Planning Requirements for FTA Grants - Darin Allan, Community Planner, FTA Region II


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From the 2010 New York Public Transit Industry Fall Conference & Trade Show.

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  • Underscore the importance of a solid project description
  • While the circulars do not provide an exhaustive list of eligible projects the list should serve as a true guideline of those projects that are eligible. If there are true questions about eligibility complete project descriptions should be shared with FTA and additional guidance will be provided. To simply assume a project is eligible and submit the project for funding may result in a rejection based on eligibility and a possible lapse/loss of funding.
    Just because your project is a good project it still must come from the planning process. Specifically the projects funded must be identified in some way (the specific project, the corridor of need, the service area, etc.) in the Coordinated Human Service Transportation Plan. This requires attending the planning sessions where the plan is being discussed, developed, or revised. Contact the MPO and/or Designated Recipients to find out when those sessions occur
    The Designated Recipients have a responsibility to manage much of the competitive process and ensure that all requirements of the circulars are being adhered to. The standard that they are held to necessitates receiving accurate and timely information from all applicants and direct and/or sub-recipients.
    Working with the DR and the MPO to ensure that TIP/STIP, NEPA, and Matching Fund requirements are met will ensure that grants can be funded in a timely fashion. Too often excessive NEPA work delays and often jeopardized the funding of quality projects that will serve a great number of riders. Questions or concerns about NEPA, acceptability of matching funds, or TIP/STIP identification must be addressed early.
    Quarterly progress reports are a must. They are not optional. It is part of the grant agreement and must be done.
  • Planning Requirements for FTA Grants - Darin Allan, Community Planner, FTA Region II

    1. 1. In the beginning … Planning Requirements for FTA grants Darin Allan Community Planner U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration NYPTA Annual Conference 17 November 2010 Albany, NY
    2. 2. Planning Requirements for FTA Grants • Metropolitan Planning • Environmental Review
    3. 3. Metropolitan Planning Requirements • Plan, TIP and STIP • Work with your MPO early to program projects & phases • Adequate description  What? Why? FHWA/FTA STIP Project Description Reference Guide (contact NYSDOT) eSTIP (e.g.): PRELDES DETLDES ROWACQU CONST OPER MISC
    4. 4. Environmental Review • NEPA (23 CFR Part 771) –EIS & EA –Categorical Exclusions (CE or “CatEx”) –Cs (21 types) and Ds (13 types) – Listed in TEAM
    5. 5. Environmental Review • Discuss with FTA planner • Start with adequate project description • 1-2 sentences for simple CE(c) projects: – “County Transit will purchase 20 35-ft replacement buses.” • 1-2 paragraphs for CE(d) projects – E.g. Transfer Center, BRT, et. al. WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? WHY?
    6. 6. CE(c) – FTA’s determination occurs with grant award
    7. 7. CE(d) – FTA’s determination occurs prior to grant award (reference finding letter)
    8. 8. Expediting JARC & New Freedom Grants 1. Eligible projects translate to fundable projects (read/know the Federal Register Notices & FTA Circulars) 2. Ensure the project is in the Coordinated Human Service Transportation Plan  Participate in the planning process! 3. Know your Designated Recipient’s competitive process and deadline dates (Roles and Responsibilities) 4. TIP/STIP, NEPA, Matching Funds Project Readiness 5. How is it going?  Quarterly Progress Reports
    9. 9. Planning Take-Aways • Work with MPO early to program project in TIP & STIP (consistent with Plan) • Read Federal Register Notice (Apportionments, discretionary programs) & FTA Circulars for requirements • Discuss early with FTA planner to determine needed environmental analysis • Really work on defining project description
    10. 10. Circular Date Title C 5010.1D 11-01-08 Grant Management Requirements C 5200.1A 12-05-02 Full-Funding Grant Agreements Guidance C 6100.1C 05-02-03 Transit Research And Technology Programs: Application Instructions And Program Management Guidelines C 8100.1C 09-01-08 Program Guidance for Metropolitan Planning and State Planning and Research Program Grants C 9030.1D 05-01-10 Urbanized Area Formula Program: Program Guidance and Application Instructions C 9040.1F 04-01-07 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions C 9045.1 05-01-07 New Freedom Program Guidance and Application Instructions C 9050.1 05-01-07 The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program Guidance and Application Instructions C 9070.1F 05-01-07 Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions C 9300.1B 11-01-08 Capital Investment Program Guidance and Application Instructions
    11. 11. 212.668.2632