Public Transportation Innovation

The Federal Transit Administration?s Public Transportation Innovation program is authorized at 49 U.S.C.

5312 and seeks to advance innovative public transportation research and development.

Its primary goals are:
a. Providing more effective and efficient public transportation
service, including services to seniors; individuals with disabilities; and low-income individuals;
b. Mobility management and improvements and travel management systems;
c. Data and communication system advancements;
d. System capacity, including train control; capacity improvements; and performance management;
e. Capital and operating efficiencies;
f. Planning and forecasting modeling and simulation;
g. Advanced vehicle design;
h. Advancements in vehicle technology;
i. Asset maintenance and repair systems advancement;
j. Construction and project management;
k. Alternative fuels;
l. The environment and energy efficiency;
m. Safety improvements; or
n. Any other area that is important to advance the interest of public transportation.



To accomplish this, the Secretary may make grants and enter into contracts, cooperative agreements, and other agreements for research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects, and evaluation of research and technology of national significance to public transportation, that the Secretary determines will improve public transportation.



Innovations and Development: Total amount apportioned under this clause multiplied by the ratio of the number of low-income individuals residing on an Indian tribe?s lands divided by the total number of low-income individuals on tribal lands on which more than 1,000 low-income individuals reside.

No recipient shall receive more than $300,000 of the amounts apportioned in a fiscal year.

Activities shall focus on:
a. the development of public transportation research projects that received assistance that were successful;
b. planning and forecasting modeling and simulation;
c. capital and operating efficiencies;
d. advanced vehicle design;
e. advancements in vehicle technology;
f. the environment and energy efficiency;
g. system capacity, including train control and capacity improvements; or
h. any other area that is important to advance the interests of public transportation.

Demonstration, Deployment and Evaluation: The Secretary may make agreements with an entity to promote the early deployment and demonstration of innovation in public transportation that has broad applicability.

A demonstration, deployment, or evaluation project that receives assistance shall seek to build on successful research, innovation, and development efforts to facilitate:
a. the deployment of research and technology development resulting from private efforts or Federally funded efforts; or
b. the implementation of research and technology development to advance the interests of public transportation; or
c. the deployment of low or no emission vehicles, zero emission vehicles, or associated advanced technology
.


A comprehensive evaluation must be conducted within 2 years from the date a demonstration or deployment project receives assistance; to evaluate the success or failure of the project and to describe any plans for broad-based implementation of the innovation promoted by successful projects.

Low or No Emission Vehicle component Testing (Low-No Testing): The Secretary may enter into an agreement with at least one institution of higher education that shall be competitively selected to operate and maintain a facility to conduct testing, evaluation, and analysis of low or no emission vehicle components intended for use in low or no emission vehicles.

The institution(s) shall have:
I. the capacity to carry out transportation-related advanced component and vehicle evaluation;
II. laboratories capable of testing and evaluation; and
III. direct access to or a partnership with a testing facility capable of emulating real-world circumstances in order to test low or no emission vehicle components installed on the intended vehicle.

Component testing is voluntary; however, a low or no emission bus model must still comply with Section 5318 Bus Testing.



On October 1, 2015, the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) was repealed and incorporated into 5312 by Congress under the Fixing America?s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP): Through a cooperative agreement, the National Academy of Science will administer a public transportation cooperative research program.

An independent governing board will continue to recommend public transportation research, development and technology transfer activities.
Related Programs20.514 Public Transportation ResearchExamples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: Projects under this sections are reflected in CFDA 20.514.

Fiscal Year 2017: Projects under this sections are reflected in CFDA 20.514.

Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available


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.




Selected Recipients for this Program


RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority $ 474,232   2020-07-222026-03-30
Greensboro, City Of $ 34,400   2020-09-112025-03-30
Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority $ 350,000   2020-08-182023-12-29
Rhode Island Public Transit Authority $ 150,000   2020-06-082023-06-01
University Of Iowa, The $ 7,026,769   2020-04-092023-04-01
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, Inc. $ 43,630   2020-11-172023-03-31
Greenville Transit Authority $ 20,936   2020-09-182023-03-30
Transportation, Maine Department Of $ 240,000   2020-04-302022-09-30
Ohio State University, The $ 4,500,000   2020-01-062022-09-30
Regional Transportation Commission Of Southern Nevada, The $ 160,000   2020-06-172022-06-30



Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: No obligations until FY 2018. Accomplishments under this sections are reflected in CFDA 20.514. Fiscal Year 2017: Accomplishments under this sections are reflected in CFDA 20.514. Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

See Objectives section.

