- Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
Moving Americans into the 21st Century
|ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY||JUNE 1999|
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TEA-21 Delivers: One Year Anniversary
Secretary of Transportation
It is one year since enactment of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), and we have tangible results to report to the American people. States received funds in record time, allowing them to move ahead aggressively on surface transportation projects that improve safety and mobility, strengthen our ability to compete effectively in the global marketplace and protect and enhance our communities and the natural environment.
Securing the continued strength and safety of our transportation system is among the highest priorities of President Clinton. Our efforts are paying off; transportation is safer today than it was 30 years ago. In 1998, the rate of traffic fatalities in America fell to its lowest level since record-keeping began in 1966, and we have the highest level of seat belt use in our history.
Another key priority is our commitment to improving the environment for current and future generations. States and communities now have a wider array of options for improving mobility in ways that temper air, water and noise pollution and help preserve historic and natural resources. Transportation is a key part of the Clinton-Gore Livability Initiative-providing communities with the tools and resources to ease traffic congestion, preserve green space and pursue wise regional growth strategies.
Expanded opportunity for all Americans is made possible through the new access to jobs program, a continued and effective Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, and strong labor protections for transportation workers.
Transit systems across the country are also being improved and expanded with record levels of investment. Highway construction is proceeding at a rapid pace, including work on improving border crossings and trade corridors to accommodate the expanding commerce in North America. We are continuing to make progress in repairing our Nation's roads and bridges. And, we are focusing on making our overall transportation system more varied and intermodal, including not only transit and highway but also rail, bicycle, pedestrian and other alternative facilities. We are taking advantage of new and advanced technologies such as Intelligent Transportation Systems. This improved transportation system will position the United States to compete even more effectively in the global marketplace as it contributes to the well-being of our people.
TEA-21 embodies President Clinton's vision of an integrated transportation
system that will help ensure Americans' prosperity and quality of life into
the next century. We look forward to continuing to work together to make our
transportation system as safe and efficient as possible.
Human and Natural Environment
Promoting Economic Growth and Trade
Corporate Management and Crosscutting Issues
Apportionments and Allocations
The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), P.L. 105-178, was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on May 22, 1998, and signed into law by President Clinton on June 9, 1998. This month marks the one year anniversary of this landmark legislation, and the following pages highlight the progress that has been achieved during that year in delivering TEA-21 to the public.
TEA-21 embodies President Clinton's vision of an integrated transportation system helping to ensure Americans' prosperity and quality of life into the new century - it will be an important contributor to virtually every transportation project in the country in the next decade and perhaps beyond. TEA-21 reflects the commitment of the Congress and the Administration to rebuild America's infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner, while increasing safety, providing for a cleaner environment, and expanding opportunity.
Led by Secretary Rodney E. Slater, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is working with others, including state, local, and tribal governments; industry, labor, safety and environmental protection groups; and the public to implement TEA-21 consistent with the intent of Congress.
DOT pledged to establish opportunities to listen to our partners and customers explicitly about TEA-21 before implementing the new programs and provisions of the law. We conducted an extensive, national outreach to our partners and customers before developing final guidance.
From July through November 1998, the Department of Transportation conducted 12 formal outreach sessions around the country. These included six general listening sessions and six on specific programs, including the Borders and Corridors program, safety programs, the Access to Jobs program, and planning and environment. Other focus meetings were held as well. For example, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) held four outreach sessions specifically focused on highway infrastructure safety to gain input from such partners as the Roadside Safety Foundation, the American Traffic Safety Services Association, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. FHWA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) held five public meetings on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. FHWA sponsored 12 meetings with federal land management agencies, state transportation agencies, and tribal governments specifically to discuss TEA-21 provisions related to the Federal Lands Highways Program. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held more than 40 meetings with state and local governmental officials, safety advocates, and other stakeholders to discuss TEA-21 safety programs. FTA held a series of eight regional listening sessions in September and October of 1998 to learn what kind of concerns people had with respect to the implementation of TEA-21. Similarly, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) held several outreach sessions across the country on the magneticlevitation, high-speed rail, and intermodal flexibility aspects of TEA-21, and participated in workshops on innovative finance.
To allow widespread dissemination of information to the public, as well as our partners in the transportation community, we established a TEA-21 website. Its contents include: TEA-21's statutory language, a detailed summary of the Act, funding tables, program factsheets, and a section-by-section list of completed implementation actions. We are keeping that electronic resource up-to-date to facilitate easy access to Federal Register documents and other program guidance, with linkages to a variety of related websites. Hard copy publications include the TEA-21 Summary (over 60,000 copies of this "best-seller" have been distributed), as well as specialized brochures for other programs such as the Highway Safety Grant and Transfer Programs, Federal Lands Highways Program, Bicycle and Pedestrian Programs, Recreational Trails Program, Value Pricing, and Intelligent Transportation Systems.
Record Level Investment - Release of Fiscal Year
1998 and 1999 Funding
Among the most significant features of TEA-21 is its affirmation of the commitment to rebuild America by providing a record level of balanced investment in our highways, transit systems, and intermodal facilities. It does so in a fiscally responsible manner, which protects the 1997 balanced budget agreement and other vital national priorities, including education, child care, and Social Security. TEA-21 establishes a guaranteed level of federal surface transportation investment through FY 2003 that is linked to receipts into the Highway Trust Fund. We are pleased that our state and local partners across the Nation are assured of a guaranteed level of at least $198 billion for surface transportation through FY 2003, and that Congress enacted a FY 1999 budget consistent with TEA-21 which provides guaranteed funding levels of $26.622 billion for FHWA and NHTSA, $5.365 billion for FTA, plus an additional $25 million to support the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program.
Recognizing the importance of TEA-21 funds to the Nation's overall economic well-being, we made every effort to get funds into the hands of the states as quickly as possible. We made highway, safety, and transit formula apportionments immediately after TEA-21 was signed and subsequently made modifications when the technical corrections bill was enacted. Apportionments of FY 1999 contract authorizations for federal-aid highways were made on October 1, 1998; NHTSA State and Community formula funds for FY 1999 were apportioned on October 29, 1998; FTA issued its Federal Register Notice of FY 1999 Apportionments, Allocations and Program Information on October 29, 1998. (A list of basic apportionments for FY 1998 and FY 1999 can be found on pages 35-36.)
TEA-21 also established two penalty transfer provisions (Open Containers and Repeat Offenders). Joint FHWA/NHTSA interim final rules establishing these two programs were published in the Federal Register on October 6 and October 19, 1998, respectively. NHTSA and FHWA have also collaborated in formulating tables showing how much states face in transfer of federal-aid construction funds under these provisions, once they take effect.
Federal-aid Highway Obligation Limitation
In addition to releasing formula apportionments, FHWA also distributed the FY 1998 obligation limitation for the federal-aid highway program immediately following the signing of TEA-21. States moved aggressively to take advantage of the increased federal-aid highway funding available through TEA-21, and were able to use all of the FY 1998 federal-aid obligation limitation that was subject to expire if not used by the end of the year. With passage of the FY 1999 DOT and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 1999, P.L. 105-277), the distribution of obligation limitation took on the highest priority. In order to minimize delay while the details of the extensive Omnibus Appropriations Act for FY 1999, signed into law on October 21, were analyzed, a partial distribution of FY 1999 obligational authority was provided to the states. The final distribution of the full FY 1999 obligation limitation was completed on November 2. Based on our informal survey of the FHWA Division offices, we anticipate the FY 1999 federal-aid highway construction program to increase by 19.7 percent from FY 1998, and for the "state-only" investment in highway construction projects to increase by 5 percent from FY 1998 levels. Through the first 8 months of FY 1999, the states have obligated almost 70 percent of the FY 1999 obligation limitation that will expire on September 30.
On November 2, 1998, allocations were made for continuing highway programs such as the discretionary aspects of Interstate maintenance, bridge, ferry boats, public lands highways, scenic byways, and Interstate construction discretionary funds carried over from prior legislation. On April 1, 1999, the first FY 1999 quarterly report was submitted to Congress explaining how each project was selected based on the published criteria. In total, FHWA has made $678 million of FYs 1998 and 1999 discretionary funds available to the states, including recent grants for projects to help communities improve livability and others to provide safer and more efficient transportation through trade corridors and border crossings. These discretionary grants have been made in accordance with criteria published in the Federal Register. (A list of completed discretionary allocations can be found on page 34.)
NHTSA distributed incentive grants for 0.08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and drunk driving prevention in FY 1998; seat belt incentives and funds for safety data improvement grants were distributed in FY 1999. (See page 32 for more information.)
