FTA Announces Policy Related to Rolling Stock and Buy America
April 7, 2016
The Federal Transit Administration released two notices of proposed rulemakings related to FTA Buy America policies. The FAST ACT requires an increase in the amount of steel used in federally funding rolling stock. Specifically, The FAST Act, includes a phased increase in the domestic content for rolling stock for FY2018–FY2019 and FY2020 and beyond. As amended by the FAST Act, the domestic content for rolling stock increases over time from the current rate of ‘‘more than 60 percent’’ to ‘‘more than 70 percent’’ in FY2020 and beyond.
The policies announced today deal with how FTA plans on executing that portion of law. In one rulemaking, it proposes to require vehicles scheduled for delivery in FY 2018 and beyond will be subject to the higher content. There was some thought that FTA would apply the increased standards based on the year in which the Federal funding originated. However, the proposed rule refers to the year in which rolling stock are delivered.
In a second proposed rule, FTA is providing availability of a waiver for those vehicles that were procured under a contract that was announced, signed, or being negotiated between the effective date of FAST ACT (Oct 1st 2015) and the date in which the FAST ACT became law (Dec 4, 2015).
The ACT vanpool council is reviewing the Buy America notice as well as the underpinning law to determine what, if any, impact the new laws and policy will have on vanpool program.