Solicitation of Proposals for the National Rural Transit Assistance Program, 37385-37388 [2019-16301]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 147 / Wednesday, July 31, 2019 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration Solicitation of Proposals for the National Rural Transit Assistance Program Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity. AGENCY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is soliciting proposals under the agency’s Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program to select an entity to administer a National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP). The National RTAP will carry out activities to design and implement training and technical assistance projects and other support services tailored to meet the specific needs of transit operators in rural areas, including Indian Country. Primary activities will include the development of information and materials for use by local operators and State administering agencies, and supporting research and technical assistance projects of national interest. DATES: Complete proposals for funding opportunity FTA–2019–005–TPM– NRTAP must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. All applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 30, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Marianne Stock, FTA Office of Program Management, (202) 366–6508 or marianne.stock@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: Table of Contents jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES A. Program Description B. Federal Award Information C. Eligibility Information D. Application and Submission Information E. Application Review Information F. Federal Award Administration G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts A. Program Description The Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to carry out a Rural Transportation Assistance Program (RTAP) in rural areas. FTA’s National RTAP is funded under the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program to enhance the delivery of public transportation services provided by State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and operators of rural public transportation. Since 1979, FTA has provided grants to States under the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program and its predecessor programs to establish and maintain transit systems in communities with populations of less VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:09 Jul 30, 2019 Jkt 247001 than 50,000 individuals. Rural transit systems and community transit drivers, dispatchers, maintenance workers, managers, and board members need special skills and knowledge to provide quality service to their diverse customers across large, rural service areas. The National RTAP was created in 1997 to carry out projects of a national scope that provide transportation assistance in these areas. The National RTAP provides for the development of information and materials for use by local operators, State DOTs and State funded transit agencies, and supports research and technical assistance projects of national interest. The FTA carries out the objectives of the National RTAP through a cooperative agreement that establishes and provides financial assistance for these activities. FTA selected the current recipient to administer the National RTAP in 2014. Consistent with the Uniform Administrative Requirements of 2 CFR200, every 5 years the FTA competes the administration of the National RTAP. FTA also supports assistance for local RTAP activities through funding apportionments to the States. The State RTAPs develop and implement training and technical assistance in conjunction with the State’s administration of the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Formula Program. The State RTAPs and National RTAP complement each other and both are funded under the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program. The objectives of the National RTAP are: • Objective 1: To promote the delivery of safe, effective and efficient public transportation in rural areas. • Objective 2: To support State and local governments in addressing the training and technical assistance needs of the rural transportation community. • Objective 3: To conduct research, including analysis of data reported to FTA’s National Transit Database, and to maintain current profiles of the characteristics of rural transit as well as the inventory of providers of rural, tribal and specialized transportation providers. Since its inception, the National RTAP has developed and distributed training materials, provided technical assistance, generated reports, published best practices, produced scholarships, conducted research, and offered peer assistance with the goal of improved mobility for the millions of Americans living in rural communities. The National RTAP also has developed tools for use by rural transit providers in providing their service, and provided access to scholarship, research and PO 00000 Frm 00156 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37385 training through sponsorship of and participation in conferences attended by a variety of constituents with interest in rural and tribal transit. For more information on the various programs and services provided by the National RTAP, visit the National RTAP website at: http://www.nationalrtap.org/ AboutUs.aspx. B. Federal Award Information FTA is authorized to use two percent of funds appropriated for its Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program for research, technical assistance, training, and related support services in rural areas. Of this amount, FTA expects to award the administration of the National RTAP as a cooperative agreement. FTA will fund the cooperative agreement for up to five (5) years, subject to availability of funds, and the apportioned balance to the States to carry out State RTAP activities. FTA intends to fund the National RTAP with $1,936,904 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funds for the first year. FTA may extend funding for this center for up to five (5) years; however, subsequent funding will depend upon: (1) Future authorization and appropriations; (2) decisions and program priorities established by the Secretary of Transportation related to implementation of the National Rural Transportation Assistance program; and (3) annual performance reviews. Congress apportioned an additional $2,097,966 for National RTAP in FY 2019. C. Eligibility Information Eligible proposers are non-profit organizations with rural and tribal transportation experience that have the capacity to provide public transportation-related technical assistance and the