FTA has made available the New Starts and Bus discretionary funds for FY 1998 and FY 1999. For FY 1998, Bus Discretionary funds totaled $400 million, and for FY 1999, $501.4 million. New Starts discretionary funds totaled $800 million in FY 1998 and $902.8 million in FY 1999. All of these funds were earmarked in the appropriations process. FTA issued a Federal Register Notice on June 24, 1998, indicating how TEA-21 changed transit funding for FY 1998. FTA issued its annual Notice of Apportionments right after the start of FY 1999. This Notice included information on certain specific program changes, and remains a good reference for FTA grant recipients on the details of TEA-21.
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Core Highway Infrastructure Programs
TEA-21 continues the core highway infrastructure programs which include Interstate Maintenance, National Highway System, Surface Transportation Program, and Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation. Authorizations for these programs were increased 37 percent over levels authorized in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA).
We are seeing the results of ISTEA funding on bridge and pavement conditions and are optimistic that we will experience continued improvement with the increased funding from TEA-21. The percentage of deficient bridges on the NHS declined from 25.7 percent in 1994 to 23.1 percent in 1998, the latest year for which data are available. For bridges on all roads, the percentage declined from 32.5 percent in 1994 to 29.6 percent in 1998. Approximately three-quarters of federal-aid highway expenditures are for pavement-related improvements. Pavement smoothness on the National Highway System continues to improve - the percentage of kilometers on the National Highway System with acceptable ride quality increased from 90.6 in 1996 to 91.8 percent in 1997.
Federal Lands Highways
Over $1 billion was made available for FYs 1998 and 1999 to improve transportation infrastructure serving federal and Indian lands. Twelve outreach meetings were held throughout the United States with federal agencies, state transportation departments, and Indian tribal governments. The meetings provided information on changes to existing programs under TEA-21 and provided an opportunity to obtain input in the development of program procedures and guidance. In addition to the 12 meetings, FHWA participated in four Tribal Transportation Town Hall Meetings. Presentations on the changes to the Indian Reservation Road (IRR) program were presented at these meetings and input was received on how to improve programs serving Indian lands.
TEA-21 required that regulations be developed and issued for Federal Lands Highway program transportation planning procedures and bridge, pavement, safety, and congestion management systems. The advance notice of proposed rulemaking on the management system will be issued later this summer.
Also required by TEA-21 was a new IRR fund allocation formula and program procedures, to be developed under negotiated rulemaking with Indian tribal governments. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service was hired to facilitate the negotiations. Twenty-nine tribal and thirteen federal representatives were selected to serve on the Negotiating Committee. Committee protocols, issue identification, and workgroup formation were completed. The Committee plans to complete draft rules on the IRR fund allocation formula and program procedures by November 1999.
Two new Federal Lands programs were established in TEA-21. Annually, $13 million of the IRR program is reserved to fund a National Bridge Program for improving deficient IRR bridges. Draft interim guidance was published in the Federal Register in February 1999; the guidance is now being finalized. The other new program, Refuge Roads, provides funds for the maintenance and improvement of federally owned public roads that provide access to or within a National Wildlife Refuge. An interagency agreement between the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and FHWA was signed on April 12, 1999. Also, program procedures were jointly developed and the program of refuge road projects implemented.
TEA-21 required FHWA and FTA, in coordination with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the FWS to undertake a study of transit needs in national parks and related public lands. The study will identify those public lands which can benefit from alternative transportation systems and provide potential solutions that will conserve and protect fragile natural, cultural, and historic resources; prevent adverse impact on those resources; and reduce pollution and congestion, while at the same time facilitating appropriate visitor access and improving the visitor experience. A contract for this one-year study was awarded in May 1999. On May 3, 1999, DOT submitted a related study to Congress that assessed the alternative transportation system proposed at Grand Canyon National Park.
TEA-21provides our partners more flexibility in the use of funds. We have issued guidance on project oversight, transfers among programs, combining steps in authorizing projects, and finance plans. These changes establish a more streamlined delivery system.
As states continue to manage the greatly increased funding levels available through TEA-21, we anticipate greater use of federal matching flexibility provisions, including several added in TEA-21. Matching Surface Transportation Program (STP) grants program-wide on an annual basis instead of project-by-project on a quarterly basis, and greater flexibility in meeting the local match (i.e., by using other federal funds or the value of land used in a project) will assist states in addressing short-term cash flow problems and long-term matching requirements.
Design Build Contracting
This innovative contracting method allows the design and construction of a project to be performed through one procurement. This method has been proven to greatly accelerate project completion and at the same time it allows a winning firm to optimize its work force, equipment and scheduling. TEA-21 requires FHWA to develop design-build regulations within 3 years of the date of enactment. This process is now well underway and once the regulations are complete, states will be able to use design-build contracting as a matter of choice on federal-aid projects, saving time and money and reducing construction impacts.
TEA-21 established an Interstate toll pilot program that will allow the states the flexibility of converting up to three free Interstate highways to toll facilities in conjunction withreconstruction or rehabilitation of those facilities. FHWA has issued an open-ended solicitation for candidates, but none have yet been submitted.
Since the issuance of an October 5, 1998, Federal Register Notice soliciting participation in the program, three proposals have been received for consideration of Value Pricing Pilot Program (VPPP) funds. Other areas have expressed interest in the VPPP and are currently developing proposals for program participation. A VPPP brochure was recently published and will be used in future outreach efforts. An outreach session on June 25, 1999, in New York City will be followed by additional outreach sessions over the next few years to continue to solicit interest in the VPPP.
TEA-21 continues the emergency relief program, which provides funds for the repair and reconstruction of federal-aid highways and roads on federal lands damaged as a result of natural disasters or catastrophic failures. FHWA allocated approximately $440 million in emergency relief (ER) funds in FY 1998, and an additional $218 million to date in FY 1999 to states, territories and federal agencies. The funds were provided to continue relief work on previously approved disasters, as well as for initiating repairs on 22 new disasters in 18 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands that occurred since June 1998. These 22 new disasters include Hurricane Georges affecting Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and summer 1998 floods in Ohio, West Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Washington.
Highway Use Tax Evasion Projects
The Highway Use Tax Evasion program has continued to be a success under TEA-21, as it was under ISTEA. A large portion of the tax compliance funds has been made available to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the development of an automated fuel tracking system known as the Excise Files Information Retrieval System (ExFIRS). The IRS received funding early in FY 1999 and has been working diligently on two parts of the tracking system. A reporting system that centers on the fuel terminal activity, specifically, what goes into a terminal and what goes out, has been developed and is ready for a test run. The second part of the system, an information clearinghouse that is designed solely for use by states, is being developed. State involvement has been key in the success of the development of the program.
Tax compliance funds that have not been used by the IRS for ExFIRS have been distributed to the states to support state run programs. In addition, TEA-21 gives the states the opportunity to use up to 1/4 of one percent of the apportioned Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds to support efforts to halt the evasion of motor fuel taxes. One state has taken advantage of these funds to develop a state motor fuel tracking system. To date, five states have used STP funds to counter tax evasion, and at least four more are developing plans for using these funds.
Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge
Work progresses on preliminary steps in the replacement of the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge, located where I-95 crosses the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia. TEA-21 permits use of the total of $900 million authorized for FYs 1998-2003 for continued maintenance and rehabilitation of the existing bridge, design of the overallproject and right-of-way acquisition. However, an agreement defining ownership of the new structure and setting forth a detailed financial plan and schedule for the project is required before any of these funds can be used for construction. The Administration is exploring funding alternatives to close the gap between this authorization and the currently estimated $1.89 billion required to complete the project. Pursuant to an April 15 court decision, construction is delayed until environmental and historic preservation concerns under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Air Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Department of Transportation Act are addressed. While the Administration's appeal of parts of the court's order is pending, it is continuing to work closely with the jurisdictions involved on environmental studies required by the court decision.
TEA-21 authorizes 191 New Starts projects, and requires FTA to rate these projects "Highly Recommended," "Recommended," or "Not Recommended." The recently published annual New Starts report rated the 40 or so projects now in Final Design or Preliminary Engineering. The existing New Starts policy was used to rate the projects, since TEA-21 made only minor changes in the statutory criteria. While a number of projects were rated "Not Recommended," most of these are so rated because the local financial plans are not yet far enough along, and local financial commitments are not yet in place. The ratings are for FY 2000; they can be updated if the financial plans are completed and commitments are made.
One of the key factors in choosing which projects to fund (besides obtaining a rating of "Recommended" or better) is readiness. Full Funding Grant Agreements will be signed only when costs are well defined. Projects which are "Highly Recommended" and "Recommended" also have to be in a position to have their cost estimates complete, local funding sources established, and local priorities set.
A notice of proposed rulemaking on New Starts was issued on April 7, 1999, defining the New Starts rating process in more detail, and implementing other TEA-21 New Starts changes.
