Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE bus) recently completed the rigorous Federal Transit Administration’s Triennial Review with no findings of deficiencies, what is considered a perfect score indicating full compliance. NICE received the highest attainable score in this mandatory performance audit, which is required of all public transit agencies that receive federal funds.
The triennial review is a key management tool that the FTA uses to examine how well federal grant recipients adhere to current requirements and policies of its Urbanized Area Formula Program, which makes resources available to Nassau County government for transit capital, operating assistance and transportation-related planning. The funds make possible Nassau County’s capital investment program to retire and replace older buses by NICE, which is the county’s public bus transit system.
“NICE’s outstanding results not only underscore our focus on complying with FTA requirements but also maintaining a culture that is committed to those standards, which help ensure we are providing the best service for all our customers,” said NICE CEO. “The FTA examiner was especially impressed with the preparation and understanding of policy demonstrated by our team, which was led by NICE’s Director of Finance Elena Santibanez.”
The review analyzes overall compliance with FTA requirements by examining 17 key areas, including Title VI (anti-discrimination), Americans With Disabilities Act, Safety, Procurement, State of Good Repair and Financial Management Oversight. The review looks at programs, policies, procedures, administrative controls and financial management systems to determine how closely transit agencies follow statutory and regularly requirements. Where examiners determine that compliance is lacking, the FTA will issue deficiency findings indicating non-compliance.
The NICE Team worked for months to ensure that they could show that proper policies and procedures were in compliance and that all records were properly maintained. The FTA’s desk review included a lengthy pre-visit questionnaire and documentation from NICE on various subjects.
This set the stage for a three-day site review during which NICE team leaders were interviewed by the examiner and were asked to provide additional detail or documentation to ensure FTA compliance. Detailed depot and transit center site tours were also conducted to review the equipment and facilities and ensure that everything is being kept in a state of good repair.