McAuliffe Administration proposes changes to Smart Scale application process, including limits on the number of applications per funding cycle – Comments due October 20

September 1, 2017

The Secretary of Transportation’s Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment (OIPI) has released a draft of proposed revisions to the Smart Scale Technical Guide. This document outlines the process and technical requirements for submitting applications for funding both local and regional transportation projects.

For local governments, transit agencies and regional planning organizations (MPOs and PDCs), the most significant change being sought is the placement of a cap on how many projects may be submitted for funding. Specifically, for localities with a population less than 200,000 the maximum number of applications is four. For localities greater than 200,000 population, the maximum number of applications is 8. For regional organizations and transit agencies serving a population less than 500,000 the maximum number of applications is 4. And for those serving a population greater than 500,000 the maximum number of applications is 8. This spreadsheet provides additional detail on how these limits would be applied to specific localities, transit agencies and regional entities.

Other significant changes include the following:

A revised final application deadline of August 1 (current is September 30)

A new requirement for a pre-application to be completed by June 1 (pre-applications can be submitted online starting March 1);

A new requirement that all project submissions must include a resolution of support from MPO or PDC; and

Additional new requirements to demonstrate “project readiness.”

Comments can be submitted to SMARTPORTAL@CTB.Virginia.gov or by using the OIPI online portal.

It is expected that the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) will vote to adopt these revisions to the guide on October 24, several days following the deadline for comments. Therefore, counties with specific concerns should also contact their CTB representative.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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