Request for Proposals

Transportation Corridor Study

Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization

Des Moines, IA

Posted: 06/13/2013
Submittal Deadline: 07/08/2013

Ames-Des Moines Transportation Corridor Study

Budget: $100,000

Timeframe: 9-12 months

Project Description

The Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (DMAMPO) is soliciting this Request for Proposals to select a consultant team to examine the potential for and feasibility of public transit service operating in the corridor from Des Moines, IA to Ames, IA. The study will examine the existing and potential markets along this corridor, land-use and development patterns, the ridership potential generated by these markets, and develop an operating plan that will include operating costs and capital costs, funding alternatives, and marketing strategies. Other members of the project team include: Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART), Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency (HIRTA), CyRide, Ames Area MPO, Greater Des Moines Partnership (GDMP), and the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT).

Scope of Work

Task 1: Market Potential. Assemble sufficient data to understand the travel patterns of potential riders, determine the overall need and market for service, determine ridership estimates, and investigate logical terminus and connection points. Determine the sustainability of the service based on future ridership projections, employment data, and travel patterns. The consultant team will obtain at a minimum the following information:

• Employees home address information for major employers in Des Moines, Ankeny, and Ames. The employers to be contacted will be based upon coordination with the Project Team and could include Iowa State University, IDOT, Mary Greeley Medical Center as well as other major employers;
• Travel information will be obtained for trips to and from downtown Des Moines;
• Journey to work patterns from the US Census;
• Laborshed studies from communities along the corridor;
• Information about medical and other human service trips made along the corridor;
• Existing ridership from DART, CyRide, HIRTA, and other transit operators; and,
• Travel movements from the IDOT and MPO travel demand models to determine travel movements in the corridor and the number and frequency of travel.

Task 2: Develop Service Concepts. Transit service scenarios will be developed to match needs identified in Task 1 for the Ames-Des Moines corridor.

• Develop a range of high level concepts and describe in terms of mode, market served, route, frequency, service characteristics, estimated public transit ridership, and general operating cost.
• The range of concepts will be evaluated by the consultant and presented to the study team.
• Specific concepts will be selected based on the market potential for more detailed study in Task 3 and Task 4.

Task 3: Operating Plan. Develop an operating plan and scenarios through a process that will consider operating and capital costs based on ridership potential.

• Operating Details - An operating plan will be developed for the selected transit scenarios. It will identify the operating entity and consider service coordination and connectivity with local transit providers. The operating plan will describe operating hours, route, travel times, park and ride locations, and number and type of transit vehicles based on projected ridership.
• Facilities - The operating plan will include identifying enhanced customer services tools, frequencies, and other facilities or amenities needed to effectively operate the service.
• Marketing - The operating plan will also include high-level marketing strategies and suggestions for promoting the proposed transit service.

Task 4: Cost Estimates. Develop costs estimates for each scenario developed in the Operating Plan.

• Operating Costs - Cost estimates will include startup costs and ongoing operations and maintenance.
• Capital Costs - This should include, bus acquisition costs, costs associated with service implementation, transit facilities, and possibly park and ride facilities at identified locations.

Task 5: Funding Analysis. This task will look at how a transit project in the corridor could be funded.

• Funding Sources - Compile and analyze information regarding funding sources and the local, state, and federal levels. The fare revenues will also be considered. The consultant will examine and specify an approach to establish a sustainable funding source for transit operations.
• Project Phases - The funding analysis should include cost analysis for the varying phases of the service including: startup period, short term (1 to 5 years), and long term (6 to 20 years).
• The impact of the service scenarios will be determined by the economic and social benefits to service users.

Task 6: Land-Use and Development Pattern Analysis. This task will explore the land-use and development patterns required to make alternative transportation in the Ames-Des Moines corridor successful.

• Analysis of existing and potential land-uses along the Ames-Des Moines corridor.
• Analysis of existing and potential development pattern types and how they would impact alternative transportation along the Ames-Des Moines corridor.

Task 7: Report Development. A final report will be prepared.

• Draft Report - A draft report summarizing the findings of the study will be prepared. The summary will describe the feasibility for the selected transit service. The consultant will provide the draft report in electronic format to the Project Team. The Project Team will review and provide comments to the consultant.
• Final Report - The consultant will incorporate comments and complete a final draft report to submit to the DMAMPO. The DMAMPO may provide a final review, and if so, the consultant will modify and prepare the final report. Five (5) paper copies and an electronic copy of the final report will be provided to the DMAMPO.

Task 8: Meetings.

• Monthly Project Team meetings will be held by the consultant with at least three in person. The team will include the DMAMPO, Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART), Heart of Iowa Regional Transit Agency (HIRTA), CyRide, Ames MPO, Greater Des Moines Partnership (GDMP), and the Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT).
• Administration. Project and meeting coordination, including preparing meeting notices and meeting minutes.
• MPO Committees- updates to the MPO committees will be primarily the responsibility of the Project Team representatives. This will include updates to these groups: the MPO Transportation Technical Committee (TTC), Executive Committee, Policy Committee, and Public Transportation Roundtable.
• The consultant will be available at the study’s conclusion for one presentation to the MPO TTC and Policy Committee.


July 8, 2013: RFP response due.

Week of July 15, 2013: Review of applications.

Week of July 22, 2013: Interviews held (if deemed necessary) and firm selection.

August 1, 2013: Issued contract for professional service completed.

March 28, 2013: Draft report due.

May 2, 2014: Final report due.


The contract for professional services between the selected firm and the DMAMPO will be for a maximum amount of $100,000 to include all professional fees, travel, telephone, copying costs, and other expenses incurred for providing the scope of services. The negotiation of the fee for services will occur at the time of preparation of the Contract for Professional Services. If a fee cannot be agreed upon between the selected firm and the DMAMPO, negotiations will be terminated and the DMAMPO will initiate negotiations with the next preferred consultant.


Selection criteria will include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
• The consultant’s experience and qualifications with similar planning efforts;
• The consultant’s understanding of the assignment;
• The consultant’s ability to meet the scope of work and timelines detailed above; and,
• The proposed methodology to accomplish the intended study purpose and scope of work.
The proposal should not exceed ten pages in length (excluding appendix) and is due at noon on July 8, 2013. Five (5) had copies and a digital copy of the proposal should be delivered to:

Zach Young
Senior Transportation Planner
420 Watson Powell, Suite 200
Des Moines, IA 50309.

Prospective firms are advised that no obligations or commitments are incurred by the DMAMPO in soliciting the proposals. The DMAMPO reserves the right to select the most highly qualified firm based upon recommendations of the selection committee.