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RULE §31.31Section 5310 Grant Program

    (A) leverage existing resources and promote innovation;

    (B) are the only public transportation option for the proposed service area;

    (C) are sustainable over time;

    (D) demonstrate efficient use of resources;

    (E) involve partnerships that include organizations; or

    (F) provide service continuity.

  (3) At least 55 percent of the funds allocated by district boundaries or combination of district boundaries shall be used for capital expenses.

  (4) Not more than 45 percent of the funds allocated by district boundaries or combination of district boundaries may be used for operating expenses. This cap applies to both urbanized areas and rural areas, respectively.

  (5) The requirements of this subparagraph apply to all projects recommended for funding.

    (A) There must be a demonstrated need for any capital purchases. Examples of items that may be used to demonstrate need include a needs assessment that documents the demand for new services, a vehicle inventory that establishes the need for replacement of older equipment, dispatcher logs that document requests for service that cannot be met with existing equipment, and purchase of service contracts that substantiate the need for additional vehicles.

    (B) The proposed applicant must be able to demonstrate its financial and managerial capability to carry out the project. Examples of items that may be used to demonstrate the capability include audited financial statements and review letters from grantor agencies.

    (C) Consideration should be given to the applicant's past efforts to coordinate services and related activities with other local entities. Examples showing those efforts include contracts that outline purchase of service agreements, shared maintenance or dispatching functions, and joint training initiatives.

    (D) There should be evidence of local support for the proposal. Examples of that evidence include resolutions by local governing bodies and endorsement letters from other organizations or individuals.

    (E) The project must be included in the coordinated public transit-human service transportation plan.

  (6) Based on stakeholder input, department personnel assigned to cover district areas will rank projects in priority order.

  (7) On receipt of the applications recommended for funding, the director, or the director's designee, will review all funding requests for completeness and compliance with all statutory and program administrative requirements. Following commission approval, the department will negotiate a contract with the selected local entities and organizations to implement the projects selected for funding.

(j) Vehicle leasing. Vehicles acquired under the §5310 program may be leased to other entities, such as local public entities or agencies, other private nonprofit agencies, or private for-profit operators. The lessee shall operate the vehicles on behalf of the §5310 recipient and provide the transportation services as described in the original grant application.

(k) Incidental vehicle use. A vehicle that is purchased with §5310 funds may be used for incidental uses that do not conflict with the primary use of the vehicle to provide transportation services for seniors and individuals with disabilities. Examples of permissible incidental uses are allowing riders who are neither senior nor an individual with a disability to occupy vacant seats, delivering meals, or using the vehicle for other public transportation activities when it is not required for seniors or individuals with disabilities project purposes. The vehicle shall not be altered in any way to accommodate incidental use.

(l) Private for-profit transportation business participation. Taxi companies that provide only exclusive-ride service are not eligible subrecipients; however, they may participate in the §5310 program as contractors. Exclusive-ride taxi companies may receive §5310 funds to purchase accessible taxis under contract with an eligible subrecipient.

Source Note: The provisions of this §31.31 adopted to be effective November 21, 2013, 38 TexReg 8253; amended to be effective December 6, 2017, 42 TexReg 6815

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