. Projects selected for Intercity Passenger Rail 
Transportation and freight rail transportation will be administered by 
the FRA.
    A railroad must fully implement a PTC system on all required route 
miles by December 31, 2018, unless a railroad qualifies for and obtains 
FRA approval

[[Page 46244]]

of an alternative schedule (i.e., a deadline no later than December 31, 
2020) under the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation 
Act of 2015 (PTCEI Act). The PTCEI Act authorizes, and requires, FRA to 
approve a railroad's alternative schedule only if the railroad 
demonstrates in a written notification that it has met all statutory 
criteria for an alternative schedule, including that it has: (1) 
Installed, by December 31, 2018, all PTC system hardware consistent 
with the governing PTC Implementation Plan (PTCIP); (2) acquired, by 
December 31, 2018, all spectrum necessary to implement its PTC system 
consistent with the governing PTCIP, and (3) made sufficient progress 
on employee training, revenue service demonstration, and other criteria 
as specified under 49 U.S.C. 20157(a)(3)(B)(i)-(vii).

2. Definitions of Key Terms

    a. ``Benefit-Cost Analysis'' (``BCA'' or ``Cost-Benefit Analysis'') 
is a systematic, data driven, and transparent analysis comparing 
monetized project benefits and costs, using a no-build baseline and 
properly discounted present values, including concise documentation of 
the assumptions and methodology used to produce the analysis; a 
description of the baseline, data sources used to project outcomes, and 
values of key input parameters; basis of modeling including 
spreadsheets, technical memos, etc.; and presentation of the 
calculations in sufficient detail and transparency to allow the 
analysis to be reproduced and sensitivity of results evaluated by FRA. 
Please refer to the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary 
Grant Programs prior to preparing a BCA at https://www.transportation.gov/office-policy/transportation-policy/benefit-cost-analysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer to the BCA FAQs 
on FRA's website for some rail specific examples of how to apply the 
BCA Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs to CRISI applications.
    b. ``Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation'' means short-haul rail 
passenger transportation in metropolitan and suburban areas usually 
having reduced fare, multiple ride, and commuter tickets and morning 
and evening peak period operations. See 49 U.S.C. 24102(3).
    c. ``Construction'' means the production of fixed works and 
structures or substantial alterations to such structures or land and 
associated costs.
    d. ``Final Design'' (``FD'') means design activities following 
Preliminary Engineering, and at a minimum, includes the preparation of 
final Construction plans, detailed specifications, and estimates 
sufficiently detailed to inform project stakeholders (designers, 
reviewers, contractors, suppliers, etc.) of the actions required to 
advance the project from design through completion of Construction.
    e. ``Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation'' means rail passenger 
transportation, except Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation. See 49 
U.S.C. 24401(3). In this notice, ``Intercity Passenger Rail Service'' 
and ``Intercity Passenger Rail Transportation'' are equivalent terms to 
``Intercity Rail Passenger Transportation.''
    f. ``National Environmental Policy Act'' (``NEPA'') is a Federal 
law that requires Federal agencies to assess the environmental impacts 
of a proposed action in consultation with appropriate federal, state, 
and local authorities, and with the public. The NEPA class of action 
depends on the nature of the proposed action, its complexity, and the 
potential impacts. For purposes of this NOFO, NEPA also includes all 
related Federal laws and regulations including Section 4(f) of the 
Department of Transportation Act, Section 7 of the Endangered Species 
Act, and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. (See 
FRA's Environmental Procedures at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L02561.)
    g. ``Positive Train Control system'' (``PTC system'') is defined by 
49 CFR 270.5 to mean a system designed to prevent train-to-train 
collisions, overspeed derailments, incursions into established work 
zone limits, and the movement of a train through a switch left in the 
wrong position, as described in 49 CFR part 236, subpart I.
    h. ``Preliminary Engineering'' (``PE'') means engineering design 
to: (1) Define a project, including identification of all environmental 
impacts, design of all critical project elements at a level sufficient 
to assure reliable cost estimates and schedules, (2) complete project 
management and financial plans, and (3) identify procurement 
requirements and strategies. The PE development process starts with 
specific project design alternatives that allow for the assessment of a 
range of rail improvements, specific alignments, and project designs--
to be used concurrent with NEPA and related analyses. PE occurs prior 
to FD and Construction.
    i. ``Rail Carrier'' means a person providing common carrier 
railroad transportation for compensation, but does not include street, 
suburban, or interurban electric railways not operated as part of the 
general system of rail transportation. See 49 U.S.C. 10102(5).
    j. ``Rural Project'' means a project in which all or the majority 
of the project (determined by the geographic location or locations 
where the majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a 
Rural Area.
    k. ``Rural Area'' is defined in 49 U.S.C. 24407(g)(2) to mean any 
area not in an urbanized area as defined by the Census Bureau. The 
Census Bureau defines ``Urbanized Area'' (``UA'') as an area with a 
population of 50,000 or more people.\1\ Updated lists of UAs as defined 
by the Census Bureau are available on the Census Bureau website at 
https://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/dc10map/UAUC_RefMap/ua/.
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    \1\ See 74 FR 53030, 53043 (August 24, 2011) available at 
https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/reference/fedreg/fedregv76n164.pdf
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B. Federal Award Information

