Notice of Buy America Waiver Request From the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority of Austin, TX
The Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Capital Metro) of Austin, Texas, has asked the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to waive its Buy America requirements to permit it to purchase rail car vehicles that will be manufactured by Stadler Bussnang AG (Stadler) in Switzerland. According to Capital Metro, the rail cars are not available from a domestic source. This Notice sets forth Capital Metro's arguments for a non-availability waiver and seeks comment thereon.
Notice of Request for the Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection
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 extend the following currently approved information collection:
Notice of Buy America Waiver Request by ElDorado National for Minivan Chassis
Several parties have asked the Federal Transit Administration to waive its Buy America requirements of 49 CFR 661.11 for the purchase of minivans that are manufactured or assembled outside the United States. According to these parties, minivans and minivan chassis are not available from a domestic source. FTA seeks public comment before deciding whether to grant these requests. If granted, a waiver would apply to all minivans and minivan chassis, not only those manufactured by Chrysler.
Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Transit Improvements in the Westside Extension Transit Corridor, Los Angeles, CA
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) intend to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed transit improvements in the Westside Extension Transit Corridor in Los Angeles County, California. The proposed project would provide for transit improvements within the Westside Extension Transit Corridor.
Notice of Limitation on Claims Against a Proposed Public Transportation Project
This notice announces final environmental action taken by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for the Mid-City/Exposition Transit Corridor Light Rail Transit Project in Los Angeles, California. The purpose of this notice is to announce the decision by FTA to not perform supplemental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) on the subject project and to activate the limitation on any claims that may challenge this final agency action. This notice does not alter or extend the limitation period of 180 days for challenge of project decisions subject to a previous notice published in the Federal Register on August 17, 2006.
Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Transit Improvements in the Regional Connector Transit Corridor, Los Angeles, CA
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) intends to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Regional Connector Transit Corridor Project in Los Angeles County, California. LACMTA operates the Metro transit system in Los Angeles County. The proposed project would provide a direct link connecting several light rail service lines in operation or in construction through downtown Los Angeles, CA.
Solicitation of Comments and Notice of Availability of Fiscal Year 2009 Funding for Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction Grants
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) appropriated $100 million for a new discretionary grant program for public transportation projects that reduce a transit system's greenhouse gas emissions or result in a decrease in a transit system's energy use. Because of time limitations in ARRA funding, this notice announces the availability of the new grant program, application requirements, and deadlines for submitting grant proposals for funding. However, because the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program is a new grant program, FTA also is accepting comments on the program's provisions and may alter some of the requirements in response to comments.
Environmental Impact and Related Procedures
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issue this final rule that modifies our regulations to make certain changes mandated by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). SAFETEA-LU prescribes additional requirements for environmental review and project decisionmaking that are not appropriately reflected in the existing FHWA-FTA joint National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures. Additionally, this final rule creates certain new categorical exclusions (CE) allowing proposed actions to proceed without an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS), and makes other minor changes to the joint procedures in order to improve the description of the procedures or to provide clarification with respect to the interpretation of certain provisions.
Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program; Tribal Transit Program Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
This notice announces the availability of $17 million in funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the Public Transportation on Indian Reservations Program (Tribal Transit Program (TTP)), a program authorized by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Section 3013 (c). This notice is a national solicitation for grant applicants to be selected on a competitive basis, and includes grant terms, conditions, and reporting requirements; application procedures; and the criteria that FTA will utilize to select ARRA TTP projects. ARRA TTP funding may be used only for capital expenditures. FTA will announce the availability of, and competition for, the FY 2009 (annual) TTP in a separate notice.
Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review
The Federal Transit Administration invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB's) approval of the following new information collection:
Early Scoping Notice for an Alternatives Analysis of Proposed Transit Improvements in Ogden-Weber State University Transit Corridor of Ogden, UT
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) issue this early scoping notice to advise other agencies and the public that they intend to explore, in the context of the Council on Environmental Quality's early scoping process, methods of improving transit service in the City of Ogden, Utah. The early scoping process is part of a planning Alternatives Analysis (AA) required by Title 49 United States Code (U.S.C.) Sec. 5309 for the selection of alternatives that will be subject to the appropriate environmental process under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Early scoping meetings have been planned and are announced below. The Ogden-WSU Transit Corridor Alternatives Analysis is focusing on improving transit service in a 5-mile corridor between downtown Ogden and Weber State University (WSU). The entire study area is located within the City of Ogden, Weber County, Utah. The corridor connects the Ogden Intermodal Center/FrontRunner commuter rail station to the area's major employment, housing, commercial and education destinations, including Downtown Ogden, Weber State University, and McKay Dee Hospital. With the connection to FrontRunner commuter rail, the corridor also serves trips to and from the greater Wasatch Front Region. In 2005, the UTA and its regional partners completed a Major Investment Feasibility Study of the corridor. The 2005 study concluded that a corridor connecting downtown Ogden and WSU was a promising candidate for increased transit capital investment, potentially incorporating streetcar or Bus Rapid Transit service. This study also developed local consensus for an initial statement of the Purpose and Need for the project, and evaluated potential alignments and modes. The planning Alternatives Analysis now being initiated is expected to result in the selection of a Locally Preferred Alternative by the Utah Transit Authority and its partners, which include the Wasatch Front Regional Council, the metropolitan planning organization for the Greater Salt Lake metropolitan area. Other partners include the City of Ogden, Weber County, Weber State University, McKay Dee Hospital, and the Utah Department of Transportation. The Locally Preferred Alternative will then be a ``proposed action,'' subject to an appropriate environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). If the Preferred Alternative is anticipated to have significant impacts, an environmental impact statement (EIS) would be initiated with a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register. Public and agency scoping of the EIS would be conducted at that time. The early scoping notice is intended to generate public comments on the scope of the alternatives analysis. This includes the purpose and need for the project, the range of alternatives, and environmental and community impacts and benefits to be considered in the alternatives analysis.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Public Transportation Apportionments, Allocations and Grant Program Information
The ``American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 2009'' (Pub. L. 111-5; ``ARRA''), signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17, 2009, includes $8.4 billion for transit capital improvements. This notice implements the transit formula program related provisions of the ARRA and provides program and grant application requirements for these funds, to be made available through Federal Transit Administration (FTA) assistance programs. Additional notices will be published in the near future for the transit discretionary program provisions in the ARRA.
National Transit Database: Policy on Reporting of Coordinated Human Services Transportation Data
This notice announces the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) policy on the reporting of coordinated human services transportation data to the National Transit Database (NTD). On August 12, 2008, FTA proposed a new policy clarifying how transit providers reporting to the NTD may include sponsored trips in their reports. FTA received two comments on the proposed policy and is now formally adopting the new policy.
Credit Assistance for Surface Transportation Projects
This notice withdraws DOT's proposed changes to its regulations implementing the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA). The NPRM is being withdrawn in order to allow the Obama Administration to review the program and decide what, if any changes, it may wish to propose.
Major Capital Investment Projects
This action withdraws a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning major capital investment projects published in the Federal Register on August 3, 2007 (72 FR 43328). FTA has determined that withdrawal of the NPRM is warranted due to an intervening statutory change.
Contractor Performance Incentives for the Capital Investment Program
This action withdraws an FTA notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), Contractor Performance Incentives for the Capital Investment Program, published in the Federal Register on February 19, 2008 (73 FR 9075). FTA has determined that contractor performance incentives do not require a rulemaking to be effectuated. Rather, FTA can work with project sponsors on a case-by-case basis to provide incentives, and therefore, the rulemaking is withdrawn.
Notice of Availability of Discussion Paper on the Evaluation of Economic Development
This notice announces the availability of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) discussion paper on the Evaluation of Economic Development and requests your comments on it. The paper describes one possible approach that could be used to evaluate economic development impacts of projects seeking New Starts funding. Economic development is one of the criteria that FTA uses to assess project justification, which, along with local financial commitment, informs FTA funding decisions for New Starts projects.
Notice of Limitation on Claims Against Proposed Public Transportation Projects
This notice announces final environmental actions taken by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for public transportation projects in the following areas: San Francisco, California; Miami, Florida; Sacramento, California; and Hudson County, New Jersey and New York, New York. The purpose of this notice is to announce publicly the environmental decisions by FTA on the subject projects and to activate the limitation on any claims that may challenge these final environmental actions.
