The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued on the 1st of September final Buy America policy guidance advising transit agencies and transit vehicle manufacturers how to implement a phased increase in domestic content requirements for transit rolling stock procurements from 60 percent to more than 70 percent by the year 2020. The phased increase is required by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and is the first increase since 1991.
“Buy America provisions ensure that federally funded transportation projects are built with American-made products,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “As a result, DOT investments support an entire supply chain of American companies and their employees.”
Under the FTA final policy guidance, the Buy America domestic content requirements for transit rolling stock procurements for railcars and buses will be based on the scheduled delivery date of the first production vehicle. The domestic content minimum for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 is more than 60 percent; for fiscal years 2018 and 2019, it is more than 65 percent; and for fiscal year 2020 and beyond it is more than 70 percent.
“The revised FTA Buy America policy addresses public transportation industry concerns and maintains the core goal of the program to preserve and create good-paying American jobs,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers.
FTA is also providing a limited public interest waiver for solicitations and contracts that were underway when the FAST Act was enacted in 2015.
FTA’s Buy America requirements apply to third-party procurements by FTA grant recipients. FTA generally defines rolling stock to include transit vehicles such as buses, vans, cars, railcars, locomotives, trolley cars and buses, and ferryboats. Rolling stock also includes train control, communication, traction power equipment, and rolling stock prototypes.