Weekly Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2 March 26, 2009

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Weekly Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2 March 26, 2009

TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 1 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


    PART 1 Corrections / Updates to Qs & As already on the website

PART II New Questions

    The following questions were posted on the ARRA Q & A website in Section

    III. Grant Development/Award, new Section F “Transit Investments for

    Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction - TIGGER” on Friday 03/20/09

    Q: What is the aim of the TIGGER Program and how much funding is available?

A. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ( ARRA) provided $100

    million to be distributed as discretionary grants to public transit agencies for capital

    investments that will assist in reducing the energy consumption or greenhouse gas

    emissions of public transportation systems.

Q: Who is eligible to receive TIGGER grants?

    A. Only U.S. transit agencies are eligible to receive TIGGER grants. A consolidated proposal with more than one project may be submitted by a transit agency, or an

    organization on behalf of more than one transit agency, such as a designated recipient,

    Metropolitan Planning Organization, State Transit Association, or State Departments of

    Transportation. Grants will be made for particular projects directly to public

    transportation agencies.

Q: What projects may be proposed?

A. Projects from U.S. transit agencies that either reduce energy consumption or

    greenhouse gas emissions through a capital investment will be evaluated.

Q: How is capital investment being defined for the TIGGER Program?

A. For the purposes of the TIGGER project, a capital investment is defined as any

    eligible expense defined in 49 U.S.C. 5302(a) (1) that will assist in the reduction of the

    energy consumption of a public transportation system or the reduction of greenhouse gas

    emissions of a public transportation system. This excludes some elements of the

    statutory definition of a capital project, such as fleet expansion or fixed guideway

    extensions because these types of projects would increase transit agency energy


    TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 2 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


    Q: In general, what types of projects are eligible under the TIGGER Program?

    A. While FTA urges transit agencies to be innovative in their solutions to reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, eligible projects may include, but are not limited to the following: replacement of existing vehicles with more energy-efficient vehicles, repowering existing vehicles with more energy-efficient propulsion,

    incorporation of wayside energy storage for captured regenerated energy in rail transit systems, and extensions to catenary fixed guideway systems that result in reduced energy consumption.

Q: When and how are proposals to be submitted?

A. Proposals are to be submitted by email at by May 22, 2009.

Q: Is any local match required to participate in the TIGGER Program?

A. No, there is no local match requirement for the TIGGER Program. The Federal

    funding share for TIGGER Program grants is 100%. Transit agencies may propose a

    lower Federal share.

Q: What are the upper and lower limits of a total project(s) cost(s), if any?

    A. Each submitted proposal must request a minimum of $2,000,000. FTA will allow transit agencies to apply together to reach this threshold. Some projects within a proposal may be funded at less than $2,000,000. The maximum grant amount is $25,000,000.

Q: Can a TIGGER project be combined with another Federally-funded project of

    relevance or with other ARRA funds?

A. Yes, however funds will be awarded as separate grants.

    Q: Can projects be considered under both energy consumption reduction and greenhouse gas reduction criteria?

    A. Yes. In this case the proposal must provide project measurement information for both criteria.

Q: What is included in energy consumption?

    A. Energy consumption is energy purchased directly by the public transportation system. It includes both revenue and non revenue operations directly operated by the agency, but not energy used for purchased services. It includes fuel used by an agency to generate energy, but not energy generated by an agency. As an example, a diesel generator

TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 3 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009 __________________________________________________

    operated by an agency would count the diesel used by the generator but not the electricity

    produced by the generator.

Q: How does a transit agency receive credit for sustainable energy sources such as

    adding solar panels to the roof of an existing facility or adding windmills to storage yard?

A. These types of projects would reduce the energy consumption of an agency if they are

    used to replace energy currently purchased from a third party since energy produced on

    site by wind or solar (or some other sustainable method, such as geothermal) is not

    counted as part of a transit agency’s energy consumption.

Q: Should a transit agency include the energy used in administrative buildings when

    calculating the agency’s total energy usage?

A. Yes.

Q: Are there tools available to help calculate energy savings and conversions?

A. The Center for Transportation Analysis of Oakridge National Laboratory of the

    Department of Energy provides information and links on how to convert typical energy

    units to BTUs in the Transportation Energy Data Book at

FTA will also post a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet on its webpage at to

    help with calculations.

Q: Can a proposal include a project for a capital project that will be operated by a third-

    party (e.g., a bus purchase for contracted operations)?

A. Yes, if the agency can demonstrate that the capital investment will result in energy

    consumption reductions directly to the agency (e.g., the agency also supplies diesel fuel

    for the operations).