There are multiple assistance opportunities within this CFDA for research, innovation and development, demonstration, deployment, evaluation, and Low or no emission vehicle component assessment, and the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP).

Generally, the program supports research not undertaken by the private sector including studies on transit policy issues, operational efficiency, and travel behavior.

Depending on the specific funding program, the eligibility of recipients, projects, and federal share may vary.

A prohibition exists such that no grants can be made for the demonstration, deployment, or evaluation of a vehicle that is in revenue service unless the Secretary determines that the project makes significant technological advancements in the vehicle.

To the extent FTA allocates the funding through a competitive notice of funding availability, FTA will specify eligibility and requirements in a notice of funding availability (NOFA).

Government share of costs shall not exceed 80% except for Section 5312(h) which is 50% and Section 5312 (i) where there is no match required ? funding for TCRP is at 100%.

Demonstration and deployment projects must have a comprehensive evaluation of the success or failure of the funded projects within 2 years after the date on which a project received assistance.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federal Government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, including Federal laboratories; State and local governmental entities; providers of public transportation; private or non-profit organizations; institutions of higher education; and technical and community colleges.

Beneficiary Eligibility

14 ? State, 15 ? Local, 20 ? Public nonprofit institution/organization, 36 ? Private nonprofit institution/organization.

Credentials/Documentation

FTA will specify the credentials and documentation in the individual notices of funding availability published to support the various sections and program purposes. At a minimum, the initial proposal should include projects objectives, background, and project description, including time schedule, budget, and applicant?s organizational experience. Legal opinion and compliance with labor requirements are required later. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

To the extent funding is available for discretionary activities; FTA will publish specific application instructions in a notice of funding availability or a request for proposals.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, 'Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.' An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards apply to this program. 2 CFR 200 apply. In addition, FTA guidance for these programs can be found in FTA Circular 6100.1D, ?Transit Research and Technology Programs: Application and Program Management Guidelines.? Potential applicants should follow the instructions in this Circular, which may be found at the FTA website at www.fta.dot.gov.

Award Procedures

An FTA grant award obligating Federal funds is reflected in a grant agreement and/or cooperative agreement. Cooperative Agreements and Grants are awarded electronically using FTAs Transit Award Management System (TrAMS). A pre-requisite to work with the government and apply for Federal funds, you must have a valid Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and register with the System for Award Management (SAM). To access this system, a user name and password are needed and can be obtained by contacting the appropriate FTA staff. The Federal Transit Administrator makes the final decision to approve a project. An FTA grant or cooperative agreement award obligating Federal funds is reflected in a grant agreement or cooperative agreement. To access funds, the recipient must execute the grant agreement or cooperative agreement. For demonstration and deployment projects receiving assistance an evaluation of the success or failure of projects is required.

Deadlines

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

Authorization

The Fixing America?s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Public Law No. 114-94), signed into law on December 4, 2015, and effective October 11, 2015, 49 U.S.C. Section 5312/FAST Section 3008. , Public Law 114-94, 49 U.S.C 5312.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Varies.