ability to deliver a national technical assistance and training program. There is no local match or cost sharing requirement for this program. D. Application and Submission Information 1. Address Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV, as described above. General information for registering and submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV can be found at https://www.grants.gov/web/ grants/applicants.html along with specific instructions for the forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission will consist of at least two E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 37386 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 147 / Wednesday, July 31, 2019 / Notices jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES files: (1) The SF–424 Mandatory form (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV); and (2) a narrative application document in Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, or compatible file format. The narrative application should be in the format outlined in Section 2 below. Once completed, the narrative application must be placed in the attachments section of the SF–424 Mandatory form. Proposers must attach the narrative application file to their submission in GRANTS.GOV to successfully complete the proposal process. A proposal submission may contain additional supporting documentation as attachments. 2. Content and Form of Application Submission Proposals must be submitted in a Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, or compatible file format, double-spaced using Times New Roman, 12-point font. The proposal must contain the following components and adhere to the specified maximum lengths: a. Cover sheet (1 page). The cover sheet must include the name of the entity submitting the proposal, the principal’s name, title, and contact information (e.g., address, phone, fax, and email), and the name and contact information for the key point of contact for all five activities (if different from principal). b. Abstract (not to exceed 4 pages). The abstract must include the following sections: background, purpose, methodology, intended outcomes, and plan for evaluation. c. Detailed budget proposal and budget narrative (not to exceed 3 pages). d. Project narrative (not to exceed 25 pages) The project narrative must include the following information: i. The methodology for addressing the goals and objectives; ii. Objectives, activities, deliverables, milestones, timeline and intended outcomes for achieving the goals outlined in the scope for the first year; iii. The existing and future capacity of the organization to address the issues outlined in the proposal and the organization’s ability to implement goals and objectives; iv. A detailed plan for communication, technical assistance, and outreach at the State and local levels; v. A plan to work with stakeholders and build partnerships at the national level and; vi. Staff qualifications, including: (1) Prior experience providing technical assistance, especially related to public transit in rural areas, (2) prior VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:09 Jul 30, 2019 Jkt 247001 experience implementing the other tasks outlined in this solicitation, (3) staff members’ knowledge of issues related to public transit in rural areas, and (4) a one-page biographical sketch for each staff member. e. Plan for evaluation of National RTAP activities and performance measures (not to exceed 5 pages). f. Supplemental materials, such as bios and letters of support, can be included in an appendices section that is beyond the page limits above but may not exceed 15 additional pages. 3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM) Each applicant must: (1) Register in SAM before applying; (2) provide a valid unique SAM entity identifier in its application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information, during which the applicant has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by FTA. These requirements do not apply if the applicant: (1) Is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c); or (2) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 25.110(d). The FTA may not make an award until the applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and SAM requirements. If an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant. SAM registration takes approximately 3–5 business days, but FTA recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, for completion of all steps. For additional information on obtaining a unique entity identifier, please visit www.sam.gov. 4. Submission Dates and Times Project proposals must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV and must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 30, 2019. GRANTS.GOV attaches a time stamp to each application at the time of submission. Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be considered under extraordinary circumstances not under the applicant’s control. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the applicant should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV; and (2) confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV. PO 00000 Frm 00157 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 If confirmation of successful validation is not received or a notice of failed validation or incomplete materials is received, the applicant must address the reason for the failed validation, as described in the email notice, and resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for any reason, include all original attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the box on the supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission. The FTA urges applicants to submit proposals at least 72 hours prior to the due date to allow time to receive the validation messages and to correct any problems that may have caused a rejection notification. GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the GRANTS.GOV website. Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled website maintenance. Applicants are encouraged to begin the process of registration on the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. Registration is a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to complete before an application can be submitted. Registered applicants still may be required to take steps to keep their registration up to date before submissions can be made successfully: (1) Registration in the SAM is renewed annually; and (2) persons making submissions on behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. How to Register to Apply through Grants.gov. To register and for detailed instructions, please see the ‘‘APPLICANTS’’ tab in Grants.gov (https://www.grants.gov/ web/grants/applicants.html). To be eligible to apply for this opportunity, organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number, active SAM registration, and an established Grants.gov account. Creating a Grants.gov account can be completed online in minutes, but DUNS and SAM registrations may take several weeks. Therefore, an organization’s registration should be done in sufficient time to ensure it does not impact the entity’s ability to meet required application submission deadlines. Complete organization instructions can be found on Grants.gov: https:// www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/ organization-registration.html. E. Application Review Information Proposals will be evaluated by an internal review team based on each applicant’s response to the following criteria: (1) Methodology to Meet the E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 147 / Wednesday, July 31, 2019 / Notices Goals of the National RTAP; (2) Qualifications of Key Personnel, Experience, and Knowledge; (3) Communication, Technical Assistance, and Outreach Strategy; (4) Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity; (5) Ability to Work with Stakeholders and Build Parternships at the National Level; and (6) Plan to Evaluate the NRTAP activities. The criteria are explained below: 1. Methodology To Meet the Goals of the National RTAP The FTA is seeking innovative and effective approaches and strategies to accomplish the project objectives. Proposals will be evaluated based on the proposed methodology for addressing the goals and objectives of the National RTAP, as well as the capacity of the organization to address the issues outlined in the proposal. The proposal should clearly explain the objectives, activities, deliverables, milestones, timeline and intended outcomes for achieving the goals outlined in the scope for the first year, and how the organization intends to implement them. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES 2. Qualifications of Key Personnel, Experience, and Knowledge The proposal should demonstrate that key personnel have the appropriate skills and experience to carry out the activities. The FTA will evaluate the qualifications and experience of the key staff detailed in the proposal for their: (1) Prior experience providing technical assistance, especially related to public transit in rural areas, (2) prior experience implementing the other tasks outlined in this solicitation, (3) knowledge of issues related to public transit in rural areas. 3. Communication, Technical Assistance, and Outreach Strategy The proposal should demonstrate the ability to execute a technical assistance program with a national scope, as well as strategies for delivering targeted assistance to State, regional, and local stakeholders. Proposing organizations are encouraged to think innovatively about this technical assistance delivery. The proposal also should demonstrate the ability to carry out outreach, dissemination, and information management activities. These activities will include capturing and sharing useful and best practices in rural transportation operations, as well as supporting activities related to FTA’s tribal transit program. The proposal should demonstrate innovative approaches, such as the use of communication that is accessible VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:09 Jul 30, 2019 Jkt 247001 through social media and other information technologies, to accomplish effective stakeholder strategies that both manage and plan the engagement. Rural and tribal communities have unique needs, and the proposal should reflect engagement touchpoints and the ability to meaningfully engage with these communities in other to produce successful transportation outcomes. 4. Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity The proposal must include an effective project management plan to administer and manage the National RTAP and must demonstrate that the applicant has the technical, legal, and financial capacity to carry out the plan. FTA will evaluate the applicant’s: a. Technical capacity to administer and manage the services proposed; b. Total budget and staffing; and c. Evidence of understanding of the National RTAP mission and comprehensive technical approach to delivering the National RTAP. The proposal should indicate a strong organizational capability to address the issues and activities outlined in the proposal. In addition, the proposal should indicate experience in managing and monitoring sub-recipients and contractors, if any are included in the proposal. The recipient selected must be an eligible recipient for a cooperative agreement with FTA and able to sign the required certifications and assurances. 5. Ability To Work With Stakeholders and Build Partnerships at the National Level The proposal must include a plan for effective and meaningful stakeholder engagement. The proposal will be evaluated based in the quality and effectiveness of the plan for engaging and supporting stakeholder engagement to drive the activities of the National RTAP. 6. Plan To Evaluate the National RTAP Activities FTA will evaluate the effectiveness of proposed performance measures and the plan for collecting and reporting on data related to the National RTAP’s products activities, and outcomes. F. Federal Award Administration 1. Federal Award Notices Final award decisions will be made by the FTA Administrator. In making these decisions, the Administrator will take into consideration: a. Recommendations of the review panel; PO 00000 Frm 00158 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37387 b. past performance of the applicant regarding programmatic and grants management compliance; c. the reasonableness of the estimated cost to the government considering the available funding and anticipated results; and d. the likelihood that the proposed project will result in the transportation outcomes expected. The FTA will notify the successful organization and may announce the selection on its website https:// www.transit.dot.gov. Following notification, the successful entity will be required to submit its application through the FTA Transit Award Management System (TrAMS). The FTA will work with the successful applicant to develop a detailed cooperative agreement and may require modifications to the proposal before a cooperative agreement is awarded. The FTA will award and manage a cooperative agreement through TrAMS. 