Public Transportation Innovation
The goals and objectives for of Public Transportation Innovation projects vary according to the type of project, and there is a phased process where projects build upon each other and continue based upon their success or failure. Research projects have the ultimate goal to develop and deploy new and innovative ideas, practices, and approaches. Eligible research projects focus on: (A) providing more effective and efficient public transportation service, including services to? (i) seniors; (ii) individuals with disabilities; and (iii) low-income individuals; (B) mobility management and improvements and travel management systems; (C) data and communication system advancements; (D) system capacity, including? (i) train control; (ii) capacity improvements; and (iii) performance management; (E) capital and operating efficiencies; (F) planning and forecasting modeling and simulation; (G) advanced vehicle design; (H) advancements in vehicle technology; (I) asset maintenance and repair systems advancement; (J) construction and project management; (K) alternative fuels; (L) the environment and energy efficiency; (M) safety improvements; or (N) any other area that the Secretary determines is important to advance the interests of public transportation. Then, successful research ideas can result in innovation and development projects that improve public transportation systems nationwide to provide more efficient and effective delivery of public transportation services, including through technology and technological capacity improvements. Eligible innovation and development projects focus on: (A) the development of public transportation research projects that received assistance under subsection (c) that the Secretary determines were successful; (B) planning and forecasting modeling and simulation; (C) capital and operating efficiencies; (D) advanced vehicle design; (E) advancements in vehicle technology; (F) the environment and energy efficiency; (G) system capacity, including train control and capacity improvements; or (H) any other area that the Secretary determines is important to advance the interests of public transportation. Demonstration, deployment, and evaluation projects should build on successful research, innovation to promote the early deployment and demonstration of innovation in public transportation that has broad applicability. Demonstration programs require a comprehensive evaluation within two years of the project receiving assistance. Eligible demonstration, deployment, and evaluation projects focus on: (A) the deployment of research and technology development resulting from private efforts or Federally funded efforts; and (B) the implementation of research and technology development to advance the interests of public transportation.; or (C) the deployment of low or no emission vehicles, zero emission vehicles, or associated advanced technology. For the LOW OR NO EMISSION VEHICLE COMPONENT TESTING (Low-No Testing program): competitively selects at least one institution of higher education to operate and maintain a facility to conduct testing, evaluation, and analysis of low or no emission vehicle components intended for use in low or no emission vehicles. The institution(s) shall have: I. the capacity to carry out transportation-related advanced component and vehicle evaluation; II. laboratories capable of testing and evaluation; and III. direct access to or a partnership with a testing facility capable of emulating real-world circumstances in order to test low or no emission vehicle components installed on the intended vehicle. Component testing is voluntary; however, a low or no emission bus model must still comply with Section 5318 Bus Testing. The TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM (TCRP) objective is through a cooperative agreement, the National Academy of Science will administer a public transportation cooperative research program with an independent governing board to recommend public transportation research, development and technology transfer activities.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Federal Transit Administration, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants; C - Direct Payments For Specified Use; L - Dissemination of Technical Information; M - Training
Fiscal Year 2016
FTA anticipates implementing new programs and continuing to build on accomplishments in accordance with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act requirements. FTA will award contracts and cooperative agreements through research, development, demonstration, and deployment projects, and evaluation of research and technology of national significance to public transportation that improves public transportation in our nation. Projects were chosen through a new transparent, participatory, and consensus oriented planning process. Also, as there is a five year authorization, FTA plans to develop a five year strategic plan in late 2016. FTA will establish a new testing program to assess low or no emission vehicle (LoNo) components. It is anticipated that 10 applications will be received and 3 awards will be granted in Fiscal Year 2016. No obligations until FY 2018. Accomplishments under this sections are reflected in CFDA 20.514.Fiscal Year 2017
Accomplishments for FY 2017 are reflected in assistance listing 20.514.Fiscal Year 2018
