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.
Uses and Use Restrictions
The financial assistance may fund capital improvements and directly-related planning activities necessary to achieve tangible improvements to, or institute new, intercity passenger rail service.
Examples of capital improvements include (but are not strictly limited to) the purchase of passenger rolling stock, the improvement of existing track to allow for higher maximum speeds, the addition or lengthening of passing tracks to increase capacity, the improvement of interlockings to increase capacity and reliability, and the improvement of signaling systems to increase capacity and maximum speeds, and improve safety.
(With respect to planning activities, only proposed planning projects which lead to (1) a programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the purpose of route selection, and/or (2) a corridor transportation plan prepared in accordance with the methodologies set forth in FRA's publication, entitled "Railroad Corridor Transportation Plans: A Guidance Manual," (see below for citation), will be considered for possible funding, subject to published selection criteria.) Proposed projects must be specifically included in the applicant State's Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan at the time of application.
State departments of transportation (including that of the District of Columbia).
Applicant States must include intercity passenger rail service as an integral part of statewide transportation planning as required under section 135 of Title 23, United States Code.
The general public, both users and non-users of intercity passenger rail service. State departments of transportation and other public agencies, although private transportation companies may participate through contractual arrangements with a State department of transportation.
Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Assurances and Certification forms (http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/admin/assurancesandcertifications.pdf) including: (1) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters Primary Covered Transactions; (2) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion Lower Tier Covered Transactions; 3) Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements; 4) Certification Regarding Lobbying, 5) Assurances Non-Construction Programs - SF 424B; and 6) Certificate of Indirect Costs Assurances.
Aplication and Award Process
Prospective applicants may contact FRA prior to submission of applications to inquire about applicant eligibility, the competitive prospects of their proposed project, the National Environmental Policy Act and related legal requirements, and other requirements.
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
The applicant must submit the following information to the FRA through www.grants.gov: Application for Federal Assistance - SF-424; Detailed Statement of Work; Project justification based on published selection criteria; Detailed Budget, and Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Assurances and Certification forms (http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/admin/assurancesandcertifications.pdf) including: 1) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters Primary Covered Transactions; 2) Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion Lower Tier Covered Transactions; 3) Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements; 4) Certification Regarding Lobbying, 5) Assurances Non-Construction Programs - SF 424B; and 6) Certificate of Indirect Costs Assurances.
Review the application package to ensure that all required documents are complete and signed by the appropriate person. Review Statement of Work for technical issues and budget for appropriateness of costs. Competitive comparison of applications to determine relative satisfaction of published selection criteria. Following selection of successful applicants, a grant agreement is drafted, reviewed, and signed upon agreement by both parties.
Applications may be submitted until the earlier of September 30, 2009, or the date on which all available funds will have been committed under this program. The last-mentioned date will be announced in the Federal Register. Applications submitted by June 30, 2008 will be considered in the first round of awards on the basis of application materials that FRA has received as of that date. Any subsequent rounds of awards will depend on the availability of funds after the first round of awards.
Authorized by appropriation for FY 2008 in Division K of Public Law 110-161: Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008. Continuation of this program would be subject to its inclusion, if any, in subsequent- annual appropriation legislation and/or authorizations .
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Notification of Approval/Disapproval generally occurs within 8 months of application.
To Administrator, Federal Railroad Administration.
Formula and Matching Requirements
These programs have no statutory formula. Grantees must provide a minimum 50 percent match from non-program funds toward the grant budget. This program has Maintenance of Effort requirements; see funding agency for further details.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
No restriction on period of time the assistance normally is available. Assistance is awarded upon request for reimbursement.
Post Assistance Requirements
The grantee shall submit the following reports: (1) Quarterly progress reports giving an account of significant progress (findings, events, trends, etc.) made during the reporting period, and a description of any technical and/or cost problems encountered or anticipated that will affect completion of the grant; (2) Quarterly financial status reports using SF 269 or 269A, Financial Status Report; (3) Quarterly Federal Cash Transactions reports using SF 272, Federal Cash Transaction Report; (4) Final report giving details of the results and benefits of the Grantee's improvement efforts.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that receive financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
The grantee must keep satisfactory records with regard to the use of the property, equipment, and supplies and submit these records to FRA upon request.
FY 07 $0; FY 08 est not available and FY 09 est not available.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
Guidance for this program is provided by The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), and related laws, the FRA publication entitled, Railroad Corridor Transportation Plans: A Guidance Manual (available at http://www.fra.dot.gov/Downloads/RRdev/corridor_planning.pdf), and Federal Register notices announcing the availability of funding pursuant to this program.
Regional or Local Office
If necessary to contact a regional office, the contact information will be in a grant agreement.
Peter Schwartz, RDV-11, Office of Railroad Development, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E. Washington, DC 20590, Telephone: (202) 493-6360 Fax: (202) 493-6333).
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
All selection criteria will be specified in Federal Register notices announcing the availability of funding pursuant to this program, and shall include, but shall not be limited to, prioritizing criteria defined in relevant law, and criteria intended to ensure the timely completion of funding projects and the full realization of the benefits the projects are intended to generate.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a 1970s book by author Paulo Freire, envisions a world not as a given reality, but as “a problem to be worked on and solved.” That mentality is often applied to the greatest social entrepreneurs.