2. Award Administration (A) Grant Requirements The successful applicant will apply for a cooperative agreement through TrAMS and adhere to the customary FTA grant requirements of Section 5311(b)(3)(C). (B) Competitive grants and cooperative agreements greater than $500,000 will go through the Congressional notification and release process. Assistance regarding these requirements is available from FTA. (C) Standard Assurances The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by the FTA grant. The applicant acknowledges that it is under a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement issued for its project with the FTA. The applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and administrative practices might be modified from time to time and that modifications may affect the implementation of the project. The applicant agrees that the most recent Federal requirements will apply to the project, unless FTA issues a written determination otherwise. The applicant must submit the Certifications and Assurances before receiving a cooperative agreement if it does not have current certifications on file. 3. Reporting Post-award reporting requirements include submission of Federal Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1 37388 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 147 / Wednesday, July 31, 2019 / Notices in TrAMS on a quarterly basis. Documentation is required for payment. Additional reporting may be required specific to the National Rural Transportation Assistance Program and the recipient may be expected to participate in events or peer networks related to rural transit. The Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) requires data entry at the FFATA Sub Award Reporting System (http:// www.FSRS.gov) for all sub-awards and sub-contracts issued for $25,000 or more, as well as addressing executive compensation for both grantee and subaward organizations. Additionally, FTA may evaluate and report on the success of the program. Applicants may be required to provide information for this purpose indicating the need, problem, or opportunity addressed by activities of the program. The national significance and relevance to the public transportation industry must also be clearly demonstrated. 4. Legal Capacity Applicants must certify that there are no legal issues which would impact their eligibility and authority to apply for FTA funds, or prevent their acceptance of FTA funds. G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts For further information concerning this notice, please contact the Technical Assistance program manager Marianne Stock by phone at 202–366–2677, or by email at marianne.stock@dot.gov. A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 800–877– 8339. Issued in Washington, DC. K. Jane Williams, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2019–16301 Filed 7–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [FTA Docket No. FTA 2019–0014] Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration, DOT. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES ACTION: Notice of request for comments. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the extension of a currently approved information SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:09 Jul 30, 2019 Jkt 247001 collection: National Transit Asset Management (TAM) System. DATES: Comments must be submitted before September 30, 2019. ADDRESSES: To ensure that your comments are not entered more than once into the docket, submit comments identified by the docket number by only one of the following methods: 1. Website: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site. (Note: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) electronic docket is no longer accepting electronic comments.) All electronic submissions must be made to the U.S. Government electronic docket site at www.regulations.gov. Commenters should follow the directions below for mailed and hand-delivered comments. 2. Fax: 202–366–7951. 3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. 4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number for this notice at the beginning of your comments. Submit two copies of your comments if you submit them by mail. For confirmation that FTA has received your comments, include a selfaddressed stamped postcard. Note that all comments received, including any personal information, will be posted and will be available to internet users, without change, to www.regulations.gov. You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477), or you may visit www.regulations.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents and comments received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time. Background documents and comments received may also be viewed at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mshadoni Smith (202) 366–1651 or email: mshadoni.smith@dot.gov. PO 00000 Frm 00159 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 Interested parties are invited to send comments regarding any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) The necessity and utility of the information collection for the proper performance of the functions of the FTA; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways to minimize the collection burden without reducing the quality of the collected information. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: National Transit Asset Management (TAM) System (OMB Number: 2132–0579) Background: Transit asset management (TAM) is a business model that prioritizes funding based on the condition of transit assets to achieve and maintain a state of good repair for the nation’s public transportation assets. Federal requirements for transit asset management applies to all recipients and sub-recipients of chapter 53 funds that own, operate, or manage public transportation capital assets. It is a framework for transit agencies to monitor and manage public transportation assets, improve safety, increase reliability and performance, and establish performance measures in order to help agencies keep their systems operating smoothly and efficiently. Transit agencies are required to develop TAM plans and submit their performance measures and targets to the National Transit Database. Respondents: All recipients and subrecipients of chapter 53 funds that own, operate, or manage public transportation capital assets. Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 987 (Tier I—164; Tier II— 823) respondents. Estimated Total Annual Burden: 404,233 hours. Frequency: Annual. Nadine Pembleton, Director Office of Management Planning. [FR Doc. 2019–16302 Filed 7–30–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P E:\FR\FM\31JYN1.SGM 31JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 147 (Wednesday, July 31, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37385-37388]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-16301]



