Limitations on transit capacity and their effects;
The impacts of congestion and other accessibility problems on specific economic-development plans; and
The extent to which these problems already exist or are projections of emerging difficulties.
Present the specific ways that the proposed project is effective in addressing the problem, including:
Improvements in the quality of transit service in terms of reduced travel and wait times, and improved reliability, comfort and convenience;
Projected ridership response to these improvements; and
Expected economic-development impacts.
Outline the merits of the proposed project as a candidate for New Starts funding, including:
The benefits and costs of the project compared to the baseline alternative; and
The benefits and costs of the project compared to lower-cost “build” alternatives.
FTA will assign a rating of “high,” “medium,” or “low” to the strength of the information contained in the make-the-case document. A “high” rating will be assigned to projects that effectively address severe near-term transportation or economic-development problems. A “low” rating will be assigned to projects that are ineffective investments in corridors with minor transportation or economic-development problems. All other projects will be assigned a “medium” rating. FTA will use make-the-case ratings of “high” and “low” to determine the project justification rating of projects that are at the margin between two overall-rating outcomes.
This provision re-affirms the metropolitan planning requirement (49 U.S.C. 5303(k)(3)) that metropolitan planning organizations serving Transportation Management Areas undertake a Congestion Management Process. It also supports the initiative of the Secretary of Transportation, which is to promote strategies that reduce highway congestion. Pricing strategies have been shown to reduce congestion and support higher transit ridership. Because the magnitude of the effect is not well captured by travel forecasts, consideration of pricing strategies under the general mobility measure allows FTA to account for the expected increase in transportation benefits, even if they are not readily verifiable.
1.2 New Starts Local Financial Commitment
Federal Transit AdministrationPage 10
Guidance on New Starts Policies and ProceduresJuly, 2007