Interim Safety Certification Training Program Provisions
This document announces interim safety certification training provisions for Federal and State Safety Oversight Agency personnel and their contractor support who conduct safety audits and examinations of public transportation systems not otherwise regulated by another Federal agency. This document also announces interim safety certification training provisions for public transportation agency personnel who are directly responsible for safety oversight of public transportation systems that receive Federal transit funding. Additionally, the document outlines voluntary, scalable training available to personnel of State Departments of Transportation and personnel directly responsible for safety oversight of urban and rural bus transit systems.
State Safety Oversight
This notice seeks public comment on proposed rules that would transform and strengthen State Safety Oversight (SSO) of rail fixed guideway public transportation systems. FTA will issue a final rule and response to comments following the close of the comment period. Once FTA issues a final rule, the agency will rescind its current regulations.
Notice of Buy America Waiver for Track Turnout Components
In response to a request from the Long Island Rail Road Company (LIRR), a subsidiary of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), for a Buy America waiver for track turnout components, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) hereby waives its Buy America requirements for LIRR's procurement of the following track turnout components: Schwihag roller assemblies, Schwihag plates, ZU1-60 steel switch point rail sections, and movable point frogs. This waiver is limited to LIRR's procurement of these track turnout components for the nine (9) turnouts that LIRR needs for VHL03 LIRR Stage 3 of the East Side Access Project and the one (1) turnout that LIRR needs for VHL04 LIRR Stage 4 of the East Side Access Project. The turnouts themselves, however, are subject to FTA's Buy America requirements and, accordingly, the turnouts must be manufactured in the United States. This Buy America waiver does not apply to the track turnout components for Phase I of LIRR's Jamaica Capacity Improvements Project, and FTA will address that waiver request separately. Moreover, this Buy America waiver does not apply to the track turnout components for the Northeast Corridor Congestion Relief Project at Harold Interlocking, which is being addressed in a separate waiver decision published by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), as FRA funds are being used for that project.
National Public Transportation/Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Technical Assistance Ladders of Opportunity Initiative
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces a Notice of Funding Opportunity and Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new National Public Transportation/TOD Technical Assistance Initiative, which supports the Ladders of Opportunity initiative of the President and the Secretary of Transportation by providing technical assistance for transit-oriented development activities around public transportation stations, including technical assistance to economically distressed communities across the country. FTA has budgeted up to $4,000,000 over a four-year period and seeks proposals that will demonstrate the ability to organize a technical assistance team with practical expertise in a range of disciplines including public transportation, transit-oriented development, land use, urban planning, affordable housing, environmental justice and community-based economic development. This announcement is available on the FTA's Web site at: www.fta.gov. This Notice of Funding Opportunity and RFP are posted in the FIND module of the government-wide electronic grants Web site at https:// www.grants.gov.
FTA Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Apportionments, Allocations, and Program Information
On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (FY 2015 Appropriations) which provided $11.008 billion in new budget authority including a full fiscal year's funding for the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) programs funded from the General Fund of the Treasury, which funds its administrative expenses as well as its Research, Technical Assistance and Training programs, Capital Investment Grants program, and Grants to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The FY 2015 Appropriations Act follows several continuing resolutions that provided funds for these programs through December 15, 2014. The Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 extended FTA's contract (budget) authority to carry out its formula assistance programs only through May 31, 2015. The act pro-rated the amount of budget authority available for the period October 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015 based on an anticipated full FY 2015 total of $8.595 billion. As a result, FTA may apportion only 8/12th or $5.722 billion in contract authority at this time. When combined with the full-year funding from the General Funded programs listed above, FTA is apportioning or allocating in this notice a total of $8.136 billion of the $11.008 billion of new budget authority provided in the FY 2015 Appropriations. Congress will have to extend the authorization for public transportation beyond May 31, 2015, before additional contract authority can be provided for the formula assistance programs. FTA annually publishes one or more notices apportioning funds appropriated by law. This notice apportions and provides information on the FY 2015 funding currently available for FTA assistance programs, provides program guidance and requirements, and information on several program issues important in the current year. This notice also provides information on FTA's discretionary programs and forthcoming program guidance.
National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) Under FTA's Technical Assistance Program
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is soliciting proposals under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act's Section 5314 Technical Assistance and Standards Development Program from national non-profit organizations for a cooperative agreement to fund a National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC). FTA is releasing this notice of funding availability to promote the availability and accessibility of transportation options that serve the needs of people with disabilities, seniors and caregivers with a focus on effectively leveraging MAP-21 Section 5310 (5310) Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Formula Grants and other transit investments. The NADTC builds upon twenty-five years of investment in accessible transportation training and technical assistance that improves mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities throughout the country by removing barriers to transportation services and expanding community transportation mobility options.
Emergency Relief Program: Proposed Guidance
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the docket and on its Web site proposed guidance on FTA's Emergency Relief (ER) Program for states and transit agencies that may be affected by a declared emergency or disaster and that may seek funding under FTA's ER Program. The proposed guidance is contained in the newly revised Reference Manual for States & Transit Agencies on Response and Recovery from Declared Disasters and FTA's Emergency Relief Program, which replaces ``Response and Recovery from Declared Emergencies and Disasters: A Reference for Transit Agencies,'' last updated in June 2013. In addition to proposed guidance on the ER Program, this document provides information on other disaster relief resources available through FTA and from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). By this notice, FTA seeks public comment on the proposed ER Program guidance.