Restoration and Enhancement

To provide operating assistance grants for the purpose of initiating, restoring, or enhancing intercity rail passenger transportation.



Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Website Address

Http://www.fra.dot.gov




Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Operating assistance for the purpose of initiating, restoring, or enhancing intercity rail passenger transportation.

The Secretary shall require a grant recipient under this section to enter into a grant agreement that requires such recipient to provide similar information regarding the route performance, financial, and ridership projections, and capital and business plans that Amtrak is required to provide, and such other data and information as the Secretary considers necessary.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

(1) a State, including the District of Columbia; (2) a group of States; (3) an Interstate Compact; (4) a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by 1 or more States; (5) a political subdivision of a State; (6) Amtrak or another rail carrier that provides intercity rail passenger transportation; (7) Any rail carrier in partnership with at least 1 of the entities described in (1) through (5); and (8) any combination of the entities described in paragraphs (1) through (7).

Beneficiary Eligibility

(1) a State, including the District of Columbia; (2) a group of States; (3) an Interstate Compact; (4) a public agency or publicly chartered authority established by 1 or more States; (5) a political subdivision of a State; (6) Amtrak or another rail carrier that provides intercity rail passenger transportation; (7) Any rail carrier in partnership with at least 1 of the entities described in paragraphs (1) through (5); and (8) any combination of the entities described in (1) through (7).

Credentials/Documentation

SF424 (Application for Federal Assistance); SF 424A - Budget Information for Non-Construction or SF 424C Budget Information for Construction; SF 424B ? Assurances for Non-Construction or SF 424D ? Assurances for Construction; FRA?s Additional Assurances and Certifications; and SF LLL: Disclosure of Lobbying Activities. Other documents may be required as pre-requisites to funding based on program type; documentation demonstrating applicant eligibility (for applicants other than States); National Environmental Policy Act documentation for construction projects and service development programs; program-specific Assurances and Certifications; planning and engineering documentation. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. An applicant for a grant under this section shall submit: (1) A capital and mobilization plan that?(A) describes any capital investments, service planning actions (such as environmental reviews), and mobilization actions (such as qualification of train crews) required for initiation of intercity rail passenger transportation; and (B) includes the timeline for undertaking and completing each of the investments and actions referred to in (A); (2) an operating plan that describes the planned operation of the service, including?(A) the identity and qualifications of the train operator; (B) the identity and qualifications of any other service providers; (C) service frequency; (D) the planned routes and schedules; (E) the station facilities that will be utilized; (F) projected ridership, revenues, and costs; (G) descriptions of how the projections under subparagraph (F) were developed; (H) the equipment that will be utilized, how such equipment will be acquired or refurbished, and where such equipment will be maintained; and (I) a plan for ensuring safe operations and compliance with applicable safety regulations; (3) a funding plan that? (A) describes the funding of initial capital costs and operating costs for the first 3 years of operation; (B) includes a commitment by the applicant to provide the funds described in subparagraph (A) to the extent not covered by Federal grants and revenues; and (C) describes the funding of operating costs and capital costs, to the extent necessary, after the first 3 years of operation; and (4) a description of the status of negotiations and agreements with? (A) each of the railroads or regional transportation authorities whose tracks or facilities would be utilized by the service; (B) the anticipated railroad carrier, if such entity is not part of the applicant group; and (C) any other service providers or entities expected to provide services or facilities that will be used by the service, including any required access to Amtrak systems, stations, and facilities if Amtrak is not part of the applicant group.

Award Procedures

Review the application package to ensure that all required documents are complete and signed by the appropriate person. Review the statement of work (SOW) and budget to ensure the appropriation language requirements are met. Review SOW for technical issues and budget for appropriate costs, including compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act and related laws and orders. Compare applications to determine relative satisfaction of published selection criteria. Select the applicants that are most qualified. After the application package is acceptable to both parties, a grant agreement is drafted, reviewed, and signed upon agreement by both parties.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

Authorization

Fixing America?s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) , Public Law 114-94.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

FRA is committed to responding to applicants in a reasonable and timely manner. Response times will vary based on size, scope, complexity and volume of applications.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: 20% year 1, 40% year 2, 60% year 3 Grants may not exceed? (A) 80 percent of the projected net operating costs for the first year of service; (B) 60 percent of the projected net operating costs for the second year of service; and (C) 40 percent of the projected net operating costs for the third year of service. This program does not have MOE requirements. This program does not have an MOE requirement.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not more than 6 of the operating assistance grants awarded may be simultaneously active. Federal operating assistance grants authorized for any individual intercity rail passenger transportation route may not provide funding for more than 3 years and may not be renewed. Funding is obligated through cooperative agreements, and outlays occur as reimbursement. Funding will only be obligated and disbursed as milestones are achieved. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funding is obligated through cooperative agreements, and outlays occur as reimbursement. Funding will only be obligated and disbursed as milestones are achieved.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

The grantee shall submit the following reports: Quarterly progress reports giving an account of significant progress (findings, events, trends, etc.) made during the reporting period, and a description of any technical and/or cost problems encountered or anticipated that will affect completion of the grant and; Final report giving details of the results and benefits of the Grantee's improvement efforts.

SF-270 Request for Advance or Reimbursement.

Quarterly progress reports.

Quarterly financial status reports using SF-425 Federal Financial Report.

Grant recipients will be monitored periodically by FRA to ensure that the project goals, objectives, performance requirements, timelines, milestones, budgets, and other related program criteria are being met.

Monitoring may include onsite visits or detailed, interactive desk reviews.

In addition, grantees are provided with intensive technical assistance from grants staff on a daily basis.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.

Records

During the course of its activities under a grant agreement and for three years thereafter, the applicant must agree to retain intact and to provide any data, documents, reports, records, contracts, and supporting materials relating to its performance under the agreement as FRA may require. Reporting and record-keeping requirements are set forth in 2 C.F.R. Part 200 for private non-profit and for-profit Grantees. Closeout does not alter these requirements.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-0127-0-1-401.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 16 $0; FY 17 est $0; and FY 18 est $4,950,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not available ? new account.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and related laws.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Mary Ann McNamara 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Phone: (202) 493-6393

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

In awarding grants, priority to applications will be? (1) for which planning, design, any environmental reviews, negotiation of agreements, acquisition of equipment, construction, and other actions necessary for initiation of service have been completed or nearly completed; (2) that would restore service over routes formerly operated by Amtrak, including routes described in section 11304 of the Passenger Rail Reform and Investment Act of 2015; (3) that would provide daily or daytime service over routes where such service did not previously exist; (4) that include funding (including funding from railroads), or other significant participation by State, local, and regional governmental and private entities; (5) that include a funding plan that demonstrates the intercity rail passenger service will be financially sustainable beyond the 3-year grant period; (6) that would provide service to regions and communities that are underserved or not served by other intercity public transportation; (7) that would foster economic development, particularly in rural communities and for disadvantaged populations; (8) that would provide other non-transportation benefits; and (9) that would enhance connectivity and geographic coverage of the existing national network of intercity rail passenger service.



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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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