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Fiscal Year 2019 Competitive Funding Opportunity; Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Military

Fiscal Year 2019 Competitive Funding Opportunity; Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program

K. Jane Williams
Federal Transit Administration
15 May 2019


[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 94 (Wednesday, May 15, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21899-21905]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-09439]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Transit Administration


Fiscal Year 2019 Competitive Funding Opportunity; Grants for 
Buses and Bus Facilities Program

AGENCY: Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

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SUMMARY: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the 
opportunity to apply for approximately $423.35 million in fiscal year 
(FY) 2019 funds under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program 
(CFDA#20.526). As required by federal public transportation law and 
subject to funding availability, funds will be awarded competitively to 
assist in the financing of capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, 
purchase or lease buses and related equipment, and to rehabilitate, 
purchase, construct or lease bus-related facilities. Projects may 
include costs incidental to the acquisition of buses or to the 
construction of facilities, such as the costs of related workforce 
development and training activities, and project administration 
expenses. FTA may award additional funds if they are made available to 
the program prior to the announcement of project selections.

DATES: Complete proposals must be submitted electronically through the

[[Page 21900]]

GRANTS.GOV ``APPLY'' function by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 21, 
2019. Prospective applicants should initiate the process by promptly 
registering on the GRANTS.GOV website to ensure completion of the 
application process before the submission deadline. Instructions for 
applying can be found on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/howtoapply and in the ``FIND'' module of GRANTS.GOV.
    The GRANTS.GOV funding opportunity ID is FTA-2019-003-TPM. Mail and 
fax submissions will not be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Bathrick, FTA Office of Program 
Management, 202-366-9955, or mark.bathrick@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

A. Program Description
B. Federal Award Information
C. Eligibility Information
D. Application and Submission Information
E. Application Review
F. Review and Selection Process
G. Federal Award Administration
H. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information
I. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

A. Program Description

    Section 5339(b) of Title 49, United States Code, as amended by the 
Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Pub. L. 114-94, 
Dec. 4, 2015), authorizes FTA to award funds for the Grants for Buses 
and Bus Facilities Program through a competitive process, as described 
in this notice, for capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, purchase 
or lease buses and related equipment and to rehabilitate, purchase, 
construct or lease bus-related facilities.
    The purpose of the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program is 
to assist in the financing of capital projects for buses and bus 
facilities, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing, or leasing 
buses or related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, 
constructing, or leasing bus-related facilities.
    The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program provides funds 
under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(1), to eligible applicants including designated 
recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, states or 
local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service, and 
Indian tribes. FTA also may award grants to eligible recipients for 
projects to be undertaken by subrecipients. Eligible subrecipients 
include all otherwise eligible applicants and also private nonprofit 
organizations engaged in public transportation. In accordance with 49 
U.S.C. 5339(b)(2), FTA will ``consider the age and condition of buses, 
bus fleets, related equipment, and bus-related facilities'' in 
selecting projects for funding. FTA may prioritize projects that 
demonstrate how they will address significant repair and maintenance 
needs, improve the safety of transit systems and deploy connective 
projects that include advanced technologies to connect bus systems with 
other networks.

B. Federal Award Information

    Federal public transportation law at 49 U.S.C. 5338(a)(2)(M) 
authorizes $267,059,980 in FY 2019 funds for the Section 5339(b) Grants 
for Buses and Bus Facilities Program. The Consolidated Appropriations 
Act, 2019 appropriated an additional $160,000,000 for the Grants for 
Buses and Bus Facilities Program. After the mandatory oversight 
takedown of $3,840,450 and the addition of $130,710 in unallocated FY 
2018 program funding, FTA is announcing the availability of 
$423,350,240 for the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program 
through this notice.
    As required under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(5), a minimum of 10 percent of 
the amount awarded under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities 
Program will be awarded to projects located in rural areas. As required 
by 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(8), no single grantee will be awarded more than 10 
percent of the amounts made available. FTA may further cap the amount a 
single recipient or State may receive as part of the selection process. 
In FY 2018, for example, the largest amount awarded to a single 
applicant was $11,000,000 and no State received more than 8 percent of 
the total funding available.
    FTA will grant pre-award authority to incur costs for selected 
projects beginning on the date that project selections are announced. 
Funds are only available for projects that have not incurred costs 
prior to the selection of projects, and will remain available for 
obligation for three Federal fiscal years, not including the year in 
which the funds are allocated to projects.

C. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(1), eligible applicants include designated 
recipients that allocate funds to fixed route bus operators, states or 
local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service, and 
Indian tribes. Eligible subrecipients include all otherwise eligible 
applicants and also private nonprofit organizations engaged in public 
transportation.
    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(3), States may submit a statewide 
application on behalf of public agencies or private nonprofit 
organizations engaged in public transportation in rural areas or for 
other areas for which a State allocates funds. Except for projects 
proposed by Indian tribes, all proposals for projects in rural (non-
urbanized) areas must be submitted by a State, either individually or 
as a part of a statewide application. States and other eligible 
applicants may also submit consolidated proposals for projects in 
urbanized areas. The submission of a statewide or consolidated 
urbanized area application shall not preclude the submission and 
consideration of any application from other eligible recipients in an 
urbanized area in a State. Proposals may contain projects to be 
implemented by the recipient or its subrecipients.
    To be considered eligible, applicants must be able to demonstrate 
the requisite legal, financial and technical capabilities to receive 
and administer Federal funds under this program.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    The maximum federal share for projects selected under the Grants 
for Buses and Bus Facilities Program is 80 percent of the net project 
cost (i.e., the local amount should be at least 20 percent of the net 
project cost, not 20 percent of the requested grant amount), unless 
noted below by one of the exceptions.
    a. The maximum Federal share is 85 percent of the net project cost 
of acquiring vehicles (including clean-fuel or alternative fuel 
vehicles) that are compliant with the Clean Air Act (CAA) and/or the 
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.
    b. The maximum Federal share is 90 percent of the net project cost 
of acquiring, installing or constructing vehicle-related equipment or 
facilities (including clean fuel or alternative-fuel vehicle-related 
equipment or facilities) that are required by the ADA of 1990, or that 
are necessary to comply with or maintaining compliance with the Clean 
Air Act. The award recipient must itemize the cost of specific, 
discrete, vehicle-related equipment associated with compliance with ADA 
or CAA to be eligible for the maximum 90 percent Federal share for 
these costs.
    Eligible sources of local match include the following: Cash from 
non-Government sources other than revenues from providing public 
transportation services; revenues derived from the sale of advertising 
and

[[Page 21901]]

concessions; amounts received under a service agreement with a State or 
local social service agency or private social service organization; 
revenues generated from value capture financing mechanisms; or funds 
from an undistributed cash surplus; replacement or depreciation cash 
fund or reserve; or new capital. In addition, transportation 
development credits or documentation of in-kind match may substitute 
for local match if identified in the application.
    If an applicant proposes a Federal share greater than 80 percent, 
the application must clearly explain why the project is eligible for 
the proposed Federal share.

3. Eligible Projects

    Under 49 U.S.C. 5339(b)(1), eligible projects are capital projects 
to replace, rehabilitate purchase, or lease buses, vans, and related 
equipment, and capital projects to rehabilitate, purchase, construct, 
or lease bus-related facilities.
    Recipients are permitted to use up to 0.5 percent of their 
requested grant award for workforce development activities eligible 
under 49 U.S.C. 5314(b) and an additional 0.5 percent for costs 
associated with training at the National Transit Institute, to pay not 
more than 80 percent of the cost of eligible activities (see 49 U.S.C. 
5314(b)(4) and 49 U.S.C. 5314(c)(4)(A)). Applicants must identify the 
proposed use of funds for these activities in the project proposal and 
identify them separately in the project budget.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address