Capital Investment Grants
TEA-21 requires FTA to issue regulations on the manner in which candidate projects for capital investment grants and loans for new fixed guideway systems and extensions to existing systems will be evaluated and rated. FTA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on April 7, 1999, that describes the procedures to be used by FTA in the project evaluation and rating process. The rule will enable FTA and Congress to identify those new starts projects that should be funded in part by the federal government.
In accordance with the FY 1999 Appropriations Act, funding for the Clean fuels formula grant program was merged with funding provided for the replacement, rehabilitation, and purchase of buses and related equipment under the bus category of the Capital Program. A rulemaking to implement the program is being developed for use in FY 2000.
One of the key changes TEA-21 made in the transit program was the elimination of operating assistance for urbanized areas over 200,000. At the same time, capital costs were redefined to include preventive maintenance. FTA, in its apportionment notice of June 24, 1998, provided guidance on the treatment of preventive maintenance as being eligible for FTA capital assistance under TEA-21. Preventive maintenance is considered to include all maintenance costs, as defined in the National Transit Database reporting manual. This change has gone very smoothly. In nearly all cases, the change in the definition of capital has had the intended effect of providing the flexibility local systems need to easily make the transition to an all-capital program.
Fuel Cell Transit Bus and Facilities Program
TEA-21 continues support for the Fuel Cell Transit Bus and Facilities Program. The Program will provide the preliminary engineering and development activities necessary for the domestic, commercial production of fuel cell powered, full-sized transit buses. The Program is synergistic with on-going automotive development efforts by major car manufacturers, and advances fuel cell technology for transportation application. A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is near completion between FTA and Georgetown University to establish the maximum federal funding for the completion of this project to develop commercially viable fuel cell transit buses. The MOA will set forth the scope of effort, mutual understandings, terms and conditions, rights and obligations of FTA and Georgetown related to implementing and completing the Program.
Advanced Technology Pilot Project (Urban Maglev Program)
This new TEA-21 authorization provides $5 million per year through FY 2003 for the development of low speed magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) technology to demonstrate energy efficiency, congestion mitigation, and safety benefits. In addition, MAGLEV technology supports other Departmental strategic goals by advancing mobility and accessibility and strengthening America's economic growth and trade. On January 29, 1999, FTA issued a Federal Register Notice announcing the establishment of an overall Urban Magnetic Levitation Transit Technology Development Program (Urban MAGLEV Program) which includes the Pilot Project. The Notice described the statutory basis of the program, requested comments on the proposed approach, and solicited proposals for Urban MAGLEV Program consideration. Eight proposals have been received and evaluated by the FTA. An announcement of selections for the first portion of the program is expected shortly.
Revised Program Guidance Circulars
To make it easier for grantees to comply with the new requirements of TEA-21, FTA revised and updated its program guidance circulars, effective October 1, 1998. They include (1) Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application Instructions; (2) Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions; (3) Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions; (4) Capital Program: Grant Application Instructions; and (5) Grant Management Guidelines.
High-speed Rail Development
The Next Generation High-speed Rail Technology program was continued by TEA-21. A cooperative agreement was announced on October 8, 1998 by FRA with the Bombardier Transportation Company to develop a high-speed, light weight, non-electric locomotive which will permit operating speeds of 150 mph over rights-of-way shared with freight and conventional passenger trains. The agreement calls for a two year development period and equally shared cost estimated to total $25 million. A number of initiatives are continuing to further positive train control and grade crossing hazard reduction.
Magnetic Levitation Transportation Technology Deployment Program
The MAGLEV transportation technology deployment program is a new TEA-21 authorization to encourage the construction of an operating magnetic levitation system for use by the public that will operate at a speed in excess of 240 miles per hour. Funding under this program may be used for three principal activities; (1) preconstruction planning activities; (2) final design, engineering and construction activities for one high-speed MAGLEV system to be selected by the Secretary; and (3) grants for research and development of low speed superconductivity magnetic levitation technology related to public transportation in urban areas. On May 24, 1999, DOT awarded grants for preconstruction planning of MAGLEV projects to seven specific states and authorities.
On November 2, 1998 FHWA released $59.3 million in FYs 1998 and 1999 funds for 29 Ferry Boat discretionary projects. DOT is working on a National Ferry Study required by TEA-21. Notification of the data collection effort has been published in the Federal Register and a scope of work is near completion and ready to begin.
High Priority Projects
TEA-21 authorized $9.4 billion for 1,850 high priority projects designated in the legislation. Shortly after TEA-21 was enacted, the FHWA allocated approximately $1 billion to the projects for FY 1998 along with implementing guidance for this program; an additional $1.4 billion was allocated to the projects for FY 1999.
Transportation System Operations
During the 20th century, great progress was made in transportation through the construction of our transportation system. In the 21st century, increased mobility, improved safety, an enhanced environment, and a higher quality of life will come from our use of technology and improvements in the operation of the transportation system. As we implement TEA-21, we have begun to emphasize the need to improve the operation of the national transportation system.
The intelligent transportation systems (ITS) program is aimed at solving congestion and safety problems, improving operating efficiencies in transit and commercial vehicles, and reducing the environmental impact of growing travel demand. Prior to TEA-21, its focus was on the research, development, and operational testing. TEA-21 prompted an expansion of the ITS program beyond developing benefits. The primary thrust of the program is now focused on developing, disseminating, and teaching technical skills so that those investing in ITS can exercise properstewardship. As part of this emphasis on deployment, proven technologies that are technically feasible and highly cost effective will be deployed nationwide as a component of the surface transportation systems of the United States. ITS will reduce transportation system life-cycle costs by approximately 25 percent, which would amount to $30 billion over the next decade. Over the next 20 years we are forecasting that putting an ITS infrastructure in place will create a $420 billion market and 600 thousand new jobs.
National ITS Architecture
TEA-21 contains a provision that requires all ITS projects funded through the Highway Trust Fund to conform with the national ITS architecture and standards. In October 1998, DOT issued interim guidance on the subject. The interim guidance requires identification of major ITS projects and assessment of their integration opportunities, and encourages planning for ITS implementation through development of a local architecture.
A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is currently under development that will put forth a proposed final policy. The NPRM is expected to be published in the Federal Register for public comment in late summer or early fall 1999. The policy approach proposes development of an ITS integration strategy as part of the transportation planning process. It further proposes use of approved federal ITS standards on any ITS project.
A six-person task force was established to support the implementation of the interim guidance and, ultimately, the final policy. The task force provides individual support to FHWA field staff to ensure clear understanding and evenness of interpretation of the policy. Twelve standards have been approved in this first year of TEA-21, and another 28 out of 55 currently under development have been brought to ballot by the several standards setting organizations.
TEA-21 requires DOT to submit a report to Congress identifying which ITS standards are "critical to ensuring national interoperability or critical to the development of other standards, and specifying the status of the development of each standard identified." Under TEA-21, the Secretary is authorized to establish a "provisional" standard for any identified critical standard that cannot be developed or approved by the responsible standards development organization by January 2001.
In December of 1998, DOT issued a Federal Register notice on critical standards, inviting public comments on the initial proposed criteria and list of critical standards. The Department also received input from an advisory group of public and private industry stakeholders convened by the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America). The report to Congress, a collaborative effort among ITS stakeholders in establishing criteria and identifying current ITS critical standards, was completed in June of 1999.
While the discretionary ITS funds made available by TEA-21 were subsequently earmarked by Congress, we believe the guidelines established in TEA-21 for the use of those funds are sound. We intend to use ITS deployment as a bridge to incorporate the use of this technology in the mainstream of transportation planning, construction, and operation.
Intelligent Vehicle Initiative
ITS holds great promise for enhancing safety, and we are working to realize this potential. One of the foremost examples of this is in the Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI). The primary goal of the IVI is to accelerate the development, introduction, and commercialization of driver assistance products to reduce motor vehicle crashes and incidents by working jointly with the motor vehicle and trucking industries, state and local transportation agencies, and other stakeholders. The following are a few recent examples of some of the potential life saving work undertaken in IVI.
Commercial Vehicle Operations
The Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) deployment program organizes commercial vehicle operations-related information systems and communication networks owned and operated by federal and state governments, carriers, and other CVO stakeholders, allowing them to operate in an integrated manner. The ten CVISN states have accomplished a great amount of work in testing various components. We expect the prototype states of Maryland and Virginia and the pilot state of Kentucky to complete the deployment of core systems and components related to CVISN Level 1 capabilities in the areas of safety information exchange, credentials administration, and roadside electronic screening by early FY 2000, the pilot states of California and Minnesota by December 31, 2000, and the remaining pilot states of Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington by December 31, 2001, depending on the availability of deployment incentive funds.
