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File #: 2015-0878   
Type: Program Status: Passed
File created: 6/8/2015 In control: Planning and Programming Committee
On agenda: 7/15/2015 Final action: 7/23/2015
Title: PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED (3-0): A. approving the recommended federal Section 5310 funding awards totaling $4,713,220 for Traditional Capital Projects and up to $1,615,177 for Other Capital and Operating Projects, as shown in Attachments A and B, respectively; B. amending the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Budget to add the necessary revenues and expenses for the recommended and previously approved Section 5310 funded projects, once the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awards grant funds (see Attachment C for the Allocation Process); C. authorizing the Chief Executive Officer or his designee to negotiate and execute pass-through agreements with agencies as sub-recipients approved for funding once the FTA awards Section 5310 grant funds; D. certifying that the Section 5310 funds were fairly and equitably allocated to eligible sub-recipients and that to the maximum extent feasible, Section 5310 funded services are coordinated with transportation services ass...
Sponsors: Planning and Development (Department)
Indexes: Access Services Inc., Accessibility, Americans With Disabilities Act, Application, Budget, Budgeting, Capital Assistance, Capital Project, Capital Project Funds, Coordinated Transportation Services, Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program, Federal Transit Administration, Gardena, Grant Aid, Guidelines, Lancaster, Maps, Metrolink Antelope Valley Line, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, Palmdale, Paratransit services, Persons with disabilities, Plan, Program, Public Transportation, Santa Clarita, Section 5307, South Bay Service Sector, Technical Advisory Committee
Attachments: 1. Attachment A - Funding Recommendations for Traditional Capital Projects, 2. Attachment B - Funding Recommendations for Other Capital and Operating Projects, 3. Attachment C - Summary of Application Package & Allocation and Application Processes

Meeting_Body

PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE

JULY 15, 2015

 

Subject/Action

SUBJECT:                      FUNDING AWARD RECOMMENDATION FOR FEDERAL SECTION

                                          5310 ENHANCED MOBILITY OF SENIORS AND INDIVIDUALS WITH

                                          DISABILITIES PROGRAM

 

ACTION:                      APPROVE FUNDING AWARD RECOMMENDATIONS AND RELATED

                                          ACTIONS

 

Heading

RECOMMENDATION

 

Title

PLANNING AND PROGRAMMING COMMITTEE RECOMMENDED (3-0):

 

A.                     approving the recommended federal Section 5310 funding awards totaling $4,713,220 for Traditional Capital Projects and up to $1,615,177 for Other Capital and Operating Projects, as shown in Attachments A and B, respectively;

 

B.                     amending the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Budget to add the necessary revenues and expenses for the recommended and previously approved Section 5310 funded projects, once the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) awards grant funds (see Attachment C for the Allocation Process);

 

C.                     authorizing the Chief Executive Officer or his designee to negotiate and execute  pass-through agreements with agencies as sub-recipients approved for funding once the FTA awards Section 5310 grant funds;

 

D.                     certifying that the Section 5310 funds were fairly and equitably allocated to eligible sub-recipients and that to the maximum extent feasible, Section 5310 funded services are coordinated with transportation services assisted by other federal departments and agencies; and

 

E.                     certifying that all projects recommended for Section 5310 funding are included in the locally developed 2016-2019 Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan for Los Angeles County (“Coordinated Plan”) that was developed and approved through a process that included participation by seniors and individuals with disabilities, as well as by representatives of public, private, and nonprofit transportation and human service providers and other members of the public.

 

Issue
ISSUE

 

Metro is the Designated Recipient of FTA Section 5310 funds in urbanized areas of Los Angeles County and is responsible for the planning, programming, distribution, and management of these funds (about $6.9 million per year). To fulfill Metro’s Designated Recipient obligations, the Board approved in November 2014 the competitive Section 5310 Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Solicitation for Proposals and the allocation of available funds for Los Angeles County. This report presents the resulting Section 5310 funding recommendation for Board review and approval and summarizes the evaluation process conducted in response to this solicitation.

