§ 427.21. Application requirements for new initiatives.

 (a)  Applications for new initiatives must be received by the Department by 5 p.m. on the second Monday of January.

 (b)  Any project that has received a rating of medium, medium-high or high under 49 U.S.C.A. §  5309 (relating to capital investment) is considered to have satisfied the project evaluation requirements of this chapter but must provide supporting documentation to the Department.

   (1)  The project sponsor shall submit to the Department a copy of the application documentation as submitted to the US DOT/FTA that resulted in the rating.

   (2)  Updates to the project application documentation shall be provided to the Department as they are approved by the Federal Transit Administration.

 (c)  A project that has received a rating of medium-low or low under 49 U.S.C.A. §  5309 or that has elected not to apply for funding under 49 U.S.C.A. §  5309 shall provide documentation supporting the following project evaluation requirements:

   (1)  Investment optimization. The applicant shall demonstrate that investments in the existing service areas have been optimized.

     (i)   The applicant shall document the steps taken to optimize existing services and the impacts of those steps on current ridership, revenues and customer satisfaction.

     (ii)   The applicant shall show how the proposed project will coordinate with other transit in the region, as well as with other transportation options when appropriate, such as bicycle paths, high-occupancy vehicle facilities, Amtrak or other intercity rail.

   (2)  Cost/benefit. The applicant shall demonstrate that the investment in the project results in reasonable public benefits that are proportional to the investment.

     (i)   The applicant shall document likely impacts on total transit ridership, impacts on greenhouse gasses and overall air quality, travel time, user costs, accessibility to employment centers and service to historically under-represented populations.

     (ii)   The costs of the project over its design life must be calculated and include capital investments, operations and maintenance.

     (iii)   Project benefits and costs should be calculated to a net present value and a current dollar benefit/cost ratio must be calculated.

     (iv)   The project must demonstrate a benefit/cost ratio greater than 1.0 to satisfy the reasonable public benefit requirement.

     (v)   If requested, the applicant shall document how or if the project supports statewide air quality and transportation policies.

   (3)  Local funding commitments. The applicant shall demonstrate that it has secured commitments for local share of funding.

     (i)   The applicant shall provide documentation showing what local funds are available for both the capital and operating funding needs of the project, any limitations on those funds and, when in a designated metropolitan planning organization area, affirm that the project is included in a cost affordable long range transportation plan.

     (ii)   A signed letter of commitment from the agency responsible for collecting capital, operations and maintenance funding must be included that documents the sources of the funding, the expiration date of the funding and a plan for extending the funding source’s revenue period should it expire before the design life of the project.

     (iii)   Estimates of fare box revenues/recovery shall also be provided along with actionable strategies to cover any unexpected fare box shortfalls during the design life of the project.

   (4)  Technical capacity. The applicant shall provide a management plan for construction and operation of the project during the design life of the project.

     (i)   The management plan must identify in-house and consultant resources necessary to manage the project.

     (ii)   Where in-house services are to be used, it will be necessary to demonstrate those resources have sufficient experience managing projects of similar scope and scale.

     (iii)   Where outside services are to be used, the applicant shall document the expected costs of those services and include a plan to manage the services.

   (5)  Integrated land use policies. The applicant shall document relevant elements of local land use plans and policies that support efficient use of the transportation system in the project corridor.

     (i)   To demonstrate the integration, the applicant should cite relevant plans (comprehensive plan and zoning) as well as policies relating to parking availability/cost, existing and allowable densities, mix of land use and affordable housing.

     (ii)   Documentation should include maps, tables, specific local policies and narrative that make the case that land use policies recognize the integral relationship between transportation and land use.

     (iii)   In areas where walk or bicycle access will be important to the overall demand for the project the applicant shall document how patrons of the project will safely access the system from nearby significant land uses.

     (iv)   If requested, the applicant shall provide signed letters from local governing bodies in municipalities where stations would be located documenting the level of commitment and actions undertaken to assure land use policies are supportive of the project.

 (d)  Applicants shall provide documentation sufficient to compare the benefits, costs, local policies, technical capacity and funding commitment of applicants so that findings can be succinctly summarized for the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Annual Performance Report.

 (e)  The Department may request additional supporting documentation from the applicant to complete the application.

 (f)  Applicants shall provide responses to or acknowledgement of requests for additional supporting documentation within 14 days of the request.

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