DATE: August 6, 2020
TO: Unified Planning Work Program Committee
FROM: Tegin Teich, Executive Director, Central Transportation Planning Staff
RE: Recommended Revisions to Certain 3C Budgets (FFY 2020)
This memo contains recommendations from the staff of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for adjustments to the federal fiscal year (FFY) 2020 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) budget, forming Amendment Three to the FFY 2020 UPWP. The proposed adjustments account for actual spending in the first three quarters of FFY 2020 and fourth quarter needs. The adjustments, shown in Table 1, have a net zero impact on the UPWP budget; but because the Federal Highway Administration now requires an amendment to the UPWP for any adjustment totaling more than 10 percent of an individual budget line, we are submitting an amendment containing these adjustments.
The approved UPWP budget for FFY 2020 represented our best understanding at the time of how 3C funds should be allocated to best meet the needs of the region. Throughout the federal fiscal year, MPO staff track spending on 3C line items and report quarterly to the UPWP Committee using a “Schedule of Operations.” At the end of the third quarter, MPO staff complete a thorough assessment of the spending patterns in the federal fiscal year to date and propose a slate of budget adjustments for the final quarter. These adjustments transfer funds from one set of 3C line items to another.
There are two primary reasons why adjustments are necessary in the fourth quarter to most effectively use the funding available to the MPO. The first relates to staff attrition and the time it takes to recruit and train new staff. When staff resign from the Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS), there is almost always a period of time before a new person is hired in their place. While we use and reallocate staff capacity as fluidly as possible to meet project needs, staffing gaps can result in lower expenditures on 3C line items than initially expected.
In addition to staffing gaps, project or line item needs may evolve after the UPWP is developed. Budget estimates for each project line item are developed in the spring, approximately six months before work commences. This schedule allows the UPWP to be approved in the summer. Once work is in progress, needs or expectations may shift and MPO staff must adapt to such changes. This can affect how much staff time or effort is required for one project or line item versus another. Especially given that this federal fiscal year also included a significant adjustment to working from home due to COVID-19, adjustments were warranted to better meet current needs.
Thank you for your time spent reviewing these recommended adjustments. MPO staff would be happy to discuss and to answer any questions from UPWP Committee members. After a discussion, we hope you will be in agreement with these recommended adjustments. We request that the UPWP Committee vote to approve Amendment Three to the FFY 2020 UPWP and that the MPO vote to release it for a 30-day public comment period.
Proposed Adjustments to FFY 2020 Budgets for 3C-Funded CTPS Projects
|Project Number||Project||Current Budget||Proposed Change||Proposed Budget||Comment|
|2120||Congestion Management Process (CMP)||$112,060||$10,000||$122,060||Support travel data monitoring and count adjustments due to COVID-19|
|2720||Traffic Data Support||$15,340||$7,500||$22,840||Increase in traffic data requests|
|2520||Bicycle/Pedestrian Support Activities||$71,810||($12,000)||$59,810||Data collection delayed due to COVID-19|
|13294||TIP Before-and-After Studies||$60,000||($18,000)||$42,000||Data collection delayed due to COVID-19|
|5020||Geographic Information System/Database Management||$155,730||$10,000||$165,730||Increase in access to data from MPO partners|
|9120||Support to the MPO and its Committees||$218,200||$60,000||$278,200||Cost for changes in staff assigned and adjustments to virtual meeting format|
|9620||Public Participation Process||$157,400||$25,000||$182,400||Cost for changes in staff assigned|
|9220||MPO Graphics||$87,440||$10,000||$97,440||Unanticipated costs in this line item to compensate for delays in project work|
|8220||Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)||$262,660||$15,000||$277,660||Unanticipated costs related to delays in starting work on changes to TIP criteria|
|8120||Long-Range Transportation Plan||$330,920||($50,000)||$280,920||Delay in initiating scenario planning due to staff shortages|
|8820||Perfomance-Based Planning and Programming||$142,040||($57,500)||$84,540||Lower spending due to staff shortages|
|Total 3C funding redistributed among projects||$137,500|
The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) operates its programs, services, and activities in compliance with federal nondiscrimination laws including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI), the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987, and related statutes and regulations. Title VI prohibits discrimination in federally assisted programs and requires that no person in the United States of America shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity that receives federal assistance. Related federal nondiscrimination laws administered by the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, or both, prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, sex, and disability. The Boston Region MPO considers these protected populations in its Title VI Programs, consistent with federal interpretation and administration. In addition, the Boston Region MPO provides meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities to individuals with limited English proficiency, in compliance with U.S. Department of Transportation policy and guidance on federal Executive Order 13166.
The Boston Region MPO also complies with the Massachusetts Public Accommodation Law, M.G.L. c 272 sections 92a, 98, 98a, which prohibits making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to, or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, or ancestry. Likewise, the Boston Region MPO complies with the Governor's Executive Order 526, section 4, which requires that all programs, activities, and services provided, performed, licensed, chartered, funded, regulated, or contracted for by the state shall be conducted without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background.
A complaint form and additional information can be obtained by contacting the MPO or at http://www.bostonmpo.org/mpo_non_discrimination. To request this information in a different language or in an accessible format, please contact
Title VI Specialist