The rating for mobility benefits for transit dependents would be based on these three measures and on the extent to which previous projects in the region have benefited transit dependents.
The share of total user benefits for transit dependents, defined as the user benefits that accrue to passengers in the lowest income/auto-ownership stratum in the region’s travel-forecasting model, will be divided by the regional share of transit dependents in the population. This measure seeks to determine whether or not a project is in a relatively transit dependent corridor for the particular metropolitan area.
Like the general mobility measure, the number of transit dependent riders indicates whether or not the project provides benefits for a large number of transit dependent people.
User benefits for transit dependents per passenger mile indicate whether the New Start is projected to result in significant benefits for the average transit dependent passenger.
18.104.22.168 Environmental Benefits
For many years, the environmental benefits of a project have been assessed by considering only the air quality non-attainment status of the metropolitan area in which the project is located. This approach has met the minimum statutory requirement that environmental benefits be considered in rating projects, but it has not helped FTA in separating out the best projects, because most metropolitan areas in which New Starts projects are located are non-attainment areas. FTA has also requested information about the emissions reductions associated with the projects, but these reductions were such a tiny percentage of the total transportation-related emissions in the non-attainment areas that the measure was not considered statistically reliable in distinguishing among the candidate projects. The same is true for transportation-related energy savings. FTA is now proposing to use, in the short term, a new set of measures described below, and at the same time, to initiate a longer term effort, in consultation with the transit community and environmental experts, to develop more robust environmental measures responsive to the statutory requirement and practically useful in distinguishing among candidate projects. Information about this longer-term effort will be publicized through APTA and STPP, and other stakeholders.
In the short run, FTA proposes to rate projects on the following environmental factors and then to roll up those ratings into a single environmental benefits rating. FTA will give equal weight to three environmental factors in determining the overall rating for environmental benefits. The three environmental factors are:
ISO 14001 Certification: A transit agency whose capital construction program is ISO14001 certified (http://www.iso.org/iso/en/prods-services/otherpubs/iso14000/index.html) will receive a high rating for this factor. A transit agency whose capital construction program
Federal Transit AdministrationPage 7
Guidance on New Starts Policies and ProceduresJuly, 2007