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Request for proposals: Grant reporting for the Southern Rail Commission

Summary  

Transportation for America (T4A) supports the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) to promote passenger rail  connecting Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to each other and the broader nation. As part of this work, the SRC was awarded several planning and construction grants from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for both passenger rail stations and capital improvements to support better intercity passenger  service along the Gulf Coast.  

T4A currently manages these grants for SRC and is seeking support for grant reporting, including:

  • working with state and city partners conducting the planning and construction work to follow the status of their work and steer any questions to T4A; 
  • compiling content from state and city partners needed to file quarterly reports;
  • compiling content from state and city partners needed to file final reports, when projects are completed;
  • and updating project trackers as requested by T4A or SRC Commissioners. 

This project is expected to last for 2-3 years.  

Background  

There are two types of grants at issue: 1) rail station planning or construction grants and 2) Consolidated  Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grants. With regard to the station grants, in 2016, the  SRC announced the allocations for more than $2 million in funding through the FRA to ten communities in  Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana that are planning for restored and improved passenger rail service. 

Of the 10 projects awarded funding, six are still awaiting final FRA approval and/or are underway. Those  projects are: 

  • City of Birmingham: enhancements and construction of pedestrian corridor connecting the  downtown Intermodal Facility to the Amtrak platform; 
  • City of Mobile: passenger rail station plan development, including a master plan and architectural design: 
  • City of Bay St. Louis: canopy improvements, trackside improvements, landscaping, signage, and ADA compliant access; 
  • City of Biloxi: passenger rail platform and pedestrian access connecting to transit station nearby;
  • City of Gulfport: construction of a new platform canopy with lighting, ADA improvements, sidewalk improvements and landscaping;
  • and City of Pascagoula: improvements to restore the historic train station. 

In addition, the SRC has issued another Notice of Funding Availability in the amount of $794,385 for  improvements to the Gulf Coast rail corridor in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Once these grants are awarded this spring, they too will be a part of the grant administration task contained in this RFP.

Under the CRISI program, in June 2019, FRA awarded a $33 million grant to the SRC to restore passenger rail service between New Orleans, LA, and Mobile, AL. These funds will be matched by non-federal state funds for a total of $66-million of infrastructure improvements to facilitate passenger rail.  

All of the grants require tracking and reporting to ensure they meet all of FRA’s requirements. It also  requires the gathering of expenses for submission to FRA for reimbursement. 

Selection criteria  

T4A will select a proposal based on: 

  • qualifications and cost; 
  • past experience managing comparable grants; 
  • knowledge of and experience in the SRC region;
  • and knowledge of and experience with the projects that are the subject of the grant. 

Transportation for America is committed to building a diverse team, including through its contracting, and strongly encourages applications from Women- and Minority-Owned Enterprises.   

Submittal requirements  

Interested individuals or companies should submit information regarding your qualifications and hourly rates to Elizabeth Schilling ([email protected]) and John Robert Smith  ([email protected]) by 5:00 PM ET on February 24, 2021. 

Proposal should be no more than 5 pages and include: 

1. A description of your experience in the region, your familiarity and experience with the projects at  issue, and any past grants management work. 

2. An estimate of the time and cost to perform the required work on a quarterly basis. 3. Names, titles and billing rates for each staff person expected to participate in this contract, and  their relative roles and responsibilities. 

For further information:  

Please email questions about the RFP to [email protected]

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