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Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program: Proposed Circular

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Buses

Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program: Proposed Circular

Therese W. McMillan
Federal Transit Administration
July 30, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 146 (Wednesday, July 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44241-44246]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17926]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration

[Docket No. FTA-2014-0018]


Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program: Proposed Circular

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of availability of proposed circular and request for 
comments.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has placed in the 
docket and on its Web site, proposed guidance, in the form of a 
circular, to assist recipients in their implementation of the Section 
5339 Bus and Bus Facilities Formula Program (Bus Program). The purpose 
of this proposed circular is to provide recipients of FTA financial 
assistance with instructions and guidance on program administration and 
the grant application process. This proposed circular is a result of 
the new Bus Program enacted through the Moving Ahead for Progress in 
the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). By this notice, FTA invites public 
comment on the proposed circular.

DATES: Comments must be submitted by September 29, 2014. Late-filed 
comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the docket number FTA-
2014-0018 by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Submit electronic comments and 
other data to http://www.regulations.gov.
     U.S. Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations; U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building 
Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     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 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
     Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, at (202) 493-2251.
    Instructions: The agency name (Federal Transit Administration) and 
Docket Number (FTA-2014-0018) must be included at the beginning of each 
submission. If sent by mail, please submit two copies. Due to security 
procedures in effect since October 2001, mail received through the U.S. 
Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties mailing comments 
should consider using an express mail firm to ensure their prompt 
filing. If you wish to receive confirmation that FTA received your 
comments, you must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. All 
comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. You 
may review USDOT's complete Privacy Act Statement published in the 
Federal Register on April 11, 2000, at 65 FR 19477-8 or http://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For program matters, Sam Snead, Office 
of Transit Programs, (202) 366-1089 or samuel.snead@dot.gov. For legal 
matters, Michelle Hershman, Office of Chief Counsel, (202-493-0197) or 
michelle.hershman@dot.gov. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Overview

    The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21, Pub. 
L. 112-141), signed into law on July 6, 2012, establishes the Section 
5339 Bus and Bus Facilities Formula program (Section 5339 or Bus 
Program), replacing some of the elements of the Bus and Bus Facilities 
discretionary program (formerly 49 U.S.C. 5309(b)(3) under the Safe, 
Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy 
for Users Act of 2005 (SAFETEA-LU)). The Section 5309 Bus and Bus 
Facilities Program under SAFETEA-LU provided funds for capital bus and 
bus facility grants in support of the U.S. Department of 
Transportation's (U.S. DOT) State of Good Repair, Bus Livability, 
Veterans Transportation and Community Living, and Clean Fuels 
initiatives. In addition, SAFETEA-LU allocated funds under this program 
for Ferry Boat Systems, Fuel Cell Bus, and the Bus Testing program. The 
new Section 5339 Bus Program, which now includes only capital projects, 
provides funding to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and 
related equipment as well as construct bus-related facilities.
    Therefore, FTA is proposing new circular 5100.1, ``Bus and Bus 
Facilities Program: Guidance and Application Instructions,'' in order 
to provide grantees with guidance for applying for funding under the 
Bus Program. In addition, the proposed circular addresses the 
requirements that must be met in the application for Section 5339 
program assistance.
    In addition to implementing the new Section 5339 program, MAP-21 
made several significant changes to Federal transit laws that are 
applicable across all of FTA's financial assistance programs and 
reflected in this proposed circular. These changes further several 
important goals of the U.S. DOT. Most notably, MAP-21 grants FTA 
significant new authority to oversee and regulate the safety of public 
transportation systems throughout the United States. MAP-21 also puts 
new emphasis on restoring and replacing the Nation's aging public 
transportation infrastructure by establishing a new State of Good 
Repair formula program and new asset management requirements. 
Furthermore, it aligns Federal funding with key performance goals and 
tracks recipients' progress towards these goals. Finally, MAP-21 
improves the efficiency of program administration through program 
consolidation and streamlining. FTA encourages commenters to review and 
provide comments on this document as well as the other proposed 
circulars FTA has drafted in response to the MAP-21 changes.
    This notice provides a summary of the proposed circular. The 
circular contains new policies including, but not limited to, policies 
regarding funding transfer provisions, ineligibility of preventive 
maintenance and designated recipient

[[Page 44242]]

eligibility. The circular itself is not included in this notice; an 
electronic version may be found on FTA's Web site, at www.fta.dot.gov. 
Paper copies of the circular may be obtained by contacting FTA's 
Administrative Services Help Desk, at (202) 366-4865. FTA seeks comment 
on the proposed circular.

II. Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis

A. Chapter I--Introduction and Background

    Chapter I of the circular is an introductory chapter that covers 
general information about FTA and its authorizing legislation, provides 
a brief history of the Bus Program, and defines terms applicable across 
all FTA programs.
(1) Definitions
    The proposed circular provides information on the following 
statutory definitions relevant to Section 5339 which were amended by 
MAP-21, including ``associated transit improvements'' (previously 
``transit enhancements''); ``bus rapid transit system''; ``fixed 
guideway,'' and ``public transportation.'' Definitions have also been 
included in this section for terms that are unclear or currently 
undefined. Where applicable, we have used the same definitions found in 
rulemakings or other circulars to ensure consistency.
(2) Program History
    This section provides an overview of each piece of legislation that 
has authorized the Section 5339 Bus Program. While Section 5309 Bus 
Program under SAFETEA-LU was a discretionary program, the Section 5339 
funding is allocated to recipients using a statutory formula. In 
addition, a set amount is appropriated to each State and territory from 
a National distribution allocation.

B. Chapter II--Program Overview

    Chapter II covers general information about the Bus Program, 
including program administration, eligibility and oversight.
(1) Statutory Authority
    This chapter begins by providing the statutory authority for the 
Bus Program, which was codified at 49 U.S.C. Section 5339.
(2) Program Goals
    This section identifies the primary goal of the Bus Program which 
is to assist eligible recipients in financing capital projects to 
replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment, and to 
construct bus-related facilities which will support the continuation 
and expansion of public transportations services in the United States.
(3) FTA Role in Program Administration
    This section begins by providing information on the role of FTA's 
headquarters and regional offices. Headquarters serves a broader role 
in administration of the program, including providing guidance, 
apportioning funds, and conducting national reviews. Regional offices, 
on the other hand, are responsible for the day-to-day administration of 
the program, including reviewing and approving grant applications, 
obligating funds and providing technical assistance.
(4) Designated Recipient and State Role in Program Administration
    This section of the proposed circular clarifies that FTA will only 
apportion Bus Program funds for urbanized areas (UZA) to the State and 
designated recipients who are responsible for apportioning those funds 
to eligible projects and applying for funds on behalf of eligible 
subrecipients within the UZA. This section also clarifies that there 
are no other eligible direct recipients for the Bus Program under MAP-
21. In addition, this section discusses the State's or designated 
recipient's responsibilities in administering Bus Program funds.
(5) Designated Recipient, States and Sub-recipient Eligibility
    This section provides guidance on who is eligible to receive 
Section 5339 funds. Eligible recipients are designated recipients and 
States that operate or allocate funding to fixed-route bus operators. 
This section also describes the process for allocating funds to 
subrecipients and discusses pass-through arrangements whereby a 
designated recipient may pass its Bus Program grant funds through to a 
subrecipient to carry out the project agreed to in the grant. Unlike 
supplemental agreements between the designated recipient and FTA, a 
pass-through arrangement to a subrecipient does not relieve the 
recipient of its responsibilities to carry out the terms and conditions 
of the grant agreement.
(6) FTA Oversight
    The section outlines the Congressionally-required oversight that 
FTA must conduct in relation to the Bus Program. Specifically, to 
perform this oversight, FTA conducts a triennial review at least once 
every three years to evaluate recipient performance and compliance with 
Federal requirements and certifications. The Single Audit Act also 
requires recipients of Federal awards resulting in expenditures of 
$750,000 or more to have independent audits conducted annually.
(7) Relationship to Other Programs
    This section includes a discussion on both repealed SAFETEA-LU 
programs for which funds may still be available and new MAP-21 
programs. This section begins by discussing the relationship between 
programs repealed by MAP-21 and the Bus Program authorized under MAP-
21. Repealed programs include the Clean Fuels Grant Program (former 
Section 5308) and the Bus and Bus Facilities Discretionary Program 
(former Section 5309(b)(3)). Funds previously authorized for programs 
that were repealed by MAP-21 may remain available for their originally 
authorized purposes until the statutory period of availability expires, 
or until the funds are fully expended, rescinded by Congress, or 
otherwise reallocated.
    This section then discusses the relationship between the Bus 
Program and the following programs that are either completely new or 
were significantly modified by MAP-21, including the Urbanized Area 
Formula Program (5307), Fixed Guideway Capital Investment Program 
(5309, New and Small Starts, and Core Capacity Improvements), and the 
State of Good Repair Formula Program (5337).

