In carrying out this chapter, the Secretary of Transportation may—
prescribe terms for a project that receives Federal financial assistance under this chapter (except terms the Secretary of Labor prescribes under section 5333(b) of this title);
sue and be sued;
foreclose on property or bring a civil action to protect or enforce a right conferred on the Secretary of Transportation by law or agreement;
buy property related to a loan under this chapter;
agree to pay an annual amount in place of a State or local tax on real property acquired or owned under this chapter;
sell, exchange, or lease property, a security, or an obligation;
obtain loss insurance for property and assets the Secretary of Transportation holds;
consent to a modification in an agreement under this chapter;
include in an agreement or instrument under this chapter a covenant or term the Secretary of Transportation considers necessary to carry out this chapter;
collect fees to cover the costs of training or conferences, including costs of promotional materials, sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration to promote public transportation and credit amounts collected to the appropriation concerned; and
issue regulations as necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
Prohibitions Against Regulating Operations and Charges.—
Except for purposes of national defense or in the event of a national or regional emergency, or for purposes of establishing and enforcing a program to improve the safety of public transportation systems in the United States as described in section 5329, the Secretary may not regulate the operation, routes, or schedules of a public transportation system for which a grant is made under this chapter. The Secretary may not regulate the rates, fares, tolls, rentals, or other charges prescribed by any provider of public transportation.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent the Secretary from requiring a recipient of funds under this chapter to comply with the terms and conditions of its Federal assistance agreement.
Limitation on statutory construction.—
Procedures for Prescribing Regulations.—
The Secretary shall prepare an agenda listing all areas in which the Secretary intends to propose regulations governing activities under this chapter within the following 12 months. The Secretary shall publish the proposed agenda in the Federal Register as part of the Secretary’s semiannual regulatory agenda that lists regulatory activities of the Federal Transit Administration. The Secretary shall submit the agenda to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives on the day the agenda is published.
Except for emergency regulations, the Secretary shall give interested parties at least 60 days to participate in a regulatory proceeding under this chapter by submitting written information, views, or arguments, with or without an oral presentation, except when the Secretary for good cause finds that public notice and comment are unnecessary because of the routine nature or insignificant impact of the regulation or that an emergency regulation should be issued. The Secretary may extend the 60-day period if the Secretary decides the period is insufficient to allow diligent individuals to prepare comments or that other circumstances justify an extension.
An emergency regulation ends 120 days after it is issued.
The Secretary shall comply with this subsection when proposing or carrying out a regulation governing an activity under this chapter, except for a routine matter or a matter with no significant impact.
Budget Program and Set of Accounts.—
The Secretary shall—
submit each year a budget program as provided in section 9103 of title 31; and
maintain a set of accounts for audit under chapter 35 of title 31.
The Secretary shall deposit amounts made available to the Secretary under this chapter in a checking account in the Treasury. Receipts, assets, and amounts obtained or held by the Secretary to carry out this chapter are available for administrative expenses to carry out this chapter.
Depository and Availability of Amounts.—
A financial transaction of the Secretary under this chapter and a related voucher are binding on all officers and employees of the United States Government.
Binding Effect of Financial Transaction.—
Dealing With Acquired Property.—
Notwithstanding another law related to the Government acquiring, using, or disposing of real property, the Secretary may deal with property acquired under paragraph (3) or (4) of subsection (a) in any way. However, this subsection does not—
deprive a State or political subdivision of a State of jurisdiction of the property; or
impair the civil rights, under the laws of a State or political subdivision of a State, of an inhabitant of the property.
Transfer of Assets No Longer Needed.—
If a recipient of assistance under this chapter decides an asset acquired under this chapter at least in part with that assistance is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was acquired, the Secretary may authorize the recipient to transfer the asset to a local governmental authority to be used for a public purpose with no further obligation to the Government. The Secretary may authorize a transfer for a public purpose other than public transportation only if the Secretary decides—
the asset will remain in public use for at least 5 years after the date the asset is transferred;
there is no purpose eligible for assistance under this chapter for which the asset should be used;
the overall benefit of allowing the transfer is greater than the interest of the Government in liquidation and return of the financial interest of the Government in the asset, after considering fair market value and other factors; and
through an appropriate screening or survey process, that there is no interest in acquiring the asset for Government use if the asset is a facility or land.
A decision under paragraph (1) must be in writing and include the reason for the decision.
This subsection is in addition to any other law related to using and disposing of a facility or equipment under an assistance agreement.
When real property, equipment, or supplies acquired with assistance under this chapter are no longer needed for public transportation purposes as determined under the applicable assistance agreement, the Secretary may authorize the sale, transfer, or lease of the assets under conditions determined by the Secretary and subject to the requirements of this subsection.
The net income from asset sales, uses, or leases (including lease renewals) under this subsection shall be used by the recipient to reduce the gross project cost of other capital projects carried out under this chapter.
The authority of the Secretary under this subsection is in addition to existing authorities controlling allocation or use of recipient income otherwise permissible in law or regulation in effect prior to the date of enactment of this paragraph.
Relationship to other authority.—
Transfer of Amounts and Non-Government Share.—
Amounts made available for a public transportation project under title 23 may be transferred to and administered by the Secretary under this chapter. Amounts made available for a highway project under this chapter shall be transferred to and administered by the Secretary under title 23.
The provisions of title 23 related to the non-Government share apply to amounts under title 23 used for public transportation projects. The provisions of this chapter related to the non-Government share apply to amounts under this chapter used for highway projects.
Not less than 3 full business days before announcement of award by the Secretary of any discretionary grant, letter of intent, or full funding grant agreement totaling $1,000,000 or more, the Secretary shall notify the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
Notification of Pending Discretionary Grants.—
The Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration shall follow applicable rulemaking procedures under section 553 of title 5 before the Federal Transit Administration issues a statement that imposes a binding obligation on recipients of Federal assistance under this chapter.
In this subsection, the term “binding obligation” means a substantive policy statement, rule, or guidance document issued by the Federal Transit Administration that grants rights, imposes obligations, produces significant effects on private interests, or effects a significant change in existing policy.
Binding obligation defined.—
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(d), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 836; Pub. L. 104–287, § 5(9), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3389; Pub. L. 104–316, title I, § 127(a), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3840; Pub. L. 105–178, title III, §§ 3023(c), 3025(a), (b)(1), (c), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 364, 365; Pub. L. 109–59, title III, §§ 3002(b)(4), 3032, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1545, 1626; Pub. L. 111–350, § 5(o)(3), Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3853; Pub. L. 112–141, div. B, §§ 20024, 20030(i), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 718, 731.)