New Freedom Program

To provide grants to recipients for new public transportation services and public transportation alternatives beyond those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C.

12101 et.

Seq.) that assists individuals with disabilities with transportation, including transportation
to and from jobs and employment support services.
Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Enhancing ADA complementary paratransit services beyond the ADA; (2) New Feeder services; (3) Making accessibility improvements to transit and intermodal stations not designated as key stations; (4) travel training; (5) volunteer driver and aide programs; (6) Accessible taxi, ridesharing, or vanpooling programs (7) mobility management.


Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Office - Region 1, Transportation Systems Center, Kendall Square, 55 Broadway, Suite 920 Cambridge, MA 02142-1093.

Telephone: (617) 494-2055 Region 2, One Bowling Green, Room 429, New York, NY 10004-1415.

Telephone: (212) 668-2170, Region 3, 1760 Market Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4124.

Telephone: (215) 656-7100, Region 4, Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 17T50, 61 Forsyth St., S.W.

Atlanta, GA 30303.

Telephone: (404) 562-3500, Region 5, 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606.

Telephone: (312) 353-2789, Region 6, 819 Taylor Street, Room 8A36, Fort Worth, TX 76102.

Telephone: (817) 978-0550, Region 7, 901 Locust Ste.

404, Kansas City, MO 64106.

Telephone: (816) 329-3920, Region 8, 12300 West Dakota Ave.

Suite 310 Lakewood, CO 80228-2583.

Telephone: (720) 963-3300 Region 9, 201 Mission Street, Room 2210 San Francisco, CA 94105-1839.

Telephone: (415) 744-3133 Region 10, Jackson Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3142, Seattle, WA 98174-1002.

Telephone: (206) 220-7954 LOWER MANHATTAN RECOVERY OFFICE (LMRO), 1 Bowling Green, Room 436 New York, NY, 10004.

Telephone: (212) 668-1770.


Program Accomplishments

None.

Uses and Use Restrictions

To be eligible, a project must either be a new public transportation service or a public transportation alternative beyond those required by the ADA and the project must assist individuals with disabilities with transportation, including transportation to and from jobs and employment support services.

Capital and operating expenses for projects that meet the purpose of the statute are eligible to be funded.

The recipient may use up to 10 percent of apportioned funds for administration, planning, and technical assistance.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

An eligible recipient is defined as a recipient to be designated by the Governor of the State in consultation with local officials and local public transportation providers in urbanized areas above 200,000 in population.

In urbanized areas between 50,000 and 200,000 in population and nonurbanized (rural) areas, the State is the eligible recipient.

Public agencies, nonprofit agencies, public transportation providers, private transportation providers, and human services transportation providers are eligible to be subrecipients under the New Freedom program.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Individuals with Disabilities.

Credentials/Documentation

Resolution by an authorized public body approving the filing for an application; projects must be included in the local coordinated public transit human service transportation plan, an urbanized area's transportation improvement program (TIP), and in the Statewide transportation improvement program (STIP) approved by FTA and FHWA. Information must be provided on legal capacity; coordinated regional planning; and compliance with certifications and assurances as compiled in FTA's Annual List of Certifications and Assurances.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Pursuant to Section 102 (2) (C) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (Public Law 91-190), 42 U.S.C.

4332 (2) (c), Executive Order 11514 (34 FR 4247) of March 4, 1970, an environmental impact assessment and/or environmental impact statement may be required for construction projects.

Applicants must coordinate with: the State or local agencies that administer the State program funded under part A of Title IV of the Social Security Act, public housing agencies, the community to be served and stakeholders.

The program is covered under E.O.

12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.

An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process to be followed in applying for assistance under this program.

Application Procedures

The project must be a product of the local coordinated public transit human services coordinated plan, competitively selected by the areas recipient, and included in the State Transportation Improvement Program prior to grant award. Recipients will submit applications electronically to the appropriate Federal Transit Administration, FTA, regional office. The FTA regional offices are listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog. Recipients will then distribute funding directly to the subrecipients. After the recipient has competitively selected projects to be funded, the recipient may officially request that FTA allow subrecipients that are eligible to apply directly to FTA for Section 5307 funds be allowed to apply directly to FTA for New Freedom funds awarded. Notification of the grant program may also be found at http://www.grants.gov.

Award Procedures

An FTA New Freedom grant is awarded and funds are obligated in an electronic grant agreement. The recipient must execute the grant agreement, and access FTA's electronic funds management system; the funds management system allows the grantee to drawdown funds after invoices are received. The grantee directs funds to subrecipients.

Deadlines

Available formula funds are published in the Annual Apportionment Federal Register. Funds are available for obligation for three fiscal years including the year of appropriation.