Appeals

Not Applicable.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching Requirements: The local share requirements for Section 5312(b) research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects is at least 20% of the project cost unless increased by a clear and direct financial benefit to an entity participating in the project. The local share requirements for the Section 5312(c) research projects is at least 20% of the project cost unless increased by a clear and direct financial benefit to an entity participating in the project. The local share requirements for the Section 5312(d) innovation and development projects is at least 20% of the project cost unless increased by a clear and direct financial benefit to an entity participating in the project. The local share requirements for the Section 5312(e) demonstration, deployment and evaluation projects is at least 20% of the project cost unless increased by a clear and direct financial benefit to an entity participating in the project. The local share requirements for the Section 5312(h) low or no emission vehicle component assessment projects is 50% of the project cost unless increased by a clear and direct financial benefit to an entity participating in the project. There is no local share requirement for the Section 5312(i) Transit Cooperative Research program. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The period of time varies with the complexity of the project. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit. Funds are available until expended. Generally, the applicant is required to submit an application for a grant or cooperative agreement in response to a solicitation that will be made. FTA will determine which applicant will be awarded funding. Regularly, competitive/discretionary funding is solicited through Grants.gov. Once a project is selected to receive funds, the applicant will then be required to submit an electronic grant or cooperative agreement in FTAs Transit Award Management System to obligate the funds. All payments are handled electronically through FTAs financial systems.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

(1) Quarterly financial reports; (2) Quarterly milestone progress report; (3) Monthly progress report, as requested by FTA; (4) Special reports should be submitted when problems, delays or adverse conditions will affect the recipient?s ability to achieve project objectives within the scheduled time period or within the approved budget; (5) Periodic progress report, may be substituted by published technical papers, conference presentations or similar documentation of progress, if requested by FTA (events may occur between quarterly progress reporting); (6) Interim performance report should compare actual accomplishments with goals established for the reporting period and be submitted electronically; and (7) final technical report submitted electronically documenting project performance and the final results including Executive Summary must be submitted to FTA at the conclusion of the project.

By electronic filing, SF-425. FTA also has a number of Congressional reports it submits using the program reports from the applicants.

The Federal Financial Report SF-425.

Generally, as it relates to the national research program in its entirety: (1) Quarterly Federal Financial reports; (2) quarterly milestone progress report; and (3) interim and final reports all must be submitted electronically.

Please describe the progress reports required. (1) Quarterly federal financial reports; (2) quarterly milestone progress reports; (3) Periodic progress report, as requested by FTA; and (4) Special progress reports as approved by FTA.

(1) Quarterly Financial Status Report 269-A submitted electronically.

(2) Quarterly A Request for Reimbursement or Advance, SF-270. (3) The Federal Financial Report SF-425.

(1) Quarterly financial reports are required.

There quarterly progress reports describe accomplishments within the reporting period.

They must also provide an interim performance and final technical reports.

Special and monthly reports are required if requested by FTA.

The reports highlight progress toward project objectives and any potential problems.

Electronic filing is preferred.

(2) Detail annual report of demonstration or deployment project results for program evaluation purposes is required and must be submitted electronically.

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

Grant recipients shall retain records for 3 years following submission of a final expenditure report, pending resolution of audit findings, all project contracts documents, financial records, and supporting records.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-1137-0-1-401.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 16 $28,000,000; FY 17 est $28,000,000; and FY 18 est $0 - The first year when obligations will be noted in this CFDA is FY 2018.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$200,000 to $1,000,000. Average $400,000.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Most Federal transit laws are codified at Title 49, United States Code, Chapter 53 (49 U.S.C. chapter 53). Authorizing legislation is substantive legislation enacted by Congress that establishes or continues the legal operation of a Federal program or agency. FTA?s most recent authorizing legislation is Fixing America?s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, (Public Law No. 114-94), signed into law on December 4, 2015, and effective October 11, 2015, 49 U.S.C. Section 5312/FAST Section 3008. Fiscal Year 2016 Annual List of Certifications and Assurances for Federal Transit Administration Grants and Cooperative Agreements; FTA Circular 6100.1E for Research Projects; FTA Circular 4220.1F for Third-Party Procurements; and FTA Circular 5010.1D for Grants Management. In certain circumstances and in other fiscal years, contact the FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation is necessary. Also, consult FTA website www.fta.dot.gov. Other information will be made available upon request.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Mary Leary 1200 New Jersey Ave. S.E., Washington, District of Columbia 20590 Phone: 202-366-2204

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Guidance contained in Federal Register Notice, published Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) and Requests for proposals. FTA published notices between FY 2015 and 2016; and either has allocated the funding or is in the process of allocating funds for support.


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