Regional Solicitation Evaluation Study

Active Transportation Components

Investments that connect people to places and keep the region moving

The Regional Solicitation is one way the Metropolitan Council prioritizes and invests in roads, bridges, and transit, as well as biking and walking needs. Whether for existing infrastructure or new improvements, projects focus on outcomes like moving more people more effectively, managing congestion, and improving air quality.

Awarding federal funds across the region

The Regional Solicitation happens once every two years and awards about $180 million in federal funds. The Transportation Advisory Board, comprising local elected officials and resident members, is central to the solicitation process.

While the board sets the expectations for the solicitation, scoring committees evaluate all project submissions. More than 60 technical experts volunteer their time over a two-month period. They provide their knowledge and experience on specific measures to score and recommend the most suitable regional projects to the board.

Infographic: From 2014 through 2020, 538 grants totaling about $1.87 billion, resulting in $782 million in awards. Which leverages 1 billion in local funds.
 

Projects improve connections and access

In 2022, the board granted federal funding to 91 total projects across the region, allocating $350 million to 55 cities and all 7 metro region counties. Some of this cycle’s funding highlights:

  • Improving transit from south to north in Saint Paul for the future METRO G Line bus rapid transit, connecting Robert Street on Saint Paul’s West Side to Rice Street in the North End neighborhood.
  • Investing in 10 Safe Routes to School projects across the region that will help kids safely walk and bike to school.
  • Expanding Southwest Transit's SW Prime on-demand service for areas without regular bus service.
  • Improving the Highway 13 and Nicollet Avenue intersection in Burnsville. 

Regional Solicitation process

Regional Solicitation Process Graphic

Application categories by mode

Roadways including multimodal elements

  • Traffic Management Technologies
  • Spot Mobility and Safety
  • Strategic Capacity
  • Roadway Reconstruction/ Modernization
  • Bridges

Bicycle and pedestrian facilities

  • Multiuse Trails and Bicycle Facilities
  • Pedestrian Facilities
  • Safe Routes to School (Infrastructure)

Transit and Travel Demand Management (TDM) projects

  • Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Project
  • Transit Expansion
  • Transit Modernization
  • Travel Demand Management
    • Base Level
    • Innovative

Unique Projects (2.5% of federal Funds; $4 million to $5 million) Including the Regional Travel Behavior Inventory/Modeling Program

Successful projects align with regional policies

Proposed projects must align with the goals of the region’s 2040 Transportation Policy Plan. The plan defines a policy framework of transportation system stewardship, safety and security, access to destinations, competitive economy, healthy and equitable communities, and transportation investments that guide land use.

Evaluation criteria are specific to the application categories. Among the criteria, proposals must address the project’s role in the regional transportation system and regional economy, age and condition of the infrastructure, safety, connections, equity, and affordable housing.

Contact

Elaine Koutsoukos, TAB Coordinator

elaine.koutsoukos@metc.state.mn.us