FTA’s 2018 research projects support the Department of Transportation strategic goals of: • Safety: Reduce Transportation-Related Fatalities and Serious Injuries Across the Transportation System. • Infrastructure: Invest in Infrastructure to Ensure Mobility and Accessibility and to Stimulate Economic Growth, Productivity and Competitiveness for American Workers and Businesses. • Innovation: Lead in the Development and Deployment of Innovative Practices and Technologies that Improve the Safety and Performance of the Nation's Transportation System. • Accountability: Serve the Nation with Reduced Regulatory Burden and Greater Efficiency, Effectiveness and Accountability. through three primary program areas of: Mobility Innovation, Safety, and Infrastructure. Projects funded in FY 2018 include: (1) Provided funding for the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves to provide technical assistance in the form of working with FTA to resolve many issues that plague the transit industry. This assistance helps to ensure that transit providers understand, prioritize, and comply with achieved resolutions. In FY 2018, TCRP published 12 research products that included full research reports, syntheses of practice, quick studies, and other research activities spanning a broad variety of topics in public transportation. Webinars are a communication tool of TCRP. In addition, the Transportation Research Board host webinars about TCRP products. During the spring of FY 2018, the webinar system hit its registration capacity when 1,300 people signed up for Broadening Understanding of the Interplay between Public Transit, Shared Mobility, and personal Automobiles. (2) Funded 12 projects in 9 states that explored solutions and improvements that were innovative approaches to eliminating or mitigating safety hazards, improve infrastructure resiliency, and improve all-hazards emergency response and recovery. Final reports expected in Winter 2018 for two projects. One project is a tabletop exercise with appropriate local emergency management agencies to coordinate and enhance its existing all-hazard emergency management and recovery plan. The second project developed and tested an emergency recovery plan with local transit agencies and emergency management transportation groups of five counties, provided training materials for 198 individuals and completed six workshops throughout the U.S. using lessons learned from emergency recovery plan development. (3) Funded a safety project that will develop a guidance document for transit agencies to develop and implement an Employee Safety Reporting system that includes transit employee reporting system practices of safety standards, protocols, and best practices. Expect delivery of the guidance document in 2019. (4) Funded safety research projects that provided technical support to transit agencies to pursue innovative approaches to eliminate or mitigate safety hazards. Examples of FY 2018 projects funded transit agencies to produce data on the effectiveness of various technological approaches to enhancing transit safety in collision warnings and avoidance and employee safety protection. Three projects: (1) fixed-mounted train detection and worker warning system demonstration project that will document safety improvements to track workers; (2) track inspector location awareness system project that includes installing secondary wayside systems on tracks for roadway workers lowering the possibilities of injuries and fatalities for employees; and (3) bus mirror configuration project that established preliminary visibility requirements for transit bus operators.Fiscal Year 2019
In Fiscal Year 2019, FTA will continue to fund research that supports the Department of Transportation goals of: • Safety: Reduce Transportation-Related Fatalities and Serious Injuries Across the Transportation System. • Infrastructure: Invest in Infrastructure to Ensure Mobility and Accessibility and to Stimulate Economic Growth, Productivity and Competitiveness for American Workers and Businesses. • Innovation: Lead in the Development and Deployment of Innovative Practices and Technologies that Improve the Safety and Performance of the Nation's Transportation System. • Accountability: Serve the Nation with Reduced Regulatory Burden and Greater Efficiency, Effectiveness and Accountability. Through FTA’s research primary program areas of: Mobility Innovation, Safety, and Infrastructure. EXPECTED PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR FY 2019 INCLUDE: 1. Transit Automated Research - Funded Transit Bus Automation Strategic Partnerships project to collect data and transfer knowledge to transit industry, agencies, bus manufacturers, technology providers, associations, academics, and State DOT's of the benefits and challenges of transit automation as defined in FTA STAR plan. 2. Scheduled to post a competitive notice of funding opportunity for FTA's Integrated Mobility Innovation (IMI) Program for projects that demonstrate innovative and effective practices, partnerships and technologies to enhance public transportation effectiveness, increase efficiency, expand quality, promote safety and improve the traveler experience. It is expected that 98 applications will be received and 17 awards will be granted in fiscal year 2020. 3. Expect in FY 2019, TCRP to publish 14 research projects that include full research reports, syntheses of practice, quick studies, conduct 13 webinars and other research activities spanning a broad variety of topics in public transportation. 4. Scheduled to post a competitive notice of funding opportunity for the Human Services Coordination Research Program with funds available under the Public Transportation Innovation Program. Purpose to explore new strategies to improve public transportation services for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income individuals. Identify and address gaps in the locally developed Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan. It is expected that 45 applications will be received and 10 awards will be granted in fiscal year 2020. 6. Enhancing the environment by providing mechanisms for mainstreaming and determining performance specifications for low and no emission transit bus components through university-based laboratory testing. 7. Improving the build and project approval process. 8. Stimulating economic growth.Fiscal Year 2020
