49 USC 5323 - General provisions on assistance

(a) Interests in Property.— 

(1) In general.— 
Financial assistance provided under this chapter to a State or a local governmental authority may be used to acquire an interest in, or to buy property of, a private company engaged in public transportation, for a capital project for property acquired from a private company engaged in public transportation after July 9, 1964, or to operate a public transportation facility or equipment in competition with, or in addition to, transportation service provided by an existing public transportation company, only if
(A) the Secretary determines that such financial assistance is essential to a program of projects required under sections 5303, 5304, and 5306;
(B) the Secretary determines that the program provides for the participation of private companies engaged in public transportation to the maximum extent feasible; and

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(C) just compensation under State or local law will be paid to the company for its franchise or property.
(2) Limitation.— 
A governmental authority may not use financial assistance of the United States Government to acquire land, equipment, or a facility used in public transportation from another governmental authority in the same geographic area.
(b) Notice and Public Hearing.— 

(1) In general.— 
For a capital project that will substantially affect a community, or the public transportation service of a community, an applicant shall
(A) provide an adequate opportunity for public review and comment on the project;
(B) after providing notice, hold a public hearing on the project if the project affects significant economic, social, or environmental interests;
(C) consider the economic, social, and environmental effects of the project; and
(D) find that the project is consistent with official plans for developing the community.
(2) Notice.— 
Notice of a hearing under this subsection
(A) shall include a concise description of the proposed project; and

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(B) shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the geographic area the project will serve.
(3) Application requirements.— 
An application for a grant under this chapter for a capital project described in paragraph (1) shall include
(A) a certification that the applicant has complied with the requirements of this subsection; and
(B) in the environmental record for the project, evidence that the applicant has complied with the requirements of this subsection.
(c) Fares not Required.— 
This chapter does not require that elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities be charged a fare.
(d) Condition on Charter Bus Transportation Service.— 

(1) Agreements.— 
Financial assistance under this chapter may be used to buy or operate a bus only if the applicant, governmental authority, or publicly owned operator that receives the assistance agrees that, except as provided in the agreement, the governmental authority or an operator of public transportation for the governmental authority will not provide charter bus transportation service outside the urban area in which it provides regularly scheduled public transportation service. An agreement shall provide for a fair arrangement the Secretary of Transportation considers appropriate to ensure that the assistance will not enable a governmental authority or an operator for a governmental authority to foreclose a private operator from providing intercity charter bus service if the private operator can provide the service.
(2) Violations.— 

(A) Investigations.— 
On receiving a complaint about a violation of the agreement required under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall investigate and decide whether a violation has occurred.
(B) Enforcement of agreements.— 
If the Secretary decides that a violation has occurred, the Secretary shall correct the violation under terms of the agreement.
(C) Additional remedies.— 
In addition to any remedy specified in the agreement, the Secretary shall bar a recipient or an operator from receiving Federal transit assistance in an amount the Secretary considers appropriate if the Secretary finds a pattern of violations of the agreement.
(e) Bond Proceeds Eligible for Local Share.— 

(1) Use as local matching funds.— 
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a recipient of assistance under section 5307 or 5309 may use the proceeds from the issuance of revenue bonds as part of the local matching funds for a capital project.
(2) Maintenance of effort.— 
The Secretary shall approve of the use of the proceeds from the issuance of revenue bonds for the remainder of the net project cost only if the Secretary finds that the aggregate amount of financial support for public transportation in the urbanized area provided by the State and affected local governmental authorities during the next 3 fiscal years, as programmed in the State transportation improvement program under section 5304, is not less than the aggregate amount provided by the State and affected local governmental authorities in the urbanized area during the preceding 3 fiscal years.
(3) Debt service reserve.— 
The Secretary may reimburse an eligible recipient for deposits of bond proceeds in a debt service reserve that the recipient establishes pursuant to section 5302 (a)(1)(K) from amounts made available to the recipient under section 5309.
(4) Pilot program for urbanized areas.— 

