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The snow is melting away and so is April!  In this newsletter, please find information on a statewide transportation funding ballot initative, NTI Orientation, Charge Ahead Colorado, and a CDOT update!  

See you in Pueblo!  
Colorado Statewide Transportation Ballot Initiative Update
As many of you know, the Colorado Contractors Association (CCA) has been working on developing a ballot initiative to ask Colorado voters in November to approve a statewide sales tax increase to fund transportation. At their request, CASTA worked with a wide spectrum of transportation advocates to develop transit-funding proposal that meets the current and future needs of the state by allocating transit funding in the following four categories:  

  • Elderly & Disabled/Point-toPoint
  • Public Transportation Services (including RTD)
  • Capital Projects
  • Regional Bus Services.  

In March, CCA filed 10 proposals with the Colorado Title Board.  None of the titles reflected the transit proposal, and do not provide sufficient transit funding for the coming years.  In response, CASTA board responded with a letter indicating disappointment with the low transit allocation.  

Other stakeholder groups, including the members of MPACT 64, the Metro Mayors Caucus, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), Bicycle Colorado and LiveWell Colorado have also reacted to the proposed ballot initiatives.  

CCA has shared the polling results (but not the questions) regarding components of the various titles. As the polling done for the CCA effort indicates significantly lower support for transit than previous statewide polls, we are analyzing possible reasons for the change in polling results. One aspect that has become clear  is that longer ballot titles do not poll well.  Because transit lacks authorizing legislation, adding the transit component lengthens the ballot language.  

We count CCA as a valuable partner, and will continue to work with them to ensure that Coloradans enjoy a robust, effective multi-modal transportation system.  

Please call the CASTA offices if you have any questions about this effort.  
CDOT Update!
Greetings from CDOT -
 
Just three weeks to CASTA Spring in Pueblo!  It's shaping up to be an informative and educational event and we hope to see you there.  DT is participating/hosting several of the sessions.  Be sure to check out the CMAC Mobility Management sessions Tuesday and Wednesday; the ADA bus and minivan procurement session Wednesday afternoon; the RTAP Committee Meeting on Wednesday afternoon where we will chat about the new RTAP RFP; the School Bus and Charter Bus rule training Thursday afternoon; and our session on FTA funding Friday morning to close out the conference.

A lot is happening and we want you to be a part of it so please check your schedule for the conference events and times.

A reminder that the Grant Partner Manual is still open for comments.  It is available online at https://www.codot.gov/programs/transitandrail.  The deadline is the close of business on Friday, April 29 so be sure to get your comments in!  There is a link at the website mentioned above.  The first edition is scheduled to be issued during the CASTA conference!

It's update time!  The Planning & Infrastructure Unit at DTR is opening the 2017 Operating Update Call this week.  You will be able to go into COTRAMS to view your application for 2017 funding.  The application contains all the information you submitted with your 2016-2017 application last year, including your second year budget.  A separate email from David Averill will contain this year's instructions and guidance.  The deadline is June 10, 2016. 

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is accepting applications for the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), which allocates federal funds to projects that expands travel choices, strengthens local economies, improves quality of life and protects the environment.  A significant number of projects are for non-motorized uses, like biking and walking.

CDOT will be awarding approximately $22 million to TAP projects statewide for fiscal years 2018 through 2020.  All applications need to be submitted by August 1, 2016.

Eligible applicants include local governments, regional transportation authorities, transit agencies, natural resource or public land agencies, schools or school districts, tribal governments, and/or any other local or regional government entity. Non-profits may apply by partnering with any of the above entities.
TAP projects are selected via a competitive scoring process based on criteria identified in the TAP Guidelines and Application on the CDOT website: https://www.codot.gov/programs/planning/tap-cfp-2018-20. Please visit this website for more information about eligibility, who to contact, and other important information.

It's time for scoping!  With the capital call from this past Fall complete, the grants unit is preparing to begin the process of finalizing scopes of work for the awards.  Over the next few weeks, you can expect to hear from your grant coordinator about your capital scopes of work.  This is part of DTRs continuing commitment to reducing the timeline between application and grant agreement.  A reminder that FASTER projects won't begin scoping until June at the earliest due to state funding requirements.
A reminder that CDOT is "shopping" its rural regional plan to the transportation planning regions (TPRs) over the next few weeks.  We encourage you to participate in your next TPR meeting and put in your 2ยข!

Spring is almost here, just a couple more snowstorms away.  Stay safe out there and we look forward to seeing you at CASTA in Pueblo!
Region 8 Workshops
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) conducts oversight workshops across the country for its
grantees each year, continuing this
commitment, FTA Region 8 will be hosting a PSR workshop May 16-17 and an FMO Workshop
May 18-19, 2016 in Denver, CO.

The PSR workshops are designed to encourage and facilitate improved grantee procurement
operations. They foster the use of industry best practices; and inform the grantee about the Federal
procurement requirements, specifically the requirements of FTA Circular 4220.1F and other
applicable statutory and administrative requirements. These workshops are intended to educate,
inform and exchange information with grantees regarding FTA required procurement and program
responsibilities; as well as guide grantees through the PSR process.

Attendees will include Regional Office staff members, FTA PSR contractors, and public transit agency staff.
The FMO workshops are conducted in order to assist grantees in enhancing and refining their
financial management systems to meet the standards established by 2 CFR Part 200 and Part 1201
"Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal
Awards," and other FTA and Federal regulatory requirements. Participants will be provided with
exercises and case studies patterned after actual FMO reviews. Attendees will include Regional
Office staff members, FTA FMO contractors, and public transit agency staff.
If you plan to attend the workshop(s), please register at FTA Oversight Review Workshop
A block of rooms have been reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn Denver Downtown at a rate
of $172.00 (plus all applicable taxes) for travel dates, May 15 - 19, 2016. Please call, (303) 603-
8000, to make your reservation. When making your reservation, please mention the group
name, "FTA FMO/PSR Workshop", to ensure your receive the rate mentioned above. Attendees
will be responsible for making their own reservations and supplying their credit cards to guarantee
the reservation. This rate will be available until April 24, 2016, so please make your reservations soon.
Please contact Donna Douville, Region 8 at
303-262-2389 with any questions or concerns.
Sincerely,
Linda M. Gehrke
Regional Administrator
Charge Ahead Colorado
Charge Ahead Colorado has a new website promoting electric vehicles (EVs), including common myths, EV benefits, state tax incentives, and other information and funding available for individuals and organizations looking to make the switch. Please take a look and feel free to share the link with any of your contacts who may be interested.
 

Until Next Time!
The CASTA Crew