Today (September 4), APTA released a study entitled, “Supporting Late-Shift Workers: Their Transportation Needs and the Economy”. The study showcases the needs of late-shift commuters and recommends steps transit providers and decision-makers can take to improve commuting options for this growing segment of the U.S. population. To view APTA’s press release, please click here. To view the report, please click here.

FTA Awards Expedited Project Delivery Pilot Program Grant to Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

On August 28, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awarded $125 million to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) for the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Silicon Valley Phase II project. Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams made the announcement at the Berryessa Transit Center with VTA General Manager Nuria Fernandez in San Jose, CA.

The project received the funding through FTA’s Expedited Project Delivery Pilot Program, which is a program designed to utilize Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) and innovative financing solutions to complete a project. To receive funding under this program, a system must fund at least 75 percent of the project cost with non-federal funds. In turn, FTA will expedite the review and application materials under a streamlined review process.

To view the announcement, please click here.

FTA Seeks Comment on Adjustments to Project Management Oversight Rule

On August 26, the FTA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend its project management oversight (PMO) rule. The proposal:

  • changes the definition of “major capital project” from one based on the type of project or total project cost to one based on both the amount of federal financial assistance and the total project cost;
  • increases the project cost threshold to $300 million or more of total project cost that receives $100 million or more in federal investment to be subject to PMO;
  • amends the PMO regulation to bring it into compliance with statutory changes made in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act);
  • limits project oversight to quarterly reviews; and
  • requires oversight whenever a major capital project receives federal financial assistance under any provision of federal law.

FTA estimates that the project threshold changes will decrease the number of projects subject to project management oversight by approximately 50 percent. To view the NPRM in the Federal Register, please click here.

FRA Awards FY 2017 and FY 2018 State of Good Repair Grants

On August 21, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced $272 million in State of Good Repair grants, which were allocated to 10 different projects in 10 states across the nation. The grants will be allocated from fiscal year (FY) 2017 and FY 2018 appropriations for the program. The states awarded grants are Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin. For more information on the grants, please click here.

Notice of Funding Opportunity Announced for CRISI Grants

On August 14, the FRA announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program in the amount of $244 million from FY 2019 appropriations. CRISI grant applications are due no later than October 18, 2019. For more information on how to apply for these grants, please click here.

FRA Delays System Safety Rule Implementation

On August 30, the FRA announced that it will delay plans for implementation of its System Safety Rule by six months, until March 4, 2020. This rule requires commuter and intercity passenger railroads to develop and implement a system safety program. To view the announcement in the Federal Register, please click here.

U.S. DOT Announces Interim Policies on One Federal Decision Process and NEPA Page Limits

On August 23, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced that it would make available two internal policies for public comment. To view the announcement in the Federal Register, please click here.

First, U.S. DOT issued a memorandum to implement Executive Order (E.O.) 13807, Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects. E.O. 13807 directs federal agencies to conduct environmental reviews and make authorization decisions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in a coordinated, consistent, predictable, and timely manner. It also requires agencies to use a One Federal Decision (OFD) process for major infrastructure projects, with exceptions. To view this memorandum, please click here.

Second, U.S. DOT issued a memorandum to improve the quality and reduce the length of documents prepared for compliance with NEPA. The Department reaffirmed its priority to develop shorter NEPA documents that meet applicable federal requirements and an accountability process for those instances where a document exceeds page limit goals. To view this memorandum, please click here.

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