[[Page 37385]]

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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Solicitation of Proposals for the National Rural Transit 
Assistance Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is soliciting 
proposals under the agency's Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program to 
select an entity to administer a National Rural Transit Assistance 
Program (RTAP). The National RTAP will carry out activities to design 
and implement training and technical assistance projects and other 
support services tailored to meet the specific needs of transit 
operators in rural areas, including Indian Country. Primary activities 
will include the development of information and materials for use by 
local operators and State administering agencies, and supporting 
research and technical assistance projects of national interest.

DATES: Complete proposals for funding opportunity FTA-2019-005-TPM-
NRTAP must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. All 
applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 30, 
2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:  Marianne Stock, FTA Office of Program 
Management, (202) 366-6508 or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

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

A. Program Description

    The Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program, authorizes the 
Secretary of Transportation to carry out a Rural Transportation 
Assistance Program (RTAP) in rural areas.
    FTA's National RTAP is funded under the Formula Grants for Rural 
Areas Program to enhance the delivery of public transportation services 
provided by State Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and operators of 
rural public transportation. Since 1979, FTA has provided grants to 
States under the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program and its 
predecessor programs to establish and maintain transit systems in 
communities with populations of less than 50,000 individuals. Rural 
transit systems and community transit drivers, dispatchers, maintenance 
workers, managers, and board members need special skills and knowledge 
to provide quality service to their diverse customers across large, 
rural service areas. The National RTAP was created in 1997 to carry out 
projects of a national scope that provide transportation assistance in 
these areas.
    The National RTAP provides for the development of information and 
materials for use by local operators, State DOTs and State funded 
transit agencies, and supports research and technical assistance 
projects of national interest. The FTA carries out the objectives of 
the National RTAP through a cooperative agreement that establishes and 
provides financial assistance for these activities. FTA selected the 
current recipient to administer the National RTAP in 2014. Consistent 
with the Uniform Administrative Requirements of 2 CFR200, every 5 years 
the FTA competes the administration of the National RTAP.
    FTA also supports assistance for local RTAP activities through 
funding apportionments to the States. The State RTAPs develop and 
implement training and technical assistance in conjunction with the 
State's administration of the Formula Grants for Rural Areas Formula 
Program. The State RTAPs and National RTAP complement each other and 
both are funded under the Formula Grants for Rural Areas program.
    The objectives of the National RTAP are:
     Objective 1: To promote the delivery of safe, effective 
and efficient public transportation in rural areas.
     Objective 2: To support State and local governments in 
addressing the training and technical assistance needs of the rural 
transportation community.
     Objective 3: To conduct research, including analysis of 
data reported to FTA's National Transit Database, and to maintain 
current profiles of the characteristics of rural transit as well as the 
inventory of providers of rural, tribal and specialized transportation 
providers.
    Since its inception, the National RTAP has developed and 
distributed training materials, provided technical assistance, 
generated reports, published best practices, produced scholarships, 
conducted research, and offered peer assistance with the goal of 
improved mobility for the millions of Americans living in rural 
communities. The National RTAP also has developed tools for use by 
rural transit providers in providing their service, and provided access 
to scholarship, research and training through sponsorship of and 
participation in conferences attended by a variety of constituents with 
interest in rural and tribal transit. For more information on the 
various programs and services provided by the National RTAP, visit the 
National RTAP website at: http://www.nationalrtap.org/AboutUs.aspx.

B. Federal Award Information

    FTA is authorized to use two percent of funds appropriated for its 
Formula Grants for Rural Areas Program for research, technical 
assistance, training, and related support services in rural areas. Of 
this amount, FTA expects to award the administration of the National 
RTAP as a cooperative agreement. FTA will fund the cooperative 
agreement for up to five (5) years, subject to availability of funds, 
and the apportioned balance to the States to carry out State RTAP 
activities.
    FTA intends to fund the National RTAP with $1,936,904 in Fiscal 
Year (FY) 2018 funds for the first year. FTA may extend funding for 
this center for up to five (5) years; however, subsequent funding will 
depend upon: (1) Future authorization and appropriations; (2) decisions 
and program priorities established by the Secretary of Transportation 
related to implementation of the National Rural Transportation 
Assistance program; and (3) annual performance reviews. Congress 
apportioned an additional $2,097,966 for National RTAP in FY 2019.

