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Small Starts/Very Small Starts Interim Guidance

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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
  • 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
  • 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