DC Sustainable Transportation is seeking a contractor or team of contractors to prepare a study which evaluates and makes recommendations around the impact of autonomous vehicles on the District of Columbia and the Washington region. This project is being undertaken in partnership with the District Department of Transportation and other agencies with funding from the Government of the District of Columbia.

The primary goal of this project is to “evaluate[] and make[] recommendations regarding the effects of autonomous vehicles on the District [of Columbia].” The project team’s goals for this study are to develop scenarios and perform analysis to understand current trends and inform the speculative conversation about the future of shared and private mobility as technology advances. We hope to identify short and long term actions the public sector should take to maximize the positive potential effects of AVs and minimize negative impacts.

Read the full RFP here. Interested firms or teams of firms submitted proposals by Friday, September 28, 2018; RFP submissions are now closed. The study shall be completed by July 1, 2019. Here is the subsequent schedule for review:

  • Our review committee will make decisions about finalists on Friday, October 5 and let submitters know by close of business that day about the decisions.
  • We are planning to interview finalists in the afternoon of Thursday, October 11. Please hold that time in your calendars if possible.

Participating firms may join a public Google group to receive updates, question responses, or other notices pertaining to this RFP. 

Review committee

The review committee consists of:

  • Lexie Albe, Project Manager, Southwest Business Improvement District
  • David Alpert, Executive Director, DC Sustainable Transportation
  • Galin Brooks, Vice President of Planning & Economic Development, NoMa Business Improvement District
  • Kristin Calkins, Senior Transportation Planner, DC Office of Planning
  • Richard Ezike, New Mobility and Equity Fellow, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Kendra Harvey, Policy Analyst, District Department of Transportation
  • Marie Whittaker, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development

Responses to questions

Here are the questions which were asked during the question period as provided in the RFP, along with our responses.

  • Q: The RFP states that the work product would be owned by the District of Columbia.  Is there an opportunity for materials created by the project to be co-owned by the District of Columbia and the contractors?

    A: Yes. We can work out a suitable co-ownership arrangement which doesn't reduce the District's access to and rights to use the materials.

  • Q: The RFP calls for there to be a working group that will participate in developing and monitoring the execution of this study. And notes that the working group will meet monthly and that the contractor should be prepared to participate in those meetings. In proposing the role of the contractor it would be helpful to understand how will that group be organized, its membership, and charge. 

    A: So far, we have been holding meetings a few times a year with an informal DCST Autonomous Vehicles group consisting of representatives from DCST organizations (Business Improvement Districts, other business groups, a few former government officials and experts, industry representatives, and government partners). We envision this group forming the starting point for the formal working group which will play an advisory and developmental role on this study. The exact details of the group can be discussed with the selected contractor around what would be most useful.

  • Q: The working group should be a rich resource in prioritizing the activities of the study, developing the scenarios, and testing the recommendations that are the main objectives of this study. Will the working group be available to host and engage in person workshops December 2018 and possibly in April of 2019? These workshops would be a half day or or three quarters of a day in length. 

    A: Contractors are free to propose this or other formats that will be helpful from the group. Since it hasn't been officially formed, we can set expectations for the group at that time. It may or may not be possible to ask for a workshop of this length from the members, but this can be determined at the start of the study.

  • Q: Is DCST able to provide data on relevant existing conditions of the DC transportation network, i.e. parking regulations, parking supplies and occupancy, or parking citations, and the like? (Basically, anything not publicly available on open data sites). If not, is DCST able to access data from DDOT directly? Or to connect us with DDOT or other local agencies who maintain these data sources?

    A: DCST does not itself have any transportation data not publicly available. However, DDOT and other DC government agencies are partners in this project and will be participating in the stakeholder working group, and while we can't commit to any specific data availability, they are able to assist the team in accessing data where possible to help the study be accurate and successful. DDOT is able to provide information under NDA as appropriate. It would be helpful for responses to outline what data contractors think would be most valuable.

  • Q: Are cost proposals submitted by proponents required to comply with federal acquisition regulation (FAR) part 31 (federal cost principles for for-profit entities)? Do rates need to be based on raw direct pay rate times overhead? Can profit be applied to rate inclusive of overhead?

    A: There are no further restrictions on the funding beyond what is in the RFP, and this is not being funded with federal dollars. Responses will be evaluated in significant part based on the magnitude and nature of the benefits provided for the fee. We will of course look at the budget provided to assess whether and to what extent the benefits justify the cost, but there are not specific restrictions on how the budget may be calculated.