The National Academies

TCRP J-05/Topic 20-01 [RFP]

Legal Issues in Transit Mega Projects--Case Studies
[ TCRP J-05 (Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs) ]

Posted Date: 6/23/2020

  Project Data
Funds: $75,000
Contract Time: 12 months
Authorization to Begin Work: 10/23/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Gwen Chisholm-Smith
   Phone: 202-334-3246
   Email: gsmith@nas.edu
Comments: RFP
RFP Close Date: 8/10/2020
Fiscal Year: 2019

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) plans to award a contract for a study and report. Legal research reports sponsored by this project are published in TCRP's Legal Research Digest (LRD) series in electronic format. Publications are made available to some libraries and to approximately 4,000 transportation lawyers and officials through the TRB distribution network.
Transit mega projects may sometimes seem overwhelming in scope and complexity to lawyers who have not previously worked on such issues. Such projects are often federally funded, and in such cases the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and other agencies provides valuable advice and requirements for managing the projects, including specific legal provisions to include in contracts and intergovernmental agreements. However, many other terms and considerations for transit mega projects have been developed through experience.
Some requirements for mega projects are not warranted for less costly or less complicated projects, but can serve as best practices for projects of all sizes. Therefore, this study should be of value to all transit lawyers representing public transportation agencies of all sizes.
For purposes of this study, mega project  is a project with an estimated total cost of $1 billion or more, as described in 49 U.S. Code § 5327 (f). Mega projects also include any projects supported with a loan or loan guarantee from the Transportation Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (TIFIA), regardless of project cost.
The objective of this research is to produce a legal research digest that includes lessons learned from transit agencies, sample provisions from third party contracts and intergovernmental agreements to address legal issues, links to transactional documents, FTA guidance, instructive court or arbitration decisions, and other legal references.
The guide should:
  • Address lessons learned (successful and unsuccessful) from transit agencies that have overseen large and mega projects.
  • Include resources and best practices on large and mega projects that transit lawyers can use and rely upon.
  • Include the results of three to five case studies of large (FTA Capital Investment Grant-funded) transit projects with a focus on:
          • Funding issues
          • Environmental challenges
          • Property acquisition and relocation
          • Contracts
          • Design
          • Insurance
          • Dispute resolution
          • Intergovernmental coordination
  • Each case study should address how problems were resolved. It is expected that the researcher will devote substantial time to finding projects that promise a wide variety of lessons learned. Also, the research should seek staff and lawyers of the transit agencies who have the ability and desire to cooperate in research and in-depth interviews.
This research will be conducted in two (2) phases. Phase I will consist of Task 1. As the conclusion of Phase I, TRB will make a determination whether to proceed with Phase II. Both phases will be pursuant to a firm fixed price agreement.
Phase I                        4 months
Phase II                       8 months
Total:                           12 months
The tasks will be as follows:
Task 1. Research plan and detailed report outline. The consultant will conduct background research and collect relevant material. Based on the initial but complete review of the source material, consultant will propose a detailed report outline. The outline should be at least 8 to12 pages, include a proposed survey if one is to be used, and contain sufficient detail to inform the TCRP project panel of what a 75- to 100-page report will contain. This outline should also contain the estimated pagination for each proposed section and/or subsection. This material will be submitted to TCRP for consideration and approval.
Note: Participate in a conference call with the TCRP Legal Oversight Panel approximately 4 weeks after submission of the detailed outline.
Task 2. After approval of the work plan, the consultant should conduct additional research, and case and statutory/regulatory analysis.
Task 3. Draft report in accordance with the approved work plan (including modifications required by TCRP).
Task 4. Revise report as necessary. The consultant should estimate that two revisions will be necessary. One revision may be required after review by the TCRP staff and members of a select subcommittee. Additional revisions may be required after the full committee has reviewed the report.
Funding: $75,000
Payment Schedule
25% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 1, Detailed Outline.
50% paid upon submission and approval of the Task 3 Report.
25% paid upon submission and approval of the Final Report (following revisions as required by TCRP).
An important factor in rating proposal offers will be the proposer’s commitment to promptly undertake and complete this study.
Proposals should be submitted as a single PDF with the following information in the following order:
1.      Summary sheet. Here is the summary sheet .
2.      A research plan that describes each task in sufficient detail to allow the review panel to make an informed assessment of the likelihood of the proposer’s success. The plan must include:
      • An introduction that provides a concise overview of the proposer’s understanding of the topic and the issues presented, the proposed team’s experience and qualifications relevant to the topic, and the team’s proposed approach to  conducting the research and preparing the report;
      • A brief outline of the proposed contents of the report;
      • Detailed information on the proposed research methodology for each task in sufficient detail to permit evaluation of achieving the objective(s);
      • Statement of resources (e.g., hours per person per task) allocated to this project, and timelines for each task;
      • Resumes of key team members along with a description of responsibilities;
      • Any additions, deletions, or changes you may wish to suggest to the scope of work for undertaking the work; and
      • A list of relevant prior publications (one or two samples may be enclosed).
3.      An executed, unaltered liability statement. Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement.
Proposers will be evaluated by individuals collectively knowledgeable in this problem area. Evaluations are based upon the proposers’: (1) knowledge, experience, and accomplishments in the subject area (demonstrated by the research plan, statement of resources, qualifications, and resumes; (2) understanding of the work (demonstrated by the team’s proposed approach to conducting the research and preparing the report); (3) prior relevant publications (including briefs); and (4) schedule for completing the work.
Proposals should be uploaded via this link:
https://www.dropbox.com/request/Q36twxEtUcvrv3amyB1h by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on August 10, 2020. Proposals will not be accepted after this time.
A.   Proposers should read Guidance for Working on NCHRP and TCRP Legal Projects for more information.
B.   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 should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/Q36twxEtUcvrv3amyB1h
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 8/10/2020

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, 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.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB 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 July 2019). 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.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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