C. Eligibility Information

    Eligible proposers are non-profit organizations with rural and 
tribal transportation experience that have the capacity to provide 
public transportation-related technical assistance and the ability to 
deliver a national technical assistance and training program. There is 
no local match or cost sharing requirement for this program.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address

    Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV, 
as described above. General information for registering and submitting 
applications through GRANTS.GOV can be found at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html along with specific instructions for the 
forms and attachments required for submission. Mail and fax submissions 
will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission will consist of at 
least two

[[Page 37386]]

files: (1) The SF-424 Mandatory form (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV); and 
(2) a narrative application document in Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, 
or compatible file format. The narrative application should be in the 
format outlined in Section 2 below. Once completed, the narrative 
application must be placed in the attachments section of the SF-424 
Mandatory form. Proposers must attach the narrative application file to 
their submission in GRANTS.GOV to successfully complete the proposal 
process. A proposal submission may contain additional supporting 
documentation as attachments.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    Proposals must be submitted in a Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat, or 
compatible file format, double-spaced using Times New Roman, 12-point 
font. The proposal must contain the following components and adhere to 
the specified maximum lengths:
    a. Cover sheet (1 page).
    The cover sheet must include the name of the entity submitting the 
proposal, the principal's name, title, and contact information (e.g., 
address, phone, fax, and email), and the name and contact information 
for the key point of contact for all five activities (if different from 
principal).
    b. Abstract (not to exceed 4 pages).
    The abstract must include the following sections: background, 
purpose, methodology, intended outcomes, and plan for evaluation.
    c. Detailed budget proposal and budget narrative (not to exceed 3 
pages).
    d. Project narrative (not to exceed 25 pages)
    The project narrative must include the following information:
    i. The methodology for addressing the goals and objectives;
    ii. Objectives, activities, deliverables, milestones, timeline and 
intended outcomes for achieving the goals outlined in the scope for the 
first year;
    iii. The existing and future capacity of the organization to 
address the issues outlined in the proposal and the organization's 
ability to implement goals and objectives;
    iv. A detailed plan for communication, technical assistance, and 
outreach at the State and local levels;
    v. A plan to work with stakeholders and build partnerships at the 
national level and;
    vi. Staff qualifications, including: (1) Prior experience providing 
technical assistance, especially related to public transit in rural 
areas, (2) prior experience implementing the other tasks outlined in 
this solicitation, (3) staff members' knowledge of issues related to 
public transit in rural areas, and (4) a one-page biographical sketch 
for each staff member.
    e. Plan for evaluation of National RTAP activities and performance 
measures (not to exceed 5 pages).
    f. Supplemental materials, such as bios and letters of support, can 
be included in an appendices section that is beyond the page limits 
above but may not exceed 15 additional pages.

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

    Each applicant must: (1) Register in SAM before applying; (2) 
provide a valid unique SAM entity identifier in its application; and 
(3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current 
information, during which the applicant has an active Federal award or 
an application or plan under consideration by FTA. These requirements 
do not apply if the applicant: (1) Is excepted from the requirements 
under 2 CFR 25.110(b) or (c); or (2) has an exception approved by FTA 
under 2 CFR 25.110(d). The FTA may not make an award until the 
applicant has complied with all applicable unique entity identifier and 
SAM requirements. If an applicant has not fully complied with the 
requirements by the time FTA is ready to make an award, FTA may 
determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and 
use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another 
applicant. SAM registration takes approximately 3-5 business days, but 
FTA recommends allowing ample time, up to several weeks, for completion 
of all steps. For additional information on obtaining a unique entity 
identifier, please visit www.sam.gov.

