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Policies and Guidance

Applicable Regulations

The Bus Testing Program is authorized at 49 USC Section 5318.  FTA manages the Bus Testing Program according to the Bus Testing Regulation, 49 CFR Part 665

Applicable FTA Circulars

  • Circular 5010.1D – Grant Management Requirements
  • Circular 9030.1C – Urbanized Area Formula Program: Grant Application Instructions
  • Circular 9040.1F – Non-urbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions
  • Circular 9300.1B – Capital Investment Program Guidance and Application Instructions

Important Websites

Altoona Bus Testing and Research Center / Interactive Bus Testing Database

FTA Legislation, Regulations, Circulars, and Guidance

FTA Grants and Financing Information

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations

Policies and Interpretations

FTA Program-Wide Determinations on Bus Testing Requirements (determinations that apply to the entire industry, or to multiple manufacturers, operators, etc.)

FTA Partial Testing Guidelines for previously-tested buses now being produced with major changes.

FTA Interpretations of Definitions in 49 CFR Part 665 (the Bus Testing Regulation).

FTA "Family of Vehicles" Policy regarding Bus Testing requirements for closely related small bus models in the 4-year and 5-year service life categories.

FTA policy on Prototype Waivers of the Bus Testing Requirements.

FTA Bus Testing Q&A on the 3rd-Party Procurement Helpline.

No Prohibition on Release of Non-FTA Funds Prior to Test Report Receipt – The authorizing legislation for the Bus Testing Program, 49 U.S.C. Sec. 5318, does not prohibit recipients of FTA funds from soliciting and awarding orders for buses prior to the completion of testing.  Bus purchasers may release state and local funds for buses at any time permitted by their own state and local regulations, as the transfer of those funds is not prohibited by Federal statute.  The purchaser remains responsible, however, for ensuring that the vehicle complies with all FTA requirements upon final acceptance in order to maintain eligibility for FTA funding.

Availability of Supplemental Testing at Requestor’s Expense – Because we believe that doing so ultimately provides value to the transit-riding public, FTA does not prohibit the operator of the Bus Testing Program from offering its facilities, equipment, personnel, and expertise to the transit industry to collect additional data and/or conduct supplemental testing at the requestor’s full expense to address industry needs, as long as such supplemental testing is incidental and does not interfere with the timely performance of the operator’s core mission of operating the FTA Bus Testing Program. Note that since supplemental testing is not the core mission of the Bus Testing Center, the availability of such testing may be limited. Contact the Bus Testing Center to inquire about the availability and terms of supplemental testing.  

Updated: Friday, July 29, 2016
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