Advancing Research and Technology (R&T)
President Clinton's Transportation Science and Technology Strategy notes that our "ability to harness the power and promise of leading-edge advances in technology will determine, in large measure, our national prosperity, security, and global influence, and with them the standard of living and quality of life of our people." Technology offers particular promise for transportation, where it can improve the performance of our system and increase capacity, especially in our major cities where new construction may be too expensive or environmentally unsound. Innovations in transportation, such as advanced collision avoidance systems, have the potential to save hundreds of lives. Technology also offers the promise of speeding travel and freight movement. TEA-21 establishes a strategic planning process that will allow us to develop national priorities for surface transportation and measure the results and impacts.
Strategic Research and Technology Planning
DOT has recently completed the first edition of a strategic plan for transportation research and technology as required by TEA-21. This plan will help determine national R&T development priorities related to surface transportation, coordinate national R&T activities, measure results and impacts, and coordinate reporting. We are actively working with key partners and customers to advance transportation research across all modes.
Surface Transportation-Environment Cooperative
As part of the new Surface Transportation-Environment Cooperative Research Program established in TEA-21, the Secretary of Transportation is directed to establish an Advisory Board to recommend environmental and energy conservation research, technology, and technology transfer activities related to surface transportation. These recommendations will provide a national framework for future research, and will be a significant resource to the individual planning efforts of all organizations conducting research in transportation planning and environment. The Advisory Board will be a standing committee of 15 to 20 members, appointed by the National Research Council, with strong participation by state and local transportation and environmental representatives. FHWA is finalizing an agreement with the National Research Council's Transportation Research Board (TRB) to facilitate the ongoing activities of the Board.
The FHWA is actively working with key partners and customers to advance a comprehensive national R&T agenda. An R&T Partnership Forum, comprised of a number of public sector, academia, and private sector groups, has agreed to work together in the areas of safety, infrastructure renewal, operations and mobility, planning and environment, and policy analysis and system monitoring to discuss R&T program needs and opportunities to jointly advance a national research agenda. Working groups are being formed to address each of these areas, with major stakeholders being asked to participate. The TRB and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), especially, have been working closely with the FHWA on this initiative.
This process represents a long-term commitment among partners to discuss and share common goals and objectives, agree on relative roles and responsibilities, and join in accomplishing a set of R&T priorities which address national needs and opportunities. FHWA continues to expand its partnerships and cost sharing arrangements in its R&Tprogram, pursuing cooperative research and development agreements including several pooled fund efforts with private industry and universities in several areas with many successful ventures now underway.
Surface Transportation Research
The Surface Transportation Research Program funds research, development, testing, and technology transfer activities for transportation planning and development and motor carrier transportation. In cooperation with major stakeholders, we are pursuing stronger partnerships to define and carry out a national highway R&T agenda. Where strong partnership support has already been established, programs have begun or are continuing. For instance, significant state support has allowed the Superpave and Long Term Pavement Performance programs to continue to address high priority issues. Action has been taken on awarding the funds to specified institutions under Surface Transportation Research, University Grants, and Transportation Technology Innovation and Demonstration Program, with an emphasis on integrating these awards into the national program by focusing work on national priorities. Through TRB we have initiated a study for a future strategic highway research program. A committee has been established and will meet in late June to develop plans for an extensive outreach effort that will begin in the Fall of 1999. Advanced research has been funded for materials characterization, simulation and modeling, and advanced mathematics for highway applications.
Training and Education
Our education and training programs reach a broad audience of federal, state, local, and tribal constituencies with technical training to elevate the knowledge needed in the construction, operations, and maintenance of the transportation infrastructure. In FY 1999, the National Highway Institute has conducted over 340 presentations and trained over 7400 participants; about 68 percent of these participants were from state DOTs.
TEA-21 has given the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) opportunities to seek partnerships in delivering its programs. Some LTAP centers have received additional funding from their DOTs, others are developing transportation-related training courses for other agencies (such as the state Disadvantaged Business Enterprise offices), and several are involved in training exchanges with other LTAP centers. These leveraging activities assist the network of 57 LTAP centers in providing technology transfer services to almost 39,000 units of local and tribal government.
The Bridge Maintenance Workshop conducted by the National Highway Institute helps better prepare tribal staff for a full construction and maintenance role for bridges on tribal lands. Through a coalition of university, tribal, federal, and state experts, the course will be modified to more closely address the types of bridges typically found on these lands. This training will be conducted as a train-the-trainer course to not only provide technical knowledge to participants, but to also prepare them for sharing the knowledge with others.
International Highway Transportation Outreach
TEA-21 included a specific authorized amount for this program. The FHWA continued its technology transfer programs with South Africa, Tanzania, Latin America, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic. These initiatives focus on transferring appropriate U.S. technology and building relationships between U.S. federal and state levels of governments and their foreign counterparts. The FHWA has also expanded its efforts to increase the number of activities co-funded by its external partners. One example is a jointly sponsored international technology scanning program with AASHTO. A new provision in TEA-21 gives the states additional flexibility by allowing the use of State Planning and Research funds for any of the activities under this program.
Joint Partnership Program
TEA-21 established a Joint Partnership Program (JPP) to assist in the deployment of transit innovation. This program will allow the Secretary to enter into agreements to promote the early deployment of innovations in mass transportation services, management, operational practices, or technology that have broad applicability. On October 2, 1998, FTA issued a Federal Register Notice announcing the establishment of this new program in the masstransportation industry, describing the statutory basis of the JPP, requesting comments on the proposed approach, and soliciting initial proposals for JPP consideration.
International Mass Transportation Program
TEA-21 established the international mass transportation program to support such activities as advocacy of American transit products and services overseas and cooperation with foreign public sector entities on research. A Federal Register Notice providing guidance for implementation of this program is planned for June 1999. A bilateral workshop with France was conducted on May 24, 1999 in Toronto, reviving a long-standing cooperation agreement which is to be updated to reflect advances in technology, such as intelligent transportation systems.
The Next Generation High-Speed Rail Technology Development Program began in 1995 and was reauthorized in TEA-21. States and their partners are pursuing high-speed rail options, not only to reduce congestion, but to protect the environment and improve safety.
Train Control Advancements
An advanced positive train control demonstration project will operate on a designated high-speed rail corridor between Chicago and St. Louis to demonstrate the use of global positioning locators and computer controlled advanced radio systems to prevent train collisions and unauthorized train operating speeds. The project is expected to lead to lower railroad costs and the advancement of high-speed rail in key corridors across the country. In Michigan, testing at over 100 mph of an Incremental Train Control System is continuing, including use of digital radio links to coordinate operation of grade crossing warning systems. The FRA has made a total of $10 million in grants for this project.
On October 8, 1998, an agreement was announced for the development of a prototype of a non-electric high-speed locomotive for high-speed trains by the year 2000. The agreement calls for development of a 4,000-horsepower locomotive that will permit high-speed passenger service without need for the electric power transmission systems ordinarily required for high-speed rail systems. This project is being coordinated with a project to develop a flywheel energy storage system to further enhance the acceleration capability of the locomotive. A total of $10 million has been awarded through FY 1999 for the first phase. Funding is matched 50/50 by private industry.
Test Track Upgrade
The FRA recently completed the upgrade of the 15-mile test track at the Transportation Test Center in Pueblo, Colorado to permit testing of Amtrak's 150 miles per hour electric trainset that will operate in the Northeast Corridor by the end of 1999.
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Safety is the Department of Transportation's top priority. Although transportation is safer today than it was 30 years ago, transportation-related incidents still take a terrible toll. Lives lost in transportation crashes account for almost half of all accidental deaths and place a huge burden on our economy - an estimated $150 billion annually. We are committed to improving safety, recognizing that we will continue to face rapid growth in travel as well as changing demographics that affect safety such as the increase in older drivers and the dispersion of housing, shopping and other services that are not well served by traditional transit.
TEA-21 expands and strengthens our successful highway safety programs, and adds several new ones. We have issued implementing regulations for all of the new and amended highway safety programs in TEA-21 that Congress intended to be in effect in FY 1999. Moreover, we issued them in time for the state legislatures to consider responsive legislation in their 1999 legislative sessions. In so doing, we have maximized the states' opportunities to qualify for highway safety grants and avoid penalties. We issued the regulations as interim final rules, so that they would take effect before the legislatures convened but could be quickly amended in response to comments. These programs and the status of their implementation are discussed below.
Driver and Vehicle Safety Programs
The highway death rate fell to a record low in 1998, to 1.6 deaths per 100 million vehicle-miles traveled, with the help of programs like the State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program, the highway safety research and development programs, and the Drunk Driving Prevention Incentive Grant Program. Alcohol-related traffic fatalities also dropped to a record low. The funding and incentive grants provided in TEA-21 present the challenge, and the opportunity, to continue to reduce the drain that highway crashes place on the economy and families.
