611.205 New Starts local financial commitment criteria.§ 611.205 New Starts local financial commitment criteria.
In order to approve a grant under 49 U.S.C. 5309 for a New Starts project, FTA must find that the proposed project is supported by an acceptable degree of local financial commitment, as required by 49 U.S.C. 5309(d)(4)(iv). The local financial commitment to a proposed project will be evaluated according to the following measures:
(a) The proposed share of the project's capital costs to be funded from sources other than New Starts funds, including both the non-New Starts match required by Federal law and any additional state, local or other Federal capital funding (also known as “overmatch”);
(b) The current capital and operating financial condition of the project sponsor;
(c) The commitment of capital and operating funds for the project and the entire transit system including consideration of private contributions; and
(d) The accuracy and reliability of the capital and operating costs and revenue estimates and the financial capacity of the project sponsor.
(e) From time to time FTA may publish through policy guidance standards based on characteristics of projects and/or corridors to be served. If a proposed project can meet the established standards, FTA may assign an automatic rating on one or more of the local financial commitment criteria outlined in this section.
(f) As a candidate project proceeds through engineering, a greater level of local financial commitment will be expected.
(g) FTA may amend the measures for these local financial commitment criteria. Any such amendment will be included in policy guidance and subject to a public comment process.
(h) For each proposed project, ratings for paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section will be reported in terms of descriptive indicators, as follows: “high,” “medium-high,” “medium,” “medium-low,” or “low.” For paragraph (a) of this section, the percentage of New Starts funding sought from 49 U.S.C. 5309 will be rated and used to develop the summary local financial commitment rating, but only if it improves the rating and not if it worsens the rating.
(i) The ratings for each measure described in this section will be combined into a summary local financial commitment rating of “high,” “medium-high,” “medium,” “medium-low,” or “low.” The process by which the summary local financial commitment rating will be developed, including the assigned weights to each of the measures, will be described in policy guidance.