The Regional Solicitation process enables local communities to apply for federal transportation funds to support their transportation projects. The solicitation is run on a biennial basis; the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) adjusts the criteria and process periodically to accommodate regional needs.
Details about the last few solicitations and how the process has evolved:
Regional Solicitation Evaluation
In 2013-2014, the TAB and the Met Council evaluated the Regional Solicitation funding program and identified the broad principles of the Regional Solicitation and the types of projects eligible for federal transportation funding.
Previously, projects were submitted for evaluation for specific funding programs (STP, CMAQ or TE). Most roadway projects were funded with STP funds (except system management projects which were funded with CMAQ funds) and independent bicycle and pedestrian projects were funded through the TE program or through the STP Bikeways/Walkways sub-category. The TAP program differs from the previous Transportation Enhancement (TE) program in that it combines several federal funding programs, most notably the previous TE and Safe Routes to School programs. Finally, all transit projects were funded with CMAQ funds.
The evaluation recommended that projects be submitted and evaluated based on mode rather than on funding program, recognizing the need to provide funding for both large and small projects within each category. Modal categories adopted include:
- Roadways including Multimodal Elements
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities
- Transit and TDM Projects
Reports of the Regional Solicitation Evaluation can be found in the four Technical Memos:
Funding opportunities: 11 application categories
The Regional Solicitation funds will be awarded to projects selected from these application categories:
- Roadway Strategic Capacity (Roadway Expansion)
- Roadway Reconstruction/Modernization
- Roadway Spot Mobility and Safety
- Traffic Management Technologies (Roadway System Management)
- Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement
- Multiuse Trails & Bicycle Facilities
- Pedestrian Facilities
- Safe Routes to Schools
- Transit Expansion
- Travel Demand Management (2020 and 2021 funds)
- Transit Modernization
Following each Regional Solicitation, an evaluation study is performed to review issues within application process. The TAB approves changes and releases the applications for public entities to complete and submit. The applications are reviewed for eligibility and the measures scored. Scoring Committees are formed for each application. Scoring Committee members include members of the TAC Funding & Programming Committee, the Technical Advisory Committee, and technical staff from cities, counties, and state agencies. Scores are released to the applicants for review and a process is established for applicants to appeal scores of specific measures. The scores are approved by the TAC Funding & Programming Committee. Projects are ranked by their scores and TAB selects projects in each category to receive funding.
See details about the project selection process and changes (PDF)