The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the availability of $2 million in intercity bus security grant funds for 2017. This latest round of security grant funding for the motorcoach industry was announced last Friday, June 2 through the DHS, www.dhs.gov and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) websites. Since 2003, DHS has awarded nearly $106 million to secure motorcoach operations.
The grant program is designed to improve security for intercity bus operators and passengers by providing funding for driver/vehicle and facility security enhancements, emergency communication technology, and training. This grant funding is a direct result of ABA’s continued lobbying efforts on the Hill and with the DHS on the continuing and ongoing need for enhanced security in our industry.
This year, program eligibility has been extended to any qualified operator, including fixed route or charter service, using over-the-road buses and providing multiple trips (minimum of 50) to any of the areas defined by the DHS as Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) jurisdictions. A few new jurisdictions have been added for FY 2017 – Hampton Roads, Va., Indianapolis, Ind., San Antonio, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
There were a number of key changes to this year’s program. In addition to reducing the amount of funding available, the number of submitted projects has also been reduced, changes have been made to allowable pre-award costs, and a host of other compliance items have been added.
Click here to view all of the guidance documents related to this funding opportunity.
The FY 2017 grants will be awarded through a competitive selection process, with grant applications due by 5:00 p.m. ET on June 22. All funding will be announced for selected recipients around Sept. 1.
TSA/FEMA will be hosting conference calls on the following dates to provide additional information:
June 5, 2:00 p.m. EDT
June 14, 2:00 p.m. EDT
June 21, 2:00 p.m. EDT
For all three calls, please dial - 800-320-4330; passcode: 271792
ABA has worked hard with Congress to ensure that these funds are available to our members – in fact, during the last installment of this grant program (in FY 2016) more than 90 percent of those who were successfully awarded security grants were ABA members. We strongly encourage you to apply for these very important funds. You can also read more online by going to www.grants.gov, and typing in the CFDA number 97.057.
There are also a number of registrations that you must complete in order to be able to submit your finished application. This is a multi-step application process that can take over a week. Start those registration processes today!
Click here to start the registration process on grants.gov.
Final grant applications must be submitted through www.portal.fema.gov/famsVuWeb/home.