ANTICIPATED ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR FY 2020 PROJECTS INCLUDE: 1. The Transit Cooperative Research Program, in FY 2020, will develop short-term, practical solutions such as best practices, transit security guidelines, testing prototypes, and new management tools and communication findings in reports and webinars. 2. It is anticipated that 98 applications will be received for the Integrated Mobility Innovation (IMI) Demonstration program solicitation and 17 awards will be granted in fiscal year 2020. The program supports innovations in public transportation service models, payment systems, and automation applications to improve mobility for all people. The effort is to fund cooperative agreement projects in three distinct areas of high interest to the transit industry and traveling public: (A) Mobility on Demand (MOD) and Sandbox demonstrations, (B) FTA's Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR), and (C) Mobility Payment Integration (MPI). A. Requires the MOD projects funded will deploy new tools and service models, such as mobile applications or on-demand micro-transit. Focus areas include projects that provide first-mile/last-mile connections to transit hubs; improve mobility for those with limited transportation choices; and involve targeted, reproducible approaches to data sharing and collection. It is anticipated 40 applications will be received and 12 awards will be made by fiscal year 2020. B. Requires the STAR projects funded to explore the use of vehicle automation technologies in bus transit operations, specifically Automated Advanced Driver Systems (ADAS) for transit buses and automated shuttles. It is anticipated that 10 applications will be received and three awards will be made by fiscal year 2020. C. Requires the MPI projects funded will explore new business approaches and technology solutions that support mobility, enable communities to adopt innovative mobility solutions that enhance transportation efficiency and effectiveness, and facilitate the widespread deployment of proven mobility solutions that expand personal mobility. It is anticipated eight applications will be received and two awards will be made by fiscal year 2020. 3) It is anticipated that 55 applications will be received and 10 awards will be granted in fiscal year 2020 as part of the Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act (Public Law No. 114-94), signed into law on December 4, 2015, and effective October 11, 2015, 49 U.S.C. Section 5312/FAST Section 3008., Public Law 114-94, 49 U.S.C. 5312
Public Transportation Innovation (49 USC § 5312): Federal Public Transportation law authorizes $28 million for fiscal years 2016 – 2020 for the Public Transportation Innovation program. By statute, FTA directs $5 million to the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) and $3 million to the Low or No-Emission Vehicle Component Assessment Program (LoNo CAP). The remaining $20 million supports Research; Innovation and Development; Demonstration, Deployment and Evaluation activities. Additionally, the FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act designated an additional $2 million for low and no emissions bus testing to recipients selected pursuant to Section 5312(h) and in association with the activities authorized for bus testing in Section 5318. Projects eligible for funding in this section include Research; Innovation and Development; Demonstration, Deployment and Evaluation activities; Low or No Emission Vehicle Component Assessment Centers (Low-No CAP); and the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Federal Government departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the Government, including Federal laboratories; State and local governmental entities; providers of public transportation; private or non-profit organizations; institutions of higher education; and technical and community colleges.
14 - State, 15 - Local, 20 - Public nonprofit institution/organization, 36 - Private nonprofit institution/organization.
FTA will specify the credentials and documentation required in an online application systems and in the individual notices of funding opportunity published to support the various sections and program purposes. At a minimum, applications for funding should follow requirements listed in the 6100.1E circular and include the standard form required for use as a cover sheet for submission of pre-applications and applications "instructions for application for federal assistance (SF-424) form", project objectives, goals, tasks, background, and project description, including schedule, budget, a data management plan, and applicant's organizational experience. Applicants approved will have to do a resolution by an authorized body approving the filing of an application; and complete certifications and assurances as compiled in FTA's Annual List of Certifications and Assurances. Legal opinion and compliance with labor requirements are required later.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage 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 the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. Pre-application coordination is required. This program is eligible for coverage 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 the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review. To the extent funding is available for discretionary activities, FTA will publish specific application instructions in a notice of funding opportunity or a request for proposals.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. In addition, FTA guidance for these programs can be found in FTA Circular 6100.1E, "Research, Technical Assistance and Training Program: Application Instructions and Program Management Guidelines." FTA Circular 5010.1E, "Award Management Requirements," assist recipients in administering, managing and reporting responsibilities. Potential applicants should follow the instructions in this Circular, which may be found at the FTA website at https://www.transit.dot.gov/regulations-and-guidance/fta-circulars/final-circulars.
