FTA issues NOFO for standards development | So Good News


Written by

Marybeth Luczak, Managing Editor

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The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is seeking proposals to develop voluntary standards and standards-related best practices, guidance and tools in safety and other areas that improve public transportation under the Technical Assistance and Workforce Development Program.

According to FTA’s Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), published in the November 22 issue of the Federal Register (download below), up to $3 million will be awarded to one competitively selected applicant. The application deadline is 23 January 2023.

“Transit industry standards promote the safe operation of transit vehicles, implement innovative mobility models consistently and efficiently, address rail/rail crossing safety, increase resilience, provide better information to travelers, ensure data integration, support battery electric bus and charging system interoperability, improve cybersecurity, implement integrated fare payment systems, help to emergency communications, improve worker safety and improve performance in many other areas,” FTA reported in Federal Register. “In addition, standards provide value to manufacturers of public transit products and services and to the transit agencies that purchase those products and services by ensuring they meet specific performance criteria and address interoperability and safety.”

According to the FTA, the selected recipient will conduct an industry standards assessment and develop a priority list of standards that require immediate action. At the direction of FTA, the recipient will develop or modify voluntary standards, best practices, guidance, and tools to assist public transportation agencies in adopting these standards. Standards development, FTA said, must directly engage a broad group of transit stakeholders, including federal, state, local, national, public, nonprofit, academic and private representatives.

Eligible standard areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • Bus and rail safety.
  • Mobility.
  • Price collection.
  • Intelligent transport systems.
  • Availability.
  • Fair service standards.
  • Purchasing.
  • Safety.
  • Resilient.
  • Capital management to maintain a good condition.
  • Operations.
  • Maintenance.
  • Zero emission vehicle.
  • Charging systems.
  • Maintenance facilities.
  • Bus workstations.
  • Travel information.
  • Interoperable data standards.
  • Vehicle progress.
  • Emergency communication.
  • Vehicle electronics.

FTA said it will establish an internal FTA Standards Working Group, which will work with the selected applicant, its industry partners, working groups and standards development organizations (SDOs) in the assessment, review, prioritization and selection of transit standards to be developed or modified.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Public transportation providers, including public transportation agencies, state or local public transportation departments, and federally recognized Indian tribes.
  • Private for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, or consultants.
  • State, city or local governments, including multi-jurisdictional partnerships, and organizations such as Metropolitan Planning Organizations.
  • Other organisations, including research consortia, not-for-profit industry organisations; and institutions of higher education, including large research universities, especially those with minority institution status.
  • SDOs.


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