Seat Belt and Occupant Protection Programs
TEA-21 authorizes $500 million over FYs 1999-2003 for a new program of incentive grants to encourage states to increase seat belt use rates. The amount of allocated funds states receive are based on calculations of the annual savings to the federal government in medical costs, which result from the states' improvement of their seat belt use rates. States may use these awards for any project eligible for assistance under Title 23 U.S.C. On October 26, 1998, FY 1999 grants totaling $53 million were made to 38 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico, representing the savings in federal medical costs in those states. Fourteen recipients qualified by exceeding the national average use rate for the previous 2 calendar years, and 26 qualified by improving their seat belt use rate from FY 1996 to FY 1997. The interim final rule describing seat belt survey methodology was published on September 1, 1998, and the interim final rule describing calculation of medical savings was published in the Federal Register on October 29, 1998. As a result of this new program, all states but one are using the new survey methodology, providing a significantly higher level of consistency and reliability to the national average derived from state data.
In FY 1999, available funding in this program which was not allocated to states in seat belt grants was allocated, as TEA-21 provides, to the Surface Transportation Program. Beginning in FY 2000, the Act directs that unallocated funds will be awarded to states for innovative programs to improve seat belt use. NHTSA's request for innovative proposals was published in the Federal Register on January 7, 1999. In April, 48 states submitted applications for FY 2000 funds; these proposals are now under review.
In addition, TEA-21 established a new $68 million, 5-year Occupant Protection incentive grant program for states that demonstrate that they have in place certain occupant protection laws and programs, such as primary seat belt use laws and special traffic enforcement programs. NHTSA issued an interim rule establishing criteria and procedures for these new grants on October 1, 1998; grant applications from states for FY 1999 are due by August 1, 1999. Also, criteria and procedures are being developed for the $15 million Child Protection Education grants, authorized in TEA-21 for FY 2000 and 2001 for states that carry out child passenger protection and education activities.
TEA-21 provides for incentive grants for FYs 1998-2003 to states that have enacted and are enforcing a law providing that any person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater while operating a motor vehicle in the state shall be deemed to have committed a per se offense of driving while intoxicated. In September 1998, FHWA and NHTSA jointly published an interim final rule in the Federal Register, and information was sent to the states regarding the program and funding apportionments. Fifteen states were awarded a total of $49 million in incentive grants under this program on September 3, 1998. States could choose to use these grant funds for any highway safety or infrastructure program in Title 23, United States Code (U.S.C.); in this first year, almost 80 percent was directed to highway safety activities. As a result of this program, most of the 15 grantees in the first year have doubled the safety funding available in their State and Community Highway Safety Grants programs. In FY 1999, grants are expected to be awarded to at least 18 jurisdictions: the states that received grants in FY 1998; the state of Washington, where a 0.08 BAC law became effective on January 1, 1999; the District of Columbia, where a 0.08 BAC law was signed into law on March 27, 1999; and Texas, where a 0.08 BAC law will become effective on September 1, 1999.
All of the modal administrations at the DOT, in concert with other federal, state and local partners, have been working to establish "Safe Communities," community-based injury control programs which address transportation safety problems at the local level. While there are no funds specifically set aside for this purpose, funds from a variety of DOT programs, as well as other public and private sector funding, may be used to support Safe Communities activities. For example, Safe Communities are eligible to receive funding from NHTSA's State and Community Grant Program, FHWA's Surface Transportation Program, and Coast Guard's Recreational Boating Safety Program.
The Safe Communities initiative is growing rapidly, and has become a top Departmental priority. The program now includes over 632 American communities, exceeding our 1999 goal of 600 Safe Communities. By the end of 2000, we hope to have 1,000 Safe Communities in the program. Our ultimate goal, of course, is for every Americancommunity to be a "Safe Community," and the funding authorized in TEA-21 will assist us in achieving our goal.
State Highway Safety Data Improvement
TEA-21 established a new incentive grant program, funded at $32 million over 4 years, to encourage states to improve their highway safety data and traffic records systems. An interim final rule establishing eligibility criteria and procedures was published in the Federal Register on October 8, 1998, announcing the steps a state may use to apply for the data grants. In March, FY 1999 data improvement grants totaling $4.8 million were awarded to 47 states, the District of Columbia, all the territories, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs; only three states did not apply.
State and Community Highway Safety Grants
TEA-21 authorized $932.5 million over 6 years to continue the keystone of NHTSA's efforts in highway safety, the State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program. Under this program, NHTSA gives formula grants to states, set by statute, to conduct programs to reduce traffic crashes and resulting deaths, injuries, and property damage. NHTSA also gives technical assistance to states and local communities to develop and implement their highway safety programs.
Highway Safety Research and Development
The reauthorized Highway Safety Research and Development Program has been instrumental in the development of programs to increase seat belt use including the biannual Operation ABC Mobilization: America Buckles Up Children. Other programs in development include efforts to reduce impaired driving, aggressive driving and drowsy driving, to improve emergency medical services, and to address issues of concern to rural and aging drivers.
National Driver Register
A final rule was issued in April 1999 to facilitate participation by federal agencies in the National Driver Register (NDR) problem driver pointer system and to implement other technical changes to the NDR enacted in TEA-21.
Automobile Safety and Information
Continuing Motor Vehicle Safety, Information, Research and Standards programs include the publication of the proposed rule to upgrade the occupant protection standard to require advanced air bags designed to enhance the benefits of air bags while reducing air bag deployment risks for infants, young children and adults, and the vehicle selection and scheduling of crash testing of motor vehicles under the New Car Assessment Program. In addition, research on school bus occupant protection, trunk latch releases, and a new crash test dummy family with improved injury criteria that better represent human tolerances are in process.
Motor Carrier Safety
DOT has established a bold goal to reduce fatalities in crashes involving commercial vehicles by 50 percent over the next decade. TEA-21 authority for stronger enforcement, increased funding for roadside inspections, and tougher penalties for violations of safety regulations are being used to meet this goal.
Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program
In FY 1999, we have distributed $85 million in Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) funds to states (see table on page 33). About 80 percent of these funds support the salaries of state safety inspectors who conduct more than 2 million roadside driver and vehicle inspections each year, including 33,000 bus inspections. Each year, FHWA trains approximately 100 state employees to conduct compliance reviews; 1,000 state motor carrier enforcement personnel to perform commercial motor vehicle inspections; and 500 state MCSAP officers to conduct motor coach inspections.
With TEA-21, MCSAP has moved from an activity-based program to a performance-based one. The program is now based on achieving crash reduction outcomes. This approach, pilot tested by FHWA and the states beginning in 1996, is now implemented in all states, ahead of the TEA-21 year 2000 requirement. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued March 9, 1999, implements provisions of TEA-21, revises the MCSAP funding distribution formula, and creates a new incentive funding program.
TEA-21 set aside special MCSAP funding to support national priority activities. Drug interdiction training courses have been held throughout the U.S. for state and local police agencies; judges, prosecutors, police, and legislators have been educated on the importance of motor carrier safety enforcement; a study is examining driver deferral and diversion programs in the states; a new driver/brake testing protocol is being tested; and the feasibility of using infra-red technology to inspect brakes is being studied, just to name a few of the national priority programs.
TEA-21 is funding needed improvements to the federal and state information systems designed to identify the high-risk motor carrier, allowing us to get more complete and timely information on carriers and drivers. Six additional states have signed agreements to join the Performance and Registration Information System Management Program (PRISM), bringing to 11 the number of participating states. PRISM links safety data with state vehicle registration information to help identify carriers prone to crash involvement and applies a progressive set of sanctions, including loss or denial of vehicle registration privileges, to those carriers that do not improve their safety records.
The information system funds will also be used to improve the commercial driver program. We are examining improvements to the CDL licensing and testing program and a graduated license for truck drivers. Under the Driver History Initiative, nine states have received a total of $1.2 million to examine their current driver licensing procedures and determine how they could provide more timely, accurate, and complete reports on traffic convictions within the state and among states.
TEA-21 Information Systems funding is supporting several critical data analyses. One analysis is being conducted to define the differing segments of the trucking industry and describe what the safety differences are among these segments. Another effort is underway to identify the causes of serious large truck crashes.
Safety Enforcement and Compliance
TEA-21 also made changes to the enforcement program. Any motor carrier determined to be unfit will be prohibited from operating in interstate commerce. This provision expandedauthority that was only available in the past for passenger and hazardous material carriers. Program guidance was issued on April 22, 1999, establishing a goal of completing 4 to 5 compliance reviews per safety investigator per month, a major increase in oversight of motor carrier safety operations.
