The National Academies

TCRP J-05/Topic 20-03 [RFP]

Policing and Public Transportation
[ TCRP J-05 (Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs) ]

Posted Date: 7/17/2020

  Project Data
Funds: $70,000
Contract Time: 12 months
Authorization to Begin Work: 1/14/2021 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Gwen Chisholm-Smith
   Phone: 202-334-3246
   Email: gsmith@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 9/14/2020
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.
Public transportation agencies strive to offer safe, clean, courteous, and accessible service for the safety, convenience, and comfort of their customers. To achieve these standards, public transportation agencies must enforce rules and police their system against problems like vagrancy, trespassing, vandalism, and violence. Some agencies have their own dedicated police force; others rely on local police. In either case, the policing of public transportation systems raises a variety of legal questions like coordination among forces, who has jurisdiction when a crime crosses city/county lines, the distinction between civil and criminal behavior, constitutional search and seizure issues, balancing public safety concerns with Second Amendment rights, evidentiary demands, and public records laws. In addition, public transportation systems rely upon police forces to enforce customer codes of conduct and to prevent stations and vehicles from becoming shelters for persons experiencing homelessness.
The objective of this research is to produce a report that provides practical advice and a summary of the law for lawmakers, police forces, public transportation agencies, and their attorneys to consult when making decisions about how to police public transportation systems. This research will result in (1) a comprehensive summary of the constitutional issues applicable to the policing of public transportation systems; and (2) a review of select public transportation agencies as examples of the organizational and contractual structures used to effectively police vehicles and premises.
Specific issues to be examined include:
  • Fourth Amendment
  • Second Amendment
  • Homelessness
  • Fare enforcement, including the use of post-certified versus non-post-certified officers, and the effects of an open/closed or paid-fare/free-fare system
  • Common carrier 
  • Public relations
  • Discrimination/profiling
  • Inter-force agreements 
  • Issues raised by multiple jurisdictions
The legal research digest should include:
  • A comprehensive summary of constitutional issues relating to the policing of public transportation systems;
  • A discussion of legal questions implicated by the enforcement of fare policies, codes of conduct, homelessness, and the general policing of public transportation;
  • Reviews of lawsuits that have challenged or resulted from the policing of public transportation systems;
  • A summary of the organizational and contractual structure of select public transportation agencies, including organizational charts, and inter-agency and inter-force agreements;
  • Recommended strategies for effective administration, training, and enforcement; and
  • Discussion of potential pitfalls: what terms or practices to avoid if possible.
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: $70,000
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: 
  •  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/u9n2SPK4t22jo9iPRFSr by 5:00 p.m. (EST) on September 14, 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/u9n2SPK4t22jo9iPRFSr
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on September 14, 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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