1. Available Award Amount

    The total funding available for awards under this NOFO is 
$46,301,702 for eligible PTC system projects under 49 U.S.C. 
24407(c)(1). Should FRA identify additional funding available under the 
2018 Appropriation after the release of this NOFO, FRA may elect to 
award such additional funds to projects submitted under this NOFO. At 
least 25 percent of CRISI funding made available in the 2018 
Appropriation will be available for Rural Projects as required in 49 
U.S.C. 24407(g).

2. Award Size

    There are no predetermined minimum or maximum dollar thresholds for 
awards. FRA anticipates making multiple awards with the available 
funding. FRA may not be able to award grants to all eligible 
applications, nor even to all applications that meet or exceed the 
stated evaluation criteria (see Section E, Application Review 
Information). Projects may require more funding than is available. FRA 
encourages applicants to propose projects or components of projects 
that have operational independence that can be completed and 
implemented with the level of funding available together with other 
sources.
    FRA strongly encourages applicants to identify and include other 
state, local, public, or private funding or financing to support the 
proposed project.

3. Award Type

    FRA will make awards for projects selected under this notice 
through grant agreements and/or cooperative agreements. Grant 
agreements are used when FRA does not expect to have

[[Page 46245]]

substantial Federal involvement in carrying out the funded activity. 
Cooperative agreements allow for substantial Federal involvement in 
carrying out the agreed upon investment, including technical 
assistance, review of interim work products, and increased program 
oversight. The funding provided under these grant agreements and 
cooperative agreements will be made available to recipients on a 
reimbursable basis. Applicants must certify that their expenditures are 
allowable, allocable, reasonable, and necessary to the approved project 
before seeking reimbursement from FRA. Additionally, the recipient is 
expected to expend matching funds at the required percentage alongside 
Federal funds throughout the life of the project. See an example of 
standard terms and conditions for FRA grant awards at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L19057.

4. Concurrent Applications

    As DOT and FRA are concurrently soliciting applications for 
transportation infrastructure projects for several financial assistance 
programs, applicants may submit applications requesting funding for a 
particular project to one or more of these programs. In the application 
for PTC system project funding, applicants must indicate the other 
programs to which they submitted or plan to submit an application for 
funding the entire project or certain project components, as well as 
highlight new or revised information in the PTC system project 
application that differs from the application(s) for other federal 
financial assistance programs.

C. Eligibility Information

    This section of the notice explains applicant eligibility, cost 
sharing and matching requirements, project eligibility, and project 
component operational independence. Applications that do not meet the 
requirements in this section will be ineligible for funding. 
Instructions for submitting eligibility information to FRA are detailed 
in Section D of this NOFO.

1. Eligible Applicants

    The following entities are eligible applicants:
    a. A State;
    b. A group of States;
    c. An Interstate Compact;
    d. A public agency or publicly chartered authority established by 
one or more States; \2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See Section D(2)(a)(iv) for supporting documentation 
required to demonstrate eligibility under this eligibility category.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    e. A political subdivision of a State;
    f. Amtrak or another Rail Carrier that provides Intercity Rail 
Passenger Transportation (as defined in 49 U.S.C. 24102);
    g. A Class II railroad or Class III railroad (as those terms are 
defined in 49 U.S.C. 20102);
    h. Any Rail Carrier or rail equipment manufacturer in partnership 
with at least one of the entities described in paragraph (a) through 
(e);
    i. The Transportation Research Board together with any entity with 
which it contracts in the development of rail-related research, 
including cooperative research programs;
    j. A University transportation center engaged in rail-related 
research; or
    k. A non-profit labor organization representing a class or craft of 
employees of Rail Carriers or Rail Carrier contractors.
    Applications must identify an eligible applicant as the lead 
applicant. The lead applicant serves as the primary point of contact 
for the application, and if selected, as the recipient of the PTC 
system grant award. Eligible applicants may reference entities that are 
not eligible applicants in an application as a project partner.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The Federal share of total costs for projects funded under this 
notice will not exceed 80 percent, though FRA will provide selection 
preference to applications where the proposed Federal share of total 
project costs is 50 percent or less. The estimated total cost of a 
project must be based on the best available information, including 
engineering studies, studies of economic feasibility, environmental 
analyses, and information on the expected use of equipment and/or 
facilities. Additionally, in preparing estimates of total project 
costs, applicants should refer to FRA's cost estimate guidance 
documentation, ``Capital Cost Estimating: Guidance for Project 
Sponsors,'' which is available at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0926.
    The minimum 20 percent non-Federal match may be comprised of public 
sector (e.g., state or local) and/or private sector funding. FRA will 
not consider any Federal financial assistance, nor any non-Federal 
funds already expended (or otherwise encumbered) that do not comply 
with 2 CFR 200.458 toward the matching requirement. FRA is limiting the 
first 20 percent of the non-Federal match to cash contributions only. 
FRA will not accept ``in-kind'' contributions for the first 20 percent 
in matching funds. Eligible in-kind contributions may be accepted for 
any non-Federal matching beyond the first 20 percent. In-kind 
contributions, including the donation of services, materials, and 
equipment, may be credited as a project cost, in a uniform manner 
consistent with 2 CFR 200.306.
    Amtrak or another Rail Carrier may use ticket and other non-Federal 
revenues generated from its operations and other sources as matching 
funds. Applicants must identify the source(s) of its matching and other 
funds, and must clearly and distinctly reflect these funds as part of 
the total project cost.
    Before applying, applicants should carefully review the principles 
for cost sharing or matching in 2 CFR 200.306. See Section D(2)(a)(iii) 
for required application information on non-Federal match and Section E 
for further discussion of FRA's consideration of matching funds in the 
review and selection process. FRA may approve pre-award costs for 
reimbursement and matching contributions consistent with 2 CFR 200.458, 
as applicable. See Section D(6).