Discussion
DISCUSSION

 

In July 2013, staff informed the Board of changes to federal transit formula programs as authorized by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), including the new Section 5310 Program. The goal of the Section 5310 Program is to improve mobility for seniors and individuals with disabilities throughout the country by removing barriers to transportation services and expanding the transportation mobility options available. The Board subsequently approved pursuing Designated Recipient status for Section 5310 funds allocated to Los Angeles County for the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Lancaster-Palmdale, and the Santa Clarita Urbanized Areas (UZAs). On April 23, 2014, the Governor authorized Metro to be the Designated Recipient of Section 5310 funds for these UZAs, following our request for such designation. The goal of seeking this designation was to ensure that Los Angeles County would receive and have control over its formula share of Section 5310 funds and to allow Metro to select projects that would better address local and regional needs.

 

The FTA published its final guidance for the Section 5310 Program in June 2014. A Section 5310 Working Group consisting of representatives from the Bus Operations Subcommittee (BOS) and the Local Transit Systems Subcommittee (LTSS) was established to ensure compliance with FTA’s guidelines. This group provided input to the Application Package for the FY 2015 Solicitation for Proposals and also discussed and approved the Allocation Process for Section 5310 funds (also approved by BOS and LTSS). The Application Package and Allocation Process were later approved by the Board in November 2014.  A summary of the Application Package, Allocation Process (i.e., funding availability), and Application Process is included in Attachment C.

 

Evaluation Process

 

An Evaluation Panel composed of nine representatives from Metro, the Southern California Association of Governments, the Orange County Transportation Authority, Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, BOS, and LTSS was assembled to evaluate, score, and rank the applications. The Evaluation Panel was divided into: 1) a five-member Evaluation Team responsible for the assessment of 16 applications requesting funding for Traditional Capital Projects; and 2) a five-member Evaluation Team responsible for the assessment of 10 applications requesting funding for Other Capital and Operating Projects. The average score of the individual scores of members of each Evaluation Team was used as the final score for each application and for ranking purposes (as shown in Attachments A and B, respectively). It was also used by Metro staff for making full or partial funding award recommendations, taking into consideration the eligibility and extent of the proposed project scope, the funding request and commitment of local match, and Section 5310 funding availability for the UZA(s) and project type (i.e., Traditional Capital Projects and Other Capital and Operating Projects). As part of the evaluation process, and in response to the Board’s January 2015 directive to establish an appeals process for all Metro competitive grant programs, the Guidelines on Funding Appeals for the Section 5310 Program were approved by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on April 1, 2015 following the approval by BOS and LTSS.

 

On May 14, 2015, a Notification of Preliminary Funding Award Recommendation was sent by Metro to each project sponsor to inform them about the outcome of the evaluation of their applications (i.e., recommended to be fully funded, recommended to be partially funded, or not recommended for a funding award). This notification also included the score received by each application and an assessment of how it addressed the evaluation criteria. It also provided the opportunity to project sponsors to appeal the preliminary funding award recommendations to Metro’s TAC at its June 3, 2015 meeting. As a result, 21 projects were initially recommended to receive a funding award. Staff also received confirmation from those agencies that were recommended for partial funding awards about their acceptance to receive less funding than what they had requested in their applications to implement their projects. Four of the remaining five projects were not recommended for a funding award as they failed to score the required minimum of 70 points. These four applications were submitted by the City of Gardena, Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging Inc. (SCV), Mobility Management Partners Inc. (MMP), and the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA). The fifth application, which was submitted by the City of Gardena requesting operating assistance from the funding category for Other Capital and Operating Projects, was also not recommended for a funding award although it received a score of 76 points. The use of these operating funds by the City of Gardena was contingent on a funding award recommendation for the agency’s other application it had submitted requesting capital assistance from the funding category for Traditional Capital Projects to procure two vehicles. The City of Gardena, MMP, and SCV appealed to TAC.  TAC did not approve the appeals made by MMP and SCV to fund their applications (scored 66 points and 63 points, respectively).

 

TAC approved a motion to reevaluate the City of Gardena’s application for capital assistance from the Traditional Capital funding category to procure two vehicles, using the information provided by the agency in its operating assistance application for these vehicles from the Other Capital and Operating funding category. TAC indicated that the City of Gardena’s project should be recommended for a funding award if the reevaluation results in a score above 70 points. The reevaluation of the City of Gardena’s project, as requested by TAC, resulted in a score of 58 points. Therefore, the two applications submitted by the City of Gardena were not recommended for funding award.

