Notice of Funding

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Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) Challenge Grants 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity

Date Posted: 3/18/2020
Date Closed: 5/18/2020
Opportunity ID: 
FTA-2020-012-TRI-AIM


FTA’s Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) Challenge Grants 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity will now close May 18 at 11:59 PM EDT.


Details: Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) Challenge Grants. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the availability of $11 million in Public Transportation Innovation funds to support innovation throughout the transit industry by promoting forward-thinking approaches to improve transit system design, service, and financing.  FTA is seeking to fund cooperative agreements to eligible recipients for projects that can accelerate the development, implementation and adoption of innovative technologies, practices, and service models to improve mobility and enhance the rider experience, with a focus on innovative service delivery models, creative financing, novel partnerships, and integrated payment solutions.  FTA intends to award multiple AIM Challenge Grants under this announcement.  Synopses and full announcement are posted on Grants.gov site as opportunity FTA-2020-012-TRI-AIM. Proposals must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov website by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on May 18, 2020.

Summary: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the availability of $11 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 research funds for AIM Challenge Grants.  FTA is seeking to fund development and demonstration projects that can accelerate the development, implementation and adoption of innovative technologies, practices, and service models to improve mobility and enhance the rider experience. AIM Challenge Grant recipients selected through this NOFO will be designated as the inaugural class of AIM Incubators, a national network of innovative transit agencies that test new mobility solutions and broadly share the results with industry. 

AIM Challenge Grants are part of FTA’s new AIM Initiative to foster innovative transit technologies, practices and solutions that incentivize travelers to choose public transportation, promote economic development in communities, and enhance public/private partnerships to improve personal mobility. 

The FTA provides this funding opportunity based on the traditional challenge grant concept of achieving specific innovation goals and using that achievement to spotlight a grantee (i.e., AIM Incubators) and disseminate proven innovative mobility practices in the public transportation industry. The primary objectives of the AIM Challenge Grants are to:

  • Explore and validate forward-thinking approaches to improve transit system design, service, and financing.
  • Provide funding to transit agencies in all types of communities­—urban, suburban, rural— to identify, test, and prove out new approaches, technologies and service models.
  • Establish a national network of public transportation stakeholders that are incorporating innovative approaches and business models to improve mobility and that will share their project results. 
  • Identify and promote the most promising and effective innovations that can be implemented more broadly through FTA’s capital programs.

Eligible Applicants: Eligible applicants under this notice are providers of public transportation, including public transportation agencies, state/local government DOTs, and federally recognized Indian tribes.  Eligible applicants may identify one or more project partner(s) with a substantial interest and involvement in the project.  Applicants can also designate any partner as a key partner that share the costs, risks, and rewards of early deployment, demonstration and operation of innovative projects.  Applications must clearly identify the eligible applicant and all project partners on the project team, and indicate any key partners.

Link and Instructions for attaching the supplemental form to the SF-424: All applicants must complete the attached supplemental form for this Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) Challenge Grants NOFO and attach it to their submission in Grants.gov. Applicants should refer to section D of the NOFO for further information about required application contents.

Dates: An applicant must submit a proposal electronically by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on May 18 2020. Any agency intending to apply should initiate the process of registering on the GRANTS.GOV site immediately to ensure completion of registration before the submission deadline.

For Further Information Contact: For information on this Notice of Funding Opportunity for Accelerating Innovative Mobility (AIM) Challenge Grants, contact Christina Gikakis, Office of Mobility Innovation, 202-366-2637, e-mail: AIMChallenge@dot.gov

FTA will hold a webinar to provide additional information on AIM Challenge Grants, including how to apply and how applications will be evaluated 1-2 p.m. ET Thursday, April 2, 2020. Register.

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