    Applications must be submitted electronically through GRANTS.GOV. 
General information for submitting applications through GRANTS.GOV can 
be found at https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/applying/applying-fta-funding along with specific instructions for the forms and 
attachments required for submission. Mail and fax submissions will not 
be accepted. A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: The 
SF424 Application for Federal Assistance (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV) 
and the supplemental form for the FY 2019 Grants for Buses and Bus 
Facilities Program (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV or the FTA website at 
www.transit.dot.gov/busprogram). Applicants may also attach additional 
supporting information. Failure to submit the information as required 
can delay or prevent review of the application.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

    A complete proposal submission consists of two forms: The SF424 
Application for Federal Assistance and the FY 2019 Grants for Buses and 
Bus Facilities Program supplemental form. The supplemental form and any 
supporting documents must be attached to the ``Attachments'' section of 
the SF424. A complete application must include responses to all 
sections of the SF424 Application for Federal Assistance and the 
supplemental form, unless indicated as optional. The information on the 
supplemental form will be used to determine applicant and project 
eligibility for the program, and to evaluate the proposal against the 
selection criteria described in part E of this notice.
    FTA will accept only one supplemental form per SF424 submission. 
FTA encourages States and other applicants to consider submitting a 
single supplemental form that includes multiple activities to be 
evaluated as a consolidated proposal. If a State or other applicant 
chooses to submit separate proposals for individual consideration by 
FTA, each proposal must be submitted using a separate SF424 and 
supplemental form.
    Applicants may attach additional supporting information to the 
SF424 submission, including but not limited to letters of support, 
project budgets, fleet status reports or excerpts from relevant 
planning documents. Supporting documentation must be described and 
referenced by file name in the appropriate response section of the 
supplemental form, or it may not be reviewed.
    Information such as applicant name, Federal amount requested, local 
match amount, description of areas served, etc. may be requested in 
varying degrees of detail on both the SF424 and Supplemental Form. 
Applicants must fill in all fields unless stated otherwise on the 
forms. Applicants should not place N/A or ``refer to attachment'' in 
lieu of typing in responses in the field sections. If information is 
copied into the supplemental form from another source, applicants 
should verify that pasted text is fully captured on the supplemental 
form and has not been truncated by the character limits built into the 
form. Applicants should use both the ``Check Package for Errors'' and 
the ``Validate Form'' validation buttons on both forms to check all 
required fields on the forms, and ensure that the federal and local 
amounts specified are consistent.
    The SF424 Mandatory Form and the Supplemental Form will prompt 
applicants for the required information, including:

a. Applicant Name
b. Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 
number
c. Key contact information (including contact name, address, email 
address, and phone)
d. Congressional district(s) where project will take place
e. Project Information (including title, an executive summary, and 
type)
f. A detailed description of the need for the project
g. A detailed description on how the project will support the Bus 
Infrastructure Program's objectives
h. Evidence that the project is consistent with local and regional 
planning objectives
i. Evidence that the applicant can provide the local cost share
j. A description of the technical, legal and financial capacity of the 
applicant
k. A detailed project budget
l. An explanation of the scalability of the project
m. Details on the local matching funds
n. A detailed project timeline

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

    Each applicant is required to: (1) Be registered in SAM before 
submitting an application; (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier 
in its application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM 
registration with current information at all times 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 an individual; (2) is excepted from the requirements under 2 CFR 
25.110(b) or (c); or (3) has an exception approved by FTA under 2 CFR 
25.110(d). 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. All applicants must 
provide a unique entity identifier provided by SAM. 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.

[[Page 21902]]

4. Submission Dates and Times

    Project proposals must be submitted electronically through 
GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. Eastern on June 21, 2019. Mail and fax 
submissions will not be accepted.
    FTA urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior 
to the due date to allow time to correct any problems that may have 
caused either Grants.gov or FTA systems to reject the submission. 
Proposals submitted after the deadline will only be considered under 
extraordinary circumstances not under the applicant's control. 
Deadlines will not be extended due to scheduled website maintenance. 
GRANTS.GOV scheduled maintenance and outage times are announced on the 
GRANTS.GOV website.
    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 confirmations 
of successful validation are 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, applicants must include all original 
attachments regardless of which attachments were updated and check the 
box on the supplemental form indicating this is a resubmission.
    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 
may still be required to take steps to keep their registration up to 
date before submissions can be made successfully: (1) Registration in 
the System for Award Management (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.