Notice of Proposed Policy Statement for Eligible New Freedom Projects
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is proposing to expand the type of projects it considers to be ``beyond the ADA'' and thus increase the types of projects eligible for funding under the New Freedom program. Under the proposed interpretation, new and expanded fixed route and demand responsive transit service designed to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities would be eligible projects.
Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program
This notice solicits proposals to compete for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 funds through the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program (Transit in Parks Program), formerly the Alternative Transportation in Parks and Public Lands program (ATPPL), administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in partnership with the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service. The purpose of the program is to enhance the protection of national parks and Federal lands, and increase the enjoyment of visitors' experience. The program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems such as buses and trams in federally-managed parks and public lands. Federal land management agencies, as well as State, tribal and local governments acting with the consent of a Federal land management agency are eligible to apply. DOI, after consultation with and in cooperation with FTA, will determine the final selection and funding of projects.
Credit Assistance for Surface Transportation Projects
Recent changes to the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) statute require changes in the TIFIA rule. In addition, the DOT has gained substantial administrative experience since the TIFIA rule was last amended in 2000. The DOT proposes to amend the TIFIA rule to implement the recent statutory changes and to incorporate certain other changes to the rule that it considers will improve the efficiency of the program and its usefulness to borrowers. In addition, the DOT seeks comment on policy issues with potentially significant impact on the TIFIA project selection process.
Guidelines for Preparation of Environmental Assessments: Notice of Withdrawal of Circular
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is providing notice that it is withdrawing circular C5620.1, ``Guidelines for Preparing Environmental Assessments.'' The circular, which was issued in 1979, is outdated and should no longer be relied upon for guidance or cited in documents prepared for federally funded transit projects. FTA plans to develop new guidance at some point in the future.
Notice of Establishment of Emergency Relief Docket for Calendar Year 2009
As provided in 49 CFR Part 601, Subpart D, (72 FR 910, Jan. 9, 2007), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) must, by January 31 of each year, establish an Emergency Relief Docket so grantees and subgrantees affected by national or regional emergencies may request relief from FTA administrative requirements set forth in FTA policy statements, circulars, guidance documents, and regulations. By this notice, FTA is establishing an Emergency Relief Docket for calendar year 2009.
Notice of Continuation of the Early Scoping-Efficient Transportation Decision Making Process for the South Florida East Coast Corridor Transit Analysis
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) issue this notice to advise governmental agencies, the public and other interested stakeholders of FTA's and FDOT's intent to continue the early scoping and planning- level National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)/Florida's Efficient Transportation Decision Making (ETDM) process previously initiated for the South Florida East Coast Corridor Transit Analysis (SFECCTA) study. This notice is announcing to interested parties that additional early scoping meetings will be held at the beginning of the second phase of early scoping/ETDM on the dates provided below, and to inform the general public regarding the ongoing planning process. The FTA and FDOT have been exploring transportation alternatives along an 85-mile section of the existing Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway freight corridor between Miami and Tequesta, Florida. A programmatic Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) developed an approach for evaluating impacts associated with various transportation improvement alternatives. The Tier 1 DEIS identified a number of transportation improvement alternatives that will be further evaluated in the continuation of the early scoping/ETDM process. This process is intended to result in selection of one or more locally- preferred transportation improvement alternatives. FDOT has been engaged in alternatives analysis and produced the Final Conceptual Alternatives Analysis/Environmental Screening Report (AA/ESR) that documents the results of the first phase of the SFECCTA planning. An electronic copy of this interim report is available upon request from the contact below. With the continuation of early scoping, the FTA and FDOT will discontinue the pursuit of a Tiered Programmatic EIS process and continue the statutorily required Alternatives Analysis process. Within this process, it is FDOT's intention to screen alternatives and determine transportation mode and general alignment within the corridor for each of the three independent corridor sections. At the conclusion of the early scoping process, the locally approved alternatives (LPAs) for each corridor segment will be adopted by the individual Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the Long Range Transportation Plans will be updated. FTA and FDOT will then prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement incorporating by reference all early scoping environmental planning efforts.