Authorization

Safe, Accountable, Efficient, Flexible Transportation Equity Act: A legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), Title 49, Chapter 53, Section 5317; 49 U.S.C. 5317.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

It is a goal of the Federal Transit Administration to obligate grants within 36 days of the submission of a complete grant application.

Appeals

Not applicable.

Renewals

Funds are appropriated annually. Grants may be amended to add newly available funds for a continuing project.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Funding is apportioned on a formula basis. 60 percent of funds are apportioned for areas of 200,000 or more in population in the ratio that the number of individuals with disabilities in each such urbanized area bears to the number of individuals with disabilities in all such areas; 20 percent is apportioned among the states in the ratio that the number of individuals with disabilities in urbanized areas with a population of less than 200,000 in each State bears to the number of individuals with disabilities in areas with a population of less than 200,000 in all States; 20 percent is apportioned among the states in the ratio that the number of individuals with disabilities in other than urbanized areas of each State bears to the number of individuals with disabilities in other than urbanized areas in all States. 49 U.S.C. 5317 (c) (1)(A-C). The population factor used in the formula consists of the number of disabled individuals, over the age of five, in each area divided by the total population of disabled individuals over the age of five in all areas in the corresponding population category. The population factor is multiplied by the total funding available by category to determine an area's allocation. The Federal share is not to exceed 80 percent of the net project cost for capital expenses, or 50 percent of net operating costs of the projects for operating assistance. The Federal share may be 90 percent for the cost of vehicle-related equipment attributable to compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and the Clear Air Act. Up to 10 percent of a recipient's New Freedom allocation may be used for planning, administration, and technical assistance. Funds used for these purposes may be funded at 100 percent federal share.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Terms and conditions are delineated in the grant agreement. Funds are awarded using an electronic financial management system as funds are expended and invoices received.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

(1) Annual Progress reports, (2) Annual Financial status reports, (3) construction reports where applicable, and (4) Annual report to the National Transit Database (NTD).

Audits

Pursuant to requirements established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards shall have a single or program specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year with certain exceptions as determined by the OMB. The Federal Transit Administration may also conduct its own audits.

Records

Recipient is required to retain intact, for 3 years following submission of final expenditure report, pending resolution of audit findings, all project contract documents, financial records, and supporting documents.

Financial Information

Account Identification

69-8350-0-7-401.

Obigations

(Grants) FY 07 $9,323,016; FY 08 $139,230,000; and FY 09 $164,161,310 est not available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Project funding varies based on competitive selection process at State or urbanized area level. Urbanized area apportionments range from $45 K to $5.7 M. State apportionments for small urbanized areas range from $35 K to $1.6 M and for rural areas from $48K to $1 M.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

(1) Federal Transit Administration Transit Program Changes, Authorized Funding Levels and Implementation of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, 70 Federal Register 71950, 71968 (November 30, 2005). (2) FTA Circular 9045.1, New Freedom Program Guidelines and Application Instructions, enacted May 1, 2008.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Region 1, Transportation Systems Center, Kendall Square, 55 Broadway, Suite 920 Cambridge, MA 02142-1093. Telephone: (617) 494-2055 Region 2, One Bowling Green, Room 429, New York, NY 10004-1415. Telephone: (212) 668-2170, Region 3, 1760 Market Street, Suite 500, Philadelphia, PA 19103-4124. Telephone: (215) 656-7100, Region 4, Atlanta Federal Center, Suite 17T50, 61 Forsyth St., S.W. Atlanta, GA 30303. Telephone: (404) 562-3500, Region 5, 200 West Adams Street, Suite 320, Chicago, IL 60606. Telephone: (312) 353-2789, Region 6, 819 Taylor Street, Room 8A36, Fort Worth, TX 76102. Telephone: (817) 978-0550, Region 7, 901 Locust Ste. 404, Kansas City, MO 64106. Telephone: (816) 329-3920, Region 8, 12300 West Dakota Ave. Suite 310 Lakewood, CO 80228-2583. Telephone: (720) 963-3300 Region 9, 201 Mission Street, Room 2210 San Francisco, CA 94105-1839. Telephone: (415) 744-3133 Region 10, Jackson Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, Suite 3142, Seattle, WA 98174-1002. Telephone: (206) 220-7954 LOWER MANHATTAN RECOVERY OFFICE (LMRO), 1 Bowling Green, Room 436 New York, NY, 10004. Telephone: (212) 668-1770.

Headquarters Office

Office of Program Management Federal Transit Administration Department of Transportation 1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E., East Building-Fourth Floor, Washington, DC 20590 Contact: David Schneider, Telephone: (202) 493-0175.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Per Congressional designation, recipients must conduct a competition to determine which projects should be funded.



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