C. Chapter III--General Program Information.

(1) Apportionment of Program Funds
    This chapter provides a more detailed discussion of the 
apportionments for the Section 5339 Bus Program. The apportionment 
calculations for Section 5339 include set-asides and formula 
calculations established by MAP-21. Of the total made available, a 
percentage identified within the apportionment notice is set aside for 
National Distribution for each State, Territory and the District of 
Columbia.
(2) Apportionment Data
    This section describes how FTA obtains the data used for the 
formula apportionments. For UZAs with less than 200,000 in population, 
the formula is based on population and population density. For UZAs 
with populations of 200,000 and more, the formula is based on a 
combination of bus revenue vehicle miles and bus passenger miles as 
well as population and population density.

[[Page 44243]]

(3) Availability of Funds
    Under MAP-21, Section 5339 funding remains available for obligation 
three years from the year in which the funds were apportioned. As a 
result, the funds are available for three years plus the year of 
apportionment.
(4) Transfer of Apportionments
    MAP-21 allows the Governor of the State to transfer any part of the 
State's apportionment under the National Distribution to supplement the 
State's Section 5311 apportionment or any urbanized area's Section 5307 
apportionment so long as funds are used for eligible Bus Program 
activities. No FTA prior approval is required, but the Governor must 
notify FTA of a transfer for each transaction for record purposes. The 
transfer provisions regarding formula funds under Section 5336 do not 
apply to Section 5339 program funds.
(5) Eligible Capital Projects
    The last section in this chapter proposes the types of projects and 
activities that may be funded under Section 5339. Eligible capital 
projects include projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses 
and related equipment, and projects to construct bus-related 
facilities. More specifically, this includes:
    a. The acquisition of buses for fleet and service expansion;
    b. bus maintenance and administrative facilities;
    c. transfer facilities;
    d. bus malls;
    e. transportation centers;
    f. intermodal terminals;
    g. park-and ride stations;
    h. acquisition of replacement vehicles;
    i. bus rebuilds;
    j. passenger amenities such as passenger shelters and bus stop 
signs;
    k. accessory and miscellaneous equipment such as:
    l. mobile radio units;
    2. supervisory vehicles;
    3. fare boxes;
    4. computers; and
    5. shop and garage equipment.
    m. clean fuels projects;
    n. introduction of new technology, including Intelligent 
Transportation Systems (ITS);
    o. leasing of capital assets;
    p. crime prevention and security;
    q. innovative financing;
    r. interest and debt financing;
    s. bicycle facilities;
    t. bus rapid transit systems; and
    u. joint development.
    Under MAP-21, ``public art'' is no longer an eligible associated 
transit improvement (formerly ``transit enhancement''). However, 
incorporation of design and artistic considerations into public 
transportation projects may still be an allowable cost, so long as it 
is an integral part of the project. For example, an artist may be 
employed as part of the construction design team, or art can be 
incorporated into functional elements such as walls, seating, lighting, 
or railings.
    Planning activities are not eligible under the Bus Program. 
However, costs associated with environmental compliance as part of 
preliminary engineering (PE) or final design are eligible capital 
expenses. Preventive maintenance is not an eligible activity under the 
Bus Program. Mobility Management is also not an eligible expense under 
the Bus Program.
