Opportunity number
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox
Due date
June 05, 2016
Project funding
Program funding
Funding size
Up to $5M

Mobility on Demand Sandbox Demonstration Program

RFP Summary provided by the agency

The MOD Sandbox Demonstration Program is part of a larger MOD research effort at FTA and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that seeks to support transit agencies and communities as they navigate the dynamic, evolving landscape of personal mobility and integrated multimodal transportation networks. FTA is interested in conducting research on new service options in combination with available technologies that enable a traveler-centric approach to transportation, and provide better mobility options for everyone. FTA’s MOD Sandbox Demonstration Program will provide a platform where integrated MOD concepts and solutions – supported through local partnerships – can be demonstrated in real-world settings.
Potential proposal applications – Enabling Technologies and Enhanced Service Capabilities:
• Integrated or open payment systems
• Internet of Things/Smart City applications
• Advanced traveler information systems
• Traveler decision support systems
• Gamification as traveler engagement tools (such as games, rewards, and incentives)
• Crowdsourcing of travel information
• Open data and big data analytics
• Connected/automated vehicles

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

FTA is conducting research on new service options in combination with available technologies that allow for greater individual mobility. Goals include:

  • Improve transportation efficiency by promoting agile, responsive, accessible and seamless multimodal service inclusive of transit through enabling technologies and innovative partnerships.
  • Increase transportation effectiveness by ensuring that transit is fully integrated and a vital element of a regional transport network that provides consistent, reliable and accessible service to every traveler.
  • Enhance the customer experience by providing each individual equitable, accessible, traveler-centric service leveraging public transportation’s long-standing capability and traditional role in this respect.

FTA developed the MOD initiative to envision a multimodal, integrated, automated, accessible, and connected transportation system in which personalized mobility is a key feature. MOD allows for the use of on-demand information, real-time data, and predictive analysis to provide travelers with transportation choices that best serve their needs and circumstances. MOD leverages technologies that allow for a traveler-centric approach that provides better mobility options for everyone.

How do you submit to this opportunity?

Project proposals must be submitted electronically through http://www.GRANTS.GOV. Mail and fax submissions will not be accepted. A complete proposal submission will consist of at least two files: (1) The SF 424 Mandatory form (downloaded from GRANTS.GOV); (2) the Applicant and Proposal Profile supplemental form for MOD Sandbox Program (supplemental form) found on the FTA Web site at http://www.transit.dot.gov/researchinnovation/mobility-demand-modsandbox-program.html. The supplemental form provides guidance and a consistent format for proposers to respond to the criteria outlined in this NOFO, and enables FTA to collect information to evaluate proposal submissions.

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

Eligible recipients are providers of public transportation, including public transit agencies, state/local government DOTs, and federally recognized Indian tribes. Each recipient must identify one or more strategic project partner(s) with a substantial interest and involvement in the project.

Eligible project partners may include, but are not limited to:

  • Private for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including shared use mobility providers, and technology system suppliers;
  • Operators of transportation services, such as employee shuttle services, airport connector services, university transportation systems, or parking and tolling authorities;
  • State or local government entities;
  • Other organizations that may contribute to the success of the project team including consultants, research consortia or not-for-profit industry organizations, and institutions of higher education.

Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

Project Sponsor: Valley Metro Rail, Inc. Funding: $1,001,000 Valley Metro Rail of Phoenix, Arizona will receive funding for a smart phone mobility platform that integrates mobile ticketing and multimodal trip planning. The network will include a range of mobility providers, including ride-hailing, bike sharing, and car-sharing companies, allowing all levels of income, age and people with disabilities to have access to an integrated, connected multimodal transportation system. https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/FTA%20MOD%20Project%20Description%20-%20Valley%20Metro.pdf

(ii) Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

The City of Palo Alto will receive $1,085,000 in funding for the Bay Area Fair Value Commuting Demonstration project, which aims to reduce single-occupant vehicle driving from 75% to 50% in the Bay Area. The project includes commuter trip reduction software, a mobility aggregation multimodal trip planning app, workplace parking rebates and analytics to compare commutes. https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/FTA%20MOD%20Project%20Description%20-%20Palo%20Alto.pdf

(iii) Example project(s) summaries from past RFPs:

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) will receive $400,000 in funding for a project that will incorporate the local bike sharing company, Divvy, a 580 station bike share service, into CTA’s existing transit trip planning app so users can identify the availability of bikes or docking stations near their transit stops, and pay for bike rentals. https://www.transit.dot.gov/sites/fta.dot.gov/files/FTA%20MOD%20Project%20Description%20-%20Chicago.pdf

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