Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Shared mobility

Shared mobility in Greater Minnesota | Moving Greater Minnesota Forward

Moving Greater Minnesota Forward Phase 2: Real World Testing

We encourage projects that successfully complete Phase 1, or similar work, and developed an idea that is ready for real world testing to apply for up to two years of pilot funding in Phase 2. The purpose of Phase 2 grants is to provide funding for demonstration projects of up to two years as a proof of concept for shared mobility projects in Greater Minnesota. Phase 2 seeks to help shared mobility projects that have successfully completed Phase 1, or have completed similar work on their own, to implement their shared mobility idea in a real-world test that may be used to scale and expand their project after Phase 2 is complete.

Timeline

  • Monday, Feb. 5, 2024: Phase 2 application opens
  • Monday, Feb. 12, 2024: Informational webinar
  • 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, April 30, 2024: Phase 2 application closes
  • Tuesday, May 28, 2024: Project selection finalized and award notices sent to applicants

Eligibility

Eligible applicants

Grant applicant must provide proposal(s) for either of the following:

  • Shared mobility projects that support services provided by transit agencies eligible to receive funding under Minn. Stat. § 174.24, subd. 2, as follows:
    • legislatively established public transit commission or authority
    • tribal government
    • county or statutory or home rule charter city providing financial assistance to or operating public transit
    • private operator of public transit
  • Shared mobility project(s) that support active transportation, as defined in Minn. Stat. § 174.38, subd. 1(b) as “bicycling, pedestrian activities, and other forms of nonmotorized transportation.” More information about the types of shared mobility eligible projects is below.
    Projects must be located in Greater Minnesota defined as the area of the state outside of the seven counties of the Twin Cities Metro area. Ineligible locations include the following:
    • Anoka County
    • Carver County
    • Dakota County
    • Hennepin County
    • Ramsey County
    • Scott County
    • Washington County

Multiple eligible organizations may apply on a single grant application but should indicate which organization is the lead and direct funding recipient.

Eligible projects

Projects eligible for selection must involve the development of a new shared mobility service or improvement to an existing shared mobility service. Shared mobility is defined as a form of transportation in which transportation services are shared among users. Users may use the service at the same time or independently of one another.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Transit
  • Van and carpooling
  • Rideshare
  • Carsharing
  • Micromobility (bike, ebike, and scooter share)
  • Microtransit
  • Delivery service

Any use of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funded vehicles must follow all required FTA regulations.
The goal of the Moving Greater Minnesota Forward Phase 2 program is to bring project ideas to market and implement pilots. Primary planning and engineering design should have been completed before applying for Phase 2 funding, and these expenses should not make up more than 20% of total project budget or project timeline. Any administrative costs should not exceed 10% of the total project budget.

Guidance

Application process

What you'll need

When you're ready to apply

After you apply

  • A committee made up of staff from MnDOT, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota will review and score all applications.
  • We'll announce project awards on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.
  • Grant recipients must submit a scope of work document, quarterly reports for the grant period, and a final project report.

Additional information

Awards will be made through a competitive process using the following scoring criteria. The application review committee will be made up of staff from MnDOT, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, and the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota.

Base score
Category Maximum number of points
Quality of proposal 35
Quality of budget narrative 15
Match funding 20
Alignment with MnDOT priorities 30
Total maximum base score 100

Bonus points
Category Maximum number of points
Equity bonus 15
Geographic balance 5
Total maximum bonus points 20

Quality of Proposal/Project Readiness

Proposals will be rated by their overall quality and project readiness. Project narrative submissions should describe of how their project will be implemented, including planning, launch, marketing, and maintenance of the service. Please include a timeline of key milestones and deliverables for the project from funding approval to the end of the proposed project reporting period. Applicants should outline the market need for their service, who their intended customers are, estimate market size for end users during the project, and what the current market alternatives are. Applicants should explain any community outreach work they have done and/or any market testing from proposed customers or users to demonstrate that their service is well aligned to address the problem or market need.