3. Other

a. Project Eligibility
    Projects eligible for funding under this NOFO must be used to 
deploy PTC systems technology for Intercity Passenger Rail 
Transportation, freight rail transportation, and/or Commuter Rail 
Passenger Transportation. Eligible projects include: Back office 
systems; wayside, communications and onboard hardware equipment; 
software; equipment installation; spectrum; any component, testing and 
training for the implementation of PTC systems; and interoperability. 
Maintenance and operating expenses incurred after a PTC system is 
placed in revenue service are ineligible. Applicants considering more 
comprehensive projects that include both PTC elements and other 
passenger/freight improvements are directed to request only the PTC 
element under this NOFO or submit applications for the more 
comprehensive project under the subsequent NOFO, which FRA will soon be 
issuing for the remainder of the 2018 CRISI funding. Applicants are not 
limited in the number of projects for which they seek funding.
    Applicants must complete all necessary Planning, PE and NEPA 
requirements for projects funded under this NOFO. Projects for FD must:

[[Page 46246]]

Resolve remaining uncertainties or risks associated with changes to 
design scope; address procurement processes; and update and refine 
plans for financing the project or program to reflect accurately the 
expected year-of-expenditure costs and cash flow projections. 
Applicants selected for funding under this NOFO must demonstrate the 
following to FRA's satisfaction:
    i. PE is completed for the proposed project, resulting in project 
designs that are reasonably expected to conform to all regulatory, 
safety, security, and other design requirements, including those under 
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA);
    ii. NEPA is completed for the proposed project;
    iii. Signed agreements with key project partners, including 
infrastructure-owning entities; and
    iv. A project management plan is in-place for managing the 
implementation of the proposed project, including the management and 
mitigation of project risks.
b. Project Component Operational Independence
    If an applicant requests funding for a project that is a component 
or set of components of a larger project, the project component(s) must 
be attainable with the award amount, together with other funds as 
necessary, obtain operational independence, and must comply with all 
eligibility requirements described in Section C.
    In addition, the component(s) must be capable of independent 
analysis and decision making, as determined by FRA, under NEPA (i.e., 
have independent utility, connect logical termini, if applicable, and 
not restrict the consideration of alternatives for other reasonably 
foreseeable rail projects.)
c. Rural Project
    FRA will consider a project to be in a Rural Area if all or the 
majority of the project (determined by geographic location(s) where the 
majority of the project funds will be spent) is located in a Rural 
Area. However, in the event FRA elects to fund a component of the 
project, then FRA will reexamine whether the project is in a Rural 
Area.

D. Application and Submission Information

    Required documents for the application are outlined in the 
following paragraphs. Applicants must complete and submit all 
components of the application. See Section D(2) for the application 
checklist. FRA welcomes the submission of additional relevant 
supporting documentation, such as planning, engineering and design 
documentation, and letters of support from partnering organizations 
that will not count against the Project Narrative 25-page limit.