5. Funding Restrictions

    Funds under this NOFO cannot be used to reimburse applicants for 
otherwise eligible expenses incurred prior to FTA award of a Grant 
Agreement until FTA has issued pre-award authority for selected 
projects.

6. Other Submission Requirements

    Applicants are encouraged to identify scaled funding options in 
case insufficient funding is available to fund a project at the full 
requested amount. If an applicant indicates that a project is scalable, 
the applicant must provide an appropriate minimum funding amount that 
will fund an eligible project that achieves the objectives of the 
program and meets all relevant program requirements. The applicant must 
provide a clear explanation of how the project budget would be affected 
by a reduced award. FTA may award a lesser amount whether or not a 
scalable option is provided.

E. Application Review

    FTA will evaluate project proposals for the Grants for Buses and 
Bus Facilities Program based on the criteria described in this notice. 
Projects will be evaluated primarily on the responses provided in the 
supplemental form. Additional information may be provided to support 
the responses; however, any additional documentation must be directly 
referenced on the supplemental form, including the file name where the 
additional information can be found.

1. Demonstration of Need

    Applications will be evaluated based on the quality and extent to 
which they demonstrate how the proposed project will address an unmet 
need for capital investment in bus vehicles and/or supporting 
facilities. For example, an applicant may demonstrate an excessive 
reliance on vehicles that are beyond their intended service life, 
insufficient maintenance facilities due to size or condition, a vehicle 
fleet that is insufficient to meet current ridership demands or 
passenger facilities that are insufficient for their current use. 
Applicants should address whether the project represents a one-time or 
periodic need that cannot reasonably be funded from FTA formula program 
allocations and State or local resources. As a part of the response for 
demonstration of need, applicants should provide the following 
information:
    a. For bus projects (replacement, rehabilitation or expansion): 
Applicants must provide information on the age, condition and 
performance of the asset(s) to be replaced or rehabilitated by the 
proposed project. For service expansion requests, applicants must 
provide information on the proposed service expansion and the benefits 
for transit riders and the community from the new service. For all 
vehicle projects, the proposal must address how the project conforms to 
FTA's spare ratio guidelines.
    b. For bus facility and equipment projects (replacement, 
rehabilitation and/or expansion): Applicants must provide information 
on the age and condition of the asset to be rehabilitated or replaced 
relative to its minimum useful life.

2. Demonstration of Benefits

    Applications will be evaluated based on how well they describe how 
the proposed project will improve the condition of the transit system, 
improve the reliability of transit service for its riders and enhance 
access and mobility within the service area.
    System Condition: FTA will evaluate the potential for the project 
to improve the condition of the transit system by repairing and/or 
replacing assets that are in poor condition or have surpassed their 
minimum or intended useful life benchmarks, lowering the average age of 
vehicles in the fleet and/or reducing the cost of maintaining outdated 
vehicles, facilities and equipment.
    Service Reliability: FTA will evaluate the potential for the 
project to reduce the frequency of breakdowns or other service 
interruptions caused by the age and condition of the agency's bus 
fleet. Applicants should document their current service reliability 
metrics and benchmark goals, including their strategy for improving 
reliability with or without the award of Bus and Bus Facilities Program 
funds.
    Enhanced Access and Mobility: FTA will evaluate the potential for 
the project to improve access and mobility for the transit riding 
public, such as through increased reliability, improved headways, 
creation of new transportation choices or eliminating gaps in the 
current route network. Proposed benefits should be based on documented 
ridership demand and be well-described or documented through a study or 
route planning proposal.