(6) Local Share of Project Costs
    Consistent with MAP-21, this circular proposes a 20 percent local 
match requirement for capital assistance. However, MAP-21 expanded the 
category of funds that can be used as local match. In addition to those 
sources of local match previously authorized under SAFETEA-LU, local 
match may also be derived from the following newly authorized sources:
     Amounts appropriated or otherwise made available to a 
department of agency of the Government (other than DOT), such as 
Community Development Block Grant Funds administered by the Department 
of Housing and Urban Development.
     Any amount expended by providers of public transportation 
by vanpool for the acquisition of rolling stock to be used in the 
recipient's service area, excluding any amounts the provider may have 
received in Federal, State or local government assistance for such 
acquisition. The provider is required to have a binding agreement with 
the public transportation agency to provide service in the relevant 
UZA.
    Generally, the Federal share is 85 percent for the acquisition of 
vehicles for purposes of complying with or maintaining compliance with 
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Clean Air Act (CAA). 
The Federal share for project costs related to acquiring vehicle-
related equipment or facilities (including clean-fuel or alternative-
fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities) for purposes of complying 
or maintaining compliance with the CAA, or for meeting ADA 
requirements, is 90 percent. The grant recipient may itemize the cost 
of specific, discrete, vehicle-related equipment being purchased for 
compliance with the ADA or CAA. The Federal share is 90 percent of the 
cost for these itemized elements.
(7) Additional Sources of Local Share
    This section proposes additional sources of local share that 
recipients may use as part of local match for a capital project. 
Certain sources such as revenue bond proceeds need prior FTA approval.
(8) Alternative Financing
    This section of the proposed circular discusses eligibility 
criteria for capital projects seeking Transportation Infrastructure 
Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) financing, pursuant to section 2002 
of MAP-21 (23 U.S.C. 601 et seq). Eligible projects include any transit 
capital project which is anticipated to meet the statutory threshold 
size.
(9) Deferred Local Share
    The final section in this chapter of the proposed circular 
discusses the situations in which recipients may request that local 
share for a project be deferred. Deferred local share must receive FTA 
approval prior to obligation of the grant.

D. Chapter IV--Planning and Program Development

(1) Metropolitan and Statewide Planning Requirements
    This chapter proposes guidance on metropolitan and statewide 
planning requirements. A grant applicant requesting Section 5339 
assistance must comply with the planning requirements of 49 U.S.C. 
5303, 5304, and 5306. Under SAFETEA-LU, certain eligible projects were 
required to be developed under a locally developed, coordinated 
planning process. Under MAP-21, coordinated planning is only a 
requirement of eligibility under the Section 5310 program. This section 
includes a reference to the FTA/FHWA revised joint planning regulations 
at 23 CFR parts 450 and 500 and 49 CFR part 613.
(2) Transportation Management Areas (TMAs)
    This section of the proposed circular introduces the discussion of 
TMAs for planning purposes. The proposed circular references the 
statutory definition of a TMA, which is a UZA with a population of over 
200,000 individuals. There is also reference to the joint FTA/FHWA 
transportation planning regulations at 23 CFR part 40, which include 
guidelines on determining the boundaries of a Metropolitan Planning 
Area (MPA).