1. Address To Request Application Package

    Applicants must submit all application materials for PTC system 
projects in their entirety through www.Grants.gov no later than 5:00 
p.m. EDT, on October 12, 2018. FRA reserves the right to modify this 
deadline. General information for submitting applications through 
Grants.gov can be found at: https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0270.
    For any supporting application materials that an applicant cannot 
submit via Grants.gov, such as oversized engineering drawings, an 
applicant may submit an original and two (2) copies to Ms. Amy Houser, 
Office of Program Delivery, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36-412, Washington, DC 20590. However, due to 
delays caused by enhanced screening of mail delivered via the U.S. 
Postal Service, FRA advises applicants to use other means of conveyance 
(such as courier service) to assure timely receipt of materials before 
the application deadline. Additionally, if documents can be obtained 
online, providing instructions to FRA on how to access files on a 
referenced website may also be sufficient.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    FRA strongly advises applicants to read this section carefully. 
Applicants must submit all required information and components of the 
application package to be considered for funding. Additionally, 
applicants selected to receive funding must generally satisfy the grant 
readiness checklist requirements on https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0268 
as a precondition to FRA issuing a grant award, as well as the 
requirements in 49 U.S.C. 24405 explained in part at https://www.fra.dot.gov/page/P0185. If a project is selected for PTC systems in 
Commuter Rail Passenger Transportation under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(1) and 
such funds are transferred in the Secretary's discretion, applicants 
will be required to comply with chapter 53 of Title 49 of the United 
States Code.
    Required documents for an application package are outlined in the 
checklist below.

i. Project Narrative (see D.2.a)
ii. Statement of Work (see D.2.b.i)
iii. Benefit-Cost Analysis (see D.2.b.ii)
iv. SF424--Application for Federal Assistance
v. Either: SF 424A--Budget Information for Non-Construction projects 
or SF 424C--Budget Information for Construction
vi. Either: SF 424B--Assurances for Non-Construction projects or SF 
424D--Assurances for Construction
vii. FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications
viii. SF LLL--Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
a. Project Narrative
    This section describes the minimum content required in the Project 
Narrative of the grant application. The Project Narrative must follow 
the basic outline below to address the program requirements and assist 
evaluators in locating relevant information.

I. Cover Page................................  See D.2.a.i.
II. Project Summary..........................  See D.2.a.ii.
III. Project Funding.........................  See D.2.a.iii.
IV. Applicant Eligibility....................  See D.2.a.iv.
V. Project Eligibility.......................  See D.2.a.v.
VI. Detailed Project Description.............  See D.2.a.vi.
VII. Project Location........................  See D.2.a.vii.
VIII. Evaluation and Selection Criteria......  See D.2.a.viii.
IX. Project Implementation and Management....  See D.2.a.ix.
X. PTC Readiness.............................  See D.2.a.x.
XI. Environmental Readiness..................  See D.2.a.xi.
 

    The above content must be provided in a narrative statement 
submitted by the applicant. The Project Narrative may not exceed 25 
pages in length (excluding cover pages, table of contents, and 
supporting

[[Page 46247]]

documentation). FRA will not review or consider for award applications 
with Project Narratives exceeding the 25-page limitation. If possible, 
applicants should submit supporting documents via website links rather 
than hard copies. If supporting documents are submitted, applicants 
must clearly identify the page number(s) of the relevant portion in the 
Project Narrative supporting documentation. The Project Narrative must 
adhere to the following outline.
    i. Cover Page: Include a cover page that lists the following 
elements in a table:

Project Title..............................
Lead applicant.............................
Was a Federal grant application previously   Yes/no.
 submitted for this project?.
If yes, state the name of the Federal grant  Federal Grant Program:
 program and title of the project in the     Project Title:
 previous application.
Is this a Rural Project? What percentage of  Yes/no.
 the project cost is based in a Rural Area?. Percentage of total project
                                              cost:
City(ies), State(s) where the project is
 located.
Urbanized Area where the project is located
Population of Urbanized Area...............
 

