Notice of Funding Opportunity: Planning and Preliminary Engineering

IDOT has released a Notice of Funding Opportunity for planning and preliminary engineering funding for public multimodal, intermodal, and non-motorized transportation; projects must include a public transit component. The NOFO is attached.

The program’s total funding is approximately $2.5 million and there is not a restriction on award amount. In the past, awards have averaged ~$200,000 and they require a 20% non-federal match. Applicants can request IDOT provide this match, particularly if the study benefits a historically disadvantaged community. Awards will be announced in late summer and will likely start in early 2024.

From the NOFO: “Previously funded projects included, but were not limited to the following: transit alternatives analyses, transit comprehensive operations analyses, corridor comprehensive transportation studies, express and night bus feasibility studies, fare pricing analyses, logistics corridor feasibility studies, pandemic-related transit ridership studies, smart corridor plan and design studies, transit center/capital feasibility studies, transit equity studies, transit market analyses, travel behavior studies, passenger rail extension feasibility studies, bus rapid transit/arterial rapid transit corridor studies, bicycle network planning, and travel demand forecast model development.”

Most studies under this program involve hiring a third-party consultant through a public bidding process. Public agencies with the technical expertise to perform these studies in-house may apply to do so. Such public agencies may include, but are not limited to: universities, metropolitan planning organizations, and regional planning commissions. Private and non-profit applicants must have a public-sector partner who leads the application and subsequent study.

Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the transportation needs they may have and may consult with IDOT staff about their application.

Applications will take place through IDOT’s transit grants management platform, BlackCat. A webinar next Tuesday at 10am will discuss the BlackCat application process for anyone new to that platform. (The link to join at the time of the event is here.) Any applicants without current BlackCat access should reply to this email to request login credentials.

Please share this with anyone you think may be interested and let us know if you have any questions.

To view the full public notice, click here.