§ 51.01 – Under what conditions should I develop a template sampling plan for next year?

(a)    If you have previously been using a ready-to-use sampling plan and the next report year is your mandatory sampling year;

(b)   If you have previously been using a sampling plan, but it is not based on the conditions of your service;

(c)    If you have previously been using a template sampling plan, but you must revise it for your next sampling year according to Subsection 56; or

(d)   If you previously have been using an alternative sampling plan, but would like to:

(1)   improve your sampling efficiency,

(2)   change the unit of sampling and measurement,

(3)   change the sampling structure, or

(4)   use a different sampling frequency.

§ 51.02 – Should I consider template sampling plans if I am a small system and want to sample?

(a)    You do not have to consider template sampling plans.  You may continue using ready-to-use sampling plans while you continue operate no more than 30 vehicles operated in maximum service for all modes combined.

(b)   It is likely to be in your interest to consider template sampling plans. 

(c)    If the sample size requirement is considerably smaller for template sampling plans than for ready-to-use sampling plans, the benefit is likely to be much greater than your cost from considering template sampling plans. 

§ 51.03 – Does this Manual have a companion tool that I may use?

(a)    Yes, this companion tool is an Excel template, “The NTD Sampling Template.xlsm.”

(b)   It is specifically designed for you to develop template sampling plans.

(c)    You may download a copy of this template from the NTD homepage at www.ntdprogram.gov. 

§ 51.05 – What is the scope of this template?

(a)    You may use it for any mode of transit service, such as bus (MB), that is explicitly recognized by the NTD.

(b)   You may use it for any type of service, such as directly operated (DO), that is explicitly recognized by the NTD.

(c)    You may use it with sample data in any unit of sampling and measurement.

§ 52.01 – What types of options does this template provide in its sampling plans?

(a)    Unit of sampling and measurement – the unit of service at which you do sampling, data collection, and estimation.

(b)   Sampling structure – period-based sampling or interval-based sampling.

(c)    Sampling frequency – how frequently you do sampling.

§ 52.03 – Must I pick a specific unit of sampling and measurement to use this template?

(a)    You must pick a specific unit of sampling and measurement before you start using this template.  The type of sample data you have available will often dictate your choice of a unit for sampling and measurement.

(1)   For non-scheduled services, such as demand response (DR and DT) or vanpool (VP), the unit of sampling and measurement is typically the vehicle day.  

(2)   For bus services, including bus (MB), commuter bus (CB), bus rapid transit (RB), and trolley bus (TB), you must decide if the unit will be a one-way bus trip or a round-trip bus trip.  It is a common practice to use a one-way bus trip as the unit of sampling and measurement.

(3)   For rail services, you must decide if the unit will be a one-way car trip, a round-trip car trip, a one-way train trip, or a round-trip train trip.  It is a common practice to use one-way passenger car trip as the unit of sampling and measurement.

(b)   The sample data you enter into this template will all be in this unit.

(c)    The resulting sampling plans from this template will also be in this unit.

(d)   The expansion factors you are going to use to expand your sample will also be in this unit if you are going to estimate both UPT and PMT with your sample data.

§ 52.04 – What options does this template provide on sampling structure?

(a)    Period-based sampling plans – you sample the same number of service units for each period (e.g., monthly).

(b)   Interval-based sampling plans – you sample the same number of service units one each sample day, and the interval between the sample days is constant.

(c)    In determining whether using interval-based sampling plans, you should consider their advantages and disadvantages:

(1)   the advantage of using a sampling plan that you have been using for years,

(2)   the advantage of using regular sample days throughout a year,

(3)   the disadvantage of a large number of times you need to sample during a year,

(4)   the disadvantage of not being able to consider the PPMT and grouping options, and

(5)   the disadvantage of a likely larger annual sample size due to rounding in determining the daily sample size.

§ 52.05 – What options does this template provide on sampling frequency?

(a)    This template provides you with three frequency options for period-based sampling – quarterly, monthly, and weekly.  For example, if weekly sampling requires 4 one-way bus trips per week, you must select at least 4 one-way bus trips at random from the full list of one-way bus trips that you expect to operate during a particular week.

(b)   This template provides you with up to 6 frequency options for interval-based sampling:

(1)   7-day weekly service – every day, every 2nd day, every 3rd day, every 4th day, every 5th day, and every 6th day.