    ii. Project Summary: Provide a brief 4-6 sentence summary of the 
proposed project and what the project will entail. Include challenges 
the proposed project aims to address, and summarize the intended 
outcomes and anticipated benefits that will result from the proposed 
project.
    iii. Project Funding: Indicate in table format the amount of 
Federal funding requested, the proposed non-Federal match, identifying 
contributions from the private sector if applicable, and total project 
cost. Describe the non-Federal funding arrangement. Include funding 
commitment letters outlining funding agreements, as attachments or in 
an appendix. Identify any specific project components that the 
applicant proposes for partial project funding. If all or a majority of 
a project is located in a Rural Area, identify the Rural Area(s) and 
estimated percentage of project costs that will be spent in the Rural 
Area. Identify any previously incurred costs, as well as other sources 
of Federal funds committed to the project and any pending Federal 
requests. Also, note if the requested Federal funding under this NOFO 
or other programs must be obligated or spent by a certain date due to 
dependencies or relationships with other Federal or non-Federal funding 
sources, related projects, law, or other factors. If applicable, 
provide the type and estimated value of any proposed in-kind 
contributions, and demonstrate how the in-kind contributions meet the 
requirements in 2 CFR 200.306.
    Example Project Funding Table:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Task name/project                      Percentage of
     Task No.          component            Cost           total cost
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1                  .................  ................  ................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
2                  .................  ................  ................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Project Cost                    ................  ................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Federal Funds Received from Previous  ................  ................
 Grant
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Federal Funding Request               ................  ................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Non-Federal Funding/Match             Cash:             ................
                                      In-Kind:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Portion of Non-Federal Funding from   ................  ................
 the Private Sector
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Portion of Total Project Costs Spent  ................  ................
 in a Rural Area
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Pending Federal Funding Requests      ................  ................
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    iv. Applicant Eligibility: Explain how the applicant meets the 
applicant eligibility criteria outlined in Section C of this notice, 
including references to creation or enabling legislation for public 
agencies and publicly chartered authorities established by one or more 
States.
    v. Project Eligibility: Explain how the project meets the project 
eligibility criteria.
    vi. Detailed Project Description: Include a detailed project 
description that expands upon the brief project summary. This detailed 
description should provide, at a minimum, background on the challenges 
the project aims to address; the expected users and beneficiaries of 
the project, including all railroad operators; the specific components 
and elements of the project; and any other information the applicant 
deems necessary to justify the proposed project. If applicable, explain 
how the project will benefit communities in Rural Areas. Applicants 
must also:
    (A) Document submission of a revised Positive Train Control 
Implementation Plan (PTCIP) to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a);
    (B) Document that it is a tenant on one or more host railroads that 
submitted a revised PTCIP to FRA as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), 
which states the tenant railroad is equipping its rolling stock with a 
PTC system and provides all other information required under 49 CFR 
236.1011 regarding the tenant railroad; or
    (C) Document why the applicant is not required to submit a revised 
PTCIP as required by 49 U.S.C. 20157(a), and whether the proposed 
project will assist in the deployment (i.e., installation and/or full 
implementation) of a PTC system required under 49 U.S.C. 20157.

[[Page 46248]]

    For all projects, applicants must provide information about 
proposed performance measures, as discussed in Section F(3)(c) and 
required in 2 CFR 200.301 and 49 U.S.C. 24407(f).
    vii. Project Location: Include geospatial data for the project, as 
well as a map of the project's location. On the map, include the Rural 
Area boundaries, if applicable, in which the project will take place.
    viii. Evaluation and Selection Criteria: Include a thorough 
discussion of how the proposed project meets all the evaluation 
criteria and selection criteria, as outlined in Section E of this 
notice. If an application does not sufficiently address the evaluation 
and selection criteria, it is unlikely to be a competitive application.
    ix. Project Implementation and Management: Describe proposed 
project implementation and project management arrangements. Include 
descriptions of the expected arrangements for project contracting, 
contract oversight, change-order management, risk management, and 
conformance to Federal requirements for project progress reporting (see 
https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P0274). Describe past experience in 
managing and overseeing similar projects.
    x. PTC Readiness: If the railroad is subject to the statutory PTC 
mandate or if the railroad is a tenant railroad that operates on PTC-
equipped territory and must equip its locomotives and other controlling 
rolling stock under 49 CFR 236.1006(a), provide a brief summary about 
the railroad's current progress toward fully implementing a PTC system 
under 49 CFR part 236, subpart I. For such railroads and for any other 
railroad, provide information about the railroad's progress towards 
completing all hardware installation required for implementation of a 
PTC system, testing the PTC system (including field testing and revenue 
service demonstration), training personnel under 49 CFR 236.1041-
236.1049, conducting interoperability testing with any other railroads 
that operate on the same main line, and operating an FRA-certified PTC 
system in revenue service. In addition, and if applicable, applicants 
may refer to their most recent Quarterly PTC Progress Report (FRA Form 
F 6180.165) to provide additional details.
    xi. Environmental Readiness: If the NEPA process is complete, an 
applicant should indicate the date of completion, and provide a website 
link or other reference to the documents demonstrating compliance with 
NEPA, which might include a final CE, Finding of No Significant Impact, 
or Record of Decision. If the NEPA process is not yet underway or is 
underway, but is not complete, the application should detail the type 
of NEPA review underway, where the project is in the process, and 
indicate the anticipated date of completion of all NEPA and related 
milestones. If the last agency action with respect to NEPA documents 
occurred more than three years before the application date, the 
applicant should describe why the project has been delayed and include 
a proposed approach for verifying, and if necessary, updating this 
information in accordance with applicable NEPA requirements. Additional 
information regarding FRA's environmental processes and requirements 
are located at https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L05286.
b. Additional Application Elements
    Applicants must submit:
    i. A Statement of Work (SOW) addressing the scope, schedule, and 
budget for the proposed project if it were selected for award. The SOW 
must contain sufficient detail so FRA, and the applicant, can 
understand the expected outcomes of the proposed work to be performed 
and monitor progress toward completing project tasks and deliverables 
during a prospective grant's period of performance. Applicants must use 
FRA's standard SOW template to be considered for award. The SOW 
template is located at https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L18661. 
When preparing the budget as part of the SOW, the total cost of a 
project must be based on the best available information as indicated in 
cited references that include engineering studies, studies of economic 
feasibility, environmental analyses, and information on the expected 
use of equipment or facilities.
    ii. A Benefit-Cost Analysis (BCA), as an appendix to the Project 
Narrative for each project submitted by an applicant. The BCA must 
demonstrate in economic terms the merits of investing in the proposed 
project. The project narrative should summarize the project's benefits.
    Benefits may apply to existing and new rail users, as well as users 
of other modes of transportation. In some cases, benefits may be 
applied to populations in the general vicinity of the project area. 
Improvements to shared-use rail corridors may benefit all users 
involved. All benefits claimed for the project must be clearly tied to 
the expected outcomes of the project. Please refer to the Benefit-Cost 
Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant Programs prior to preparing a 
BCA at https://www.transportation.gov/office-policy/transportation-policy/benefit-cost-analysis-guidance. In addition, please also refer 
to the BCA FAQs on FRA's website for some rail specific examples of how 
to apply the Benefit-Cost Analysis Guidance for Discretionary Grant 
Programs to CRISI applications.
    iii. SF 424--Application for Federal Assistance;
    iv. SF 424A--Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C--
Budget Information for Construction;
    v. SF 424B--Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D--Assurances 
for Construction;
    vi. FRA's Additional Assurances and Certifications; and
    vii. SF LLL--Disclosure of Lobbying Activities.
    Forms needed for the electronic application process are at 
www.Grants.gov.
c. Post-Selection Requirements
    See subsection F(2) of this notice for post-selection requirements.

