The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) today kicked off an 11-week campaign to solicit big, bold and billion-dollar (or even more) ideas from individuals, companies, public agencies and nongovernmental organizations alike for improving mobility across the nine-county Bay Area.
Officially known as the Request for Transformative Projects, the campaign is part of the Horizon initiative launched earlier this year by MTC and ABAG to explore a wide range of the challenges and opportunities the Bay Area may face by 2050. A panel of engineers and transportation planners will evaluate all project submissions for feasibility, potential regional benefits, alignment with Horizon's guiding principles, creativity, and consistency with the minimum cost threshold. The panel will then select five to 10 of these projects as finalists for more thorough analysis of benefit-cost ratios and other Horizon performance assessments designed to identify potential new transportation investments for integration into Plan Bay Area 2050, the region’s next long-range transportation and land-use strategy. The Plan is slated for completion in 2021.
“Bay Area residents are known around the world for their big ideas and game-changing innovations,” commented MTC Chair and Rohnert Park City Councilmember Jake Mackenzie. “We’re excited to open a door through which this creative spirit can help us develop a next-generation transportation network that not only meets today’s mobility and connectivity challenges but also anticipates some of the big challenges we’re likely to face over the next 30 years.”
The Request for Transformative Projects is open not just to single-project proposals but also to packages of smaller investments with projected total costs over $1 billion. Proposals from private companies and individuals will be evaluated on the same criteria as those submitted by county congestion management agencies, transit operators, city agencies, professional planning firms or other organizations. All individual and private-sector contestants are eligible for prizes, including a $100 Visa cash card. The top nonpublic-sector entrant will be awarded a $500 Visa cash card.
“Our team will carefully review every entry received,” noted MTC Principal Planner Dave Vautin, who serves as project manager for the Horizon initiative. “The goal is to receive innovative, high-quality projects that would effectively address regional challenges. So we’ll be looking for well-considered proposals that would have a truly transformative impact on the future of Bay Area communities and the way we move around the region. These could include not only projects that increase the carrying capacity of existing highways or transit systems, but also projects that improve resilience to rising sea levels, or that transform the way we operate our transportation networks.”
Responses to the Request for Transformative Projects must be received by Sept. 6, 2018. Submissions may be completed through an online form available on the MTC website’s Horizon page at mtc.ca.gov/horizon. This page details all the rules for entry in the Request for Transformative Projects. Finalists will be selected this October, with decisions about advancing proposed projects from the Horizon process for inclusion in Plan Bay Area 2050 to be made in 2019.
MTC and ABAG launched the Horizon initiative to engage the public, planners and policymakers through mid-2019 on questions that traditionally have been outside the regional planning process. These include how to respond to the emergence of autonomous vehicles, changing economic conditions, rising sea levels, earthquakes and other natural disasters, and more. To learn more about Horizon and updates to the Transformative Projects effort, visit the project webpage or follow the conversation on Twitter through @MTCBATA, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MTCBATA/.
MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. ABAG is the official regional planning agency for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns of the Bay Area.