You are here

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. These FAQs are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies. FTA recipients and subrecipients should refer to FTA’s statutes and regulations for applicable requirements.

Answer:

PIPP waiver and modification requests will be reviewed by FTA based on the following criteria:

  1. Are the proposed experimental features prohibited under current policies and procedures?
  2. Does the waiver or modification request extend beyond procurement issues covered by the PIPP?
  3. Will an approved waiver or modification request improve the delivery time, quality, and/or cost of the project?
  4. Will an approved waiver or modification influence future Federal public transportation policy and procedures?
  5. Is there a plan by the project sponsor for evaluating how the features of the waiver or modification will contribute to the overall success of the project?

The overall intent of the PIPP is to foster innovation and explore the full range of opportunities to make the project delivery process more efficient. Any proposals that meet this intent and are consistent with the criteria noted above will be given strong consideration.

Answer:

A local government authority includes:

  • a political subdivision of a state,
  • an authority of at least one state or political subdivision of a state,
  • an Indian tribe, or
  • a public corporation, board, or commission established under the laws of a state.
Answer:

The FTA anticipates that the maximum grant award will not exceed $850,000, but the actual award amount may be lower, so that additional projects may be funded.

Answer:

By law, FTA evaluates and rates Capital Investment Grants Program New Starts or Core Capacity projects prior to allowing them into the Engineering phase. FTA evaluates and develops ratings for the project justification and local financial commitment criteria.

FTA also reviews the project sponsor’s Project Management Plan and subplans to ensure that the sponsor has the technical capacity and capability to deliverthe project.  Lastly, FTA reviews the project definition, scope, cost and schedule for reasonableness, undertakes and completes a risk assessment. These reviews may be expedited based on factors including the complexity of the project and the project sponsor’s management capacity and capability.

Answer:

Under MAP-21, FTA apportions 60 percent of the funds to large urbanized areas, 20 percent to States for areas under 200,000 in population (small urbanized areas) and 20 percent to States for areas under 50,000 in population. For small urbanized areas, the funds will be apportioned to the States, who are responsible for the grant and for any further suballocation of funds to the small urbanized areas. For the large urbanized areas, FTA apportions the funds to designated recipients, who are responsible for any further suballocation within the large urbanized area. A State may transfer funds apportioned to the State’s small or rural area for a project serving an area other than that small or rural area if the Governor of the State certifies that all the objectives of the section are being met in the particular small or rural area. Small and rural area apportionment may be transferred for a project anywhere in the State, if the State has established a statewide program. However, there is no provision to transfer funds from the large urbanized areas to either the small or rural areas of a State.

Answer:

You are an eligible applicant if you are a provider of public transportation, as defined by Federal transit law.

Answer:

This will vary depending on the complexity of the waiver or modification request and the project. FTA will strive to respond to complete applications within 60 days. If FTA determines an application is incomplete or if FTA has questions, FTA will not wait 60 days to respond, but will notify the applicant as soon as it makes that determination.

Answer:

The local, non-federal minimum share of the project cost is 10 percent of the total project cost.

Answer:

The appropriate documentation may vary depending on the source of local match. Examples could include a city council or board resolution to provide local match for the project or a letter from the state attesting to the availability of state funding for the project.

Answer:

FTA plans to conduct a risk assessment of New Starts and Core Capacity projects prior to entry into the Engineeringphase of its Capital Investment Grants program.  FTA may perform updates to the risk assessment and scope, cost, and schedule reviews prior to awarding a construction grant agreement.  

For Small Start projects, scope, cost and schedule reviews and a risk assessment may be conducted during the Project Development phase.  

Answer:

No. Operating expenses are not eligible under this program and cannot be counted toward the total project cost in determining the local cost share. Eligible sources of local match include the following:

  • cash from non-government sources of that revenues from providing public transportation services;
  • revenues derived from the sale of advertising and 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; new capital; or allowable in-kind contributions.
Answer:

Yes. In-kind match is permissible provided the match is eligible and documented.

Answer:

You do not need to be an existing FTA grantee to compete for this NOFO.  As long as you are a provider of public transportation, you are eligible to apply.  Please note that if you are not an existing FTA grantee, you will need to become one if selected for award, and will be responsible for compliance with any applicable Federal requirements.

Answer:

Yes. However, unobligated Section 5310 funds under SAFETEA-LU must be spent in accordance with the program requirements as authorized under SAFETEA-LU. The Program of Projects (POP) must identify which projects are being funded by SAFETEA-LU and which ones are funded by MAP-21.

Answer:

Readiness will vary depending on the elements of the project development process that are being modified or changed. Generally, a PIPP request for a waiver or modification will be submitted prior to the start of a project, but there may be circumstances later on in the process where funding mechanisms change or some other fundamental issue leads to requesting a waiver or modification under the PIPP.

Answer:

FTA has continued to refine the technical methods and adjust the probability thresholds it uses to undertake the risk assessment based on historic data from previous projects. When determining the reasonableness of a project sponsor’s cost and schedule, FTA reviews the estimates to determine whether they include reasonable assumptions or whether adjustments need to be made. FTA then examines risks related to the project to determine the appropriate level of contingency needed. FTA will use a 65% probability threshold to determine reasonableness of the cost and schedule estimates.  

Answer:

No.  Discounts on costs charged are not considered in-kind contributions and cannot be counted towards local match.  Discounts reduce the total project cost, which is used to calculate the federal and local shares.

Answer:

You can participate by partnering with an organization that is an eligible applicant under the program, such as your local public transportation providers.

Answer:

Yes. Acquisition of public transportation services is still an eligible capital expense under this section.

Answer:

As with a waiver or modification request, an applicant may submit a preliminary application to pipp.fta@dot.gov and the appropriate FTA Regional Administrator.  An application is a short narrative that articulates the basic elements of the applicant's proposed use of PIPP and provides the basis for FTA to offer the applicant a preliminary assessment of the viability of potential experimental features. As the program matures and PIPP waivers or modifications are approved, FTA will also share with the applicant information about lessons learned from previous PIPP projects that may be relevant to the proposed project.

Pages

Submit Feedback >