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

    To apply for funding through Grants.gov, applicants must be 
properly registered. Complete instructions on how to register and 
submit an application can be found at www.Grants.gov. Registering with 
Grants.gov is a one-time process; however, it can take up to several 
weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation and a user 
password. FRA recommends that applicants start the registration process 
as early as possible to prevent delays that may preclude submitting an 
application package by the application deadline. Applications will not 
be accepted after the due date. Delayed registration is not an 
acceptable justification for an application extension.
    FRA may not make a grant award to an applicant until the applicant 
has complied with all applicable Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
and SAM requirements. (Please note that if a Dun & Bradstreet DUNS 
number must be obtained or renewed, this may take a significant amount 
of time to complete.) Late applications that are the result of a 
failure to register or comply with Grants.gov applicant requirements in 
a timely manner will not be considered. If an applicant has not fully 
complied with the requirements by the submission deadline, the 
application will not be considered. To submit an application through 
Grants.gov, applicants must:

[[Page 46249]]

a. Obtain a DUNS Number
    A DUNS number is required for Grants.gov registration. The Office 
of Management and Budget requires that all businesses and nonprofit 
applicants for Federal funds include a DUNS number in their 
applications for a new award or renewal of an existing award. A DUNS 
number is a unique nine-digit sequence recognized as the universal 
standard for the government in identifying and keeping track of 
entities receiving Federal funds. The identifier is used for tracking 
purposes and to validate address and point of contact information for 
Federal assistance applicants, recipients, and sub-recipients. The DUNS 
number will be used throughout the grant life cycle. Obtaining a DUNS 
number is a free, one-time activity. Applicants may obtain a DUNS 
number by calling 1-866-705-5711 or by applying online at https://www.dnb.com/us.
b. Register With the SAM at www.SAM.gov
    All applicants for Federal financial assistance must maintain 
current registrations in the SAM database. An applicant must be 
registered in SAM to successfully register in Grants.gov. The SAM 
database is the repository for standard information about Federal 
financial assistance applicants, recipients, and sub recipients. 
Organizations that have previously submitted applications via 
Grants.gov are already registered with SAM, as it is a requirement for 
Grants.gov registration. Please note, however, that applicants must 
update or renew their SAM registration at least once per year to 
maintain an active status. Therefore, it is critical to check 
registration status well in advance of the application deadline. If an 
applicant is selected for an award, the applicant must maintain an 
active SAM registration with current information throughout the period 
of the award. Information about SAM registration procedures is 
available at www.sam.gov.
c. Create a Grants.gov Username and Password
    Applicants must complete an Authorized Organization Representative 
(AOR) profile on www.Grants.gov and create a username and password. 
Applicants must use the organization's DUNS number to complete this 
step. Additional information about the registration process is 
available at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html.
d. Acquire Authorization for Your AOR From the E-Business Point of 
Contact (E-Biz POC)
    The E-Biz POC at the applicant's organization must respond to the 
registration email from Grants.gov and login at www.Grants.gov to 
authorize the applicant as the AOR. Please note there can be more than 
one AOR for an organization.
e. Submit an Application Addressing All Requirements Outlined in This 
NOFO
    If an applicant experiences difficulties at any point during this 
process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1-800-
518-4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). 
For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see 
instructions at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

    Note:  Please use generally accepted formats such as .pdf, .doc, 
.docx, .xls, .xlsx and .ppt, when uploading attachments. While 
applicants may embed picture files, such as .jpg, .gif, and .bmp, in 
document files, applicants should not submit attachments in these 
formats. Additionally, the following formats will not be accepted: 
.com, .bat, .exe, .vbs, .cfg, .dat, .db, .dbf, .dll, .ini, .log, 
.ora, .sys, and .zip.