(2)   6-day weekly service – every day, every 2nd day, every 3rd day, every 4th day, and every 5th day.

(3)   5-day weekly service – every day, every 2nd day, every 3rd day, and every 4th day.

(c)    You may choose whichever frequency option is best for your agency.

§ 52.07 – What should I consider in choosing a sampling frequency?

(a)    Period-based sampling plans:

(1)   Your cycle of minor schedule changes during a year.  For example, quarterly sampling may be appropriate if you routinely adjust your schedule every three months. 

(2)   The scale of your operation and the method you will be using to select a sample.  For example, it may become difficult to select a sample for an entire quarter if the number of service units involved in a quarter is too large for a spreadsheet to handle.

(3)   The realized annual sample size.  The realized annual sample size can be larger than the initial annual sample size due to rounding in allocating the initial annual sample to each frequency level.  This is particularly true for weekly sampling when the initial annual sample size is relatively small.  For example, if the initial annual sample size is 55 and you choose weekly sampling, the weekly sample size would be 2 and the realized annual sample size would be 104. 

(b)   Interval-based sampling plans:

(1)   Your staffing needs for data collection.

(2)   The number of times you need to do sampling.  The number of times is larger with plans of higher frequency (e.g., every vs. every 2nd day). 

(3)   The annual total sample size.  The degree of rounding is higher with plans of higher frequency.

§ 52.09 – What efficiency options does the template include?

(a)    The template includes a number of options for you to consider in improving your sampling efficiency:

(1)   The base option.

(2)   The APTL option.

(3)   The PPMT option.

(4)   The grouping option. 

(b)   You may use the base option if you are going to estimate both UPT and PMT (i.e., you will not be using 100% counts for either UPT or PMT), and

(c)    Any of the other three options has the potential to improve your sampling efficiency over the base option:

(1)   Sampling plans under the APTL option are based on how APTL in absolute terms varies across your service units.

(2)   Sampling plans under the PPMT option are based on how APTL relative to average route length varies across your service units.

(3)   Sampling plans under the grouping option are based on the idea that relevant statistical variation may be smaller across service units within sub-segments of your service than across all service units of your entire service.

(d)   Additional options become available when service grouping is combined with each of the other three efficiency options.

§ 52.11 – Which of these efficiency options are available to me?

(a)    All four efficiency options are available for period-based sampling.  Only the first two are available for interval-based sampling.

(b)   The base option is available to you if you have data on PMT from your sample.  But it is not recommended in most cases if a 100% count of annual UPT is available and reliable.

(c)    The APTL option is available to you if you meet the following two criteria:

(1)   you are going to report a 100% count of annual UPT, and

(2)   you have data on both UPT and PMT from your sample data.

(d)   The PPMT option is available to you if you meet all of the following criteria:

(1)   you are going to report a 100% count of annual UPT,

(2)   you have data on both UPT and PMT from your sample data,

(3)   your service is a fixed-route service,

(4)   you have your 100% count of annual UPT for each route, and

(5)   you have data on annual total vehicle revenue miles and annual total vehicle revenue one-way trips for each route.

(e)    The grouping option is available to you as long as you have some basis for dividing your service into two or more groups. 

§ 52.13 – How do I divide my scheduled service if I want to consider the grouping option?

(a)    Grouping is usually by route when there is a small number of routes or by groups of routes that are similar.

(b)   You are going to determine the similarity of service units on your expectations from your prior knowledge of your service.  

(c)    The most efficient grouping depends on other efficiency options you consider: 

(1)   If your sampling plan follows the base option, define groups so that within each group, they are similar with respect to PMT per service unit.  For example, you may group heavily used long routes separately from lightly used shorter routes.

(2)   If your sampling plan follows the APTL option, define your groups so that within each group they have similar APTL.  For example, if your express route customers travel particularly long distances, you may separate your express and local services as two groups.  As another example, if some of your local routes are particularly longer than the other local routes, you may further divide your local service into two groups.

(3)   If your sampling plan follows the PPMT option, define your groups so that the routes within each group are similar with respect to the fraction of a route’s length that passengers typically ride.  For example, if on some routes passengers tend to ride most of length of the route (as is the case for some express routes) while on other routes passengers tend to ride for only a small part of the route’s full length, separate those routes into different groups.  Consider another example.  If a system has a mix of radial routes (routes with one end in the downtown), diagonal routes (routes that pass through the downtown), and crosstown routes (routes that don’t pass through the downtown), the average fraction of route length that passengers ride tends to be smaller on the diagonal and crosstown routes and longer on the radial routes.  In this case, radial routes could be grouped separately from diagonal and crosstown routes.

