The 2018 Regional Solicitation closed in mid-July and brought in 136 applications that will vie for around $200 million in federal funding. Technical experts from across the region are now engaged in a dynamic scoring process. See 2018 application counts below.
“This is one of the Metropolitan Council’s most important roles as the region’s Metropolitan Planning Organization,” says Nick Thompson, Director of Metropolitan Transportation Services. “We work closely with local partners, who both submit projects and participate in scoring, to award federal funding that provides the most benefit to the region.”
The Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) sets the criteria for project submission and selection, and determines the spread of the funding across three broad categories.
Roadways including multimodal elements – 48 to 68 percent of funding
Transit and Travel Demand Management (TDM) – 22 to 32 percent
Bicycle and pedestrian facilities – 10 to 20 percent
Technical reviewers volunteer many hours to scoring applications
“While TAB sets the Solicitation’s expectations, the real work happens when the scoring committees start to meet,” says James Hovland, TAB Chair and Edina’s Mayor. “There are 56 individual scorers with technical expertise who volunteer their time over a two-month period to provide their knowledge and experience on specific measures to score and recommend the most suitable regional projects to the TAB.”
That scoring process began on August 20, when the first of seven committees convened to begin assessing the 10 application categories. Their scoring will continue through mid-September and they will meet again during the last couple weeks of September to discuss the scores and tally the totals.
Scoring team member and Plymouth’s Public Works Director Michael Thompson points out that the scoring process is dynamic. In his three years scoring projects, the application measures have been adjusted based on stakeholder feedback.
“While the current scoring process works well with the variety of agency representatives scoring the range of measures, I’ve found there’s always room for improvement,” he said. “So, I’m sure the next regional solicitation will look a little different than this one.”
Scores to be presented to TAB committee on Oct. 18
Once final, the scores are presented to the TAB’s Funding and Programming Committee on October 18 and released to the applicants. The TAB will then rank the various projects and make decisions about which projects should be funded based on the scores they received.
“The Regional Solicitation process is a key element in making sure our region functions as well as it can,” says Hovland. “Whether it’s road, bridges, transit, bike or pedestrian projects, we’re making decisions that improve the lives of people and reach the common goal of making our region a great place to live.”
2018 APPLICATION COUNTS