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Fwd: new RFP on sociodemographics of travel

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  • Alan A. Lew
    ... From: r crane Date: Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 10:08 AM Subject: new RFP on sociodemographics of travel To: PLANET@listserv.buffalo.edu Dear
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 6, 2009
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      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      From: r crane <crane@...>
      Date: Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 10:08 AM
      Subject: new RFP on sociodemographics of travel
      To: PLANET@...

      Dear researchers,
      a heads up that the Transportation Research Board (of the National Academy of Sciences) just posted an RFP for a very broadly defined project on "the effects of socio-demographics on travel demand."  One compelling aspect of the project is that the first task is essentially to develop a research plan for this topic, the second being to carry that agenda out.  Thus, within a pretty big topic, proposers have a fairly free hand in developing both questions and means.  Also worth mentioning is that it is budgeted for an even $1 million.  The overall purpose is to provide advice for transportation planning agencies, so the goal is both lofty and grounded.

      As a member of the project panel that wrote the RFP, will review the proposals, and then work with the research team over the couple of years of the project through completion, I apparently cannot answer any questions about the RFP process or discuss other project details except through formal channels, such as TRB staff -- though we were all asked to spread the news of the RFP.   Any such inquiries should go to the extremely helpful project manager, Christopher Hedges, as indicated in the RFP linked below.  I can say that everyone is excited at the prospect that this level of support will generate creative thinking, ambitious research programs, and substantial research and practice contributions on these questions and topics.  Note the closing date for proposals is December 16.


      Best,
      Randy Crane, UCLA

      p.s. Here are some key excerpts from the RFP, including a complete description of its 6 phases.  Again, Mr. Hedges is waiting for your call for any points of clarification of substance or process.

      OBJECTIVE
       
      The objective of this research is to determine how socio-demographic factors are likely to affect travel demand over the next 30 to 50 years and to identify strategies and actions that can be used by policymakers in state and local transportation and planning agencies to plan and prepare for alternative future scenarios.
       
      The focus of the research should be on understanding the fundamental relationships between social and demographic factors and travel demand, and how these relationships might change over time. These factors may include diversity, gender, birth rates, aging population, wealth and income, immigration, regional migration and employment patterns, rural versus urban populations, and the size and structure of households and families. The research will also examine the relationships between human factors and other variables affecting travel demand such as new technology, alternative fuels, economics and the economy, climate change, land use, and development patterns. In addition, it should identify opportunities for incorporating the results into the planning and decision-making process. 
       
      Note: Proposers are asked to develop a detailed research plan for accomplishing the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe a research plan that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed for each phase must be divided into tasks and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
       
      The work contents represent NCHRP’ s expectations but are not meant to be restrictive on proposers’ thinking. The phases described below are not intended to suggest particular tasks, but rather to describe content and effort that should be part of the research plan.

       
      Phase I. Assess the adequacy of current methods used in the U.S. and internationally to forecast travel demand and patterns with respect to socio-demographic factors. 
       
      Phase II. Identify and assess socio-demographic driving forces, their leading indicators, and critical interdependencies. Assess the relative impacts of these driving forces on travel demand and patterns. Identify gaps in the current state of knowledge and practice. Develop a plan of research that will address information gaps within the schedule and budget of this project. It is anticipated that the research may involve data collection or the development or enhancement of models and tools.  Present the results of Phases I and II in an Interim Report No. 1. 
       
      Note: Since these driving forces may impact different regions of the country under the responsibility of different levels of government, the proposer should identify the geographic scales and jurisdictional boundaries that can be used to structure the analysis. Proposers should include in their work plan a presentation of Interim Report No. 1 and a conference call with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the work following the panel’s review. Proposers should include in their work plans a period of 1-month for the panel’s review and the conference call and should not initiate work on subsequent phases of the project until the panel has approved Interim Report No. 1. 
       
      Phase III. Upon approval of Interim Report No. 1, conduct the research plan developed in Phase II as approved by the project panel. Document the results in Interim Report No. 2. 
       
      Note: Proposers should include in their work plan a presentation of Interim Report No. 2 and a conference call with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the work following the panel’s review. Based on Interim Report No. 2, the project panel will select the basis for development of scenarios in Phase IV. Proposers should include in their work plans a period of one month for the panel’s review and the conference call and should not initiate work on subsequent phases of the project until the panel has approved initiation of scenario development.
       
      Phase IV. Develop representative future travel demand scenarios that may result from the driving forces identified in Phase II. In addition, provide examples that illustrate the potential impacts of these scenarios on transportation demand in various conditions and locations at a national, state, or regional level. Document the results in an Interim Report No. 3.   
       
      Note: Proposers should include in their work plan a presentation of Interim Report No. 3 and a 1-day meeting with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the work following the panel’s review. Proposers should be prepared to discuss their preliminary ideas on scenarios at the meeting. Proposers should include in their work plans a period of 1 month for the panel’s review and the meeting and should not initiate work on subsequent phases of the project until the panel has approved the scenarios.
       
      Phase V. Prepare a detailed analysis of how the role, funding, and operations of DOTs and other planning and transportation agencies will likely be affected by the travel demand scenarios identified in Phase IV. In response, identify and deliver short- and long-range actions, strategies, tools, or models that DOTs can use to plan, respond to, and otherwise manage under each scenario. Assess the potential risks and uncertainties, as well as the risks of a “business as usual” approach. Identify indicators that should be monitored and analyzed in order to help predict the scenarios that are most likely to occur. Document the results in Interim Report No. 4. 
       
      Note: This is the main component in which the project objectives are realized. Proposers should include in their work plan a presentation of Interim Report No. 4 at a 1-day meeting with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the work following the panel’s review of the interim report. Proposers should include in their work plan a period of 1 month for the panel’s review and the meeting.
       
      Phase VI. Present project results in compelling ways to encourage and guide policymakers to institute appropriate actions and management strategies. These deliverables could include executive summaries, briefing materials, multimedia presentations, and similar products to communicate appropriate planning strategies to senior DOT executives and other stakeholders. The “look and feel” of these products should be coordinated with other projects in the 20-83 series. Develop an outreach plan to facilitate adoption of results. Prepare and submit a final report documenting the full research effort. 
      *******************


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