(A) In general.— 
The Secretary shall establish a pilot program to reimburse not to exceed 10 eligible recipients for deposits of bond proceeds in a debt service reserve that the recipient establishes pursuant to section 5302 (a)(1)(K) from amounts made available to the recipient under section 5307.
(B) Report.— 
Not later than July 31, 2008, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a report on the status and effectiveness of the pilot program established under subparagraph (A).
(f) Schoolbus Transportation.— 

(1) Agreements.— 
Financial assistance under this chapter may be used for a capital project, or to operate public transportation equipment or a public transportation facility, only if the applicant agrees not to provide schoolbus transportation that exclusively transports students and school personnel in competition with a private schoolbus operator. This subsection does not apply
(A) to an applicant that operates a school system in the area to be served and a separate and exclusive schoolbus program for the school system;
(B) unless a private schoolbus operator can provide adequate transportation that complies with applicable safety standards at reasonable rates; and
(C) to a State or local governmental authority if it or a direct predecessor in interest from which it acquired the duty of transporting school children and personnel, and facilities to transport them, provided schoolbus transportation at any time after November 25, 1973, but before November 26, 1974.
(2) Violations.— 
If the Secretary finds that an applicant, governmental authority, or publicly owned operator has violated the agreement required under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall bar a recipient or an operator from receiving Federal transit assistance in an amount the Secretary considers appropriate.
(g) Buying Buses Under Other Laws.— 
Subsections (d) and (f) of this section apply to financial assistance to buy a bus under sections 133 and 142 of title 23. However, subsection (f)(1)(C) of this section applies to sections 133 and 142 only if schoolbus transportation was provided at any time after August 12, 1972, but before August 13, 1973.
(h) Grant and Loan Prohibitions.— 
A grant or loan may not be used to
(1) pay ordinary governmental or nonproject operating expenses; or
(2) support a procurement that uses an exclusionary or discriminatory specification.
(i) Government’s Share of Costs for Certain Projects.— 

(1) Equipment for ada and clean air act compliance.— 
A grant for a project to be assisted under this chapter that involves acquiring vehicle-related equipment or facilities required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.) or vehicle-related equipment or facilities (including clean fuel or alternative fuel vehicle-related equipment or facilities) for purposes of complying with or maintaining compliance with the Clean Air Act, is for 90 percent of the net project cost of such equipment or facilities attributable to compliance with those Acts. The Secretary shall have discretion to determine, through practicable administrative procedures, the costs of such equipment or facilities attributable to compliance with those Acts.
(2) Certain state owned railroads.— 
The Government share for financial assistance under this chapter to a State-owned railroad (as defined in section 603 of the Rail Safety and Service Improvement Act of 1982 (45 U.S.C. 1202)) shall be the same as the Government share under section 120 (b) of title 23 for Federal-aid highway funds apportioned to the State in which the railroad operates.
(j) Buy America.— 