Q: Can a proposal request funding for the incremental cost of including energy

    consumption reduction as part of a capital investment (e.g., the agency intends to use

    ARRA funds to purchase 10 diesel buses the project will request funds for the incremental costs of purchasing 10 hybrid-electric buses instead)?

A. Yes.

Q: What are greenhouse gases?

TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 4 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


    A. Greenhouse Gases are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere expressed in metric tons

    of CO2 equivalent. The principal greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere because of

    human activities are: Carbon Dioxide (CO2); Methane (CH4); Nitrous Oxide (N2O); and

    Fluorinated Gases (Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride)

Q: What greenhouse gases are considered to be emitted by a public transportation agency?

A. Only those greenhouse gas emissions produced by the transit agency, otherwise

    known as direct emissions will be evaluated within the TIGGER Program. Direct

    Emissions include:

    ? Stationary combustion from boilers and furnaces

    ? Mobile combustion in revenue and non-revenue vehicles operated by the agency

    ? Physical or chemical processes [generally not applicable for transit agencies]

    ? Fugitive sources such as methane leaks from refueling facilities, or leakage of

    Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6) from transformers or Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

    from air conditioning equipment

Q: When calculating greenhouse gas emissions for my transit agency, do we include

    green house gas emissions for the generation of electricity purchased from an off-site

    power utility?

A. No, for the purposes of the TIGGER Program, FTA is not requesting information on

    greenhouse gas emissions generated by offsite power utilities as these are considered

    indirect emissions.

Q: Are there tools available to help calculate greenhouse gas emissions and CO2


A. The Environmental Protection Agency provides information and a calculator on

    greenhouse gas conversions at:


FTA will also post a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet on its webpage at to

    help with calculations.

Q: What are the evaluation criteria of the TIGGER Program?

A. Projects may be considered under either or both energy consumption reduction and

    greenhouse gas emission reduction criteria.

Energy Consumption Reduction Criteria: Total energy savings that are projected to result

    from the project and projected energy savings of the project as a percentage of the total

    energy usage of the public transit agency.

TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 5 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Criterion: Total greenhouse gas reductions that are

    projected to result from the project.

Other Criteria common to all projects: Return on Investment, whether the project is

    ready to implement, the capacity of the applicant, the degree of innovation in a project,

    and the national applicability of a project.

Q: Who will be evaluating the proposals for the TIGGER Program?

A. The TIGGER evaluation team will be comprised of individuals from FTA, the

    Department of Energy, and others on an as needed basis.

Q: Does the TIGGER Program trigger the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)


A. Yes, because FTA would be providing federal funding, FTA and the transit agency

    grant recipient must comply with all environmental requirements including, but not

    limited to, NEPA, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Section 4(f) of

    the Department of Transportation Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Water

    Act. FTA does not award funds in a grant until a Categorical Exclusion determination,

    Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), or Record of Decision (ROD) has been


Because of the limited timeframe for completion of NEPA, Transit Agencies should

    consider proposing energy or greenhouse gas reduction projects that qualify for a

    categorical exclusion or are close to obtaining a FONSI or ROD. For further information

    on NEPA and ARRA, see FTA’s regularly-updated ARRA webpage on Section III. Grant

    Development/Award, Section F.

PART 1 Corrections / Updates to Q & A’s

    ? Deleted the heading found in Section II C ("Section 1511 Certification")

    and replaced with "Certifications (1511, 1201, 1607)"

    ? Deleted Question II C 1 (Will FTA regions be required to verify the

    maintenance of effort certification prior to grant award?)

    ? Replaced with the following five questions:

    C. Certifications (1511, 1201, 1607)

    TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 6 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


    1. Q: Will FTA regions be required to verify Section 1511

    certification before grant award?

    A: Yes, section 1511 certification must be completed before

    grantees receive ARRA funds. The certifications are posted on

    DOT’s website at: The

    FTA regions will verify that the posted certifications adequately

    include transit and that the projects applied for are included in the

    current TIP/STIP as amended. See Answer C.2. for details of what

    the certification must contain.

    2. Q: Must MPOs and/or Urbanized Areas direct grantees to execute a

    Section 1511 certification before FTA can award an ARRA grant?

    A: No. DOT has determined that the FHWA/FTA joint planning

    requirements provide a robust process to ensure that projects have

    been properly reviewed and vetted and are an appropriate use of

    taxpayer dollars. Therefore, the Governor or his/her designee’s

    signature on the Section 1511 certification covers all highway and

    transit projects in a State under certain conditions.

