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Solicitation of Proposals for Designation of Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Solicitation of Proposals for Designation of Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers

Anthony R. Foxx
U.S. Department of Transportation
17 January 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 10 (Tuesday, January 17, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 4965-4967]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-00824]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


Solicitation of Proposals for Designation of Beyond Traffic 
Innovation Centers

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of intent to designate Beyond Traffic Innovation 
Centers.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Beyond Traffic is the Department of Transportation's (``DOT'' 
or the ``Department'') draft 30-year framework for the future (the full 
report can be found here: https://www.transportation.gov/BeyondTraffic). It lays out key trends that will affect the future of 
our transportation system. To further this understanding, the DOT is 
requesting proposals from applicants to form an initial network of 
multiple centers, focused--through academic activities and programs--on 
delivering solutions to the challenges outlined in Beyond Traffic. 
These entities will be designated as ``USDOT Beyond Traffic Innovation 
Centers'' and will serve as thought leaders responsible for continuing 
the conversation surrounding the future of transportation. USDOT Beyond 
Traffic Innovation Center activities could include identifying possible 
solutions in their megaregion (Beyond Traffic, p. 25), including but 
not limited to: Evaluating and researching new technologies relevant to 
tackling transportation challenges with the megaregion, identification 
and development of training approaches for the megaregion's future 
transportation workforce, and convening practitioners, public and 
private leaders within the megaregion to help identify specific actions 
that can be taken in the megaregion to address its challenges over the 
30 years.

DATES: Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on December 21, 
2016.

ADDRESSES: Final proposals must not exceed 4 pages in length, and must 
be submitted electronically to: BeyondTraffic@dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information concerning 
this notice, please contact BeyondTraffic@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Department is requesting applications to 
be designated as a USDOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Center. Read this 
notice in its entirety so that you have all the information you need to 
determine whether you would like to submit a proposal.
    Description: In the enabling legislation that established the DOT, 
the Secretary of Transportation is vested with the responsibility to 
report on current and future conditions of our transportation system. 
With the Nation's transportation system experiencing repeated impacts 
due to population growth, changes in climate, a stressed freight 
network, and inaction to address these impacts, such a discourse could 
not come at a more crucial time. Beyond Traffic 2045: Trends and 
Choices has been developed by a team of Departmental experts, with 
input from the public, to conduct a comprehensive examination of our 
Nation's transportation system. In the fall of

[[Page 4966]]

2015, Secretary Foxx and his team travelled to eleven emerging 
megaregions to solicit feedback on the draft report. Specifically, 
communities provided feedback on the gaps in opportunity exacerbated by 
disparities in transportation access and past infrastructure decisions. 
The designated USDOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers will help to 
continue this conversation in their respective megaregions, including, 
but not limited to: Evaluating and researching new technologies 
relevant to tackling transportation challenges with the megaregion, 
identification and development of training approaches for the 
megaregion's future transportation workforce, and convening 
practitioners, public and private leaders with the megaregion to help 
identify specific actions that can be taken in the megaregion to 
address its challenges over the 30 years. For this purpose, the DOT is 
seeking applications from eligible entities that would like to be 
designated as a USDOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Center. The Centers 
will form a community of forward-thinking researchers, students, and 
thought leaders who can help drive our Nation's transportation systems 
forward by addressing the following questions:
     How will we move? How will we build a transportation 
system to accommodate a growing population and changing travel 
patterns?
     How will we move things? How will we reduce freight 
chokepoints that drive up the cost of owning a business?
     How will we move better? How will we knock down barriers 
to new technologies that promise to make travel safer and more 
convenient?
     How will we adapt? How will we make our infrastructure 
resilient to more frequent catastrophic weather events?
     How will we grow opportunity for all Americans?
     How will we align decisions and dollars, and invest the 
trillions of dollars our transportation system needs in the smartest 
way possible?

USDOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers will be recognized by the 
Department of Transportation as forward-thinking and influential 
institutions that are capable of driving solutions to the challenges 
identified in Beyond Traffic, through research, curriculum, outreach, 
and other activities.
    Designation Decisions: The Secretary of Transportation will make 
all designations under this notice. A designation as a USDOT Beyond 
Traffic Innovation Center is not an award of Federal financial 
assistance.
    Eligibility Information: The following entities are eligible for 
designation as a USDOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Center. Individuals 
are not eligible for designation under this notice. The Department 
actively encourages the inclusion of minority-serving institutions. 
Eligible entities include:
     U.S. non-profit institutions of higher education as 
defined under 20 U.S.C. 1001(a). Non-profit institutions of higher 
education may include qualifying two-year institutions that meet the 
requirements of 20 U.S.C. 1001(a). This includes existing and future 
University Transportation Centers and applicants.
     Non-profit organizations described under section 501(c)(3) 
of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) and exempt from tax under 
section 501(a) of such code.
    Selection Criteria: The Secretary of Transportation will make all 
designations. Selections will be based on the applicant's submittal in 
response to the information required immediately below:
    Applications must include the following:
     Commitment to continuing the conversation launched by 
Beyond Traffic, as demonstrated through a clear action plan for 
furthering these ideas, such as transportation solutions for their 
megaregion, including, but not limited to: Evaluating and researching 
new technologies relevant to tackling transportation challenges with 
the megaregion, identification and development of training approaches 
for the megaregion's future transportation workforce, and convening 
practitioners, public and private leaders with the megaregion to help 
identify specific actions that can be taken in the megaregion to 
address its challenges over the 30 years. A designated Beyond Traffic 
Coordinator who will commit to participating in future events related 
to megaregion development with USDOT must be named as part of the 
application.
    DOT will also consider the following:
     The extent to which the applicant demonstrates the 
commitment outlined above and administers an established academic or 
outreach program.
     The capability of the applicant to provide leadership in 
making national and regional contributions to the conversation around 
the future of our transportation system.
     The applicant's ability and willingness to maintain a 
working relationship with the Department's relevant research program 
offices. The application should describe this proposed relationship, 
including aspects such as potential participation in conferences, 
meetings, joint research efforts, and submission of activity reports to 
the DOT on a routine basis.
     The extent to which the State or locality in which the 
applicant is located can provide applicable solutions for the broader 
region and surrounding corridor for improved mobility through the 
advancement of emerging technologies.
     The demonstrated research and extension resources 
available to the applicant for carrying out activities and programs as 
they relate to Beyond Traffic.
    Review And Selection Process: DOT will review all applications 
received by the deadline. The designation review and selection process 
consists of two phases: Eligibility & Technical Review and Senior 
Review. In the Eligibility & Technical Review phase, DOT staff will (1) 
ensure that the applicant is eligible (see Eligibility Information 
section) and (2) assess the applicant's ability to meet the mandatory 
criteria and one or more of the other Selection Criteria enumerated 
above. In the Senior Review phase, which includes senior leadership 
from DOT, specific applications may be advanced to the Secretary for 
selection. In making recommendations, the Senior Review team may seek 
to ensure the inclusion of minority-serving institutions. The Secretary 
may select from applications advanced by the Senior Review team for 
designations.
    Designation Notice: The Secretary will announce designations by 
posting a list of USDOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers at 
www.transportation.gov/BeyondTraffic. The Department anticipates that 
the selection of the initial USDOT Beyond Traffic Innovation Centers 
will be completed during the first quarter of calendar year 2017. The 
Department may make additional designations on an annual basis or as 
deemed appropriate.
    Designation Agency Contacts: For further information concerning 
this notice, please contact the Department via email at 
BeyondTraffic@dot.gov.
    Other Information: All information submitted as part of or in 
support of any application shall use publicly available data or data 
that can be made public and methodologies that are accepted by industry 
practice and standards, to the extent possible. If the application 
includes information you consider to be a trade secret or confidential 
commercial or financial information, the applicant should do the 
following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission ``Contains 
Confidential Business Information (CBI)''; (2) mark each affected page 
``CBI''; and (3)

[[Page 4967]]

highlight or otherwise denote the CBI portions. DOT protects such 
information from disclosure to the extent allowed under applicable law. 
In the event DOT receives a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request 
for the information, DOT will follow the procedures described in its 
FOIA regulations at 49 CFR 7.17. Only information that is ultimately 
determined to be confidential under that procedure will be exempt from 
disclosure under FOIA.

    Dated: December 6, 2016.
Anthony R. Foxx,
Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2017-00824 Filed 1-13-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P
 

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