An FTA grant award obligating Federal funds is reflected in a grant agreement and/or cooperative agreement. Agreements are awarded electronically using FTA's Transit Award Management System (TrAMS). A pre-requisite to work with the government and apply for Federal funds, you must have a valid Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, must register in grants.gov; be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and continue to maintain an active SAM registration with the current information at all times during which the organization has an active Federal award. To access this web-based system, a user name and password are needed and can be obtained by contacting the appropriate FTA staff. The Federal Transit Administrator makes the final decision to approve a project. To access funds, the recipient must execute the Agreement and be set-up in FTA's financial system. For demonstration and deployment projects receiving assistance an evaluation of the success or failure of projects is required. Additionally, all Agreement awards must comply with the DOT public access plan. It is required that DOT research awardees develop a Data Management Plan that will identify whether and how they will provide for the long-term preservation of, and access, to, Digital Data Sets associated with their research activities; the plan must be in place prior to receiving an award.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 30 to 60 days. Date range varies.
How are proposals selected?
Selection criteria are contained in Federal Register Notices, published Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and Requests for proposals. FTA published notices between FY 2019 and 2020; and either has allocated the funding or is in the process of allocating funds for support.
How may assistance be used?
There are multiple assistance opportunities within public transportation innovation – please see the objectives section for more details. Depending on the specific program, the eligibility of recipients, projects, and federal share may vary. A prohibition exists such that no grants can be made for the demonstration, deployment, or evaluation of a vehicle that is in revenue service unless the Secretary determines that the project makes significant technological advancements in the vehicle. To the extent FTA allocates the funding through a competitive notice of funding opportunity, FTA will specify eligibility and requirements in a notice of funding opportunity (NOFO). Government share of costs shall not exceed 80% except for Section 5312(h) which is 50% and Section 5312 (i) where there is no match require. Funding for TCRP is at 100%. Demonstration and deployment projects must have a comprehensive evaluation of the success of the funded project within 2 years after the date on which a project received assistance.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
• Milestone Progress Reports (MPR). A recipient must submit a quarterly MPR for each active project. The MPR is the primary written communication between the recipient and FTA outlining specific results including explicit information on research outputs, outcomes, impacts of the activities established for the period in accordance with the statement of work. Recipients are encouraged to note significant accomplishments with immediate value to the provision of public transportation in their quarterly reports. The reason for slippage if established objectives are not met. • Final Technical Report. At the conclusion of a project, a recipient must submit a final technical report documenting project performance and the final results, outcomes, and impacts of research, development, demonstration, deployment, or technical evaluation projects, including an executive summary.
Agreement recipients shall retain records for 3 years following submission of a final expenditure report, pending resolution of audit findings, all project contracts documents, financial records, and supporting records.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: Title Public Transportation Innovation Public Law 49 U.S.C. Section 5312 Government Share of Costs. -- (1) In General.—The Government share of the cost of a project carried out under this section shall not exceed 80 percent. (2) Non-Government Share.—The non-Government share of the cost of a project carried out under this section may be derived from in-kind contributions. (3) Financial Benefit.—If the Secretary determines that there would be a clear and direct financial benefit to an entity under a grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or other agreement under this section, the Secretary shall establish a Government share of the costs of the project to be carried out under the grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or other agreement that is consistent with the benefit. Fees for low and no component testing activities within Section 5312(h) are equally split between the entity requesting testing and the Federal government - 50% is paid by FTA funds and the remaining 50 percent of testing fees shall be paid from amounts recovered by the testing center through the fees established and collected from the low and no component manufacturer requesting the testing services.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The period of time varies with the complexity of the project. Terms and conditions are agreed on between FTA and the applicant. Funds are available until expended. Generally, the applicant is required to submit an application for a grant or cooperative agreement in response to a solicitation that will be made. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Quarterly.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Mary Leary, Deputy Associate Administrator
