Recent FTA Changes Effect On BRT

In 2012, Congress passed, and the President signed, the federal surface transportation funding and policy bill called Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The FTA has begun implementing these changes along with other changes in FTA’s criteria for project evaluation. The new regulations affect the Broad Street Rapid Transit Study in a number of ways including:

  • The cost effectiveness criterion is dramatically different.  Instead of a focus on time savings for all transit riders relative to the overall costs, it now focuses on just the federal share of the cost per trip using the service.

  • FTA no longer requires a Baseline Alternative therefore, the Baseline Alternative was eliminated from this study.

  • Projects that require a sizable increase in the overall operating expenses for the sponsoring transit agency now require substantial additional financial scrutiny.

  • The project study team now analyzes different operating options for the Build Alternative.  Specifically the team will analyze longer intervals between buses such as 10 minutes in the peak period and 15 in the off-peak period to better balance ridership and operating costs.

  • These changes in regulations required updates of the previously drafted Alternatives Analysis and Environmental Assessment.

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