Applicants should demonstrate how ready their project is to implement. Depending on the proposal, they should explain any existing partnership agreements/contracts with project partners they have in place, match funding they have already secured, and summary of staffing and service plans. If any further infrastructure like vehicle charging, updates to local ordinances, or other changes are required before the project is implemented, the applicant must disclose these and explain how they are going to address these barriers to entry to stay on schedule. Applicants should share their experience implementing any similar projects previously and include the name, title, and relevant work experience of any key staff planned to work on this project.

Grant reviewers will rate how well the submission covers these requirements for a maximum of 35 points.

Quality of budget narrative

Applicants must include a separate budget narrative in a PDF format with their application, using either MnDOT’s budget narrative template or their own. The narrative should include a total project budget table including all proposed funding sources and a quarterly budget table that displays project expenses by quarter over the proposed life of the grant, no longer than 24 months. Please include any matching funds in the funding sources section of the total project budget, including what percentage of the total project budget these funds represent, and a description of the source of the match funding and whether the funding is secured.

In addition to the tables, the applicant must include a description of each project expense category and the method they used to determine this cost estimate. The following expense categories must be included in the budget submission: operations, software, vehicle purchase or leasing, marketing, staff salaries, and fringe.

Grant reviewers will rate how well the submission covers these requirements for a maximum of 15 points.

Match Funding

Applicants should include any secured or planned matching funds in the funding source section of their budget narrative document. Submissions will receive 1 point per 4% of total project budget provided by matching funds up to a maximum of 20 points, or 80% of the total project budget.

MnDOT Priorities

MnDOT is especially interested in projects that address the following needs:

  • Services that complement existing public transit by providing first mile/last mile connections to transit services or by meeting a travel need public transit is currently unable to meet
  • New shared mobility services to meet the needs of historically underserved communities not currently served by public transit
  • Improved efficiencies or business models for existing shared mobility services that result in lower operational costs, increased revenue, lower greenhouse gas emissions, or improved service delivery
  • Winterization models for existing shared mobility services
  • Electrification of shared mobility services

Applicants should demonstrate how their project will address one or more of these priorities for the Moving Greater Minnesota Forward program. Submissions that demonstrate they address at least one priority will receive 10 points, and will then receive 5 points for each additional priority they address for a maximum of 30 points.

Equity Bonus

Projects will received 15 additional points on top of their base score if they are proposing to serve one or more census tracts designated “Disadvantaged” under the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST), overall “Disadvantaged” or Transportation Insecurity “Disadvantaged” on the US DOT Equitable Transportation Communities (ETC) Explorer, or “Disadvantaged” under the Justice40 Initiative criteria by the federal government.

Geographic balance

MnDOT wishes to make distribution of Moving Greater Minnesota Forward Phase 2 grant funding geographically balanced throughout Greater Minnesota. MnDOT divides Greater Minnesota into eight districts. If the project is the only submission from their MnDOT District, they will receive 5 additional point on top of their base score.

Responders must adhere to all terms of this RFP.  All costs incurred in responding to this RFP will be borne by the responder.

MnDOT Not Obligated To Complete Project

This RFP does not obligate MnDOT to award a Contract or complete the project, and MnDOT reserves the right to cancel the solicitation if it is considered to be in its best interest.

Proposal Certifications

By submitting a Proposal, responders warrant that the information provided is true, correct and reliable for purposes of evaluation for potential Contract award. The submission of inaccurate or misleading information may be grounds for disqualification from Contract award and may subject the responder to suspension or debarment proceedings, as well as other remedies available to MnDOT, by law.

Per Minn. Stat. § 13.599

  • Names and addresses of grant applicants will be public data once proposal responses are opened.
  • All remaining data in proposal responses (except trade secret data as defined and classified in §13.37) will be public data after the evaluation process is completed (for the purposes of this grant, when all grant agreements have been fully executed).
  • All data created or maintained by MnDOT as part of the evaluation process (except trade secret data as defined and classified in § 13.37) will be public data after the evaluation process is completed (for the purposes of this grant, when all grant agreements have been fully executed).