Regional Solicitation

Regional Solicitation of Federal Transportation Projects

July 24, 2014  
Diagram of Regional Solicitation Funding Opportunities

Introduction to the Regional Solicitation

This regional solicitation for federal transportation project funding is part of the Metropolitan Council’s federally-required continuing, comprehensive, and cooperative transportation planning process for the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. The funding program and related rules and requirements are established by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and administered locally through collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Federal Program Overview

The Twin Cities Metropolitan Area selects projects for funding from three federal programs: Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ), and Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP), as authorized by the most recent Federal transportation funding act, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), which was signed into law on July 6, 2012.

Local Overview

Over the past 18 months, the Metropolitan Council completed an extensive evaluation of the Regional Solicitation. The evaluation process included a wide array of technical experts and policy makers and addressed four primary goals:

  1. Assess the effectiveness of the Regional Solicitation in selecting projects that implement regional policies and investment priorities.
  2. Determine the efficiency of the Regional Solicitation in requesting, evaluating, ranking, and selecting projects in a fair and transparent way.
  3. Evaluate changes to federal funding categories, funding levels, and project eligibility included in MAP-21.
  4. Streamline and simplify the overall process for applicants and reviews.

One of the primary outcomes of the evaluation of the Regional Solicitation was the reorganization of the funding applications by mode of transportation instead of by funding program (STP, CMAQ, and TE). As outlined in Figure 1, the applications are now grouped into three primary evaluation categories: Roadways Including Multimodal Elements; Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities; and Transit and Travel Demand Management (TDM) Projects. Each of these modal evaluation categories includes three to four evaluation sub-categories.  

In some cases, there are unique projects that are federally-eligible, but they cannot be included in the competitive process because they cannot be easily compared to other similar projects.  These project types, including base-level TDM funding for the Transportation Management Organizations (TMOs) and Metro Transit, should request funding directly from the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB).

Roadways Including Multimodal Elements
Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities
Transit and Travel Demand Management Projects
Funding Availability, Minimums and Maximums
General Process
Project Schedule
Technical Assistance

The Regional Solicitation Grant packets are currently being developed and will be available in early October, 2014.

For information concerning the regional solicitation contact:

2013 Regional Program Year Policy (PDF 154 KB)

See the 2011 Regional Solicitation Results

See the 2009 Regional Solicitation Results

See the 2007 Regional Solicitation Results

See the 2005 Regional Solicitation Results