DC Sustainable Transportation is seeking a contractor or team of contractors to prepare a study which evaluates and makes recommendations regarding potential road and/or bridge pricing policies, the potential use of revenues from such policies, and the benefits and costs to the District of Columbia and the Washington region with a particular focus on improving equity.
Read the full RFP here. Interested firms or teams of firms may submit proposals until 11:59 pm Friday, August 2, 2019. The study shall be completed by June 30, 2020.
Participating firms may join a public Google group to receive updates, question responses, or other notices pertaining to this RFP. Note: The Google group initially gave some people errors when trying to join; that should now be fixed.
Responses to questions
Firms were invited to submit questions for clarification of elements of this RFP by email through July 17, 2019. All questions and responses are posted publicly below
Questions about analysis
Q: The policy tasks (3-5) are framed quite linearly, yet there is a strong likelihood that early filtering may discount & remove ultimately more viable & beneficial solutions. Is a more iterative approach between these tasks possible?
A: Contractors are welcome to propose such an approach in the response, and if the review committee thinks it makes more sense than our initial framing we are happy to take such an approach. We had been cautious about whether this would make the costs increase too much, but we welcome Contractors proposing as much as they are able to complete with the available fee.
Q: For the evaluation of policies is there a preference for a shorter 2025 horizon year or a longer 2045 horizon year?
We would favor a relatively near horizon of 2025 or 2030. This timeframe will allow for more concrete and data based infrastructure and program introductions/improvements.
Q: For legal and technical feasibility, since these can be expensive tasks, please confirm you are looking for very high-level reviews, built on existing studies, and/or work being performed by/for the Committees.
Contractors are free to provide information on what is feasible. This can indeed be high level; the legal review does not have to constitute a final or binding legal opinion, nor does the technical review have to provide comprehensive technical details.
We are interested in an understanding of what general legal and technical obstacles may exist and especially which might disqualify an approach - for instance, whether some approaches might violate the DC Home Rule Act, or how historic preservation restrictions interact with physical infrastructure needed for a pricing system.
The purpose is mainly to serve as a screen for approaches and to be able to answer common questions on the subject. Before implementation there would certainly have to be much more detailed legal and technical work completed later. Contractor may draw on existing studies if available to the Contractor; the Contractor should not expect any specific work to be completed by the Committees except if specifically listed in the RFP, however.
Questions about data
Q: Are there relevant transportation data resources available through DCST or its partners?
DDOT and other DC government agencies are partners in this project and will be participating in the steering committee and stakeholder working group. 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: Does DCST or do its partners have a required or preferred tool or dataset for evaluating the traffic impacts of different policy approaches (which is a key input into the other metrics), such as the regional travel demand model? Or are you looking for respondents to propose what we feel is the most effective and efficient method?
We do not have a required or preferred tool and are happy for respondents to propose what they would recommend and what would best serve the analysis being conducted.
Questions about stakeholder engagement
Q: For Steering and Advisory Committee meetings, is the contractor's presence required in-person?
Q: To what extent will the chosen subcontractor be responsible for community and stakeholder engagement (other than up to monthly meetings with the Advisory Committee and Study Steering Committee)?
The contractor will not be responsible for community and stakeholder engagement beyond the meetings with the committees as outlined in the RFP. Community engagement is being handled separately (at least for now) by a set of organizations funded through other means. This does not preclude Contractor for being knowledgeable about scopes of work that are subcontracted.
Questions about process
Q: What is the selection process?
There is a selection steering committee which will meet during the week of August 5 to review the proposals and choose finalists for interviews. We will conduct interviews the week of August 12, then make a selection based on those interviews.
The selection committee consists of (tentative list):
- David Alpert, DC Sustainable Transportation
- Gizachew Andargeh, District Department of Transportation
- Galin Brooks, NoMa BID
- Maura Brophy, Federal City Council
- Kristin Calkins, DC Office of Planning
- Brianne Eby, Eno Center for Transportation
- Colleen Hawkinson, Dupont Circle BID
- Caitlin Rogger, DC Sustainable Transportation
- Catherine Teebay, Natural Resources Defense Council
Q: Please provide selection criteria, if any.
We have not yet defined specific selection criteria, but the broad criteria used in the Autonomous Vehicle study in FY 2019 included the following. We may use this as a starting point to define criteria for this study.
- Contractors’ understanding of the context and goals
- Whether responses covered legislatively required items
- How much and what type of analysis would be conducted
- The approach to scenario development
- Process to be followed and reports provided
- The general value provided for the given fee
- The project lead’s experience and role
- Alignment of staffing to the project
- How the budget aligns with pieces needed for success
Q: Regarding required references, for multi-firm teams is the minimum required references 3 total or 3 per firm (with at least one per firm)
We would ask for at least 2 per firm.
Questions about contracting
Q: Please confirm the contract for this study would be between contractor and solely DCST.
This is correct.
Q: What, if any, CBE/DBE subcontracting requirements are there and/or will this be a factor taken into consideration as part of the evaluation and selection process?
There are no further restrictions on the funding beyond what is listed in the RFP.
Q: Please provide details of contractual terms or any other terms and conditions not in the RFP. Is there a sample contract that can be shared with the prospective bidders?
We do not have any further information at this time beyond what is in the RFP.
Q: [3 variants submitted] Please confirm whether involvement in this study would preclude team members from further involvement as the project moves to future development/implementation phases, say potentially with another D.C. agency.
Do you anticipate any conflict with performing future work on congestion pricing in DC or the region, including implementation, for firms that participate in this initial study?
Does DCST/DDOT expect there to be subsequent studies or work related to this initiative, and if so, does participation in this first phase entitle the contractor to perform it, or conversely, present a potential conflict of interest?
It is up to the DC Council and DDOT, or other organizations, to decide whether to fund subsequent studies. Participation in this study does not give a contractor any preference for future studies. The final plan will be a public document whose contents and references will be available for public review. It is not DDOT’s intent that the successful contractor(s) will be precluded from future studies or implementing future congestion pricing systems in the District.