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Small Starts/Very Small Starts Interim Guidance. April 12, 2007. Key SAFETEA-LU Provisions. Separate Funding Category beginning FY 07 ($200 million authorized annually) Rulemaking Required. Small Starts. Simplified Process Planning and Alternatives Analysis Project Development

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Key SAFETEA-LU Provisions

  • Separate Funding Category beginning FY 07 ($200 million authorized annually)

  • Rulemaking Required

Small Starts

  • Simplified Process

    • Planning and Alternatives Analysis

    • Project Development

    • Construction

  • Simplified “Project Construction Grant Agreement”

    • Scope

    • Cost

    • Schedule

    • Federal Funding Maximum Amount and Schedule

    • Local Funding Sources

Eligibility costs
Eligibility - Costs

  • Total cost ≤ $250 million

  • New Starts share ≤ $75 million

  • Exempt projects (≤ $25 million New Starts share) may:

    • Remain exempt until Final Rule – then be evaluated and rated

    • Be evaluated and rated now

Eligibility project definition
Eligibility - Project Definition

  • Fixed guideways, or

  • Corridor bus project including at least:

    • Substantial transit stations

    • Traffic signal priority or pre-emption

    • Low floor buses or level boarding

    • Branding of the proposed service

    • 10 min peak/15 min off-peak headways or better while operating at least 14 hours a day

Eligibility very small starts
Eligibility – Very Small Starts

  • Simple, low-cost projects that qualify for streamlined process

  • Very Small Starts eligibility criteria:

    • Existing daily riders over 3,000/weekday

    • Total cost under $50 million

    • Under $3 million per mile, excluding rolling stock

Alternatives analysis for small starts
Alternatives Analysis for Small Starts

  • Refer to existing alternatives analysis guidance for New Starts

  • Narrower range of alternatives

  • Potentially less complex analytical methods

Alternatives analysis for very small starts
Alternatives Analysis for Very Small Starts

  • Identification of corridor problems or opportunities

  • Definition of the project

  • Analysis of costs, benefits, and impacts of the project compared to existing conditions

  • Determination of financial viability

  • Explanation of choice of preferred alternative

  • Implementation Plan

Evaluation of small starts
Evaluation of Small Starts

  • Use Existing New Starts Criteria for Small Starts

    • Project Justification

      • Land-use

      • Cost-effectiveness

      • Other factors, including economic development, congestion and pricing strategies

    • Local Financial Commitment

  • Simplifications to New Starts Framework

    • Fewer criteria

    • Opening year forecasts

    • Simpler travel forecasting procedures possible

Evaluation of small starts1
Evaluation of Small Starts

Cost Effectiveness Rating

  • Use current breakpoints for ratings

  • Increase opening year user benefits to reflect average national 20-year growth rate

Evaluation of small or very small starts local financial commitment
Evaluation of Small or Very Small Starts – Local Financial Commitment

  • Small or Very Small Starts projects receive “medium” for local financial commitment if:

    • Reasonable plan to secure local share (all non-New Starts funding committed for PCGA)

    • Project O&M under 5 percent of agency operating budget

    • Agency in solid financial condition

  • Projects that cannot meet the conditions above submit a financial plan

    • According to FTA guidance

    • Covering period up to and including opening year

    • Evaluated based on criteria used for New Starts

Fta funding recommendations
FTA Funding Recommendations Commitment

  • Small or Very Small Starts eligible for funding if:

    • In project development

    • “Ready” to implement project

    • Summary rating of “Medium” or better

  • Like all New Starts - No funding guarantee

Fy08 small starts funding
FY08 Small Starts Funding Commitment

  • FTA recommends $51.8 million for four small starts projects.

  • Each project:

    • Is rated Medium

    • Has a Medium or better cost effectiveness rating

  • $48.2 million remaining for other emerging projects