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Request for Transformative Projects (An 11 week MTC Project)

The Metropolitan Transportation has come up with an 11 week program called the “Request for Transformative Projects” as part of the MTC’s Horizon Initiative announced in late May.

From MTC/ABAG:  “The Horizon initiative will be the first comprehensive Bay Area planning effort to look not just at transportation and housing but economic development, resilience and the effects of emerging technologies.”

Here is the press release from the MTC:

A great idea can come from anyone! MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) are excited to announce that we are inviting everyone — individuals, community groups, nonprofits and private companies — to participate in the Horizon initiative’s request for project ideas.

We are looking for your biggest, brightest, billion-dollar (or more!) ideas for redefining the way we travel in and around the Bay Area.

The Request for Transformative Projects is focused on major investments that were not previously assessed in Plan Bay Area 2040. These could include visionary transportation projects not submitted for Plan Bay Area 2040 – like a second Transbay Tube or an extension of the Central Subway – as well as new ideas to solve the challenges of today and tomorrow – such as a network of aerial trams or a new hyperloop line.

Who can submit a Transformative Project?

YOU can! The Request for Transformative Projects is a unique opportunity to share your ideas for reshaping Bay Area transportation as we know it.

Five to 10 innovative ideas from people and organizations outside the traditional Bay Area transportation sphere will be selected for full evaluation by MTC and ABAG. This is on top of our standard evaluations of projects recommended by our partner transportation agencies.

What are the guidelines for a Transformative Project?

We encourage proposals that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Transit projects that improve capacity, frequency or coverage; have a lifecycle cost exceeding $1 billion; AND were not evaluated in Plan Bay Area 2040
  • Roadway projects that improve capacity; have a lifecycle cost exceeding $1 billion; AND were not evaluated in Plan Bay Area 2040
  • Projects that make existing transportation infrastructure more resilient to rising sea levels or seismic hazards [no cost threshold]
  • Operational strategies with transformative regional impacts, such as all-lane tolling or transit fare simplification [no cost threshold]

MTC is working with our transportation partners on other projects – including those evaluated in Plan Bay Area 2040 and lower-cost projects that do not qualify under any of the criteria above – to ensure we are considering the full spectrum of potential investments for Horizon and Plan Bay Area 2050.

How do I submit a Transformative Project for review?

You can start submitting your Transformative Projects using this online form. The submission window is open now. But all projects must be submitted by September 6, 2018.

There’s no limit to the number of Transformative Projects you are allowed to submit, but remember we are looking for quality over quantity.

Projects will be evaluated for their cost-effectiveness and their support of the Horizon initiative’s five guiding principles: Affordable, Connected, Diverse, Healthy and Vibrant. For more information on the evaluation framework, go to:

Enviar proyectos transformativos


How will Transformative Projects be evaluated?

Submissions from individuals, community groups, nonprofits and private companies will first be screened using a set of criteria: feasibility, potential benefits to the Bay Area, alignment with Horizon’s Guiding Principles, creativity, and consistency with minimum cost thresholds.

A panel of experts will help determine which five to ten ideas will be evaluated in the project performance assessment for Horizon and Plan Bay Area 2050. Finalists will be then scored in a manner consistent with all other projects, including model simulations to determine cost-effectiveness and qualitative evaluations to determine a project’s level of support for Guiding Principles. This effort aims to identify both high- and low-performing projects, and to understand each project’s impact under a wide range of possible future conditions.

Because Plan Bay Area 2050 is financially constrained, the project performance assessment helps identify the most effective investments, and provides a transparent process for directing limited transportation dollars to the highest-performing projects.

When will the winners be announced?

  • The five to 10 public finalists will be announced in October 2018. These projects will then be considered for further analysis as part of the Horizon initiative. In 2019, these projects may even be considered for inclusion in Plan Bay Area 2050’s investment strategy.
  • Individuals and organizations not associated with public agencies will have the opportunity to win $100 Visa gift cards for their ideas.
  • The finalists whose project scores the highest in the project performance assessment process will be selected as the winner and be awarded the grand prize of $500.

Spread the word!

We want to hear about as many great Transformative Project ideas as possible. So we need your help getting the word out.

Follow MTC and ABAG on social media to get the latest news on the Request for Transformative Projects.

Share our posts to let your friends and colleagues know about this unique opportunity.

Use the text below to post to your upcoming newsletter, emails, or social media accounts to share the public request for Transformative Projects with your networks:

BIG IDEAS for Bay Area Transportation: Transformative Projects for the Future. As part of the Horizon initiative, MTC and ABAG are looking for your best and brightest ideas for Transformative Projects that will reshape transportation in the Bay Area as we know it. Everyone is encouraged to submit a proposal! Click here for more details.

For more information, or if you have any questions, reach out to Horizon project manager, Dave Vautin, at