    In order for the Governor’s certification to satisfy the Section 1511

    requirement for transit projects in an urbanized area, the

    certification must cite the TIP/STIP planning process as the basis

    for certifying that each project has been properly reviewed and

    vetted and is an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. The

    Governor’s certification must also provide a link to the public web

    posting the STIP that includes (or will include) any highway and

    transit project designated to receive ARRA funding. The STIP must

    include a description of each project, the estimated total cost of each

    project, and the amount of ARRA funds to be used for each project.

    U.S. DOT will ensure that the Governor’s certifications, once

    received, are posted on DOT’s Recovery site at and

    linked to

If the Governor’s section 1511 certification includes only highway

    projects, and not transit projects, or if the certification does not

    provide a link to the proposed transit projects included in the STIP

    for ARRA funding, it will be necessary for a direct recipient to

    submit an additional section 1511 certification or project listing with

    the requisite section 1511 information discussed above.

    TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 7 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


    DOT Secretary LaHood’s letter to the Governors, dated February 27,

    2009, which is posted on at the Recovery link,

    includes sample forms for the Section 1511 certification and two

    other ARRA certifications required by the Governor.

3. Q: Does the Governor’s Section 1511 certification cover direct

    ARRA grants to Indian tribes?

     A: Only if the tribal project is included in the STIP. Under the

    ARRA tribal transit program, the projects may not have been

    included in the STIP based planning process. If that is the case, the

    authorized tribal transportation official must submit to FTA a signed

    1511 certification stating that the projects have been properly

    reviewed and vetted and are an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars

    and include a list of projects to be funded with ARRA tribal transit

    program funds for posting. The list of projects must include a

    description of each project, the estimated total cost of each project,

    and the amount of ARRA funds to be used on each project.

    U.S. DOT will ensure that the tribal program certifications, once

    received, are posted on DOT’s Recovery site at and

    linked to

    4. Q: Must the direct recipient in one of the Insular Areas (Guam,

    Northern Marianas, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands)

    provide a Section 1511 certification for transit projects?

    A. Yes. Similar to the Tribal projects described in the previous

    question, where transit projects in an Insular Area are not included

    in a STIP, an appropriate official should sign a Section 1511

    certification and provide a list of the transit projects that have been

    properly reviewed and vetted as an appropriate use of ARRA funds.

    DOT will post the certifications received.

5. Q: Do all grantees have to submit the certifications required by

    Section 1201(a) (Maintenance of Effort) and Section 1607

    (accepting ARRA funds)?

    A: No. These certifications are one-time certifications at the State

    level to be signed by the Governor of the State.

    ? Added the following in Section II. A after question # 4:

TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 8 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


    5. Q: Can ARRA funds be used for capital intercity bus stations and terminals?

    A: Yes, as stated in Section 5302(a)(1)(G) ARRA funds can be used for

    the construction, renovation, and improvement of intercity bus and intercity

    rail stations and terminals. (Note: The Federal Register notice published

    on March 5, 2009, inadvertently omitted a comprehensive list of all eligible

    items under the definition of capital.)

    ? Deleted the current Question III D 4 (Can ARRA funds be used for capital

    intercity bus activities?)

PART II New Questions

    The following question was posted on the ARRA Q & A website in Section IV.

    Post Award/Closeout/Oversight, letter A. “Reporting Requirements”:

    Q: When do grantees have to begin submitting reports?

A: There are several reporting deadlines in the ARRA. Some of them apply to the

    Federal agency (DOT) and some to grantees.

    ? All FTA grantees receiving grants under any FTA ARRA program will be

    expected to submit standard Financial Status Reports (FSR) and Milestone

    Progress Reports (MPR) and accompanying narrative reports quarterly,

    ten days after the end of each quarter, starting with the first quarter that

    ends after grant award. (Note: a grantee that has used pre-award authority

    also has to submit an initial FSR when it executes the grant.) Except for

    being due 10 days after the end of the quarter instead of 30, and being

    quarterly instead of annual in the case of States and small urbanized areas,

    these reports are the same as reports required in FTA Circular 5010 and

    the relevant program circulars.