3. Planning and Local/Regional Prioritization

    Applicants must demonstrate how the proposed project will be 
consistent with local and regional long-range planning documents and 
local government priorities. This will involve assessing whether the 
project is consistent with the transit priorities identified in the 
long range plan; and/or contingency/illustrative projects included in 
that plan; or the locally developed human services public 
transportation coordinated plan. Applicants are not required to submit 
copies of such plans, but should describe how the project will support 
regional goals. Additional

[[Page 21903]]

consideration will be given to applications including support letters 
from local and regional planning organizations, local government 
officials, public agencies and/or non-profit or private sector partners 
attesting to the consistency of the proposed project with these plans. 
Applicants may also address how the proposed project will impact 
overall system performance, asset management performance or specific 
performance measures tracked and monitored by the applying entity to 
demonstrate how the proposed project will address local and regional 
planning priorities.
    Evidence of additional local or regional prioritization (i.e., 
Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan and Long Range Transportation 
Plan) should include letters of support for the project from local 
government officials, public agencies (i.e., Metropolitan Planning 
Organizations) and non-profit or private sector partners.

4. Local Financial Commitment

    Applicants must identify the source of the local cost share and 
describe whether such funds are currently available for the project or 
will need to be secured if the project is selected for funding. FTA 
will consider the availability of the local cost share as evidence of 
local financial commitment to the project. Additional consideration 
will be given to those projects for which local funds have already been 
made available or reserved. Applicants should submit evidence of the 
availability of funds for the project, for example by including a board 
resolution, letter of support from the State or other documentation of 
the source of local funds such as a budget document highlighting the 
line item or section committing funds to the proposed project. In 
addition, as evidence of local financial commitment, an applicant may 
propose a local cost share that is greater than the minimum 
requirement. Additional consideration will be given to those projects 
that propose a larger percentage of local cost share.

5. Project Implementation Strategy

    Projects will be evaluated based on the extent to which the project 
is ready to implement within a reasonable period of time and whether 
the applicant's proposed implementation plans are reasonable and 
complete.
    In assessing whether the project is ready to implement within a 
reasonable period of time, FTA will consider whether the project 
qualifies for a Categorical Exclusion, or whether the required 
environmental work has been initiated or completed for projects that 
require an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended. 
The proposal must also state whether grant funds can be obligated 
within 12 months from time of award, if selected, and indicate the 
timeframe under which the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement 
Program and/or Statewide Transportation Improvement Program can be 
amended to include the proposed project. Additional consideration will 
be given to projects for which grant funds can be obligated within 12 
months from time of award.
    In assessing whether the proposed implementation plans are 
reasonable and complete, FTA will review the proposed project 
implementation plan, including all necessary project milestones and the 
overall project timeline. For projects that will require formal 
coordination, approvals or permits from other agencies or project 
partners, the applicant must demonstrate coordination with these 
organizations and their support for the project, such as through 
letters of support.

6. Technical, Legal and Financial Capacity

    Applicants must demonstrate that they have the technical, legal and 
financial capacity to undertake the project. FTA will review relevant 
oversight assessments and records to determine whether there are any 
outstanding legal, technical or financial issues with the applicant 
that would affect the outcome of the proposed project. Applicants with 
outstanding legal, technical or financial compliance issues from an FTA 
compliance review or Federal Transit grant-related Single Audit finding 
must explain how corrective actions taken will mitigate negative 
impacts on the proposed project.

F. Review and Selection Process

    In addition to other FTA staff that may review the proposals, a 
technical evaluation committee will evaluate proposals based on the 
published evaluation criteria. After applying the above criteria, the 
FTA Administrator will consider the following key Departmental 
objectives:
    (A) Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional 
level;
    (B) Utilizing alternative funding sources and innovative financing 
models to attract non-Federal sources of infrastructure investment;
    (C) Accounting for the life-cycle costs of the project to promote 
the state of good repair;
    (D) Using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite 
project delivery; and
    (E) Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance and 
achieving specific, measurable outcomes identified by grant applicants.
    Prior to making an award, FTA is required to review and consider 
any information about the applicant that is in the Federal Awardee 
Performance and Integrity Information Systems (FAPIIS) accessible 
through SAM. An applicant, may review and comment on information about 
itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered.
    The FTA Administrator will determine the final selection of 
projects for program funding. In determining the allocation of program 
funds, FTA may consider geographic diversity, diversity in the size of 
the transit systems receiving funding, the applicant's receipt of other 
competitive awards, projects located in or that support public 
transportation service in a qualified opportunity zone designated 
pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 1400Z-1, and the percentage of local share 
provided. Not less than 10 percent of the Buses and Bus Facilities 
Program funds will be distributed to projects in rural areas. In 
addition, FTA will not award more than 10 percent of the funds to a 
single grantee.