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Applicants must submit complete applications for PTC system 
projects to www.Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, October 12, 
2018. FRA reviews www.Grants.gov information on dates/times of 
applications submitted to determine timeliness of submissions. Late 
applications will be neither reviewed nor considered. Delayed 
registration is not an acceptable reason for late submission. In order 
to apply for funding under this announcement, all applicants are 
expected to be registered as an organization with Grants.gov. 
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to ensure all 
materials are received before this deadline.
    To ensure a fair competition of limited discretionary funds, the 
following conditions are not valid reasons to permit late submissions: 
(1) Failure to complete the Grants.gov registration process before the 
deadline; (2) failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to 
register and apply as posted on its website; (3) failure to follow all 
instructions in this NOFO; and (4) technical issues experienced with 
the applicant's computer or information technology environment.

5. Intergovernmental Review

    Executive Order 12372 requires applicants from State and local 
units of government or other organizations providing services within a 
State to submit a copy of the application to the State Single Point of 
Contact (SPOC), if one exists, and if this program has been selected 
for review by the State. Applicants must contact their State SPOC to 
determine if the program has been selected for State review.

6. Funding Restrictions

    Consistent with 2 CFR 200.458, as applicable, FRA will only approve 
pre-award costs if such costs are incurred pursuant to the negotiation 
and in anticipation of the grant agreement and if such costs are 
necessary for efficient and timely performance of the scope of work. 
Under 2 CFR 200.458, grant recipients must seek written approval from 
the administering agency for pre-award activities to be eligible for 
reimbursement under the grant. Activities initiated prior to the 
execution of a grant or without written approval are not eligible for 
reimbursement and will not be counted toward a recipient's matching 
contribution.

7. Other Submission Requirements

    If an applicant experiences difficulties at any point during this 
process, please call the Grants.gov Customer Center Hotline at 1-800-
518-4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (closed on Federal holidays). 
For information and instructions on each of these processes, please see 
instructions at: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

a. Eligibility and Completeness Review
    FRA will first screen each application for applicant and project 
eligibility (eligibility requirements are outlined in Section C of this 
notice), completeness (application documentation and submission 
requirements are outlined in Section D of this notice), and the 20 
percent minimum match in determining whether the application is 
eligible.
    FRA will then consider the applicant's past performance in 
developing and delivering similar projects and previous financial 
contributions, and previous competitive grant technical evaluation 
ratings that the proposed project received under previous competitive 
grant programs administered by the DOT if applicable.

[[Page 46250]]

b. Evaluation Criteria
    FRA subject-matter experts will evaluate all eligible and complete 
applications using the evaluation criteria outlined in this section to 
determine project benefits and technical merit.
    i. Project Benefits: FRA will evaluate the Benefit-Cost Analysis of 
the proposed project for the anticipated private and public benefits 
relative to the costs of the proposed project and the summary of 
benefits provided in response to subsection D(2)(a)(ii) including--
    (A) Effects on system and service performance;
    (B) Effects on safety, competitiveness, reliability, trip or 
transit time, and resilience;
    (C) Efficiencies from improved integration with other modes; and
    (D) Ability to meet existing or anticipated demand.
    ii. Technical Merit: FRA will evaluate application information for 
the degree to which--
    (A) The tasks and subtasks outlined in the SOW are appropriate to 
achieve the expected outcomes of the proposed project.
    (B) Applications indicate strong project readiness and meet project 
requirements.
    (C) The technical qualifications and experience of key personnel 
proposed to lead and perform the technical efforts, and the 
qualifications of the primary and supporting organizations to fully and 
successfully execute the proposed project within the proposed timeframe 
and budget are demonstrated.
    (D) The proposed project's business plan considers potential 
private sector participation in the financing, construction, or 
operation of the proposed project.
    (E) The applicant has, or will have the legal, financial, and 
technical capacity to carry out the proposed project; satisfactory 
continuing control over the use of the equipment or facilities; and the 
capability and willingness to maintain the equipment or facilities.
    (F) If applicable, the proposed project is consistent with planning 
guidance and documents set forth by DOT, including those required by 
law or State rail plans developed under Title 49, United States Code, 
Chapter 227.
c. Selection Criteria
    In addition to the eligibility and completeness review and the 
evaluation criteria outlined in this subsection, the FRA Administrator 
will select projects applying the following selection criteria:
    i. The FRA Administrator will give preference to projects for which 
the:
    (A) Proposed Federal share of total project costs is 50 percent or 
less; and
    (B) Net benefits of the grant funds will be maximized considering 
the BCA, including anticipated private and public benefits relative to 
the costs of the proposed project, and factoring in the other 
considerations in 49 U.S.C. 24407(e).
    ii. After applying the above preferences, the FRA Administrator 
will take into account the following key Departmental objectives:
    (A) Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional 
level;
    (B) Leveraging Federal funding to attract other, non-Federal 
sources of infrastructure investment, as well as accounting for the 
life-cycle costs of the project;
    (C) Using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite 
project delivery; and,
    (D) Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance and 
achieving specific, measurable outcomes identified by grant applicants.

