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Precision Compliance Inc
We want to notify our FTA recipients whose 
random testing program combines their 
safety-sensitive employees into one random 
testing pool with Federal Motor Carrier 
Administration (FMCSA) safety-sensitive CDL 
holders that the following notice applies:
 
 
FMCSA lowered the Controlled Substances Random
 Testing Rate for Calendar Year 2016. 
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 
(FMCSA) today announced that it will lower the 
random testing rate for controlled substances 
from the current 50 percent to 25 percent for the 
upcoming calendar year, effective 
January 1, 2016. FMCSA conducts a random 
survey to ensure compliance with the set testing 
rates, known as the Management Information 
System (MIS) or MIS survey. According to federal
regulations, when the data received in the MIS for
 two consecutive calendar years indicate that the 
positive rate for controlled substances is less 
than one percent, the FMCSA Administrator has 
the discretion to lower the minimum annual 
testing rate. While the MIS survey resulted in a 
positive rate of less than one percent for the 2011
and 2012 testing years, the Acting Administrator 
chose to maintain the 50 percent rate for another 
year. The 2013 testing year also showed a 
positive rate of less than one percent, so after 
three years, the Acting Administrator approved a 
lower testing rate. If at any time the positive rate 
for controlled substances exceeds one percent, 
the testing rate will revert back to 50 percent. 
For a copy of today's announcement, see: 
To verify the current random testing rates of FMCSA and other agencies within the Department of Transportation, please visit the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance's website at: https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/random-testing-rates.
  
 
The practical effect of this change is that in prior years the higher FMCSA random rate needed to be met if you combined your FTA safety-sensitive employees into one federal pool with your FMCSA safety-sensitive employees.  Now that same combined pool may test at the minimum rate of 25%.
 
The random alcohol testing rates remain the same.
 
Any questions, please contact Bev Krieger or Linda De Herrera at Precision Compliance, Inc.
The TIGER VII NOFA has been released
  • TIGER VII is a $500M program. 
  • There is a strong focus on "Ladders of Opportunity" projects that increase connectivity to employment, education, services and other opportunities; support workforce development; or contribute to community revitalization, particularly for disadvantaged groups: low income groups, persons with visible and hidden disabilities, elderly individuals, and minority persons and populations.
  • At least 20% of the funds provided (or at least $100M) must be used for projects located in rural areas. Grants may be used for up to 80 percent of the costs of a project located in an urban area' and up to 100 percent of the costs of a project located in a rural area
  • Funds must be obligated by September 30, 2019 
  • Unlike last year, there's no set-aside for pre-construction or planning activities.  Pre-construction must be part of an overall project that fits the TIGER guidelines including obligation requirements.
  • Primary Selection Criteria includes Safety, State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness, Quality of Life, and Environmental Sustainability. Secondary Selection Criteria includes Innovation, Partnership, and Disciplinary Integration
  • Each project must demonstrate project readiness evidenced by Technical Feasibility, Financial Feasibility, Project Schedule, Required Approvals, and Assessment of Project Risks and Mitigation Strategies. 
  • Minimum project cost is $5M
  • Deadline for submission is April 29th 
 
There will be a series of webinars beginning March 1st (I'll participate in most) including-
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - How to Compete for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - Preparing a Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA)
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - How to Compete for TIGER Discretionary Grants 
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - How to Compete for TIGER Discretionary Grants - Rural and Tribal Applicants 

Reminder: FTA's Webinar Series on the Proposed National Safety Plan and Agency Safety Plan Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

Don't miss the upcoming webinar series hosted by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA)'s Office of Transit Safety and Oversight to discuss the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and the proposed National Public Transportation Safety Plan. During the webinar series , which starts tomorrow with a session designed for Small Urban, Rural & Tribal-serving agencies, FTA will discuss the provisions of both the proposed rule and plan, and how industry stakeholders can get involved in the regulatory process. (See full list of webinars below.)
The proposed Agency Safety Plan rule would require any public transportation system that receives federal financial assistance to certify and implement a safety plan based on the principles of Safety Management System (SMS). The National Safety Plan is not a regulation, but would be FTA's primary tool to disseminate guidance, technical assistance, templates, and other resources related to safety rulemaking to help transit providers improve their safety performance. Comments are due by April 5, 2016.
FTA will also host a Public Listening Session on March 16, 2016, where agency staff will solicit comments on the proposed National Public Transportation Safety Plan and Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) at the American Public Transportation Association's (APTA) Legislative Conference. The listening session will take place 9:30-11 a.m., Wednesday March 16 at the JW Marriott Pennsylvania Avenue Terrace Room, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. Register for the listening session.
FY16 TSGP Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)
Dear Transit Stakeholders,
 
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has released the FY 2016 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Announcement for the Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP), and Intercity Passenger Rail (IPR) Program as well as other Preparedness Grant Programs.
 
