The National Academies

NCHRP 08-117 [RFP]

Impact of Transformational Technologies on Land Use and Transportation

Posted Date: 11/13/2017

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Contract Time: 15 months
(includes 2 months total for NCHRP review and approval of interim products and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final document)
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/1/2018 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Andrew C. Lemer
   Phone: 202-334-3972
   Email: alemer@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 1/23/2018
Fiscal Year: 2018

Many observers suggest that rapidly evolving technologies in a number of fields will have transformational impacts on land use and transportation in settings ranging from rural to intensely urban. For example, changes in telecommunication have fostered telecommuting and development of on-demand delivery and transportation services that in turn may be changing patterns of work and home locations, vehicle ownership and use, demand for parking facilities, and utilization of curb space in urban centers. Similarly, expanding application of 3-D printing, E-commerce, and unmanned aerial systems (UASs, popularly referred to as drones) together seem poised to shift industrial supply chains and utilization of warehouse space, leading to changes in freight transportation patterns and demand for investment in intermodal transfer facilities. State departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), local government authorities, and other public-sector decision makers are increasingly confronted with questions of how to ensure that communities recognize the potential consequences that transformational technologies may have on their economic activity and land use and that public investments in transportation facilities and services are managed to maintain economic vitality and high quality of life.
For the purposes of this research, transformational technologies (TTs) are any of a broad range of evolving new applications of science, engineering, and societal organization that have the potential to transform how people and institutions use land and transportation systems to support economic and social activity. Examples of TTs—many are discussed in technical and popular media—include wireless telecommunications, shared vehicles, connected vehicles, automated vehicles, alternative-fuel vehicles, smart cities and communities, big data analytics, internet-of-things, as well as UASs, 3-D printing, and more. These TTs, individually and together, are already influencing on how businesses and individuals using rights-of-way, curb space and ancillary transportation facilities (for example, parking and intermodal transfer facilities), and the land and structures accommodating activities that are travel-demand intensive. Continued development and application of TTs seem likely to accelerate such impacts. Research is needed to provide guidance to assist DOT and other public-sector decision makers responsible for considering how TTs will affect travel behavior and demand for and use of land influencing transportation infrastructure and services.
The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook to help DOT and other transportation-system decision makers assess the likely impact of transformational technologies on future activity centers, land use, and travel demand. Examples should be provided to illustrate application of the guidance to address issues encountered by these decision makers. The guidebook should include at least the following components:
  • Characterization of the significant relationships between particular TTs or groups of TTs and land use and transportation demand;
  • Identification of typical short- and long-term issues facing decision makers, decisions to be made, and consequences related TTs’ impact on use of land and transportation system configuration and management;
  • Identification of metrics of change attributable to TTs—for example, population and employment, numbers and percentage of trips, conversions of land use, travel-demand time peaking, road-use and parking revenues—for evaluating the significance of TTs for land use and transportation;
  • Identification of the institutional or jurisdictional partnerships that are needed to manage land use and transportation-system investment and operations to respond to TTs; and 
  • Description of information needed to support effective transportation-system investment and management decisions.
To ensure its usefulness to decision makers and other stakeholders, the guidebook should include examples of issues related to TTs and the guide’s use to address such issues. The guidebook should be useful to leadership and staff of DOTs, MPOs, and other stakeholders in state and local government responsible for considering such issues, currently and into the future, as they may affect infrastructure investment and land use and community planning.
Proposers are asked to describe a detailed research plan to accomplish the project objective. The following scope description is intended to indicate NCHRP’s expectations and provide a framework for that research plan. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time and will provide opportunities for NCHRP to review and comment on research progress. Proposers must present their current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach.
The research should include at least the following deliverable products and milestones:
1. A 90- to 120-minute kickoff web conference with the NCHRP project panel, within 4 weeks of the contract’s effective date, to discuss the work plan, important technical issues, and the panel-members’ perspectives on the issues TTs pose for decision makers.
Note: For budgeting purposes, proposers may assume that NCHRP will make arrangements for all web conferences.
2. Draft Interim Report 1 (IR1) delivered within 2 months of the contract’s effective date presenting (a) a concise review of relevant literature; (b) a narrative description or taxonomy of TTs to be addressed in the guidebook; (c) a preliminary description of cause-and-effect relationships that characterize the impact of these TTs on land use and transportation demand for both passenger and freight travel in many settings, from rural to urban; and (d) typical or representative issues decision makers confront regarding TTs.
Note: Proposers should assume that all research products, unless otherwise specified, may be delivered in electronic form only. NCHRP will require no less than 4 weeks for review of draft IR1. The selected contractor may proceed with other work while draft IR1 is under review.
3. In-person meeting with the NCHRP project panel to discuss draft IR1 and the guidebook to be developed.
Note: NCHRP anticipates a 1-day meeting held at TRB facilities following completion of the 1-month review period for panel review of draft IR1. For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume the meeting will be held at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Beckman Center in Irvine, CA. NCHRP will pay travel expenses for panel members. The contractor will be responsible for preparing background materials, facilitating discussions, and documenting the meeting and decisions made in a technical memorandum deliverable in electronic form.
4. Revised IR1 delivered within 1 month following the in-person meeting.
Note: Following the meeting, researchers are expected to respond to NCHRP review comments and meeting discussions and to make appropriate revisions to produce the final IR1. NCHRP approval of revised IR1 shall be required before work proceeds on other elements of the research.
5. Draft Guidebook, including as appendices (a) a description of the work conducted in the project, (b) a discussion of potentially useful topics for additional research to enhance the guidebook’s effectiveness, and (c) a proposed plan for dissemination and application of the guidebook.
Note: NCHRP intends that the products of this research should be useful to a range of decision makers and does not wish to constrain unnecessarily the format for presenting guidance. Proposers should present their current thinking on this matter. NCHRP will require 4 weeks to review and provide comments on Draft Guidebook.
6. Revised Guidebook, reflecting research team response to NCHRP comments on Draft Final Report.
Note: NCHRP will require a “response to comments” memorandum documenting comments on Draft Guidebook and contractor responses as reflected in the Revised Guidebook. For budgeting, proposers should plan that NCHRP will require 20 printed copies each of the Draft and Revised Final Guidebooks. 3 months shall be required at conclusion of the project for NCHRP review and contractor revision of the draft final deliverables.
A. The Research Plan, Section 4 of the proposal, must not exceed 12 pages in length; the typeface used must not be smaller than 12 points.
B. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
C. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.
D. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.
E. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) the proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises--small firms owned and controlled by minorities or women; and (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.
F. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.

Proposals (15 single-bound copies) are due not later than 4:30 p.m. on 1/23/2018.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, all copies of the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected. Proposers may choose any carrier or delivery service for their proposals. However, proposers assume the risk of proposal rejection if the carrier or delivery service does not deliver all the required documents by the deadline.

Delivery Address:

ATTN: Christopher J. Hedges
Director, Cooperative Research Programs
Transportation Research Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered liability statement in order for the NCHRP to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated August 2016). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.


Potential proposers should understand clearly that the research project described herein is tentative. The final content of the program depends on the level of funding made available through States' agreements for financial support of the NCHRP. Nevertheless, to be prepared to execute research contracts as soon as possible after sponsors' approvals, the NCHRP is assuming that the tentative program will become official in its entirety and is proceeding with requests for proposals and selections of research agencies.

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