G. Federal Award Administration

1. Federal Award Notice

    Final project selections will be posted on the FTA website. FTA 
will also publish a list of the selected projects, a summary of final 
scores for selected projects, Federal award amounts and recipients in 
the Federal Register. Selected recipients should contact their FTA 
regional offices for additional information regarding allocations for 
projects under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
    At the time the project selections are announced, FTA will extend 
pre-award authority for the selected projects. There is no blanket pre-
award authority for these projects before announcement.

2. Award Administration

    Funds under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program are 
available to designated recipients that allocate funds to fixed route 
bus operators, state or local governmental entities that operate fixed 
route bus service, and Indian tribes. There is no minimum or maximum 
grant award amount apart from the restriction that FTA will not award 
more than ten percent of the funds to a single grantee; however, FTA 
intends to fund as many meritorious

[[Page 21904]]

projects as possible. Only proposals from eligible recipients for 
eligible activities will be considered for funding. Due to funding 
limitations, proposals that are selected for funding may receive less 
than the amount originally requested. In those cases, applicants must 
be able to demonstrate that the proposed projects are still viable 
stand-alone projects that can be completed with the amount awarded.

3. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

a. Pre-Award Authority
    The FTA will issue specific guidance to recipients regarding pre-
award authority at the time of selection. The FTA does not provide pre-
award authority for competitive funds until projects are selected and 
even then there are Federal requirements that must be met before costs 
are incurred. For more information about FTA's policy on pre-award 
authority, please see the FY 2018 Apportionment Notice published on 
July 16, 2018 which can be accessed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2018-07-16/pdf/2018-14989.pdf.
b. Grant Requirements
    If selected, awardees will apply for a grant through FTA's Transit 
Award Management System (TrAMS). Recipients of Grants for Buses and Bus 
Facilities Program funding in urban areas are subject to the grant 
requirements of the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grant program, 
including those of FTA Circular 9030.1E. Recipients of funding in rural 
areas are subject to the grant requirements of the Section 5311 Formula 
Grants for Rural Areas Program, including those of FTA Circular 
9040.1G. All recipients must follow the Grants Management Requirements 
of FTA Circular 5010.1E, and the labor protections of 49 U.S.C. 
5333(b). Technical assistance regarding these requirements is available 
from each FTA regional office.
c. Buy America
    The FTA requires that all capital procurements meet FTA's Buy 
America requirements per 49 U.S.C. 5323(j), which require that all 
iron, steel, or manufactured products be produced in the United States, 
to help create and protect manufacturing jobs in the United States. The 
Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program will have a significant 
economic impact toward meeting the objectives of the Buy America law. 
The FAST Act amended the Buy America requirements to provide for a 
phased increase in the domestic content for rolling stock. For FY 2019, 
the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the United States 
must be more than 65 percent of the cost of all components. For FY 2020 
and beyond, the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the 
United States must be more than 70 percent of the cost of all 
components. There is no change to the requirement that final assembly 
of rolling stock must occur in the United States. The Buy America 
requirements can be found in 49 CFR part 661 and additional guidance on 
the implementation of the phases increase in domestic content can be 
found at 81 FR 60278 (Sept. 1, 2016). Any proposal that will require a 
waiver must identify in the application the items for which a waiver 
will be sought. Applicants should not proceed with the expectation that 
waivers will be granted, nor should applicants assume that selection of 
a project under the Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program that 
includes a partnership with a manufacturer, vendor, consultant, or 
other third party constitutes a waiver of the Buy America requirements 
applicable at the time the project is undertaken. Consistent with 
Executive Order 13858 Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for 
Infrastructure Projects, signed by President Trump on January 31, 2019, 
applicants should maximize the use of goods, products, and materials 