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV and must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on August 
30, 2019. GRANTS.GOV attaches a time stamp to each application at the 
time of submission. Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be 
considered under extraordinary circumstances not under the applicant's 
control. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted.
    Within 48 hours after submitting an electronic application, the 
applicant should receive two email messages from GRANTS.GOV: (1) 
Confirmation of successful transmission to GRANTS.GOV; and (2) 
confirmation of successful validation by GRANTS.GOV. If confirmation of 
successful validation is not received or a notice of failed validation 
or incomplete materials is received, the applicant must address the 
reason for the failed validation, as described in the email notice, and 
resubmit before the submission deadline. If making a resubmission for 
any reason, include all original attachments regardless of which 
attachments were updated and check the box on the supplemental form 
indicating this is a resubmission.
    The FTA urges applicants to submit proposals at least 72 hours 
prior to the due date to allow time to receive the validation messages 
and to correct any problems that may have caused a rejection 
notification. GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are 
announced on the GRANTS.GOV website. Deadlines will not be extended due 
to scheduled website maintenance.
    Applicants are encouraged to begin the process of registration on 
the GRANTS.GOV site well in advance of the submission deadline. 
Registration is a multi-step process, which may take several weeks to 
complete before an application can be submitted. Registered applicants 
still may be required to take steps to keep their registration up to 
date before submissions can be made successfully: (1) Registration in 
the SAM is renewed annually; and (2) persons making submissions on 
behalf of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) must be 
authorized in GRANTS.GOV by the AOR to make submissions. How to 
Register to Apply through Grants.gov. To register and for detailed 
instructions, please see the ``APPLICANTS'' tab in Grants.gov (https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants.html). To be eligible to apply for 
this opportunity, organizations must have a Data Universal Numbering 
System (DUNS) Number, active SAM registration, and an established 
Grants.gov account. Creating a Grants.gov account can be completed 
online in minutes, but DUNS and SAM registrations may take several 
weeks. Therefore, an organization's registration should be done in 
sufficient time to ensure it does not impact the entity's ability to 
meet required application submission deadlines. Complete organization 
instructions can be found on Grants.gov: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/organization-registration.html.

E. Application Review Information

    Proposals will be evaluated by an internal review team based on 
each applicant's response to the following criteria: (1) Methodology to 
Meet the

[[Page 37387]]

Goals of the National RTAP; (2) Qualifications of Key Personnel, 
Experience, and Knowledge; (3) Communication, Technical Assistance, and 
Outreach Strategy; (4) Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity; (5) 
Ability to Work with Stakeholders and Build Parternships at the 
National Level; and (6) Plan to Evaluate the NRTAP activities. The 
criteria are explained below:

1. Methodology To Meet the Goals of the National RTAP

    The FTA is seeking innovative and effective approaches and 
strategies to accomplish the project objectives. Proposals will be 
evaluated based on the proposed methodology for addressing the goals 
and objectives of the National RTAP, as well as the capacity of the 
organization to address the issues outlined in the proposal. The 
proposal should clearly explain the objectives, activities, 
deliverables, milestones, timeline and intended outcomes for achieving 
the goals outlined in the scope for the first year, and how the 
organization intends to implement them.

2. Qualifications of Key Personnel, Experience, and Knowledge

    The proposal should demonstrate that key personnel have the 
appropriate skills and experience to carry out the activities. The FTA 
will evaluate the qualifications and experience of the key staff 
detailed in the proposal for their: (1) Prior experience providing 
technical assistance, especially related to public transit in rural 
areas, (2) prior experience implementing the other tasks outlined in 
this solicitation, (3) knowledge of issues related to public transit in 
rural areas.

3. Communication, Technical Assistance, and Outreach Strategy

    The proposal should demonstrate the ability to execute a technical 
assistance program with a national scope, as well as strategies for 
delivering targeted assistance to State, regional, and local 
stakeholders. Proposing organizations are encouraged to think 
innovatively about this technical assistance delivery.
    The proposal also should demonstrate the ability to carry out 
outreach, dissemination, and information management activities. These 
activities will include capturing and sharing useful and best practices 
in rural transportation operations, as well as supporting activities 
related to FTA's tribal transit program. The proposal should 
demonstrate innovative approaches, such as the use of communication 
that is accessible through social media and other information 
technologies, to accomplish effective stakeholder strategies that both 
manage and plan the engagement. Rural and tribal communities have 
unique needs, and the proposal should reflect engagement touchpoints 
and the ability to meaningfully engage with these communities in other 
to produce successful transportation outcomes.