1200 New Jersey Ave, S.E.
Washington, DC 20590 USA
(Project Grants (Cooperative Agreements or Contracts)) FY 18$7,180,000.00; FY 19 est $28,000,000.00; FY 20 est $28,000,000.00; - The first year obligations will be noted in this assistance listing is FY 2018.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
$50,000 to $1,000,000
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Federal Public Transportation law is codified at Title 49, United States Code, Chapter 53 (49 U.S.C. chapter 53). Authorizing legislation is substantive legislation enacted by Congress that establishes or continues the legal operation of a Federal program or agency. FTA Fiscal Year Annual List of Certifications and Assurances for Federal Transit Administration Grants and Cooperative Agreements; FTA Circular 6100.1E for Research Projects; FTA Circular 4220.1F for Third-Party Contracting Guidance; and FTA Circular 5010.1E for Awards Management Requirements. In certain circumstances and in other fiscal years, contact the FTA Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation as necessary. Also, consult FTA website www.transit.dot.gov. Other information will be made available upon request.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2016
FY 2016 projects will build upon accomplishments and in accordance with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, fund projects for Public Transportation Innovation which funds research; innovation and development; demonstrations, deployment and evaluation; assessing low and no emission vehicle components; and the Transit Cooperative Research Program. EXAMPLES OF 2016 FUNDED PROJECTS: • Mobility on Demand: Mobility on Demand (MOD) is a vision for a multimodal, integrated, and connected transportation system in which personal mobility is viewed as the objective. MOD enables the use of on-demand information, real-time data, and predictive analysis to efficiently utilize existing infrastructure and design constraints to provide individual travelers with transportation choices that serve their needs and their circumstances. Simply put, the goal is to move people efficiently and safely with as high quality of service as possible. With overarching goals of efficiency, effectiveness and quality, MOD components for FY16 include $5 million for MOD Sandbox (additional funding to strengthen FY15 efforts), $750K for MOD Sandbox evaluations, $250K for MOD Dashboard (MOD key performance indicators), $1 million for MOD Deployment Accelerators (i.e., deployment planning grants for partnership and plan development), $500K for MOD Fuel Tank (MOD information and data clearinghouse), $500K for MOD program strategic planning, $500K for MOD data specification and prototype testing, $500K for MOD simulation and modeling. • LoNo Component Testing Center: A new program established by the FAST Act to support low or no emission vehicle deployment, Section 5312(h). This research project will establish a testing program to assess low or no emission vehicle components. A higher education organization(s) will be competitively selected to operate and maintain a facility to test, evaluate, and analyze LoNo vehicle components. • Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP): Section 5312(i) to the National Academies of Science as a cooperative agreement to carry out activities to support FTA’s public transportation innovation projects, especially relating to ensuring research to practice and projects recommended by an independent governing board. • Safety, Resiliency and All Hazards Recovery Program (SRER) Program: Safety is the highest priority at U.S. DOT, and FTA is committed to support research and demonstration projects that keep public transportation as one of the safest ways to travel in the United States. This program should be established as an annual, open competition, program to build a portfolio of demonstration projects focus in assisting transit agencies at a) improving operational safety, b) strengthen infrastructure resiliency and c) All-Hazard Emergency Response and Recovery (2-5 project per year) Projects under this sections are reflected in CFDA 20.514.Fiscal Year 2017
No Projects were funded for FY 2017 under this assistance listing. See assistance listing 20.514 for FY2017 projects.Fiscal Year 2018
FTA’s annual modal research plan for FY 2018 can be found at: https://www.transportation.gov/administrations/assistant-secretary-research-and-technology/federal-transit-administration-fta FY 2018 funded projects include: 1) Continuation of cooperative agreements funding two universities selected to do assessments of low- and no- emission vehicle components intended for use in transit buses. 2)A public transit industry driven cooperative research program. 3) A Transit Bus Automation Strategic Partnerships project outlined in FTAs Strategic Transit Automation Research (STAR) Plan. 4) Another round of mobility innovation grants. 5) A guidance document for transit agencies to implement an Employee Safety Reporting system.Fiscal Year 2019
EXPECTED PROJECTS TO FUND IN FY 2019 INCLUDE: 1) As a statutory requirement expect to fund one public transportation cooperative research program that develops near-term, practical solutions in fiscal year 2019. 2) Expect to fund demonstration projects that will focus on three areas of interest: (1) Mobility on Demand, (2) Strategic Transit Automation Research, and (3) Mobility Payment Integration: * Explore new business approaches and technology solutions that support mobility, *Enable communities to adopt innovative mobility solutions that enhance transportation efficiency and effectiveness, and *Facilitate the widespread deployment of proven mobility solutions that expand personal mobility. 3) Expect to fund a project to develop suicide prevention mitigations. 4) Expect to fund projects that assist transit agencies with identifying and adopting specific measures to address public safety in transit systems, including crime prevention, human trafficking, and operator assault.Fiscal Year 2020
ANTICIPATED FUNDING PROJECTS IN FY 2020 INCLUDE: 1) A public transportation cooperative research program. 2) Mobility Payment Integration (MPI) projects that promote adoption of integrated payment options for transit agencies and other mobility providers. 3) Transit Bus Automation Research - demonstration projects focusing on level 4 automation in transit maintenance yard settings. 4) Real-Time Transit Infrastructure and Rolling Stock Condition Assessment Demonstration Program - projects allowing transit agencies to detect defects early and proactively track and monitor deficiencies before they impact transit services. 5) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) projects.