produced in the United States, in Federal procurements and through the 
terms and conditions of Federal financial assistance awards.
d. Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
    FTA requires that its recipients receiving planning, capital and/or 
operating assistance that will award prime contracts exceeding $250,000 
in FTA funds comply with the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) 
program regulations at 49 CFR part 26. The rule requires that, prior to 
bidding on any FTA-assisted vehicle procurement, entities that 
manufacture vehicles or perform post-production alterations or 
retrofitting must submit a DBE Program plan and annual goal methodology 
to FTA. Further, to the extent that a vehicle remanufacturer is 
responding to a solicitation for new or remanufactured vehicles with a 
vehicle to which the remanufacturer has provided post-production 
alterations or retro-fitting (e.g., replacing major components such as 
engine to provide a ``like new'' vehicle), the vehicle remanufacturer 
is considered a transit vehicle manufacturer and must also comply with 
the DBE regulations.
    FTA will then issue a transit vehicle manufacturer (TVM) 
concurrence/certification letter. Grant recipients must verify each 
entity's compliance with these requirements before accepting its bid. A 
list of compliant, certified TVMs is posted on FTA's web page at 
https://www.fta.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/civil-rights-ada/eligible-tvms-list. Please note that this list is nonexclusive and 
recipients must contact FTA before accepting bids from entities not 
listed on this Web posting. Recipients may also establish project-
specific DBE goals for vehicle procurements. FTA will provide 
additional guidance as grants are awarded. For more information on DBE 
requirements, please contact Janelle Hinton, Office of Civil Rights, 
202-366-9259, email: janelle.hinton@dot.gov.
e. Planning
    FTA encourages applicants to notify the appropriate State 
Departments of Transportation and MPOs in areas likely to be served by 
the project funds made available under this program. Selected projects 
must be incorporated into the long-range plans and transportation 
improvement programs of States and metropolitan areas before they are 
eligible for FTA funding.
f. Standard Assurances
    By submitting a grant application, the applicant assures that it 
will comply with all applicable federal statutes, regulations, 
executive orders, directives, FTA circulars and other federal 
administrative requirements in carrying out any project supported by 
the FTA grant. Further, the applicant acknowledges that it is under a 
continuing obligation to comply with the terms and conditions of the 
grant agreement issued for its project with FTA. The applicant 
understands that Federal laws, regulations, policies and administrative 
practices might be modified from time to time and 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 grant, if it does not 
have current certifications on file.
g. Reporting
    Post-award reporting requirements include the electronic submission 
of Federal Financial Reports and Milestone Progress Reports in FTA's 
electronic grants management system.

[[Page 21905]]

H. Technical Assistance and Other Program Information

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, 
``Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.'' FTA will consider 
applications for funding only from eligible recipients for eligible 
projects listed in Section C. Complete applications must be submitted 
through GRANTS.GOV by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on June 21, 2019. For 
assistance with GRANTS.GOV please contact GRANTS.GOV by phone at 1-800-
518-4726 or by email at support@grants.gov. Contact information for 
FTA's regional offices can be found on FTA's website at https://www.transit.dot.gov/about/regional-offices/regional-offices.

I. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information concerning this notice, please contact the 
Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program manager, Mark Bathrick, via 
email at mark.bathrick@dot.gov or by phone at 202-366-9955. A TDD is 
available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 800-877-
8339. In addition, FTA will post answers to questions and requests for 
clarifications on FTA's website at http://transit.dot.gov/busprogram. 
FTA staff will also conduct a webinar for potential applicants to learn 
more about the program and submittal process.
    To ensure the receipt of accurate information about eligibility or 
the program, applicants with questions are encouraged to contact FTA 
directly, rather than through intermediaries or third parties.

K. Jane Williams,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2019-09439 Filed 5-14-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P

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