The National Academies


Planning for the Future of Intermodal Passenger Facilities: Guide and Decision-Making Framework

Posted Date: 11/1/2021

  Project Data
Funds: $450,000
This project is supported by ACRP, NCHRP, and TCRP
Contract Time: 18 months
(includes 1 months for TCRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for TCRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 3/1/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Dianne S. Schwager
   Phone: 202/334-2969
   Email: DSchwage@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 1/4/2022
Fiscal Year: 2021

Intermodal passenger facilities can support and promote seamless, sustainable travel by public, private, and personal transportation modes. Well-designed, welcoming intermodal passenger facilities can attract users, build community, and support economic vitality. 
During the past decade, innovations in transportation-related technologies and business models have emerged, including shared and on-demand mobility; advances in digital payments and trip planning; improved electric cars, buses, bikes, and scooters; more widespread Internet connectivity; and advances in connected and automated vehicle technology. By leveraging these innovations and matching them with the travel needs of surrounding communities, intermodal passenger facilities can improve accessibility, air quality, and local and regional economies.
While timelines are uncertain and true impacts are unknown, society appears to be on the edge of further technological advances in mobility that may have historic, multi-faceted effects. The realization and expansion of connected and automated transportation (including private vehicles, transit, and advanced air mobility) may change how people travel and where they live. The electrification of the transportation network will increase the need for readily available charging centers for a variety of modes. Intermodal passenger facilities should be planned and constructed so that they can be adapted to the technological advances that may be realized in the next 20 years.
Recognizing the need for multi-modal transportation research, the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), the National Highway Cooperative Research Program (NCHRP), and the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) support this research project.   Improving multi-modal, sustainable mobility requires intermodal collaboration, particularly to ensure that capital projects, such as intermodal passenger facilities, effectively serve future community needs and address innovations in design, technology, and business models.

The objective of this research is to develop a guide and decision-making framework for stakeholders to plan, implement, and operate intermodal passenger facilities that address the near- and longer-term needs in different types of communities.   The final deliverables for this project should, at a minimum, address:
  • Typology of intermodal passenger facilities to accommodate established, emerging, and futuristic transportation modes and technologies in a variety of built environments, contexts, and locations applicable in the United States. In addition to addressing traditional vehicular transportation modes, the typology should consider the following:
    • Differing fueling and charging requirements for public and private conveyance modes;
    • Shared and personal microtransit mobility modes, on-demand modes, and active transportation modes (such as transportation network companies, taxis, walking, cycling, scooters, mopeds, and other zero-emissions modes);
    • Technologies for digital payments, trip planning, communication, and Internet access;
    • Innovative and emerging technologies (e.g., automated vehicles, advanced air mobility, hyper-loop etc.); and
    • Needs of rural and lower density communities.
  • Traveler needs, social justice, and equity considerations to serve all travelers, as well as criteria for universal design and placemaking. Present practices for intermodal passenger facilities to enhance connectivity, equity, physical accessibility, and inclusion for vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities whose needs have not traditionally been centered in transportation planning.
  •  Design and operations elements within and around intermodal passenger facilities that facilitate connectivity, safety and convenience for people, transportation modes, and other key activities, including design requirements for circulation, wayfinding, throughput, information structure access, perceived and real physical safety, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compatibility, multi-lingual accessibility, and amenities, such as bathrooms and parking.
  • Locational analysis criteria for where to site new intermodal passenger facilities that address key factors for siting future facilities in communities, including climate, equity, and accessibility.
  • Options for adaptation, redesign, and replacement of existing intermodal passenger facilities to improve mobility by serving traditional mobility services as well as innovative and emerging mobility technologies.
  • Climate resilience and nature-based solutions. Planning for intermodal passenger facilities should consider the importance of sustainable materials; green- and brown-field development; heat and stormwater management; and other climate adaptation measures in their durable design.
  • Stakeholder priorities, needs, and roles that reflect a broad range of public and private stakeholders in intermodal passenger facilities. Present business models, partnerships and governance structures that offer multiple scenarios for revenue generation, cost recovery, and operating for the public benefit.
  • Funding strategies that utilize promising public and private sources and financing for intermodal passenger facilities, in particular strategies to leverage existing modal funds for multimodal purposes.
  • Opportunities and barriers at the local, state, and national level that may facilitate or inhibit the planning, implementation, and operation of intermodal passenger facilities, including anticipated opportunities and barriers to future readiness for new technologies.
  • A framework for decision-making and capital planning considerations to more intelligently plan intermodal passenger facilities, such as:
    • Strategies for improving existing infrastructure; renovating, adapting, maintaining, and replacing facilities; and preparing for transportation innovations; and 
    • Strategies for addressing equity, access, climate, safety, and jobs.
  •  Evaluation framework. Methods for collecting data and assessing the outcomes and impacts of intermodal passenger facilities.
  • Other innovative practices.  

Proposers are asked to develop and present a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task. Proposers are expected to present a research plan that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals shall: (1) present the proposer’s current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach for meeting the research objective; (2) identify data and data sources that may be used to undertake this research; and (3) propose a format(s) of the final research product(s). 
The research plan shall describe appropriate deliverables that include, but are not limited to the following (which also represent key project milestones):
  • An Amplified Research Plan that responds to comments provided by the project panel at the contractor selection meeting.
  • An interim report and panel meeting. The interim report should include the analyses and results of completed tasks, an update of the remaining tasks, and a detailed outline of the final research product(s). The panel meeting will take place after the panel review of the interim report. The interim report and panel meeting should occur after the expenditure of no more than 40 percent of the project budget. Once approved by the panel, the interim deliverable should be suitable for public release and a possible webinar.
  • Final deliverable(s) that present the entire research with an executive summary. 
  • A webinar on the results of the research and the deliverables. 
  • A technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note F). 
Note: The research plan may include additional deliverables as well as additional panel meetings via teleconferences. 
Note: The research plan shall include a schedule for completion of the research that includes 1 month for panel review of the interim report, and 3 months for panel review and for contractor revision of the final research product(s). 

A. Proposals should demonstrate knowledge of relevant literature and both completed and on-going research relevant to this research project.
B. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.  For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.
C. Proposals are evaluated by the TCRP 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) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11 of the proposal. 
D. 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" (https://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.
E. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," in each proposal must include an Implementation Plan that describes activities to promote application of the product of this research. It is expected that the implementation plan will evolve during the project; however, proposals must describe, as a minimum, 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, (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in applying the research product, (e) the activities necessary for successful implementation, and (f) the criteria for judging the progress and consequences of implementation.
F. The required technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” should (a) provide recommendations on how to best put the research findings/products into practice; (b) identify possible institutions that might take leadership in applying the research findings/products; (c) identify issues affecting potential implementation of the findings/products and recommend possible actions to address these issues; and (d) recommend methods of identifying and measuring the impacts associated with implementation of the findings/products. Implementation of these recommendations is not part of the research project and, if warranted, details of these actions will be developed and implemented in future efforts.
G. 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/l2JvfitljjGY76ikaAYS
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 1/4/2022.

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 fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://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". 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.

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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