 

With Access Services eligible to receive any remaining funds for Traditional Capital Projects made available for the competitive selection process, the funding award recommendations include the following for this agency to implement projects that support complementary paratransit services required by the ADA: $92,231 for projects in the Santa Clarita UZA and $143,715 for projects in the Lancaster-Palmdale UZA. The funding award recommendations exclude the funds that were made available for Other Capital and Operating Projects for the Santa Clarita and Lancaster-Palmdale UZAs ($36,861 and $52,709, respectively), as the two applications that were received requesting all or part of these funds received scores lower than the minimum required 70 points. These funding balances are proposed to be made available for the next Section 5310 competitive cycle.

 

 

 

Determination_Of_Safety_Impact
DETERMINATION OF SAFETY IMPACT

 

Approval of the recommendation will have no impact on safety.

 

Financial_Impact
FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Approval of the funding award recommendation and FY 2016 Budget amendment will be fully funded through the federal Section 5310 Program that is managed by Metro. No other Metro funds will be required to manage, administer and oversee the program or to administer projects recommended for a funding award. No expenses for any of the projects recommended for funding awards are included in the FY 2016 Budget.  However, these are multi-year projects and the project manager(s) will be responsible for budgeting project expenses in future years.

 

Impact to Budget

 

Consistent with federal guidelines and per the Allocation Process that was approved by the Board, Section 5310 funds may be used only: 1) for operating or capital projects that were selected competitively to meet the specific requirements, goals and objectives of the Section 5310 Program; or 2) to support complementary paratransit services provided by Access Services, as required by the ADA. Therefore, approving the recommended actions will not impact Metro’s bus and rail operating and capital budgets, as Section 5310 Program funds are not eligible for these purposes. 

 

Alternatives_Considered
ALTERNATIVES CONSIDERED

 

The Board may choose not to approve all or some of the recommended actions. Staff does not recommend this alternative because without Board approval, Metro cannot fulfill its responsibilities as the Designated Recipient of Section 5310 Program funds and the projects recommended for funding awards in Attachments A and B would not be implemented. Without Board approval, Metro also could risk losing about $6.3 million in Section 5310 Program funds that will lapse, if not obligated through the FTA approval of a grant by September 30, 2016.

 

The Board also may choose to fund applications that received a score lower than the minimum funding threshold of 70 points. Consistent with the recommendation by the Evaluation Panel and TAC, as well as the Application Package that was approved by the Board, staff does not recommend this alternative because it would create a precedent by funding projects that do not adequately address the evaluation and funding eligibility criteria.

 

Next_Steps
NEXT STEPS

 

With Board approval, staff will send a Notification of Final Funding Award Recommendation to each project sponsor and will prepare and submit Section 5310 grant applications to FTA on their behalf. Once the FTA awards the grant funds, staff will develop and execute grant pass-through agreements with those agencies as sub-recipients and amend the FY 2016 Budget as required. As the Designated Recipient for Section 5310 funds for urbanized areas in Los Angeles County, staff will work to ensure that sub-recipients comply with all federal rules, regulations and requirements. Staff will also coordinate with the Section 5310 Working Group and seek Board approval for a new Section 5310 Solicitation for Proposals to award the balance of $89,570 and funds appropriated by Congress for federal FY 2015 and for future years, as authorized by an extension of MAP-21 or new federal authorizing legislation.

 

Attachments

ATTACHMENTS

 

Attachment A - Funding Recommendations for Traditional Capital Projects

Attachment B - Funding Recommendations for Other Capital and Operating Projects

Attachment C - Summary of Application Package & Allocation and Application Processes

 

Prepared_by

Prepared by: Annelle Albarran, Transportation Planning Manager, (213) 922-4025

Ashad Hamideh, Director, (213) 922-4299

                                          Cosette Stark, Deputy Executive Officer, (213) 922-2822

 

 

Reviewed_By

Reviewed by: Martha Welborne, FAIA, Chief Planning Officer, (213) 922-7267