Request for Transformative Projects | Plans + Projects | Our Work

Request for Transformative Projects

The submission period for the Request for Transformative Projects closed on September 6, 2018.

San Francisco at night
Friday, September 7, 2018

In June 2018, MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments issued a Request for Transformative Projects to the Bay Area, asking for project ideas that have the potential to revolutionize how we move around the region. Going beyond past calls for projects that only included submissions from our public sector partners, this time MTC sought innovative ideas from individuals, private sector companies and nongovernmental organizations. The response to this request has been significant – hundreds of megaproject submissions have been received from people across the Bay Area. 


The Request for Transformative Projects is part of the Horizon initiative, which explores the challenges and opportunities likely to face the Bay Area between now and 2050. MTC asked for submissions that provide new and creative solutions for Bay Area transportation challenges – both capacity-increasing megaprojects that cost more than $1 billion as well as lower cost operational strategies.

Project proposals were to meet any of the following criteria:

  • Transit projects that improve capacity, frequency or coverage; have a lifecycle cost exceeding $1 billion; AND were not evaluated in Plan Bay Area 2040
  • Roadway projects that improve capacity; have a lifecycle cost exceeding $1 billion; AND were not evaluated in Plan Bay Area 2040
  • Projects that make existing transportation infrastructure more resilient to rising sea levels or seismic hazards [no cost threshold]
  • Operational strategies with transformative regional impacts, such as all-lane tolling or transit fare simplification [no cost threshold]

MTC also worked with regional transportation partners on other projects – including those evaluated in Plan Bay Area 2040 and lower-cost projects that do not qualify under any of the criteria above – to ensure that the full spectrum of potential investments is evaluated for Horizon and Plan Bay Area 2050.

What Happens Next?

Submissions from individuals, community groups, nonprofits and private companies will first be screened using a set of criteria: feasibility, potential benefits to the Bay Area, alignment with Horizon's Guiding Principles, creativity and consistency with minimum cost thresholds.

A panel of experts will help determine which five to 10 ideas will be evaluated in the project performance assessment for Horizon and Plan Bay Area 2050. The public finalists selected by the Horizon “jury” will be announced in October 2018.

Finalists will be then scored in a manner consistent with all other projects, including model simulations to determine cost-effectiveness and qualitative evaluations to determine a project’s level of support for Guiding Principles. This effort aims to identify both high- and low-performing projects, and to understand each project’s impact under a wide range of possible future conditions.

Because Plan Bay Area 2050 is financially constrained, the project performance assessment helps identify the most effective investments and provides a transparent process for directing limited transportation dollars to the highest-performing projects.

Individuals and organizations not associated with public agencies will have the opportunity to win $100 Visa gift cards for their ideas. The finalists whose project scores the highest in the project performance assessment process will be selected as the winner and be awarded the grand prize of $500.