Investing in long-term regional transportation needs
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 Council’s 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.
Projects improve connections and access
In 2021, the board selected 56 projects through the Regional Solicitation process, allocating $200 million in 36 different cities and townships, in all seven counties. Some of this cycle’s funding highlights:
- Reconstructing Franklin Avenue from Hennepin Avenue to Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis, including pedestrian, bicycle, and streetscaping improvements.
- Expanding the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority’s Burnsville bus garage to house 30 more vehicles to serve the MVTA service area and downtown Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
- Improving Highway 41 (Chestnut Street) for pedestrians to enhance the livability and streetscape environment along historic downtown Chaska’s Main Street.
- Building a bicycle and pedestrian bridge over Coon Rapids Boulevard in Anoka County to create a safer crossing for walking and biking and creating a connection to the Coon Creek Regional Trail.
Regional Solicitation process
Application categories by mode
Unique Projects (2.5% of federal Funds; $4M to $5M) 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.