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Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review

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Federal Transit Administration, DOT.


Notice of request for comments.


The Federal Transit Administration invites public comment about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval to renew the following information collection: 49 CFR Part 611 Major Capital Investment Projects (OMB Number: 2132-0561). The information to be collected for this program is to evaluate proposed New and Small Starts projects. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments was published on April 27, 2009.


Comments must be submitted before September 8, 2009. A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

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Sylvia L. Marion, Office of Administration, Office of Management Planning, (202) 366-6680.

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Title: 49 CFR Part 611 Major Capital Investment Projects.

Abstract: On August 10, 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was enacted. Sections 3011(d)(5) and 3011(e)(6) of SAFETEA-LU require FTA to issue regulations on the manner in which candidate projects for major capital investment grants for new fixed guideway systems, extensions to existing fixed guideway systems, or significant corridor based bus investments (“New Starts,” “Small Starts,” respectively) will be evaluated and rated for purposes of the FTA Capital Investment Grants program for New and Small Starts under 49 USC Section 5309. An Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for this regulation was issued on January 30, 2006 (71 FR 22841). A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was issued on August 3, 2007 (72 FR 43328). The NPRM was withdrawn on February 17, 2009, due to an intervening statutory change resulting from the passage of the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act in June 2008.

FTA has a longstanding requirement to evaluate proposed projects against a prescribed set of statutory criteria. The Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 (STURAA) established in law a set of criteria that proposed projects had to meet in order to be eligible for federal funding. The requirement for summary project ratings has been in place since 1998. Thus, the requirements for project evaluation and data collection for New Starts projects are not new, nor have Start Printed Page 39375they changed extensively since their inception. One addition included in SAFETEA-LU is the Small Starts program. The Small Starts program enables projects with a lesser total capital cost and smaller requested share of New Starts funds to progress through a simplified and streamlined project evaluation and data collection process. In general, though, the information used by FTA for New and Small Starts project evaluation and rating purposes should arise as a part of the normal planning process.

FTA has been collecting project evaluation information from project sponsors under the existing OMB approval for this program (OMB No. 2132-0561). However, due to modifications in project evaluation criteria for the New Starts program and the addition of the Small Starts program, it became apparent that some information required might be beyond the scope of ordinary planning activities.

SAFETEA-LU created additional requirements for before-and-after data collection for purposes of Government Performance and Results Act reporting as a condition of obtaining a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) or a Project Construction Grant Agreement (PCGA).

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 38,760 hours.


All written comments must refer to the docket number that appears at the top of this document and be submitted to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attention: FTA Desk Officer.

Comments Are Invited on: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Department, including whether the information will have practical utility; the accuracy of the Department's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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Issued: July 31, 2009.

Ann M. Linnertz.

Associate Administrator for Administration.

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[FR Doc. E9-18771 Filed 8-5-09; 8:45 am]