TEA-21 also prescribed higher penalties for violations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). A penalty of up to $10,000 can be assessed for each separate violation without the need to confirm a pattern of violations or establish that a violation is likely to lead to serious injury or death. Record keeping violations that conceal a fact constituting a serious violation lead up to a $5,000 penalty per violation. This action could generally increase fines as much as 100 percent. In September, 1998, a hotline was established for drivers to report potential safety violations. A toll-free number is now operating (1-888-DOT-SAFT).
TEA-21 requires the issuance of a final rule on retrofitting trailers with conspicuity treatments. A final rule was issued on March 31, 1999 requiring interstate motor carriers to retrofit semitrailers and trailers manufactured before December 1, 1993, with retro reflective tape or reflex reflectors along the sides and rear. This will help drivers of other vehicles see these vehicles at night and in conditions of reduced visibility.
TEA-21 continues the 10 percent Surface Transportation Program (STP) set-aside for safety construction, providing more than $630 million to states in FY 1999 and approximately $3 billion over 6 years. Project eligibility is expanded to include off-roadway safety and bicycle improvements. In FY 1999, FHWA has made available $154.8 million to states to be used exclusively for rail-highway crossing improvements or elimination. Another $162 million in FY 1999 has been made available exclusively for hazard elimination. The remainder of the STP safety set-aside, approximately $315 million, is available for either of these two programs, at the states' option. In addition, other categories of federal highway funding, for example, National Highway System (NHS), Interstate Maintenance, and general STP funds, may be used by states for safety improvements.
TEA-21 designates safety and security of the transportation system as one of seven newly established areas to be considered in the overall transportation planning process, both at the statewide and metropolitan levels. This is the first time safety has been named as a planning factor and it has great potential to increase highway safety by building safety in from the start of the planning process.
The changes resulting from this legislation significantly affect the responsibilities and decisions made by safety specialists. Consciously considering safety is an essential factor in reducing the number of highway-related fatalities and serious injuries. To enhance their understanding and knowledge, more than 125 DOT field personnel attended a Safety Integration Conference held in Washington, D.C. Conference topics addressed safety data needs, safety issues, safety programs and processes. In a ONE DOT approach, a panel discussion with panelists from FHWA and NHTSA highlighted the specific changes and the impacts on the safety programs resulting from TEA-21.
Highway-Rail Crossing Hazard Elimination in High-speed
On December 11, 1998, FRA published a notice in the Federal Register regarding the availability of funds for the expanded program of grade crossing hazard elimination in high-speed rail corridors, including instructions on how a state should apply for having one of its intercity corridors designated as a high-speed rail corridor. FRA received applications for designation from two states and is considering these in addition to the eight existing corridors. The Secretary recently announced the expansion of two previously designated corridors: the addition of a Chicago-Cincinnati leg to the Chicago Hub and the addition of legs from Charlotte to Atlanta and Macon and from Raleigh to Savannah and Jacksonville to the Southeast Corridor. Later this summer we will award approximately $7 million in grants to states for this program.
TEA-21 provides funding to eliminate railway-highway crossing and railroad trespasser accidents. This effort is implemented through Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI), an independent, nonprofit organization sponsored by federal, state, and local governments, highway organizations, and railroads whose mission is not only to educate the public about grade crossing hazards, but also the dangers of rail trespassing. This is especially important since in 1997, for the first time, the number of people killed while trespassing on train tracks was greater than the number killed at railway-highway grade crossings. A cooperative agreement finalized between FHWA and OLI calls for OLI to deliver a national public awareness and safety program promoting education, enforcement, and engineering to reduce collisions, deaths, and injuries at railway-highway grade crossings.
This new program seeks to reduce unintentional damage to underground facilities during excavation, along with attendant risks to the public and the environment. It encourages states to establish or improve existing one-call notification systems. Such systems receive notification from excavators of their intent to excavate in a certain area and notify underground facility operators so that they may mark their lines to prevent damage. DOT established a wide-ranging team shortly after the passage of TEA-21, to identify and evaluate practices used to prevent damage to underground facilities during excavation. The results of the damage prevention and best practices activities will be announced at a public meeting on June 30, 1999. This meeting will be the kickoff for the national damage prevention campaign. TEA-21 also establishes a new 2-year program under which states may apply for grants to enhance one-call systems; authorizations are provided, subject to appropriation, for grants in FYs 2000 and 2001.
Recreational Boating Safety
TEA-21 created a stable funding base-$59 million for the states, and $5 million for the Coast Guard-to improve recreational boating safety. Recreational boating fatalities currently account for the second highest number of transportation-related deaths. State Recreational Boating Safety allocations for FY 1999 were issued by the U.S. Coast Guard in December of 1998. In response to the solicitation for FY 1999 grant proposals from national nonprofit public service organizations published in the Federal Register in October of 1998, 71 proposals were submitted by 30 organizations. Thirty-two projects have been selected for funding. Solicitation for FY 2000 nonprofit grant proposals will be published in the Federal Register in October of 1999. Efforts are underway to use new mandatory funding for the Coast Guard to improve oversight of manufacturer compliance with safety standards; conduct national boating surveys to identify boating safety problems/issues; increase outreach efforts; and implement technology innovationsand productivity improvements, e.g., enhancing the Coast Guard Infoline and the Boating Safety web site (www.uscgboating.org).
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Major national legislation has been enacted to protect our air and water as well as the vast cultural, historic, and natural resources important to our quality of life. Transportation's impact on air, water and noise pollution are well known, as are the potential impacts on wildlife habitat and ecosystems. It is essential that we continue to account for the costs of transportation decisions that affect these non-renewable resources and provide assistance, where possible, to mitigate adverse effects on our communities and their environment. Effective transportation planning, that considers a wide range of options and examines the consequences of our choices, is the key to shaping sound investment decisions.
The Clinton-Gore Livability Initiative is designed to help communities across America achieve strong, sustainable economic growth while ensuring a high quality of life for their residents. TEA-21 gives communities and states many opportunities in choosing transportation facilities and services that best meet local transportation priorities. The National Highway System, Surface Transportation Program, Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement and transit programs each have broad eligibility and flexibility. This means that states and local areas can tailor the use of federal funds to best meet their needs whether they are for transit, bicycle/pedestrian facilities, highways, ride-sharing programs, safety projects, intermodal connections or other improvements. Intelligent transportation system technology will help make communities more livable by reducing traffic congestion, managing traffic flows of people and goods, and assisting with local responses to transportation emergencies.
The Department of Transportation's programs and activities work in close partnership with those of other federal agencies to provide states and communities with a combination of resources and tools. For example, metropolitan transportation plans and metropolitan and statewide Transportation Improvement Programs must conform to state air quality plans approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ensure that our air is getting cleaner. Cities and counties that have established enterprise communities and empowerment zones to spark new life in long dormant and neglected areas know how transportation can contribute to getting workers to jobs and customers to goods and services. Communities seeking to preserve the heritage of the past and to build a prosperous future can bring together such programs as DOT's Transportation Enhancement Program and Treasury's historic preservation tax credits with HUD's Community Development Block Grant program to turn deteriorated neighborhoods into attractive places to live and work. Such local partnerships give added power and reach to any single agency's contribution.
Specific TEA-21 programs give states and communities even more tools to carry out projects for enhanced livability.
An important change was made by TEA-21 to the Internal Revenue Code provisions related to employer-provided transportation benefits. TEA-21 allowed transit benefits up to $65 per month to be provided in lieu of compensation, increasing the incentive for employers to provide transit passes to their employees. It also will raise the level for tax-free transit benefits to $100 per month in 2002. On July 27, 1998, FTA issued a letterdescribing the changes, sent it to a broad array of transportation stakeholders, and placed it on the FTA website along with additional guidance on implementation of this revised program. A program of outreach and technical assistance has been developed, and efforts in this area will be increased later this year.
Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot
On May 3, 1999, DOT announced the 35 proposals (selected from 524 grant applications) to receive $13.1 million in FY 1999 funds under the new Transportation and Community and System Preservation Pilot program (TCSP) established in TEA-21. As a key component of the Administration's livability agenda, TCSP research and grants will assist communities in solving complex problems involving transportation, land development, environmental protection, public safety, and economic development.
The call for FY 2000 proposals was published in the Federal Register on May 10, 1999. A grant workshop was held in May to share best practices among FY 1999 grantees and provide information for FY 2000 applicants. Proposals are due by July 15, and the FY 2000 grant awards are scheduled to be announced in October 1999.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program
FHWA issued final guidance for the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) on April 28, 1999, describing modifications to the funding formula and eligibility provisions in TEA-21 and providing information and implementation guidance under the reauthorized program. Five information exchange meetings were held to solicit input into the development of the final guidance and to allow stakeholders an opportunity to give us their insights to the changes under TEA-21; further input on program implementation was solicited by Federal Register Notice dated October 26, 1998.
