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Funds must be obligated within three fiscal years after the fiscal year the funds were made available. For example, if the funds are made available in the fall of 2018, the funds must be obligated by September 30, 2021.
The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Final Rule on Private Investment Project Procedures (PIPP) establishes procedures that allow recipients of FTA funds to identify perceived impediments to the use of public-private partnerships (P3s) and private investment in public transportation capital projects either proposed or under construction and in the Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan or the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, and seek a waiver or modification of such impediments.
The Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Emergency Relief (ER) Program is authorized by Congress and enables FTA to reimburse public transit operators in the aftermath of an emergency or major disaster to help pay for protecting, repairing, or replacing equipment and facilities that may suffer or have suffered serious damage. The program also funds the operating costs of evacuation, rescue operations, or temporary public transportation service during or after an emergency.
Under the ER Program, FTA may make grants for capital projects to protect, repair, or replace damaged assets, and for operating expenses incurred while responding to a declared emergency or major disaster.
FTA cannot discuss specific applications once the debrief period ends. Agencies have 30 days to request a debrief once the selected projects are published in the Federal Register Notice (FRN).
The PIPP is intended to establish a streamlined process that allows project sponsors to seek waivers or modifications of FTA requirements in order to:
- Accelerate the project development process;
- Attract private investment;
- Increase project management flexibility; and
- Lead to more innovation, improved efficiency, and/or new revenue streams.
Congress appropriated $330 million for FTA’s Emergency Relief Program in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123), signed into law on February 9, 2018.
A full breakdown of the Allocations by Transit Operator – such as a State DOT, county, city, or local/regional transit agency.
Note: Only allocations exceeding $25,000 are being published today, though agencies whose costs are lower than that amount remain eligible for reimbursement as well.
An eligible project is one that will test an innovative project delivery technique that is prohibited by current FTA regulations or FTA policy. A PIPP waiver request cannot be used to waive or modify statutory requirements. However, if a project sponsor believes an FTA regulation or policy that implements a statutory requirement impedes P3s or private investment, and has a means of compliance with a statutory requirement that is not consistent with the FTA regulation or policy but will remove the perceived impediment to a P3, the project sponsor may propose an alternative method of compliance.
The waiver or modification request must demonstrate that the experimental feature, if approved, will advance the goals of the PIPP. FTA encourages applicants to discuss potential waiver or modification requests with FTA’s private sector liaison or the relevant FTA Regional Office prior to applying.
Direct recipients receive funding directly from FTA. Designated recipients have been designated by the state governor or his/her designee to receive and/or sub-allocate.
Eligible applicants include designated recipients, states, local governmental authorities, and Indian tribes. Eligible subrecipients may partner with eligible recipients but cannot be the primary applicant.
An applicant may submit a request for a waiver or modification to the dedicated FTA e-mail address: email@example.com, with a copy sent to the appropriate FTA Regional Office. FTA staff will coordinate the review of the request with the PIPP Steering Committee and the Regional Administrator. The FTA Administrator will notify the grant recipient in writing as to whether the request for modification or waiver is approved or denied.
If an application is approved, FTA will negotiate an Early Development Agreement (EDA) with the project sponsor to establish the parameters of the approved application.
The bulk of the appropriation, $277.525 million, is being allocated today to Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands for response, recovery, rebuilding, and resiliency projects. It is standard practice for FTA Emergency Relief Program funds to be delivered in multiple allocations, to allow affected grantees appropriate time to evaluate their needs and to assess damages.
As authorized by the appropriating legislation, a small amount of the funding ($2.475 million) will go toward administrative and oversight expenses.
FTA is allocating funding in this notice for response, recovery, and rebuilding ($232.308 million) based on emergency operations costs and detailed damage assessments submitted by affected agencies that were prepared and verified in cooperation with FTA and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).
Allocations for resilience ($44.2 million) are based first on a $5 million base allocation to each State or territory with at least $1 million in damages, with the remaining $24.2 million distributed proportionally according to damage assessments.
Only designated recipients of FTA funds, states, local governmental authorities and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for funds. If you are unsure about whether you can apply for funding, please contact your FTA Regional Office or your state’s Department of Transportation.
The waiver or modification request is the formal documentation of an applicant’s request for the use of an experimental procedure in the project development process.
The request must include the following information for it to be considered complete and reviewed by FTA:
- Provide a brief project description.
- Identify whether the project is to be delivered as a public-private partnership, as a joint development, or with another private sector investment.
- Describe in detail the role of the private sector investor, if any, in delivering the project.
- Identify the specific FTA requirement(s) that the recipient requests to have modified or waived and a proposal as to how the requirement(s) should be modified.
- Provide a justification for the modification(s) or waiver(s), including an explanation of how the FTA requirement(s) presents an impediment to a public-private partnership, joint development, or other private sector investment.
- Explain how the public interest and public investment in the project will be protected and how FTA can ensure the appropriate level of public oversight and control, as determined by the FTA Administrator, is undertaken if the modification(s) or waiver(s) is allowed.
- Provide other recipients’ concurrence with the submission of the application and waiver of the right to submit a separate application for the same project, where a project has more than one recipient at the time of application.
- Provide a financial plan identifying sources and uses of funds proposed or committed to the project.
- Explain the expected benefits that the modification or waiver of FTA requirements would provide to mitigate impediments to the greater use of public-private partnerships and private investment in the project.
Funds allocated for response, recovery, and rebuilding may be used for eligible expenses according to statute and FTA regulation, including:
- Repair / replacement of damaged or destroyed assets to a state of good repair;
- Emergency operating expenses for evacuations, temporary emergency service, disaster preparation, and temporary repairs/protective measures.
Funds allocated for resilience projects may be spent on capital projects that are designed and built specifically to address existing and future vulnerabilities to damages from disasters. Please see FTA’s Emergency Relief Manual for further detail.
PIPP waiver and modification requests will be reviewed by FTA based on the following criteria:
- Are the proposed experimental features prohibited under current policies and procedures?
- Does the waiver or modification request extend beyond procurement issues covered by the PIPP?
- Will an approved waiver or modification request improve the delivery time, quality, and/or cost of the project?
- Will an approved waiver or modification influence future Federal public transportation policy and procedures?
- 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.
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.
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.
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.