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Notice

Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice of request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the intention of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to request the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the revision of the following information collection: Metropolitan and Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning.

DATES:

Comments must be submitted before March 20, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

To ensure that your comments are not entered more than once into the docket, submit comments identified by the docket number by only one of the following methods:

1. Web site: www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site. (Note: The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT's) electronic docket is no longer accepting electronic comments.) All electronic submissions must be made to the U.S. Government electronic docket site at www.regulations.gov. Commenters should follow the directions below for mailed and hand-delivered comments.

2. Fax: 202-493-2251.

3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

Instructions: You must include the agency name and docket number for this notice at the beginning of your comments. Submit two copies of your comments if you submit them by mail. For confirmation that FTA has received your comments, include a self-addressed stamped postcard. Note that all comments received, including any personal information, will be posted and will be available to Internet users, without change, to www.regulations.gov. You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published April 11, 2000, (65 FR 19477), or you may visit www.regulations.gov. Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents and comments received, go to www.regulations.gov at any time. Background documents and comments received may also be viewed at the U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Metropolitan and Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning—Mr. Dwayne Weeks, Office of Planning and Environment, (202) 493-0316, or email: dwayne.weeks@dot.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Interested parties are invited to send comments regarding any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) The necessity and utility of the information collection for the proper performance of the functions of the FTA; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways to minimize the collection burden without reducing the quality of the collected information. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection.

Title: Metropolitan and Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning (OMB Number: 2132-0529).

Background: The FTA and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) jointly carry out the federal mandate to improve urban and rural transportation. 49 U.S.C. 5303 and 5304 and 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135 authorize the use of federal funds to assist Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), States, and local public bodies in developing transportation plans and programs to serve the transportation needs of urbanized areas over 50,000 in population and other areas of States outside of urbanized areas. The information collection activities involved in developing the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), the Metropolitan Transportation Plan, the Long-Range Statewide Transportation Plan, the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) are necessary to identify and evaluate the transportation issues and needs in each urbanized area and throughout every State. These products of the transportation planning process are essential elements in the reasonable planning and programming of federally funded transportation investments.

In addition to serving as a management tool for MPOs, the UPWP is used by both FTA and FHWA to monitor the transportation planning activities of MPOs. It also is needed to establish national out year budgets and regional program plans, develop policy on using funds, monitor State and local compliance with technical emphasis areas, respond to Congressional inquiries, prepare Congressional testimony, and ensure efficiency in the use and expenditure of Federal funds by determining that planning proposals are both reasonable and cost-effective. 49 U.S.C. 5303 and 23 U.S.C.134(j) require the development of TIPs for urbanized areas; STIPs are mandated by 49 U.S.C. 5304 and 23 U.S.C. 135(g) for an entire State. After approval by the Governor and MPO, metropolitan TIPs in attainment areas are to be incorporated directly into the STIP. For nonattainment areas, FTA/FHWA must make a conformity finding on the TIPs before including them in the STIP. The complete STIP is then jointly reviewed and approved or disapproved by FTA and FHWA. These conformity findings and approval actions constitute the determination that States are complying Start Printed Page 4964with the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135 and 49 U.S.C. 5303 and 5304 as a condition of eligibility for federal-aid funding. Without these documents, approvals and findings, FTA and FHWA cannot provide capital and/or operating assistance.

The FTA and FHWA updated their method for estimating the annual burden hours of the transportation planning programs on respondents to reflect the Final Rule on Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Planning. On July 6, 2012, the President signed into law Public Law 112-141, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and on December 4, 2015, signed into law Public Law 114-94, the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST). The MAP-21 makes significant changes to the statewide and nonmetropolitan planning process and the metropolitan transportation planning process, and the FAST makes minor changes to existing provisions. As a result, FHWA and FTA have issued a final rule that makes the regulations consistent with current statutory requirements. The rule is central to the implementation of the overall performance management framework created by MAP-21.

The changes to the FHWA/FTA statewide and nonmetropolitan and metropolitan transportation planning regulations (23 CFR part 450 and 49 CFR part 613) make the regulations consistent with current statutory requirements. Major regulatory revisions include a new mandate for States and MPOs to take a performance-based approach to planning and programming; a new emphasis on the nonmetropolitan transportation planning process, by requiring States to have a higher level of involvement with nonmetropolitan local officials and providing a process for the creation of regional transportation planning organizations (RTPOs); a structural change to the membership of the larger MPOs; a new framework for voluntary scenario planning; and a process for programmatic mitigation plans. The revised burden hour estimates reflect the annual compliance burden of the requirements in the Final Rule on Statewide and Nonmetropolitan Transportation Planning and Metropolitan Transportation Planning published on May 27, 2016.

Respondents: State Departments of Transportation and MPOs.

Estimated Annual Burden on Respondents: 9,109 hours for each of the 461 respondents.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 4,199,279 hours.

Frequency: Annual.

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William Hyre,

Deputy Associate Administrator for Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2017-00874 Filed 1-13-17; 8:45 am]

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