§ 52.17 – What should I consider in general when I consider grouping my service?

(a)    Strike a balance between the number of groups and the potential reduction in necessary sample size.  In most cases, you will only want to deal with two or three groups.

(b)   You may try different ways of grouping your service and choose one particular grouping based on its efficiency improvement and your administrative convenience. 

(c)    The grouping option may be used for administrative convenience alone: 

(1)   You may treat your different contractors of service for a given mode as separate groups when each is responsible for sampling and collecting data.

(2)   You may treat your operational divisions as separate groups if each is responsible for sampling and collecting data.

(3)   You may treat your commuter vanpool separately from your other vanpool services.

§ 53.01 – What data must I have to use this template?

(a)    You must have a set of sample data collected recently from your service for the mode and type of service for which you would like to have a new template sampling plan. 

(1)   The sample data must be at the unit of sampling and measurement you have chosen for your sampling plan.  For example, if your sampling plan is in one-way bus trips, the sample data should show the UPT and PMT and other identification information for each one-way bus trip in your sample.

(2)   Follow the instructions in the template for details on data items and format required and how they should be entered into the template.

(b)   You should use your NTD sample if it is available and you have not made major changes to your service since the data were collected.

(c)    Otherwise, you may use data that have been collected for non-NTD purposes: 

(1)   One good source of non-NTD sample data for scheduled services is a comprehensive operational analysis (COA).  Typically, all trips or a large portion of all trips on your schedule are checked by ride-checkers or by APCs during a concentrated period.

(2)   Make sure that the non-NTD source of sample data has the required information for using this template.  For example, between-stop distances often are not collected during COA ride checks, and the resulting ride check data would not be useful if you do not have predetermined between-stop distances for your entire service.

(d)   The sample size of the sample data from any source must be 50 or more service units.

(e)    If you do not have a set of sample data recently collected from your service for the mode and type of service, then you should use one of the other types of sampling plans, such as ready-to-use sampling plans.

§ 53.03 – Must I identify and correct errors with my sample data before I enter them into the template?

(a)    Yes, you must identify and correct errors in your sample data for using the template.

(b)   If you are using sample data from previous report years, you should have identified and corrected such errors in developing your estimates then; make sure that you use the final version of your sample data. 

(c)    Refer to Subsection 67 for identifying and correcting errors in your sampling data during the course of an entire report year as you collect sample data.

(d)   If you are using sample data from the current report year, identifying and correcting errors in the sample data now for developing sampling plans saves you from doing it when you develop your estimates later for reporting purposes.

(e)    At a minimum, you should conduct the following checks to identifying potential errors:

(1)   Overall consistency – UPT and PMT should be closely related across all sample units.  For period-based sampling plans, check for errors if cell D26 in the PeriodCalculations worksheet is smaller than 0.5.  For interval-based sampling plans, check for errors if cell D20 in the IntervalCalculations worksheet is smaller than 0.5.

(2)   Consistency at the level of sampling units – UPT and PMT should both be zero or both be positive.  Check for errors if one is zero but the other is positive.

(3)   Comparing APTL with route length – Calculate the ratio of PMT over UPT and compare the result to the maximum length of your route.  This check is not applicable to demand response services.

(4)   If you consider the PPMT option, calculate the ratio of PMT over PPMT for each sample unit; the ratio should not be greater than 1.

(f)    It is in your interest to keep your sample data free of errors.  Experience indicates that sample data with errors tend to result in larger sample sizes than sample data free of errors. 

§ 53.05 – Do interval-based sampling plans have any special requirement for the sample data used in developing them?

(a)    Yes, the sample data must have 2 or more service units for every sample day.

(b)   If you sampled 3 one-way bus trips every 2nd day with an annual total sample of 549 trips during your last sampling year, your sample data would meet this requirement.  If you have identified and corrected errors in your sample data, you may use them for developing interval-based sampling plans with the template. 

§ 53.07 – What other data do I need to use this template?

(a)    If you want to consider the grouping option, you must have data:

(1)   on the size of each service group in the number of service units operated during the period for which the sample data were collected, and

(2)   on the expected size of each service group for future sampling years. 

