IDEA: Innovative Deployments to Enhance Arterials | Operate + Coordinate | Our Work

IDEA: Innovative Deployments to Enhance Arterials

$13 million Challenge Grant Program
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

In Fall 2017, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission invited eligible Bay Area public agencies to submit applications for consideration under a new regional initiative called “Innovative Deployments to Enhance Arterials” (IDEA). This technical assistance grant program aims to use $13 million in federal funds to help cities, counties and transit agencies improve the operation of major arterial roadways and to make these roadways more ready for connected and automated vehicle technologies.

The Bay Area has over 33,000 directional miles of arterials and local streets, and approximately 11,000 traffic signals. Many of the region’s major arterials carry heavy traffic and experience significant congestion during weekday peak periods. This can lead to loss of productive time, unreliable travel for cars and buses, and increased safety issues for bicyclists and pedestrians.

IDEA was designed to help cities, counties and transit agencies deploy advanced technologies to enhance mobility, sustainability and safety along major arterials. Public agencies opted to either deploy mature, commercially-available technologies (“Category 1 Projects”) or  deploy newer, higher-risk connected and automated vehicle technologies (“Category 2 Projects”).

In February 2018 MTC awarded ten (10) Category 1 Projects and six (6) Category 2 Projects as listed in the attached “Approved IDEA Projects” in the Related Documents section of this web .

Staff provide updates on the projects at the Arterial Operations Committee (AOC) meetings. Please contact Robert Rich at with any questions on the program.

The IDEA program's main goals are to:

  • Speed travel times and improve travel-time reliability on major arterials
  • Improve safety for drivers, transit riders, bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption
  • Advance public agencies' proficiency in the use of advanced technologies for arterial operations

Please click here for complete IDEA program guidelines

The IDEA grant program is being used to fund:

  • Traffic signal system improvements
  • Bicycle and pedestrian improvements
  • Transit improvements
  • Other projects

Please click here for more information about IDEA project eligibility

MTC hosted workshops to provide prospective applicants with an overview of the IDEA Challenge Grant Program and to answer any questions applicants may have.