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Frequently Asked Questions

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Answer:

Refer to the following three scenarios. Note that in each, applicants need to ensure that other federal funds (whether from FTA or another federal agency) are not used as match unless allowed by statute. 

a. Agency X works with Key Partner Y.  The project will license technology ABC. The project costs are broken down as 1) Licensing costs $80,000, and 2) Technical Installation and Integration $20,000.  If the installation and integration is performed by key partner Y as an in-kind service – may that count towards the non-Federal match?

Answer: An activity must be included in the project scope to count toward the required match.  If technical installation and integration are included in the project scope and not funded from another Federal source, they can count toward the required match.  It must be documented properly in both agencies and in the Federal Financial Reports (FFR).

b. Agency X works with Key Partner Y.  The project will create a mobility management partnership. The project costs are broken down as 1) Mobility Management Services $80,000, and 2) Marketing & Outreach $20,000.  If the marketing and outreach is performed by key partner Y as an in-kind service – may that count towards the non-Federal match?

Answer: Similar to #a, if marketing and outreach are included in the project scope and not funded from another Federal source, they can count toward the required match.  Again, this must be properly documented and reported by all institutions involved.   

c. Agency X partners with Key Partner Y to create first mile/last mile service.  Can fares generated by the service be used toward local match?

Answer: According to FTA Research, Technical Assistance, and Training Programs: Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines (Circular 6100.1E), the applicant may request authorization from FTA to use any potential program income, such as farebox revenues, to meet the cost-sharing or matching requirement of the agreement.  Note that the 20% match requirement must be met by the end of the project performance period, or the agency must make up any difference with cash.

d. Agency X partners with Key Partner Y to coordinate services.  Can revenue generated from app based advertisement and on-vehicle advertisement be used as non-federal match?

Answer: Similar to #c, the applicant may request authorization from FTA to use any potential program income, in this case, advertisement revenue, to meet the cost-sharing or matching requirement of the agreement.  Note that the 20% match requirement must be met by the end of the project performance period, or the agency must make up any difference with cash.

e. Are transportation development credits (TDC’s) eligible as a local cost share for the IMI opportunity? 

Answer: Yes, TDCs are eligible as local match for the IMI opportunity.

Answer:

The form does not allow rich text formatting in the fields on the Supplemental Form. We recommend applicants to use just normal alphabet, numbers and normal special characters.  Please keep in mind that applicants may attach materials and documentation that supports the proposal submission, including graphics, maps, letters of support and any other documents, as appropriate. Applicants are encouraged to clearly reference any relevant attachment in the supplemental form.

Answer:

There is no set limit in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) with respect to the number of proposals from the same applicant. 

Answer:

If you are a provider of public transportation, you are an eligible applicant. According to Federal transit law (49 U.S.C. § 5302(14)), the term “public transportation” means regular, continuing shared-ride surface transportation services that are open to the general public or open to a segment of the general public defined by age, disability, or low income; and does not include:

  • passenger rail transportation provided by the entity described in chapter 243 (or a successor to such entity);
  • intercity bus service;
  • charter bus service;
  • school bus service;
  • sightseeing service;
  • courtesy shuttle service for patrons of one or more specific establishments; or
  • intra-terminal or intra-facility shuttle services.
Answer:

If the state or local government is a provider of public transportation, whether operated by its own staff or by a contractor, it is an eligible applicant.  State and local governments that do not provide public transportation may serve as the applicant if they are submitting an application representing a project within their state or regional project on behalf of a public transportation provider(s).

Answer:

If the MPO is a provider of public transportation under Federal transit law, then it is an eligible applicant.  All MPOs, regardless of whether they provide public transportation services, are eligible as a project partner.

Answer:

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

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:

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

Answer:

Due to the competitive nature of this NOFO, FTA is unable to comment in advance on individual ideas from applicants.  We are unable to tell you what will be favorable or what will not. We cannot entertain hypothetical situations about your unique ideas.  We seek bold and innovative applications from eligible applicants.  However, the idea(s) you choose to propose is a business decision that you have to make, realizing that this is a competition for funds.

Answer:

FTA does not have a mechanism to facilitate partnering.  But we encourage all applicants, and public and private partners to reach out to each other to form teams for this competition.

Answer:

Yes, you may apply to IMI. However, applicants with another pending application should clearly disclose in the application that the applicant is seeking funding for the proposed project from another grant program. In the event the project is selected by the other grant program, the applicant should notify FTA and withdraw the application given the selection and duplication of applications. FTA will not award funding from two sources for the same scope of work. Additionally, DOT funds from another source cannot be used to support the local match requirement for IMI projects.

Answer:

Appropriate data will vary according to the scope and goals of the proposed project.  Applicants should consider the feasibility of obtaining and sharing data in preparing their proposals. In addition, appropriate data should be collected to support evaluation of the demonstrated system.  The following is an illustrative list of possible data types and elements:

  • Vehicle performance data with respect to operations and maintenance (e.g., dwell time, total service provided (vehicle-miles/vehicle-hours), percentage of automated vs manual operation, fuel efficiency, battery life, emissions, travel times, and average vehicle speed)
  • Automation component and system data (e.g., number and types of sensors and actuators, human-machine interface [HMI] design, confidence information in object detection and classification)
  • Safety data (e.g., notifications, disengagements, emergency driver takeover, incidents, and edge cases/near-misses, rules-of-the-road compliance; boarding and alighting incidents)
  • Costs (e.g., vehicle procurement, operation, maintenance, storage; infrastructure improvements; labor and training; other ongoing operational costs; vehicle out-of-service time)
  • Mobility impacts (e.g., passenger counts, percentage of scheduled trips completed, on-time arrival, average passenger wait time, and major origin-destination patterns, and rider demographics)
  • Human factors (e.g., on-board attendant experience and alertness, customer experience and satisfaction, accessibility metrics, and passenger safety metrics)
  • Data from ancillary systems that support non-driving bus operator functions (e.g., fare collection, ramp deployment and retraction, wheelchair securement, occupant detection, and passenger information assistance)
  • Infrastructure and system performance data (e.g., vehicle-to-infrastructure [V2I] communications and equipment, congestion, average traffic speed)
  • Cybersecurity (e.g., cybersecurity assessments [which may include threat analysis and risk assessment (TARA) results, cybersecurity mitigation measures, penetration testing results, etc.], incident frequency and response time, vulnerability data, staffing/training levels)
Answer:

The applicant may choose whether to provide one or multiple DMPs. Whichever approach they decide, the applicant should clearly indicate how the data collected addresses the goals of each area (see Section 1 of the DMP instructions).

Answer:

Applicants should provide as much detail as possible for their proposed approach to data storage and data sharing with USDOT.  At a minimum, they should provide separate line items that estimate (1) the cost of data storage and (2) the cost of data analytics or analyses.  These cost estimates should be included whether they are proposing to use an applicant system, a U.S. DOT managed system (e.g. SDC), or a third party system (see Section 3.4 of the DMP instructions).

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