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Federal Policy Update: New Starts & Small Starts Rules

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Reconnecting America provides occasional updates on federal activities related to transit, TOD, and sustainable communities. Updates may include key legislative or regulatory actions, grant opportunities, relevant resources, or original analysis.

New Starts and Small Starts Rules

The Federal Transit Administration today published a final rule governing evaluation of proposed New Starts and Small Starts projects. The rule is designed both to simplify the application process and to capture a broader range of benefits as part of the evaluation. The final rule is available here.

In addition, FTA issued proposed policy guidance with details of the metrics and weightings FTA intends to apply in the New Starts/Small Starts evaluation process. The proposed guidance is open for comment through March 11. The proposed guidance is available here.

Transit Commuter Benefit

In case you missed it in the drama of the fiscal cliff endgame last week, the transit commuter benefit was raised to $240/month for 2013 - equal to the monthly parking benefit - as part of the fiscal cliff deal. While the increase in the benefit was made retroactive to 2012, in practice it will be very difficult for employers or individuals to take advantage of the retroactivity. Still, the increase for 2013 is positive news for transit riders around the country.