(3)   Follow the instructions in the template on how you should enter the information on group size.

(b)   If you want to consider combining the grouping option with the APTL option, you must enter into the template whether you will have reliable 100% counts of UPT for each service group for estimating your annual PMT.  Follow the instructions in the template on where you should enter this information.  Your input affects several things:

(1)   The efficiency of your sampling plan.  In general your sampling plan is more efficient if you will have reliable 100% counts of UPT by service group.

(2)   How you should estimate your annual PMT.  For example, you will need to estimate your annual PMT separately for each service group if you have 100% counts of UPT by service group.  Refer to Subsection 83 for more guidance on estimation.  

(3)   The information you need to get from the template for determining whether you need to revise your template sampling plan.  Refer to Subsection 56 for more guidance on revision of sampling plans.

(c)    If you want to consider interval-based sampling plans, you must have information on the annual number of days of service and the daily number of trips.

§ 53.09 – What sample data should I use to develop template sampling plans for next year?

(a)    If you are not sampling this year, you should use the sample data from your most recent previous sampling year.

(b)   If you are sampling this year, you should use the sample data from this year.  It is critical that you process your sample data as they become available.  The objective is that you can apply the companion template of this Manual to the cumulative sample data any time during this year.  Refer to Section 60 for processing your sample data.

(1)   If you are familiar with the companion template of this Manual, you should wait until a couple of weeks before the end of this year to use the template.  It is fine if you miss a few service units in your annual NTD sample for this purpose.  Note that you will still need to use the full sample to estimate your annual service-consumed data for NTD reporting.

(2)   If you are not familiar with the companion template, you should start learning to use the companion template with your sample data from this year.  Once you become familiar with the template, you should still wait until a couple of weeks before the end of this year to use the template.

§ 53.11 – How does this template deal with fluctuations in sample data from one year to another for a given service?

(a)    The measured statistical variation in APTL or any relevant characteristic of your service fluctuates from one year to another. 

(b)   Such fluctuations can occur from minor changes in your service or changes in how people use your service even if you do not adjust your service.

(c)    Fluctuations can also occur due to errors in data collection as a result of sampling.

(d)   This template has built in a 25% margin of safety against such fluctuations.

(e)    This margin of safety is equivalent to increasing the minimum precision level from 10% to 8.94% at the same 95% confidence level.

§ 53.13 – Why do such annual fluctuations in sample data require a margin of safety?

(a)    FTA’s 95% confidence and 10% precision levels are imposed on your estimates of annual service-consumed data.

(b)   The template, on the other hand, can only impose these requirements on your template sampling plans, but not on the estimates you develop with data collected according to your template sampling plans.

(c)    Whether the estimates of annual service-consumed data from the sample data collected according to the template sampling plans meet FTA’s requirements depends on how the sample data fluctuate over time:

(1)   If the statistical variation is greater in the sample data used to develop your template sampling plan, your estimates will meet FTA’s requirements.

(2)   If the statistical variation is smaller in the sample data used to develop your template sampling plan, your estimates may not meet FTA’s requirements.  The margin of safety is built in to prevent such violations from happening.

§ 53.15 – How does this template ensure adequate sample size for developing template sampling plans in the future?

(a)    Statistical theory shows that a minimum sample size of 50 is required to get an adequately precise estimate of how much APTL or any other relevant characteristic of your service varies across your service. 

(b)   This template has built in a minimum sample size of 50 for all new template sampling plans.

§ 54.01 – How do I use this template?

(a)    You must choose Enable Macros upon opening the template.

(b)   You must check a checkbox in the Cover Worksheet to develop interval-based sampling plans.  The default is for period-based sampling plans.

(c)    You must follow the instructions provided in the template.

(d)   This template is illustrated with actual sample data in “The NTD Sampling Template with Sample Data.xlsm.” 

(e)    This illustrated template is available for download at the NTD webpage: www.ntdprogram.gov. 

§ 54.03 – What does the template output include?

(a)    The output includes a set of several sampling plans as a result of the input data you have entered.

(b)   The sampling plans in this set differ in their efficiency options and sampling frequency.

(c)    For period-based sampling plans, the number of sampling plans in this set varies with the efficiency options that your input data allow.  It ranges from 6 sampling plans if you do not consider the PPMT and grouping options to 18 sampling plans if you consider them.

