Notice of Funding Opportunity for Mobility On Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration Program. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announces the availability of $8 Million for a new program to demonstrate and evaluate innovative approaches to integrated “Mobility on Demand” (MOD) solutions within a public transportation framework. The MOD Sandbox Demonstration Program is intended to provide a platform where integrated MOD concepts and solutions are supported and demonstrated through local partnerships in a real-world setting. FTA will fund project teams to adopt innovative business models to deliver high quality, seamless and equitable mobility options for all travelers. The MOD Sandbox projects are funded under FTA’s Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment program authority. FTA intends to award multiple MOD Sandbox demonstration projects under this announcement. Synopses and full announcement are posted on Grants.gov site as opportunity FTA-2016-006-TRI. Proposals must be submitted electronically through the Grants.gov website by midnight Eastern Time on July 5, 2016.
Summary :The MOD Sandbox Demonstration Program is part of a larger MOD research effort at FTA and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that seeks to support transit agencies and communities as they navigate the dynamic, evolving landscape of personal mobility and integrated multimodal transportation networks. FTA is interested in conducting research on new service options in combination with available technologies that enable a traveler-centric approach to transportation, and provide better mobility options for everyone. FTA’s MOD Sandbox Demonstration Program will provide a platform where integrated MOD concepts and solutions – supported through local partnerships – can be demonstrated in real-world settings. FTA seeks to fund project teams to innovate, explore partnerships, develop new business models, integrate transit and MOD solutions, and investigate new, enabling technical capabilities such as integrated payment systems, decision support, and incentives for traveler choices. FTA intends to conduct evaluations of each of the demonstration efforts to measure the program impacts and assess how existing FTA policies and regulations may support or impede these new mobility service models.
The guiding principles of the MOD Sandbox demonstrations are:
- System Integration – the MOD Sandbox Program seeks operational integration of MOD products and services with existing transit service. Examples of this include open data platforms, common user interfaces, and practices and technologies that encourage and ensure system interoperability.
- Partnership Driven –MOD Sandbox projects should demonstrate teaming efforts, from public and private sectors, with partners committed to supporting the proposed MOD project both technically and institutionally.
- Innovative Business Model – the MOD Sandbox is structured to encourage innovative business models where MOD solution providers and transit operators partner to collectively deliver better service to travelers, while mutually benefitting from the partnership.
- Equity of Service Delivery – MOD Sandbox projects will demonstrate and promote equitable mobility service for all travelers, including communities such as low income, the aging population, and persons with disabilities, including wheelchair users.
Eligible Applicants: Eligible activities include all activities leading to the demonstration of the innovative MOD and transit integration concept, such as planning and developing business models, obtaining equipment and service, acquiring/developing software and hardware interfaces to implement the project, and operating the demonstration.
Eligible recipients are providers of public transportation, including public transit agencies, state/local government DOTs, and federally recognized Indian tribes. Each recipient must identify one or more strategic project partner(s) with a substantial interest and involvement in the project.
Eligible project partners may include, but are not limited to:
- Private for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including shared use mobility providers, and technology system suppliers;
- Operators of transportation services, such as employee shuttle services, airport connector services, university transportation systems, or parking and tolling authorities;
- State or local government entities;
- Other organizations that may contribute to the success of the project team including consultants, research consortia or not-for-profit industry organizations, and institutions of higher education.
Link and Instructions for attaching the supplemental form to the SF-424: All applicants must complete the supplemental form specific to the Mobility on Demand (MOD) Sandbox Program 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. The supplemental form is available on Grants.gov and on the FTA website here.
Webinar: FTA plans to hold a webinar on this funding opportunity in late May. The webinar will provide an overview of the program, described eligible applicants and projects, and provided an opportunity for attendees to obtain answers to questions. Details on the time and date of the webinar as well as call in instructions will be available on the MOD Sandbox program page at https://www.transit.dot.gov/research-innovation/mobility-demand-mod-sandbox-program.
Dates: An applicant must submit a proposal electronically by midnight Eastern Time on July 5, 2016. 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 NOFO for Mobility On Demand (MOD) Sandbox Demonstration Program, contact Christina Gikakis, MOD Program Manager, Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation at Christina.firstname.lastname@example.org or email MODsandbox@dot.gov.