Through the Consolidated Vehicle Procurement Program (CVP), the Illinois Department of Transportation - Division of Public & Intermodal Transportation (IDOT-DPIT) makes grants to municipalities, mass transit districts, counties, and private non-profit organizations for ramp and lift equipped paratransit vehicles. Funding for these grants comes from varied sources, including the Federal Transit Administrations (FTA) Section 5309, 5310, 5311, 5316, and 5317 programs, as well as state resources. Previously, agencies eligible for different grants were required to submit numerous applications. The consolidated vehicle procurement application was developed to make it easier for agencies to apply for funds and for the IDOT-DPIT to review project applications.
As part of the Federal government’s human services coordination initiative, all Section 5310 recipients must certify that projects are derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan (HSTP). In the rural areas of Illinois, IDOT-DPIT has developed 11 regions each staffed with an HSTP Regional Coordinator. In the urban downstate areas the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is the HSTP agency, and in the Northeastern IL region (six counties) the contact is the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA). All Section 5310 applicants should be actively involved in the development of these plans, and each Section 5310 application will need to be endorsed by their respective HSTP local transportation planning committee in order to be considered for funding by IDOT-DPIT.
In order to meet the federal coordination requirements identified above, all Section 5310 applicants will now submit their application to their local HSTP office for initial review. While the applications will not be formally scored by the HSTP offices, that will continue to be done by IDOT-DPIT, the role of the HSTP offices will be to ensure that the agency submitting the application has been an active player in the local service coordination process and that the services provide by the application meet the service needs and goals as identified in locally derived HSTP plan.
When final review of the application is complete, IDOT-DPIT will make its recommendation to the Governor. Following his approval, vehicles will be ordered and grant contracts forwarded to the applicants for signature. When both copies are returned, the agreement will be executed and dated at IDOT-DPIT. Only then can IDOT-DPIT deliver vehicles. IDOT-DPIT, on behalf of the grantees, develops the vehicle specifications, purchases the vehicles, and assures that the procurement conforms to all state and federal requirements. This constitutes the Consolidated Vehicle Procurement process.
*In order to receive vehicles, it is MANDATORY that your agency is actively participating in the HSTP process. The HSTP Committee must vote on your application and the HSTP Coordinators must endorse you prior to your application being submitted to the State. If you are not endorsed, you will not qualify for any vehicles. In addition, your agencies application must be supported by your local transit agency. This means you need to be having a working relationship with them and coordinating with them.
*If your agency receives a vehicle, there are policies and procedures that your agency must put in place. IDOT will conduct periodic reviews of your 5310 program to make sure you’re in compliance with the grant requirements. The coordinators are available to assist with this process.