(d)   For interval-based sampling plans, the number of sampling plans in this set varies with your weekly service patterns.  It ranges from 8 sampling plans if you operate your service 5 days a week to 12 sampling plans if you operate 7 days a week.

(e)    The set of sampling plans changes when you change your input data. 

§ 55.01 – What should I consider in selecting one from the set of template sampling plans?

(a)    When your data allow, you should take the full advantage of the template by considering all possibilities, particularly both period-based and interval-based sampling plans and alternative ways of grouping your service.  This exploratory use of the template is especially useful when you have not used template sampling plans before.   

(b)   Once you have done the exploratory work, you should consider all five elements of a sampling plan: 

(1)   unit of sampling and measurement,

(2)   sampling structure,

(3)   efficiency options,

(4)   sampling frequency, and

(5)   annual sample size.

(c)    You should consider tradeoffs among the following characteristics of sampling plans:

(1)   sampling cost – it is closely related to the annual sample size and to the unit of sampling and measurement.

(2)   complexity of sampling plans – the grouping and PPMT options, for example, make sampling and estimation more complex. 

(3)   administrative convenience – how a sampling plan matches your institutional arrangements for sampling and data collection purposes.

(d)   If you want to choose an interval-based sampling plan for the current report year and want to consider interval-based sampling for future years:

(1)   you should consider those plans that require sampling 2 or more service units per sample day.  You must have sample data for 2 or more service units for each sample day in order to use the template for developing new interval-based sampling plans in the future.  Or

(2)   you may increase the daily sample size for a desired sampling frequency (e.g., every 3rd day) if the template results in a daily sample size of 1 for that frequency.       

§ 55.03 – Should I keep a copy of the used template that contains my sample data and my chosen template sampling plan?

(a)    Yes, you should keep a copy of the used template that contains your sample data and the final sampling plans, including the sampling plan you have chosen.  It is useful later for several purposes.

(b)   You may need it for NTD requirements on record keeping.

(c)    You may also need it for the following purposes:

(1)   Get information about the sample data for determining whether you need to revise your template sampling plan.  Refer to Subsection 56 for guidance on that.

(2)   Remind you what you have entered into the template on whether you will have reliable 100% count of UPT by service group if your template sampling plan is based on the APTL option with service grouping.  Refer to Subsection 83 for guidance on estimation under the APTL option.

§ 55.05 – How does my choice of efficiency options affect my choice of estimation methods?

(a)    Your choice of an efficiency option determines your method of estimation.

(b)   Follow the guidance on estimation in:

(1)   Section 70 if you choose the base option.

(2)   Subsection 83 if you choose the APTL option.

(3)   Subsection 85 if you choose the PPMT option. 

§ 55.07 – May I change template sampling plans from one report year to another?

(a)    Suppose that:

(1)   you have developed a set of final template sampling plans with sample data from a previous sampling year, and

(2)   you are using one of these template sampling plans this year.

(b)   The answer depends on whether you are required to revise your current sampling plan for next year.  Refer to Subsection 56 on how you may determine the need for revision.

(c)    You may change to a different sampling plan from the current set of final template sampling plans if you are not required to revise your current sampling plan.

(d)   You may change to a different sampling plan from an entirely new set of template sampling plans if you choose to develop new sampling plans using your sample data from the current report year.

(e)    You must not change to a different sampling plan from the current set of template sampling plans if you are required to revise your current sampling plan.

§ 55.09 – May I change sampling plans during a report year?

(a)    You should not change sampling plans during the same report year if you have not made major changes to your service. 

(b)   You should increase the necessary sample size by 50% with the same template sampling plan you used during the first part of the year if you have made major changes to your service.  For example, if you were sampling 4 one-way bus trips each week before the major changes, you should change to sample 8 one-way bus trips each week after those changes.

(c)    Table 55.01 shows this guidance in a tabular format.

Table 55.01.  Tabular Guidance on Changing Sampling Plans in a Report year

If you

then you should

by

have not made major changes to your service

not change your sampling plan during a report year

 

you have made major changes to your service

adjust your sampling plan during a report year

increasing the necessary sample size by 50%

§ 55.11 – How should I implement a template sampling plan?

(a)    You must not implement a template sampling plan at a unit that is smaller than the unit used in developing the original sampling plan.  For example, if your plan is to sample 3 round trips per week, you must not implement it by sampling 3 one-way trips per week.