2. Review and Selection Process

    FRA will conduct a three-part application review process, as 
follows:
    a. Screen applications for completeness and eligibility;
    b. Evaluate eligible applications (completed by technical panels 
applying the evaluation criteria); and
    c. Select projects for funding (completed by the FRA Administrator 
applying the selection criteria).
    Prior to making a Federal award with a total amount of Federal 
share greater than the simplified acquisition threshold, FRA 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) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313). 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. FRA will consider any comments by the 
applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated 
integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the 
applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under 
Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants 
as described in 2 CFR 200.205.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notice

    FRA will announce applications selected for funding in a press 
release and on the FRA website after the application review periods. 
FRA will contact applicants with successful applications after 
announcement with information and instructions about the award process. 
This notification is not an authorization to begin proposed project 
activities. A formal cooperative agreement or grant agreement signed by 
both the recipient and the FRA, including an approved scope, schedule, 
and budget, is required before the award is obligated and complete.
    For all projects, obligation occurs when a selected applicant and 
FRA enter a written project specific cooperative agreement or grant 
agreement and is after the applicant has satisfied applicable 
requirements. For FD/Construction projects, these requirements may 
include transportation planning, PE and environmental reviews.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

    Due to funding limitations, projects that are selected for funding 
may receive less than the amount originally requested. In those cases, 
applicants must be able to demonstrate the proposed projects are still 
viable and can be completed with the amount awarded.
    Recipients and entities receiving funding from the recipient, must 
comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Examples of 
administrative and national policy requirements include: 2 CFR part 
200; procurement standards; compliance with Federal civil rights laws 
and regulations; requirements for disadvantaged business enterprises, 
debarment and suspension requirements, and drug-free workplace 
requirements; FRA's and OMB's Assurances and Certifications; Americans 
with Disabilities Act; safety requirements including those applicable 
to PTC projects; NEPA; environmental justice requirements; performance 
measures under 49 U.S.C. 24407(f); 49 U.S.C. 24405, including the Buy 
America requirements and the provision deeming operators rail carriers 
and employers for certain purposes. Grants for PTC system projects 
selected under 49 U.S.C. 24407(c)(1) for Commuter Rail Passenger 
Transportation, if transferred to FTA, must comply with the 
requirements of chapter 53 of Title 49.
    See an example of standard terms and conditions for FRA grant 
awards at

[[Page 46251]]

https://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L19057.

3. Reporting

a. Progress Reporting on Grant Activity
    Each applicant selected for a grant will be required to comply with 
all standard FRA reporting requirements, including quarterly progress 
reports, quarterly Federal financial reports, and interim and final 
performance reports, as well as all applicable auditing, monitoring and 
close out requirements. Reports may be submitted electronically.
b. Performance Reporting
    Each applicant selected for funding must collect information and 
report on the project's performance using measures mutually agreed upon 
by FRA and the recipient to assess progress in achieving strategic 
goals and objectives.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information regarding this notice and the grants 
program, please contact Ms. Amy Houser, Office of Program Delivery, 
Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W36-
412, Washington, DC 20590; email: [email protected]; phone: 202-493-
0303.

H. Other Information

    All information submitted as part of or in support of any 
application shall use publicly available data or data that can be made 
public and methodologies that is accepted by industry practice and 
standards, to the extent possible. If the application includes 
information the applicant considers to be a trade secret or 
confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should 
do the following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission 
``Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI)''; (2) mark each 
affected page ``CBI''; and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI 
portions.
    DOT protects such information from disclosure to the extent allowed 
under applicable law. In the event DOT receives a Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA) request for the information, DOT will follow the 
procedures described in its FOIA regulations at 49 CFR 7.17. Only 
information that is ultimately determined to be confidential under that 
procedure will be exempt from disclosure under FOIA.

    Issued in Washington, DC.
Ronald Louis Batory,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-19740 Filed 9-11-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-06-P