The Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) New Starts program has provided state and local agencies with more than $6 billion in the last eight years to help design and construct transit projects. Although the funding for this program is higher than it has ever been, the demand for these resources is also extremely high. FTA was directed to prioritize projects for funding by evaluating, rating, and recommending potential projects on the basis of specific financial and project justification criteria. This report discusses (1) the refinements made to FTA's evaluation and rating process since last year, (2) how New Starts projects were selected for FTA's New Starts report and budget request for fiscal year 2002, and (3) FTA's remaining New Starts commitment authority. GAO found that FTA made several refinements to its rating process. For instance, potential grantees were more strictly assessed on their ability to build and operate proposed projects than in the past. FTA also made several technical changes and established new performance measures to evaluate the program. New Starts projects were selected by evaluating 40 new projects for 2002 and developing ratings for 26 of them. FTA then determined whether the projects rated highly recommended or recommended met its readiness criteria. Of these projects, FTA recommended four of them for funding commitments. FTA also recommended three additional projects--one that was exempt from the rating process and two that were rated last year. FTA reports that it will have limited authority to make funding commitments to new projects in fiscal year 2003 if it enters into the seven New Starts grant agreements in 2002 as proposed.