[[Page 44244]]

(3) Performance-Based Planning
    The next section in this chapter provides the requirements of MAP-
21's new broad performance management program which supports the seven 
national performance goals. The performance management framework 
attempts to improve project decision-making through performance-based 
planning and programming and through fostering a transparent and 
accountable decision-making process for Metropolitan Planning 
Organizations (MPOs), States, and providers of public transportation. 
This section recommends perusing the FTA/FHWA revised joint planning 
regulations at 23 CFR parts 450 and 500 and 49 CFR part 613(b), which 
also address performance-based planning.
(4) Role of Designated Recipient and Metropolitan Planning Organization 
in Allocating Program Funds
    This chapter provides guidance on the role of the designated 
recipient and the MPO in allocating program funds. Both the planning 
requirements and the statutory provisions of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 53 
specify the roles of the MPO and of the designated recipient. While the 
MPO develops and adopts the TIP, the designated recipient, which may in 
some cases also be the MPO, has the primary responsibility to develop 
the program of projects (POP) for the Section 5339 funds apportioned to 
its large UZA for inclusion in the TIP.
(5) Multiple Designated Recipients in Large UZAs
    In those UZAs with more than one designated recipient, FTA 
recommends that local officials, operating in consultation with the 
MPO, work together to determine the allocation and sub-allocation of 
Section 5339 funds.
(6) Program of Projects and Public Participation Requirements
    This section of the circular provides guidance on the POP that 
recipients must develop as required by 49 U.S.C. 5307(b), which is 
applicable to Section 5339 recipients. A POP is a list of projects 
proposed by the designated recipient to be funded from the UZA's 
Section 5339 apportionment, which includes a description of the 
projects, in addition to any sub-allocation among public transportation 
providers, total project costs, local share, and Federal share for each 
project. As stated above, eligibility for funding under most FTA and 
FHWA programs requires the MPO to list projects in the approved TIP or 
STIP, or both. The TIP/STIP public participation and approval processes 
can serve to satisfy the requirements for public participation under 
Section 5307.
(7) Transfer of FTA Funds for Highway Projects
    Section 5339 funds are not available to be transferred between FHWA 
and FTA for transit or highway projects.
(8) Requirements Related to Vehicles and Equipment
    This section of the proposed circular provides guidance on FTA's 
useful life policy and includes methods by which grantees can determine 
the useful life for project property. Useful life of rolling stock 
begins on the date the vehicle is placed in revenue service and 
continues until it is removed from service. This section provides 
additional guidance for determining the useful life of buses and vans 
and for calculating early disposition. Removal of an FTA-funded vehicle 
from revenue service before the end of its minimum useful life, except 
for reasons of fire, collision, or natural disaster, leaves the 
recipient liable to FTA for the Federal share of the vehicle's 
remaining value.
    This section outlines the rolling stock spare ratio policies which 
are taken into account during FTA review of grant applications which 
propose to replace, rebuild, or add vehicles to the applicant's fleet. 
This section also clarifies that vehicles in the contingency fleet do 
not count in the calculation of spare ratio.
    Next, this section provides the requirements that recipients must 
meet in order to receive funds for the purchase of vehicles, including 
pre-award and post-delivery review of buses and bus testing. MAP-21 
amended the bus testing provisions under 49 U.S.C. 5318 to require that 
FTA establish a pass/fall testing standard. FTA funds will be available 
to acquire a new bus model only if it has received a passing score. 
This requirement will take effect after FTA has issued regulations 
establishing the standard. Other requirements outlined in this section 
include Buy America, the Transit Vehicle Manufacturer Disadvantaged 
Business Enterprises (DBE) Program Requirement, and requirements 
related to the ADA. Recipients must ensure that each transit vehicle 
meets the accessibility requirements and standards for the vehicle type 
specified in 49 CFR parts 37 and 38, as applicable.
    Finally, this section outlines FTA's policies for replacing FTA-
funded vehicles. A vehicle proposed to be replaced must have achieved 
at least the minimum useful life. Early replacement of a vehicle prior 
to the end of its minimum useful life requires prior FTA approval. If a 
vehicle is replaced before it has achieved its minimum useful life, the 
recipient has the option of returning to FTA an amount equal to the 
remaining Federal interest in the vehicle or applying the ``Like-Kind 
Exchange'' policy and placing an amount equal to the remaining Federal 
interest in the vehicle into a newly purchased vehicle. Appendix C of 
this proposed circular contains a ``Like-Kind Exchange Example.'' In 
certain circumstances, a recipient may choose to rebuild a vehicle 
rather than dispose of it.
(9) Requirements Related to Facilities
    This section contains information concerning program requirements 
specific to the construction or acquisition of facilities funded by 
Section 5339. Similar to vehicles, facilities have a useful life, which 
is determined by such factors as type of construction, nature of the 
equipment used, historical usage patterns, and technological 
developments. Recipients must ensure that transit facilities meet the 
accessibility standards and requirements specified in 49 CFR parts 37, 
38, and 39, as applicable.
    This section also discusses shared use of project property which 
requires prior written FTA approval except when it involves coordinated 
public transit human services transportation. Shared use projects 
should be clearly identified and sufficient detail provided to FTA at 
the time of grant review to determine allocable costs related to non-
transit use for construction, maintenance, and operation costs. In 
addition, FTA requires recipients to include the planning justification 
in the grant application submitted in the FTA electronic management 
system. Though planning activities are not an eligible expense under 
the Bus Program, costs associated with environmental compliance as part 
of PE or final design are eligible capital expenses.
(10) Environmental
    This section provides guidance on the environmental reviews that 
recipients must conduct prior to receiving FTA funding. This section 
recommends that recipients consult with FTA regarding the proper level 
of environmental review, prior to expending funds for a project.
(11) Undertaking Projects in Advance
    This section explains the different authorities that allow a 
recipient to incur costs on a project before grant approval, while 
still retaining their eligibility for reimbursement after grant 
approval. The three types of authorities