(b)   You may choose to sample and measure at a unit that is greater than the unit used in developing the original template sampling plan.  For example, if your plan is to sample 4 one-way trips per week, you may implement it by sampling 4 round trips per week instead. 

(c)    You may only want to do (b) during the first year of implementing a template sampling plan.  For example, once you have the sample data in round trips from the first year, you should use the sample data from the first year to develop a new template sampling plan in round trips for future years.

§ 56.03 – Why do I need to consider revision?

(a)    Your service and the traveling habits of your customers change naturally over time.  

(b)   To meet certification requirements:

(1)   Such service and habit changes may increase the statistical variation in key quantities (e.g., PMT, APTL) and hence require larger sample sizes.

(2)   The sampling plans produced by this template are only certified to meet FTA’s requirements of 95% confidence with 10% precision for certain sampling cycles, presuming no major changes in your service.  

(3)   After this time, or after major changes in your service, a new template sampling plan must be developed to maintain certification of compliance with the FTA requirements.

(c)    To get more efficient sampling plans:

(1)   Such service and habit changes sometimes may reduce the statistical variation of key quantities (e.g., PMT, APTL).

(2)   You would be able to take advantage of such reduced variation by revising your template sampling plans using your most recent sample data that reflect these service and habit changes.

§ 56.05 – Under what conditions should I revise my template sampling plan?

(a)    If your next sampling year is your mandatory revising year, you must revise your template sampling plans.  Or

(b)   If you have made major changes to your service since you started using the current template sampling plan, you must consider revising your template sampling plan.

§ 56.07 – How do I know if next year is a mandatory revising year for me?

(a)    If you are required to sample every year, every 6th year is your mandatory revising year.  For example, if you used your 2010 NTD sample to develop a template sampling plan, report year 2016 is your mandatory revising year.

(b)   If you are required to sample every 3rd year, every 9th year is your mandatory revising year.  For example, if you used your 2010 NTD sample to develop a template sampling plan, report year 2019 is your mandatory revising year. 

(c)    Follow the Reporting Manual to determine whether you are required to sample every year.

§ 56.09 – What are considered major changes to my service?

(a)    A major change is any change you make to your service that is likely to lead to major changes in the statistical variation in a relevant quantity of your service. 

(b)   The relevant quantity of your service varies with the sampling options you choose.  It is PMT if you choose the base option, APTL if you choose the APTL option, etc.

(c)    The following are examples of a major change:

(1)   Making transfers fare-free for all passengers.

(2)   Adding or cutting express routes to the base of all local service.

(3)   Expanding or contracting your service by at least 25% in vehicle revenue miles.

(4)   Service restructuring that affects at least 25% of your service in vehicle revenue miles.

§ 56.11 – How do I determine if I must revise my template sampling plan after I have made major changes to my service?

(a)    Enter your sample from the current report year into the companion template as if you were going to develop a new template sampling plan. 

(1)   Enter your PPMT data if your current template sampling plan follows the PPMT option.

(2)   Enter the corresponding grouping data if your current template sampling plan follows the grouping option.

(b)   For period-based sampling, go to the PeriodPrecision Worksheet.  The index number you need depends on the efficiency option you have chosen for the current template sampling plan.  For example, you must use the value in cell D6 of Part A, Figure 56.01 (=32.7) if your template sampling plan is based on the APTL option with service grouping and if you have chosen to use your 100% UPT count by group in developing your annual estimates.

(c)    For interval-based sampling, go to the IntervalPrecision Worksheet.  The index number you need also depends on the efficiency option you have chosen for your current template sampling plan.  For example, you must use the value in cell C5 of Part B, Figure 56.01 (=31.3) if your template sampling plan is based on the APTL option.

(d)   You must revise your sampling plan if the precision index is smaller than 10.0.

A. PeriodPrecision Worksheet

B. IntervalPrecision Worksheet

Figure 56.01.  Layout of the PeriodPrecision and IntervalPrecision Worksheets

§ 57.01 – How do I certify my template sampling plan?

(a)    You must certify that that your template sampling plan meets FTA’s 95% confidence and 10% precision levels through your annual reporting process.

(b)   You should follow the current Reporting Manual on how exactly you may do that.

(c)    This certification of your template sampling plan through the annual reporting process is conditional:

(1)   Your template sampling plan must use the 25% margin of safety according to Subsection 53.

(2)   You revise your template sampling plans over time according to Subsection 56.