During fall 1998, FHWA officials conducted four information exchange meetings on transportation enhancements. The meetings gathered many useful suggestions and recommendations from federal, state, and local governmental officials as well as a range of public groups interested in the different types of eligible enhancement activities. Based on this and other information, the FHWA has prepared draft guidance implementing the TEA-21 changes in the enhancements program, which will be issued in June 1999.
Recreational Trails Program
The Recreational Trails Program provides funds to the states to develop and maintain recreational trails for motorized and nonmotorized recreational trail users. After meeting with State Trail Administrators and interested trail organizations to determine their needs, FHWA issued program guidance on April 1, 1999. A revision of the model used to calculate nonhighway recreational fuel use, a factor in apportionment of program funds, will be complete in June 1999.
National Scenic Byways Program
The National Scenic Byways Program makes discretionary funds available to the states under a grant application process for scenic byways projects. The states have used these funds for scenic byway activities such as the development of tourist information, interpretive facilities and displays, the construction and improvement of scenic overlooks, bikeways, interpretive trails, as well as the development and implementation of marketingplans, corridor management plans, and statewide scenic byway programs. National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads receive priority consideration for funding. More than $40 million was made available for FYs 1998 and 1999 for scenic byways projects in 41 states. On May 12, 1999, FHWA announced the third National Scenic Byways Program nomination cycle that will culminate in additional byways being designated in spring 2000. These routes will join 53 currently designated national byways.
Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways
A brochure has been developed explaining the TEA-21 funding opportunities for bicycle and pedestrian projects and programs, and an action plan formulated to enhance the implementation of bicycle and pedestrian projects by states and MPOs. Bicycle and Pedestrian Program guidance was issued on February 26, 1999, calling for the inclusion of bicycling and walking as part of the day-to-day planning, design, and operation of the nation's transportation system. Award of a grant for the Bicycle and Pedestrian Information Center is imminent. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has begun work to meet the long-term goal of developing better bicycle/pedestrian data for use by state and local planners and for national level indicators.
Highway and Transit
TEA-21 made several key changes in the planning provisions: consolidating the planning requirements into seven broad categories, modifying the relationship to air quality boundaries, modifying requirements for estimates of financial resources, and eliminating a separate requirement for major investment studies. The Department conducted an outreach effort and other listening opportunities with stakeholders to identify key questions that will need to be addressed in a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The outreach efforts demonstrated that several issues beyond the legislative changes will also need to be addressed (e.g., environmental justice and social equity, relations with Indian tribal governments, the involvement of non-metropolitan officials, air quality, planning and land use linkages, and mainstreaming of ITS).
FHWA and FTA are working jointly to develop revised planning and environmental regulations. A conference was held in February, 1999, to engage the transportation community in a dialog on the future of the transportation planning process, and was followed in April with a conference focused on a national research agenda for planning. Over 150 written comments were subsequently received, and are being considered in the development of the NPRM. The planning NPRM is being developed jointly with an NPRM to update the joint FTA/FHWA environmental regulation, in an effort to better link the planning and project development processes to support environmental streamlining and overall efficiency of decision making. Issuance of the two NPRMs is anticipated by the end of FY 1999.
On November 4, 1998, FRA announced the availability of a CD-ROM containing the RailDEC family of computer programs designed to evaluate the full range of economic benefits resulting from railroad-related infrastructure investments. GradeDec 2000, a stand-alone software package that allows the user to prioritize highway-rail grade crossing investments based upon an array of benefit-cost measures is available for review.
Advanced Vehicle Technologies Program
TEA-21 authorized the Department to enter into partnership with other government agencies and private consortia to promote the research, development, and deployment of transportation technologies that will use technological advances in medium and heavy-duty vehicles, vehicle components, environmental technologies, and related infrastructure to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental emissions, including greenhouse gases. The first year for which the Act authorized funding was FY 1999 and the Department has committed a total of $5 million to the program. TEA-21 will enable DOT to leverage over $250 million of defense and non-federal funds to deploy civilian advanced vehicle technologies.
DOT is providing national leadership on environmental streamlining and is working with the headquarters offices of other national environmental, resource, and permitting agencies to develop a national memorandum of understanding (MOU) which pledges their commitment to improved decisionmaking while ensuring that all environmental requirements are met. The MOU, now expected to be signed in July 1999, sets the framework for facilitating progress at the state and local levels among state transportation and resource agencies and their federal partners. Pilot activities are currently being supported and best practices are being highlighted. A pilot/best practices tool kit was distributed on June 1, 1999, to further encourage states to begin to develop creative responses to streamlining challenges. Support for early involvement by federal resource agencies in the project development process may be facilitated by guidance that helps states transfer a portion of their federal aid to reimburse resource agencies for quicker processing. Additional efforts to establish performance measures and obtain input from stakeholders are being pursued. We expect to issue shortly a Federal Register notice on the availability of information on environmental streamlining. As noted under "Planning," FHWA and FTA are also working jointly to develop revised planning and environmental regulations.
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Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
In TEA-21, Congress reauthorized the 16-year old Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) program, which has been the Department's primary tool for promoting equal opportunity for minority and women owned businesses in federal transportation contracting. TEA-21 continued the existing DBE program and mandated the General Accounting Office to conduct a nationwide study comparing program impacts on DBE and non-DBE firms. DOT's new DBE program final rule was published on February 2, 1999. This rule responds to over 900 public comments on two previous proposed rules. It also responds to court cases dealing with the DBE program, reflecting the 'strict scrutiny' (including 'narrow tailoring') standard articulated by the 1995 Supreme Court decision in Adarand Constructors v. Peña.
The FHWA DBE Supportive Services (DBESS) program enhances the objective of the DBE program. Funds are allocated to state Departments of Transportation to undertake a DBESS program designed to assist certified DBE firms in becoming self-sufficient. A total of $6.6 million was allocated to 43 states in FY 1998. In FY 1999, $8.1 million was allocated to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Access to Jobs
TEA-21 authorized the Job Access and Reverse Commute program to provide competitive grants for transportation services to (1) connect welfare recipients and other low income persons to jobs and other employment-related services, and (2) improve reverse commute services to allow central city residents better access to suburban jobs. These funds will assist states and localities in developing flexible transportation services, such as shuttles, vanpools, new bus routes, connector service to mass transit and guaranteed ride home programs. On May 13, 1999, a total of $71.3 million in grants were announced under this program to assist communities in funding 179 projects across the country; the selected proposals will receive funding on approval of an FTA grant application.
Rural Transportation Accessibility Incentive Program
On September 24, 1998, the Department of Transportation issued a final rule amending its Americans with Disabilities Act regulations to require the accessibility of new over-the-road buses (OTRB) and to require accessible OTRB service. The new rule applies both to intercity and other fixed-route bus operators and to demand-responsive operators. The rule requires operators to ensure that passengers with disabilities can use OTRBs.
The OTRB program in TEA-21 authorizes FTA to make grants to operators of OTRBs to finance the incremental capital and training costs of complying with the final rule. A total of $2 million is provided for intercity fixed route operators in FY 1999. FTA has issued program guidance and application instructions, and is currently reviewing applications submitted for FY 1999 funds. Grant awards are expected to be announced later in 1999.
Rural Transportation Initiative
TEA-21 provides more money that ever before for our rural communities and towns to improve safety, to provide mobility through improvements in our transportation infrastructure, and to strengthen proven strategies to safeguard public health and the environment. It places greateremphasis on the involvement of rural local officials in the required statewide planning process. TEA-21 is an opportunity for small communities and rural areas to support economic growth and to respond to social and demographic changes as well as to improve safety (even as travel continues to increase) and to continue to preserve and enhance the environment.
Since enactment of TEA-21, we have conducted nine regional workshops on rural transportation planning. Each workshop involved between four and six states. Representatives of the state DOTs have attended as well as local officials including county engineers, county and town officials, regional planning agencies and rural transit operators. The workshops have gathered the state and local perspectives on how the state plan is developed, each party's role and responsibility, funding, integration with other types of plans, successful practices and other issues. With the assistance of the National Association of Public Administrators, we will prepare a report to Congress on how local officials are involved in the development of state transportation plans. We have also had each state document their process for involving local officials.