[[Page 44245]]

are pre-award authority, letters of no prejudice (LONP), and advanced 
construction authority (ACA). This section discusses the distinction 
among these three authorities and the terms and conditions that apply 
equally to all three.

E. Chapter V--Program Management and Administrative Requirements

(1) Certifications Required by 49 U.S.C. 5339
    This chapter outlines the requirements to which Section 5339 
recipients must certify compliance, including legal, technical, and 
financial capacity. Other requirements to which recipients must certify 
include satisfactory continuing control, maintaining federally-assisted 
facilities and equipment, compliance with the half-fare requirement 
during non-peak hours, use of competitive procurements, and Buy 
America.
(2) Certification Procedures
    Before FTA may award Federal funding, the applicant must provide to 
FTA all certifications and assurances required by Federal laws and 
regulations. Near the beginning of each Federal fiscal year, FTA 
publishes the certifications in the Federal Register, highlighting any 
changes or additions from the previous year. FTA sometimes publishes 
the certifications and assurances on the same date the formula 
apportionments are published.
(3) FTA Electronic Management System
    This section provides a reference to FTA's electronic grants 
management system which allows electronic grant application submission, 
review, approval, and management of all grants. The User Guide can be 
found at FTA's Web site in the ``Grants and Financing'' section under 
``Apply for and Manage Grants.''
(4) System for Award Management Requirements
    This section describes the System for Award Management (SAM), which 
is a free Web site that consolidates Federal procurement systems and 
the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. On July 30, 2012, the 
Central Contractor Registration (CCR), FedReg, and the Excluded Parties 
List System (EPLS) were migrated into SAM. Any organization applying 
for financial assistance from the Federal government must register in 
SAM and keep its registration current until it submits its final 
financial report pursuant to the award agreement from FTA or receives 
its final payment under the project, whichever is later.
(5) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Registration Requirements.
    Any organization applying for a grant or cooperative agreement from 
the Federal government must have a DUNS number. This is a nine digit 
identification number which provides a unique identification for single 
business entities. Grant applicants that currently do not have a DUNS 
number can obtain one for free from Dun and Bradstreet (www.dnb.com).
(6) Subrecipients DUNS Requirement
    This section informs subrecipients that they must have a DUNS 
number in order to receive a subaward from the recipient.
(7) Electronic Clearing House Operation (ECHO) Requirements
    Grantees are required to establish an ECHO Control Number (ECN) 
before FTA is able to disburse funds to the grantee. Department of 
Treasury regulations, 31 CFR part 205, govern payment to recipients for 
financing operations under Federal assistance and other programs.
(8) Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) 
Requirement
    This section discusses the statutory requirement that a recipient 
report information about each first tier sub-award over $25,000 by the 
end of the month following the month the direct recipient makes any 
sub-award or obligation.
(9) National Transit Database (NTD) Reporting
    Recipients (including subrecipients and contractors) of Section 
5339 program funds are required by statute to submit data to the NTD. 
Recipients must provide annual financial reports and monthly reports on 
transit operations, safety and security to the NTD. There is a reduced 
reporting requirement for small systems.

