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Planning for SAFETEA-LU: MPO Listening Session

Questions on FTA Programs from the MPO SAFETEA-LU Web Conference

Q: When you are putting together the questions from the listening post could you please also advise us when "The Coordinated Public Transportation Human Services Transportation Plan" must be developed by?

This "Plan"; is a requirement for funding under the following 3 FTA programs:

  1. New Freedom funds (49 U.S.C Section 5317)
    • Under Project Selection and Planning - Beginning in fiscal year 2007, a recipient of funds (State, TMA, MPO or transit agency) under this section shall certify that all projects selected were derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan. Thus, before projects are submitted to the recipient of funds for selection, a coordinated plan should be in place

  2. Job Access and Reverse Commute (49 U.S.C Section 5316)
    • No start date is in statute, so the reqt is effective immediately. Note - a coordinated transportation plan was a prior requirement for JARC funds under TEA-21. Recipients shall certify that all projects selected were derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan. Thus, before projects are submitted to the recipient of funds for selection, a coordinated plan should be in place.

  3. Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities (49 U.S.C Section 5310)
    • Beginning in fiscal year 2007, a recipient of funds (States and local government authorities), under this section shall certify that all projects selected were derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan. Thus, before projects are submitted to the recipient of funds for selection, a coordinated plan should be in place

Since we want all 3 programs reflected in the SAME local coordination plan, we will be advising how the JARC coordination plan can be expanded in scope to address the Section 5310 and Section 5317programs.

Q: Should the MPO have endorsement and/or approval oversight of the Coordinated Public Transit Human Services Transportation Plan? Should the MPO be identified as the responsible programming/oversight entity for these programs?

There is no requirement for MPO involvement in preparing the local coordination plan - only in soliciting grantees from the proposals that are included in the Plans in TMAs. And, as with all FTA programs, projects selected for funding must be in (or consistent with) the MPO’s Plan and be in the TIP. Further, the annual list of obligated projects is a planning requirement that will necessitate active involvement by the MPO in those programs.

Other Points of Note

Using the "Plan"; as the master list, so to speak, an areawide solicitation for projects for immediate-year funding is required under the 5316 and 5317 programs, AND that solicitation must be conducted "in cooperation with the appropriate metropolitan planning organization (MPO)."; Thus, while there is no reqt that the MPO prepare the "Plan,"; the MPO should be involved in the entire process in order for that solicitation from the Plan to make sense.

Note also that under these three FTA formula programs, there is a requirement that public transit operators, including those funded under both the urbanized and non-urbanized formula programs (49 U.S.C. Sections 5307 and 5311) be participants in the local planning process for coordinated public transit/human service transportation. Also note the metropolitan planning public participation requirement that requires that Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) develop and utilize a ‘‘participation plan’’ that provides reasonable opportunities for the interested parties to comment on the content of the metropolitan transportation plan and metropolitan TIP. This requirement is intended to afford parties who participate in the metropolitan planning process a specific opportunity to comment on the plan prior to its approval, including governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations that receive Federal assistance from a source other than the Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide non-emergency transportation services and recipients of assistance under section 204 of Title 23 U.S.C. The participation plan must be in place prior to MPO adoption of transportation plans and TIPs addressing SAFETEA-LU provisions.

For more information regarding how you can comment on these programs, please go to Federal Register Notice: Wednesday, November 30, 2005 - FTA Transit Program Changes, Authorized Funding Levels and Implementation of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users; Notice on the FTA website.

Updated: 03/26/2013
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