Appalachian Development Highway System
The Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) program provides funds for the construction of the Appalachian corridor highways in 13 states to improve infrastructure and enable economic development in the region. Completion of the ADHS will help Appalachian residents have access to health care and education, as well as jobs. Congress has authorized 3,025 miles for the ADHS; about 2,300 miles are open to traffic and another 110 miles are under construction. Projects to complete the remainder of the systems are in preliminary or final design stage. FHWA and the Appalachian Regional Commission are working on a memorandum of understanding and implementation guidance for the 13 states. In May of 1999, DOT co-hosted an Appalachian Intermodal Transportation Summit in Lexington, Kentucky.
DOT is continuing to work with financial assistance recipients to promote vital labor protections for transportation workers on DOT-assisted construction projects. In order to implement a June 5, 1997, memorandum from the President, DOT issued a memorandum on April 22, 1998, encouraging each operating administration to authorize and promote the use of project labor agreements by its financial assistance recipients for DOT-assisted construction projects. Based on input received from various sectors of the highway industry, including the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department and the Associated General Contractors, as well as Departmental guidance, FHWA has issued implementing instructions, and plans to provide written guidance later in 1999.
On-the-Job Training/Supportive Services
TEA-21 expanded the purposes for which On-the-Job Training Supportive Services (OJT/SS) funding may be used, and authorized the Secretary to deduct up to $10 million per fiscal year from Surface Transportation Program funding to enhance the effectiveness of highway construction and technology training, skill improvement programs, and to develop and fund Summer Transportation Institutes. TEA-21 also, with some exceptions, allows a state to reserve training positions for persons who receive welfare assistance from that state.
In FY 1998, FHWA obligated $8.9 million for OJT/SS programs. Twenty-seven states were funded to address the needs of federal-aid highway construction contractors, apprentices and trainees with a focus on welfare-to-work, retention of women in highway construction, and a diverse transportation workforce. Also through a cooperative agreement with the FHWA, theNational Urban League is developing and implementing a national program beyond state-based programs to (1) inspire inner city youth to achieve academic success in subjects related to transportation fields and (2) to prepare welfare recipients and other low-income individuals for employment in highway construction and transportation technology careers.
For FY 1999, $8.8 million was available for OJT/SS programs. The FHWA formally established the National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) and entered into a cooperative agreement with South Carolina State University, an Historically Black College and University, to serve as the NSTI Resource Center. The Institute is designed to familiarize youth with challenging transportation career options and to ensure a trained diverse workforce for the future. The intermodal Summer Transportation Internship Program for Diverse Groups also was funded and expanded nationwide. The remaining FY 1999 funds will be distributed to states to administer initiatives to further meet the needs of federal-aid highway construction contractors, apprentices and trainees with a focus on careers in highway construction and the transportation industry.
Garrett A. Morgan Initiatives
The Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Futures Program seeks to interest students of all ages in transportation careers and to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills to pursue them. Through the Morgan Education Roundtable coalition of transportation organizations, educational and non-profit institutions, we have built a nationwide entity committed to developing a skilled transportation workforce. Together we have established a school-to-work pilot project that will integrate transportation examples into kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum, creating a model to be used nationwide; developed speaking and informational materials for transportation professionals to use when speaking to students in classrooms and at career fairs; created a website that highlights transportation careers in age appropriate language, as well as listing sources for transportation education program information; and mobilized DOT employees across the country to speak to students in schools and on campuses whenever possible. We are well on our way to achieving our goal to reach one million students by the end of the year 2000.
University Transportation Centers
These university-based centers of excellence conduct multidisciplinary programs of transportation education, research, and technology transfer. During the first year of TEA-21, we successfully incorporated into the UTC program 14 new centers that had been designated by Congress. We also conducted a nationwide competition for the 10 regional UTC's, which brought one more new participant into the program. The regional competition generated, for the first time in the UTC program, two applications from HBCUs. While neither was selected to receive a grant, both have been recommended to existing UTCs as prospective partners. Also as a result of the recent competition, the UTC program added its first Tribal college as a member of one Center's consortium. Under TEA-21, there are now 33 UTCs, headquartered in 28 states across the nation, that receive annual grants ranging in size from $275,000 to $1,800,000. Under new program requirements imposed during the first year of TEA-21, we now manage the UTC program through a performance measurement system that will allow DOT to provide quantifiable measures of the program's success in the future.
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National Corridor Planning and Border Infrastructure Programs
This new TEA-21 program provides a total of $700 million in grants through FY 2003 for projects in trade corridors and at international border crossings to provide safer and more efficient movement of people and goods between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Three outreach sessions, held in Michigan, California, and Texas to solicit suggestions and recommendations on how to implement these new programs, confirmed the overwhelming support for these programs and the fact that needs and requests for funding will far exceed the new funding. In response to the November 12, 1998 Federal Register Notice announcing implementation of the programs and soliciting grant applications, 150 funding requests totaling more than $2 billion were received. On May 27, 1999, grants totaling nearly $124 million were awarded for 55 projects in 32 states.
TEA-21 builds on the innovative financing initiatives begun under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) to leverage federal resources by encouraging private participation in the delivery of surface transportation infrastructure. These initiatives are intended to supplement the traditional grant assistance by increasing funding flexibility and program effectiveness.
Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act
We are moving aggressively to implement the new Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), which creates a program for credit assistance for surface transportation projects. TIFIA authorizes up to $1.6 billion in FY 1999 ($10.6 billion through 2003) for direct loans, lines of credit, and loan guarantees to public and private sponsors of large highway, transit, and passenger rail projects of national or regional significance. The program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial private co-investment by providing supplemental capital. DOT conducted focus group meetings in New York City in September 1998 and in San Diego in December 1998. Comments were sought and received from the public on an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement this program. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on June 2, 1999, along with an invitation to apply for FY 1999 funds. We expect to select projects for the initial round of funding by the end of the fiscal year.
Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program
Also established in TEA-21 is a program that could provide up to $3.5 billion in direct loans and loan guarantees to improve railroad infrastructure, develop new intermodal and railroad facilities, acquire railroad equipment, and refinance railroad debt. In the summer of 1998, FRA held outreach sessions and solicited comments to develop a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program. A NPRM was published in the Federal Register on May 20, 1999. After the 30 day comment period, a final rule will be issued.
Intermodal Freight Connectors
As required by TEA-21, DOT is completing a study on the condition of and improvements made to National Highway System connectors. There are over 500 freight terminals (port, rail, pipeline, and "freight" airports) served by the NHS. In the conduct of the study, key individualswith experience and expertise in terminal access issues were consulted. The field inventory of freight connectors, including on-site inspections of the NHS connector routes to determine their adequacy and condition, is complete. The analysis of the inventory data is nearing completion. FHWA is also scheduling three outreach meetings with shippers and carriers to solicit their specific freight access needs as they relate to the NHS system with the focus on the connectors. The study will report on the condition of the connectors and investments made on them, identify impediments to making improvements to the connectors, and identify actions to increase physical connectivity for freight intermodal terminals served by the NHS. The report due date is June 9, 2000.
DOT, primarily through its Bureau of Transportation Statistics, places additional emphasis on improving international trade data through the mandate of TEA-21. This effort is essential to the long-term effort to more fully understand transportation's role as it relates to U.S. global competitiveness and to understand the impact of international trade on the nation's transportation infrastructure.
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Year 2000 (Y2K)
The Department continues to make steady progress in addressing our Year 2000 challenges. As of the quarter ending April 30, 1999, 92 percent of all mission-critical systems were fully compliant. All operating administrations, with the exception of FAA and Coast Guard, are 100 percent complete with remediation of their mission-critical systems. FAA is on schedule to complete its Y2K efforts by June 30, 1999; Coast Guard by no later than September 1999.
With Y2K remediation efforts nearing completion, the operating administrations have turned their attention to development of Business Continuity and Contingency Plans (BCCP). These plans address alternatives for performing core business functions in the event unforeseen Y2K problems occur. The BCCPs are due to OMB by June 15, 1999, and testing of the BCCPs will continue over the summer.
FHWA Field and Headquarters Restructuring and
The FHWA's restructuring is well underway in both its field and Headquarters offices. The Agency's field restructuring became operational on October 1, 1998, with the establishment of four resource centers designed to support the Agency's state-level Division offices and serve the Agency's customers and partners by providing enhanced program and technical assistance, training, technology delivery, and intermodal and interagency coordination.
The new Headquarters matrix organizational structure became operational on February 1, 1999. It consists of five core business units (Infrastructure; Planning and Environment; Operations; Motor Carrier and Highway Safety; and Federal Lands Highway), and eight cross-cutting service business units (Policy; Research, Development, and Technology; Administration; Chief Counsel; Civil Rights; Public Affairs; Corporate Management; and Professional Development).
This restructuring enables the FHWA to focus resources on core businesses that are aligned with the Agency's strategic goals and objectives as it implements the provisions of TEA-21 and moves forward to meet the transportation challenges of the 21st Century.
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United States Department of Transportation