(1) The Secretary of Transportation may obligate an amount that may be appropriated to carry out this chapter for a project only if the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.
(2) The Secretary of Transportation may waive paragraph (1) of this subsection if the Secretary finds that
(A) applying paragraph (1) would be inconsistent with the public interest;
(B) the steel, iron, and goods produced in the United States are not produced in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality;
(C) when procuring rolling stock (including train control, communication, and traction power equipment) under this chapter
(i) the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the United States is more than 60 percent of the cost of all components of the rolling stock; and
(ii) final assembly of the rolling stock has occurred in the United States; or
(D) including domestic material will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent.
(3) Written justification for public interest waiver.— 
When issuing a waiver based on a public interest determination under paragraph (2)(A), the Secretary shall issue a detailed written justification as to why the waiver is in the public interest. The Secretary shall publish such justification in the Federal Register and provide the public with a reasonable period of time for notice and comment.
(4) In this subsection, labor costs involved in final assembly are not included in calculating the cost of components.
(5) The Secretary of Transportation may not make a waiver under paragraph (2) of this subsection for goods produced in a foreign country if the Secretary, in consultation with the United States Trade Representative, decides that the government of that foreign country
(A) has an agreement with the United States Government under which the Secretary has waived the requirement of this subsection; and
(B) has violated the agreement by discriminating against goods to which this subsection applies that are produced in the United States and to which the agreement applies.
(6) A person is ineligible under subpart 9.4 of chapter 1 of title 48, Code of Federal Regulations, to receive a contract or subcontract made with amounts authorized under the Federal Public Transportation Act of 2005 if a court or department, agency, or instrumentality of the Government decides the person intentionally
(A) affixed a Made in America label, or a label with an inscription having the same meaning, to goods sold in or shipped to the United States that are used in a project to which this subsection applies but not produced in the United States; or
(B) represented that goods described in clause (A) of this paragraph were produced in the United States.
(7) The Secretary of Transportation may not impose any limitation on assistance provided under this chapter that restricts a State from imposing more stringent requirements than this subsection on the use of articles, materials, and supplies mined, produced, or manufactured in foreign countries in projects carried out with that assistance or restricts a recipient of that assistance from complying with those State-imposed requirements.
(8) Opportunity to correct inadvertent error.— 
The Secretary may allow a manufacturer or supplier of steel, iron, or manufactured goods to correct after bid opening any certification of noncompliance or failure to properly complete the certification (but not including failure to sign the certification) under this subsection if such manufacturer or supplier attests under penalty of perjury that such manufacturer or supplier submitted an incorrect certification as a result of an inadvertent or clerical error. The burden of establishing inadvertent or clerical error is on the manufacturer or supplier.
(9) Administrative review.— 
A party adversely affected by an agency action under this subsection shall have the right to seek review under section 702 of title 5.
(k) Participation of Governmental Agencies in Design and Delivery of Transportation Services.— 
To the extent feasible, governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations that receive assistance from Government sources (other than the Department of Transportation) for nonemergency transportation services
(1) shall participate and coordinate with recipients of assistance under this chapter in the design and delivery of transportation services; and
(2) shall be included in the planning for those services.
(l) Relationship to Other Laws.— 
Section 1001 of title 18 applies to a certificate, submission, or statement provided under this chapter. The Secretary may terminate financial assistance under this chapter and seek reimbursement directly, or by offsetting amounts, available under this chapter if the Secretary determines that a recipient of such financial assistance has made a false or fraudulent statement or related act in connection with a Federal transit program.
(m) Preaward and Postdelivery Review of Rolling Stock Purchases.— 
The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations requiring a preaward and postdelivery review of a grant under this chapter to buy rolling stock to ensure compliance with Government motor vehicle safety requirements, subsection (j) of this section, and bid specifications requirements of grant recipients under this chapter. Under this subsection, independent inspections and review are required, and a manufacturer certification is not sufficient. Rolling stock procurements of 20 vehicles or fewer made for the purpose of serving other than urbanized areas and urbanized areas with populations of 200,000 or fewer shall be subject to the same requirements as established for procurements of 10 or fewer buses under the post-delivery purchasers requirements certification process under section 663.37(c) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations.
(n) Submission of Certifications.— 
A certification required under this chapter and any additional certification or assurance required by law or regulation to be submitted to the Secretary may be consolidated into a single document to be submitted annually as part of a grant application under this chapter. The Secretary shall publish annually a list of all certifications required under this chapter with the publication required under section 5336 (e)(2).[1]
(o) Grant Requirements.— 
The grant requirements under sections 5307 and 5309 apply to any project under this chapter that receives any assistance or other financing under chapter 6 (other than section 609) of title 23.
(p) Alternative Fueling Facilities.— 
A recipient of assistance under this chapter may allow the incidental use of federally funded alternative fueling facilities and equipment by nontransit public entities and private entities if
(1) the incidental use does not interfere with the recipients public transportation operations;
(2) all costs related to the incidental use are fully recaptured by the recipient from the nontransit public entity or private entity;
(3) the recipient uses revenues received from the incidental use in excess of costs for planning, capital, and operating expenses that are incurred in providing public transportation; and
(4) private entities pay all applicable excise taxes on fuel.
[1] See References in Text note below.