4. Technical, Legal, and Financial Capacity

    The proposal must include an effective project management plan to 
administer and manage the National RTAP and must demonstrate that the 
applicant has the technical, legal, and financial capacity to carry out 
the plan. FTA will evaluate the applicant's:
    a. Technical capacity to administer and manage the services 
proposed;
    b. Total budget and staffing; and
    c. Evidence of understanding of the National RTAP mission and 
comprehensive technical approach to delivering the National RTAP.
    The proposal should indicate a strong organizational capability to 
address the issues and activities outlined in the proposal. In 
addition, the proposal should indicate experience in managing and 
monitoring sub-recipients and contractors, if any are included in the 
proposal. The recipient selected must be an eligible recipient for a 
cooperative agreement with FTA and able to sign the required 
certifications and assurances.

5. Ability To Work With Stakeholders and Build Partnerships at the 
National Level

    The proposal must include a plan for effective and meaningful 
stakeholder engagement. The proposal will be evaluated based in the 
quality and effectiveness of the plan for engaging and supporting 
stakeholder engagement to drive the activities of the National RTAP.

6. Plan To Evaluate the National RTAP Activities

    FTA will evaluate the effectiveness of proposed performance 
measures and the plan for collecting and reporting on data related to 
the National RTAP's products activities, and outcomes.

F. Federal Award Administration

1. Federal Award Notices

    Final award decisions will be made by the FTA Administrator. In 
making these decisions, the Administrator will take into consideration:
    a. Recommendations of the review panel;
    b. past performance of the applicant regarding programmatic and 
grants management compliance;
    c. the reasonableness of the estimated cost to the government 
considering the available funding and anticipated results; and
    d. the likelihood that the proposed project will result in the 
transportation outcomes expected.
    The FTA will notify the successful organization and may announce 
the selection on its website https://www.transit.dot.gov. Following 
notification, the successful entity will be required to submit its 
application through the FTA Transit Award Management System (TrAMS). 
The FTA will work with the successful applicant to develop a detailed 
cooperative agreement and may require modifications to the proposal 
before a cooperative agreement is awarded. The FTA will award and 
manage a cooperative agreement through TrAMS.

2. Award Administration

    (A) Grant Requirements
    The successful applicant will apply for a cooperative agreement 
through TrAMS and adhere to the customary FTA grant requirements of 
Section 5311(b)(3)(C).
    (B) Competitive grants and cooperative agreements greater than 
$500,000 will go through the Congressional notification and release 
process. Assistance regarding these requirements is available from FTA.
    (C) Standard Assurances
    The applicant assures that it will comply with all applicable 
Federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, FTA circulars, and 
other Federal administrative requirements in carrying out any project 
supported by the FTA grant. The applicant acknowledges that it is under 
a continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the 
cooperative agreement issued for its project with the FTA. The 
applicant understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies, and 
administrative practices might be modified from time to time and that 
modifications may affect the implementation of the project. The 
applicant agrees that the most recent Federal requirements will apply 
to the project, unless FTA issues a written determination otherwise. 
The applicant must submit the Certifications and Assurances before 
receiving a cooperative agreement if it does not have current 
certifications on file.

3. Reporting

    Post-award reporting requirements include submission of Federal 
Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports

[[Page 37388]]

in TrAMS on a quarterly basis. Documentation is required for payment. 
Additional reporting may be required specific to the National Rural 
Transportation Assistance Program and the recipient may be expected to 
participate in events or peer networks related to rural transit. The 
Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) requires 
data entry at the FFATA Sub Award Reporting System (http://www.FSRS.gov) for all sub-awards and sub-contracts issued for $25,000 
or more, as well as addressing executive compensation for both grantee 
and sub-award organizations.
    Additionally, FTA may evaluate and report on the success of the 
program. Applicants may be required to provide information for this 
purpose indicating the need, problem, or opportunity addressed by 
activities of the program. The national significance and relevance to 
the public transportation industry must also be clearly demonstrated.

4. Legal Capacity

    Applicants must certify that there are no legal issues which would 
impact their eligibility and authority to apply for FTA funds, or 
prevent their acceptance of FTA funds.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information concerning this notice, please contact the 
Technical Assistance program manager Marianne Stock by phone at 202-
366-2677, or by email at [email protected]. A TDD is available for 
individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 800-877-8339.

    Issued in Washington, DC.
K. Jane Williams,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-16301 Filed 7-30-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P