FEMA & TSA will host three in person roll out workshops on:
March 3, 2016 - Arlington, VA                                
March 8, 2016 - Oakland, CA                                   
March 10, 2016 - Dallas, TX                       
 
Additionally, we will also be hosting conference calls for all potential applicants of all FY 2016 grant programs on Wednesday March 16, 2016, Wednesday March 30, 2016 and Wednesday April 13, 2016. Further details on times and call in numbers will be disseminated in the next few weeks.
 
Important Dates
 
-    February 16, 2016:   DHS releases grant NOFO; application period starts  
-    April 11, 2016:  Recommended date for Standard Form 424 to be submitted in grants.gov to establish intentions of applying for grant under TSGP; allowing FEMA chance to review to confirm eligibility.
-    April 25, 2016:   Completed application packets due via FEMA's ND Grants system (https://portal.fema.gov) no later than 11:59 PM EDT
-    June 29, 2016:   Anticipated Funding Selection announcement date (Tentative)
 
Please visit FEMA's website (http://www.fema.gov/preparedness-non-disaster-grants) for information regarding this funding opportunity.  Additional resource documents are also available on the website.
 
If you have any questions regarding the announcement, please contact your FEMA Program Analyst or the Centralized Scheduling and Information Desk (CSID) at 1-800-368-6498 or ASKcsid@dhs.gov.
 
Thank you.
TSA Grants Team
Register for National RTAP's August Peer Call: TCRP Research Needs, Reports, and Priorities
Wednesday, March 15th at 2:30 p.m. Eastern
 
Join National RTAP and Transit Cooperative Research Program Staff to find out what's new and and what's in progress.  Your ideas on how to implement: 
  • An Improving Safety Culture
  • Policy and Security Practices for Small and Medium sized Systems
  • Improving Transit Integration Among Multiple  Providers
  • Web Based Rider feedback to Improve Public Transit Services
With the new planning requirements and comprehensive asset management, safety, and security TCRP can provide a starting point for compliance and smart implementation.
 
Projects in progress you may be interested in address state transit and broker relationships for meeting NEMT needs.
 
Register Now!
All,
 
Join us in congratulating Fred Williamson as the new Breckenridge Free Ride Transit Manager.  Fred has 13 years of experience in Transit field and the last 8 years with the Free Ride as a supervisor.  We're confident that Fred will provide the leadership needed to guide the Free Ride through the coming challenges and opportunities.  
 
Thank you,
 
James Phelps
Assistant Director Public Works
Town of Breckenridge
CDOT March Update!
Wow, it's March already!  Things are happening at CDOT.
We're going mobile!  DTR has issued cell phones to the Grant Coordinators so they can get out on the road without being out of contact.  Here's the list of those new numbers:
Region
Grant Coordinator
New Phone #
Denver
Brodie Ayers
(720) 990-0095
Northwest
Jane Hickey
(720) 990-0147
Eastern
Glenn Krause
(720) 990-0096
Southwest
Kim Phi
(720) 990-0088
 
Don't forget the Transit Town Halls begin Monday, March 7 here in Denver.  We're meeting in Durango on the 9th, Glenwood Springs on the 10th, and then in Pueblo on March 16th.  There are lots of updates and you'll have an opportunity to provide input on a couple of significant policy items on DTR's plate.  We encourage you to attend.  More details are available from your grant coordinator.
Thank you to everyone who had input to the new State Management Plan.  We have collected all the input and are pulling it together in advance of our submission to the FTA.  Look for the official notice at the Spring CASTA conference.
There's more coming at CASTA from DTR as well.  We are putting the finishing touches on our first ever Grant Partner Manual!  With the results of our State Management Review by the FTA this past year, we've received a lot of feedback that required us to take a different look at how we wanted this manual to work for you.  Well, we're submitting some elements for review by the FTA here shortly and hope to have a draft out for review in April.  This means that in May, we will be issuing the official GPM! 
The NTD report is due and the guidance will be out shortly (if not already) so 5311 recipients should be prepared.  And thank you to everyone submitting their DAMIS reports as well, I get emails showing that we are on track.  Added to your monthly reporting, we want to let you know how much we appreciate your help.
COTRAMS is coming!  We expect to be live with reimbursement requests for 2016 here shortly.  This marks a major shift in the way DTR has processed invoices in the past and we are excited to see how this plays out.  We're still ½ manual for a while but we are giving you information that was previously unavailable.  Great things are happening!
And there's more to come.  Hope you have a safe week!

Until Next Time!
The CASTA Crew