APTA Files Buy America Comments and FEMA Issues
Notice of Funding Opportunity for Transit Security Grant Program
APTA Files Buy America Comments
On May 13, APTA filed comments strongly supporting the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposed temporary waiver of the Buy America Requirements for Construction Materials. The request for a waiver acknowledges that the construction material requirement will take time to implement in an already constrained supply chain that threatens to implode if further uncertainty is injected into the contracting process.
In the letter, APTA also noted that we strongly believe that the current Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Buy America requirements (except for construction materials) are wholly consistent with the Build America, Buy America Act (P.L. 117-58, Division G, Title IX). Thus, APTA recommends that neither FTA nor FRA make any changes to the rigorous rolling stock and final assembly requirements under current law and regulation. In addition, options in rolling stock contracts should be subject to the same Buy America requirements as the base contract.
To view APTA’s comments on DOT’s Temporary Waiver of the Buy America Requirements for Construction Materials, please click here.
FEMA Issues Notice of Funding Opportunity
for Transit Security Grant Program
On May 13, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued an information bulletin announcing the availability of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for eight preparedness grant programs, including the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) and the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP). Applications are due on June 13, 2022.
The TSGP provides $93 million for eligible public transportation systems to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism.
FEMA has identified two national funding priorities for which eligible TSGP applicants will receive a 20 percent increase to their scores if one or more of these priorities are addressed in their investment justifications. These priorities are enhancing cybersecurity and the protection of soft targets/crowded places.
In addition, FEMA outlined second-tier priorities that help recipients implement a comprehensive approach to securing critical transportation infrastructure, including effective planning; training and awareness campaigns; equipment and capital projects; and responsiveness exercises.
On May 16, APTA hosted an informational webinar with chiefs of the DHS/FEMA Grant Programs Directorate to brief eligible applicants on the rollout of the FY 2022 TSGP NOFO. A recording will be available for all APTA members on the APTA website.
On May 18, at 2:00 p.m., FEMA will hold an outreach call for all potential applicants and partners for an overview of the TSGP and FY 2022 funding priorities. The call will include a question-and-answer session.
To view FEMA’s FY 2022 TSGP NOFO, please click here.
White House Announces New Housing Supply Action Plan –
Leverages Transportation Investments
On Monday, May 16, President Joseph Biden announced a new Housing Supply Action Plan to ease the burden of housing costs over time, by boosting the supply of quality housing in every community. The plan identifies state and local zoning and land use laws and regulations that limit the ability to build affordable housing, as well as opportunities to address these issues through transportation investment. Accordingly, the Administration plans to take the following immediate steps:
- Leveraging transportation funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Earlier this year, the Administration began using federal transportation programs to encourage state and local governments to boost housing supply, where consistent with current statutory requirements. For example, this year, DOT released three funding applications for competitive grant programs totaling nearly $6 billion in funding that reward jurisdictions that have put in place land-use policies to promote density and rural main street revitalization with higher scores in the grant process. The Administration announced that DOT will continue to include language encouraging locally driven land use reform, density, rural main street revitalization, and transit-oriented development in BIL and other transportation discretionary grant programs.
- Integrating affordable housing into DOT Programs. DOT will also issue updated program guidelines that increase financial support for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program projects that include residential development.
- Including land use within the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s investment priorities. The Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce evaluates all project applications for its competitive grants to determine the extent to which they align with EDA’s investment priorities. EDA already includes transit-oriented and infill development within its “Environmentally-Sustainable Development” priority. Over the coming year and before its next round of grants, EDA will add language to its investment priorities to encourage economic development projects that enhance density in the vicinity of the development.
To view the White House announcement of the Housing Supply Action Plan, please click here.
Register for APTA’s June 22 Legislative Advocacy Fly-In
APTA will hold its 2022 Legislative Advocacy Fly-In on June 22, with members having the option to join in person in Washington, DC, or participate virtually. The Fly-In is free to all APTA members and is financed by the APTA Business Member Activity Fund.
Your voice is instrumental as Congress advances the FY 2023 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations bill and other critical legislation.
The program includes an exclusive advocacy day training on how to communicate APTA key initiatives with your Members of Congress and what to expect the day of the Fly-In; access to the Advocacy Day platform allowing participants to access schedules and exclusive member information; talking points and toolkits for your meetings; and guidance and support as you continue to build relationships with your members of Congress after you return home. For questions, please email Melissa Mejias, Senior Legislative Representative, Government Affairs and Advocacy.