F. Chapter VI--State and Program Management Plans

(1) General
    This chapter begins by providing a general overview of State and 
Program Management Plans. The State Management Plan (SMP) is a document 
that describes the State's policies and procedures for administering 
FTA's program funding. The Program Management Plan (PMP) is a document 
that describes the designated recipient's policies and procedures for 
administering FTA's Section 5339 program in a large urbanized area. The 
requirements for the PMP are the same as those for the SMP with 
exception that the PMP is developed by designated recipients in large 
urbanized areas whereas the SMP is developed by the State.
(2) Purpose
    The SMP/PMP is intended to facilitate both recipient management and 
FTA oversight by documenting the State's and designated recipient's 
procedures and policies for administering the Section 5339 program.
(3) Management Plan Reviews
    This section describes the oversight reviews that FTA conducts to 
examine each designated recipient's management procedures, and the 
relationship of the procedures to its management plan.
(4) Management Plan Content
    While there is no prescribed format for the SMP/PMP, this circular 
proposes that the plan should address certain topics and provide 
specific information for each topic.
(5) Management Plan Revisions
    Each recipient, whether a State or a designated recipient in a 
large urbanized area, is required to have an approved SMP/PMP on file 
with the appropriate FTA Regional Office and to update it regularly to 
incorporate any changes in program management or new requirements.
(6) Existing SMP/PMP
    All recipients may amend an existing or approved SMP/PMP or create 
a stand-alone section in order to meet the requirement for these 
documents.

G. Chapter VII--Other Provisions

    This chapter provides an overview of the additional FTA-specific 
and other Federal requirements with which an FTA recipient must comply. 
This chapter provides a summarized, alphabetical listing of those 
requirements and provides citations to the actual statutory or 
regulatory text. If there is a conflict between the summary information 
provided in this chapter and the statute or regulation, the language of 
the statute or regulation controls.
    This chapter includes information on new requirements and outlines 
changes to certain existing requirements. More specifically, MAP-21 
amended 49 U.S.C. 5329 to provide FTA with the authority to establish a 
new comprehensive framework to oversee the safety of public 
transportation throughout the United States. The law requires, among 
other things, that DOT

[[Page 44246]]

issue a National Public Transportation Safety Plan, establish safety 
performance criteria for all modes of public transportation, define a 
``state of good repair,'' establish minimum safety performance 
standards for public transportation vehicles, and a safety 
certification training program. FTA will be issuing regulations and 
interim guidance to implement these new requirements in consultation 
with public transportation industry stakeholders.
    Additionally, this section of the proposed circular clarifies the 
effect that MAP-21 has had on the State Safety Oversight (SSO) Program 
and the requirements of 49 CFR 659. Section 5330, which authorizes the 
SSO Program, will be repealed three years from the effective date of 
the new regulations implementing the new Section 5329 safety 
requirements. Until then, the current requirements of 49 CFR 659 will 
continue to apply.

H. Appendix

    The appendices include instructions for preparing a grant 
application and a budget, an application checklist, and several forms 
and representative documents that recipients will need when applying 
for Section 5339 funds. In addition, the appendices include FTA 
regional and metropolitan contact information. Last is a list of 
references, including Federal Register notice and other citations as 
appropriate to enable readers to view the source documents.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 24th day of July, 2014.
Therese McMillan,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-17926 Filed 7-29-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-57-P

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