    ? DOT began submitting weekly reports to beginning March

    3. These reports are weekly until June, when the frequency becomes

    monthly. These reports include obligations and disbursements by program

    and FTA generates all the financial information needed from the grant

    award information in TEAM, and from DELPHI, the Department’s

    financial system. FTA encourages grantees to share noteworthy

    Recovery program accomplishments and “good news” stories with us so

    that we can pass them on to Recovery.Gov to demonstrate to the public

    that the ARRA is working. Similarly, we encourage grantees to share less

    positive experiences with us so that we can work with the rest of DOT and

    TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 9 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


    the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to address any potential

    issues. Grantees must report to the Inspector General any suspected

    incidence of waste, fraud and abuse related to ARRA funds, and should

    notify FTA regional offices of any problems encountered as they occur. ? The ARRA requires grantees to report the information specified in Section

    1201(c), 90 days, 180 days, one year, two years, and three years after

    February 17, 2009, which DOT then transmits to Congress. The grantee's

    first report is due May 18. In order to obtain the project and contract

    level information from grantees efficiently, FTA expects to have a

    reporting system in place for 1201(c) data in time to prepare the first 90-

    day report. Section 1512 reporting elements will be included in the same

    reporting system. FTA will provide further reporting instructions and

    deadlines as they become available.

    ? Section 1512 includes specific grantee reporting requirements (which

    DOT will combine with the 1201(c) periodic reporting). The ARRA

    (section 1512(f)) requires Federal agencies to impose the reporting

    requirement on grantees. OMB Guidance specifies that the first grantee

    reports will be due no later than July 10, covering the preceding calendar

    quarter of April, May, and June. FTA will also expect reports for the

    quarter ending March 31, 2009, for the few grants awarded before then..

    Since Section 1512 is a government-wide reporting requirement of the

    ARRA, FTA anticipates that OMB will provide reporting forms and

    instructions. FTA is working with the rest of DOT to consolidate 1201(c)

    and 1512 reporting elements in a central, automated reporting format. For

    each grant awarded, recipients will complete any of the data fields that

    cannot be pre-populated from TEAM and DELPHI, using a browser

    interface on the internet. FTA regions will communicate the reporting

    methodology and deadlines to grantees as soon as the information is


    ? The President has to report to Congress every 90 days on status and

    progress of projects and activities funded by ARRA with respect to NEPA

    compliance. FTA may request supplemental information from grantees or

    applicants. Specific reporting requirements and schedule have not yet

    been determined.

    ? Additional reporting may be required by the Inspector General (IG), the

    Government Accountability Office (GAO), or other entities, for example

    Congressional committees or individual members of Congress. If any of

    these entities requests information directly from an FTA recipient, the

    recipient may respond directly. FTA encourages grantees to copy the

    regional office on any responses to such requests for information.

    The following questions were posted on the ARRA Q & A website in Section

    IV. Post Award/Closeout/Oversight, letter B. Grant Implementation

TIGGER Submission from TPM-1 to TCA-2: March 20, 2009

    ARRA Questions and Answers on the FTA public website

    Page 10 of 14

    Revised: 3/20/2009


Q. Must grantees draw-down their FTA ARRA funds by September 30, 2015?

    A. Yes. FTA ARRA grant funds remain available for obligation by FTA through

    September 30, 2010. Deobligated funds are available for reobligation, in accordance

    with the ARRA redistribution requirements, to another ARRA eligible activity within

    that period. Once the period of availability for obligation has expired, funds may not

    be reobligated. Obligated balances are available through September 30, 2015 to be

    disbursed (drawn-down) for grant expenses, after which time any remaining balance

    in the grant will be canceled.

    Q. What is the process for scope change grant amendments?

    A: FTA does not expect amendments for scope changes, because the projects chosen for

    funding must be ready-to-go projects. However, if a situation arises which would require

    an amendment, FTA will entertain such a request on a case-by-case basis. FTA may

    approve or reject the amendment, in furtherance of the purposes of the ARRA.

    Q: Are grantees required to actually pay out money before requesting reimbursement or

    could they actually request payments a few days in advance to meet immediate

    disbursement needs?

    A: The FTA program operates on a reimbursement basis, which means an obligation

    must be incurred before a grantee can draw funds. However, a grantee does not have to

    disburse local funds before requesting reimbursement from FTA. Consistent with our

    current policy, grantees may request payments via the ECHO system for immediate

    project disbursement needs and must make payments on these obligations no later than

    three (3) days after receiving that Federal assistance.

The following questions were posted on the ARRA Q & A website in Section IV. C.

    Contracts and Procurement (following question #7)

Q: What is the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number?

    A: The Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) DUNS Number is a unique nine-digit identification sequence, which provides unique identifiers of single business entities, while linking

    corporate family structures together. D&B links the D&B DUNS Numbers of parents,

    subsidiaries, headquarters and branches on more than 70 million corporate family

    members around the world. Used by the world's most influential standards-setting

    organizations, it is recognized, recommended and/or required by more than 50 global,

    industry and trade associations, including the United Nations, the U.S. Federal

    Government, the Australian Government and the European Commission. In today's

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