|Scoring Criterion||Criterion Explanation||Median Survey Rank||Proposed Evaluation Points||Evaluation Method|
|Fatal Flaw Analysis 1: Positive impact on air quality
•Does the project show a positive impact in the MPO’s air quality analysis process?
|The Community Transportation Program is currently funded with Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. As part of the requirements for use of those funds, each project funded through this program must show an air quality benefit when analyzed through the MPO’s air quality analysis process.||n/a||n/a||MPO staff analysis|
|Fatal Flaw Analysis 2: Proponent readiness and institutional capacity
• Can the project proponent adequately carry out the project?
• Does the project proponent have appropriate support from the necessary stakeholders?
• Is the proponent ready to start the project within the MPO’s timeframe?
|The Community Transportation Program is programmed in the TIP to begin awarding funds in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2021. Projects must be ready to begin construction or operation by October 2020 (dates here apply to the first round of project awards). Project sponsors or proponents must demonstrate that they have gained support from stakeholders and have the institutional capacity to carry out the project within the MPO’s designated time frame.||n/a||n/a||Documentation in application materials and MPO staff analysis|
|Network or connectivity value
• Does the project enhance capacity and/or utility of existing facilities, services, and infrastructure?
• Does the project fill gaps in the transit, bicycle, or pedestrian network?
• Does the project allow trips that could not otherwise be made?
• Does the project reduce travel time or number of necessary transfers for existing trips?
|One of the primary purposes of the Community Transportation Program is to close gaps in the transportation network, especially those in the "first or last mile" between transit and a destination. Staff propose to award points based on how effectively a proposed project closes different types of gaps and makes travel easier or more efficient.||5||6||Documentation in application materials and MPO staff analysis|
|Inclusion in or consistency with local or regional plans
• Is the project included in the local comprehensive plan?
• Has the project been identified as a “need” through developing the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) Needs Assessment or another regional plan?
• Does the project conform to and support the goals stipulated in local and regional plans?
|A comprehensive planning process is important to ensure that projects occur in an environment of collaboration and careful consideration rather than independently as if in a vacuum. This criterion proposes to award points based on the extent to which a proposed project has been included in prior plans at both the local and regional levels, and whether it meets the goals of those plans.||4||6||Documentation in application materials|
• Does the project primarily serve a low-income, minority, or other Transportation Equity (TE) population?
• Is the project located in a TE neighborhood?
|Equity in the transportation system is one of the MPO’s core goals. The MPO’s LRTP calls for targeting investments to areas where they will benefit a high percentage of low-income and minority populations. This criterion proposes to award points to projects based on their location in an area of equity concern and/or their service to a population of concern.||3||6||Documentation in application materials|
|Coordination or cooperation between multiple entities
• Does the project have multiple sponsors or proponents?
• Does the project involve ongoing collaboration between multiple entities to solve a transportation-related problem?
• Does the collaboration involved in this project fill an existing gap in the transportation network?
|As a cooperative body, the MPO prioritizes collaboration among different entities in the transportation planning process. Cooperative project planning and execution is particularly important for "first/last mile" connections of the type that the Community Transportation Program is intended to solve. This cooperation can involve actors from both the public and private sectors.||3||4||Documentation in application materials|
• How many people will use the infrastructure or service provided through this project?
|Having an estimate of the demand for a project or service is important when evaluating it. Project sponsors and proponents will be asked to provide a rough estimate of how many people will use the new infrastructure or service.||4||4||Documentation in application materials and MPO staff analysis|
|Generation of mode shift
• Will the project allow new trips that would not otherwise have been possible without a car?
• Does the project shift existing trips from single-occupancy vehicles (SOV) to other modes?
|Another of the primary purposes of the Community Transportation Program is to enable modal shift from SOV to transit or other modes. This criterion would award points based on the project’s effectiveness at creating mode shift and/or enabling trips that were previously impossible by non-SOV modes.||4||3||Documentation in application materials and MPO staff analysis|
|Type-Specific Criteria—Select Capital or Operating||blank||blank||blank||blank|
• Will the project improve bicycle safety?
• Will the project improve pedestrian safety?
|Improving safety on the regional transportation network is one of the MPO’s key goals. This criterion would award points to projects that improve safety for the most vulnerable users of the network—pedestrians and bicyclists.||4||12||Documentation in application materials and MPO staff analysis|
|Cost effectiveness over life cycle
• Will the project be cost-effective compared to alternatives?
• Will the local maintenance budget be able to sustain the project after the MPO funds construction?
|In addition to the initial construction costs, the MPO is concerned that projects funded through the Community Transportation Program remain fiscally sustainable after MPO-awarded funding runs out. Thus projects proposed to the program should be cost-effective compared to potential alternatives, and proponents should demonstrate that local maintenance budgets will be able to accommodate the increased costs of maintaining the project.||3||9||Documentation in application materials|
|Resilience to weather and environmental hazards
• Will the project have a negative impact on an area of environmental concern?
• Will the project be resistant to damage from storms, floods, and other natural disasters?
|Resilience in the face of increasingly destructive storms and weather hazards is a growing concern in the Boston region, and codified in the MPO’s System Preservation goal. Project proponents should demonstrate that their project will not cause damage to a sensitive ecosystem and that it will be able to resist damage from extreme weather events.||3||9||Documentation in application materials|
|Financial sustainability and realistic budget
• Will the project be able to continue operating after MPO funding ends?
• Is the project budget viable and realistic?
• Are the projected operating costs reasonable and realistic?
|In light of experiences with past programs similar to the Community Transportation Program, the MPO has placed a heavy emphasis on the ability of a funded operating project to continue running past the period of MPO funding. MPO staff will evaluate submitted applications based on: the availability of funds to continue operating the service after the expiration of MPO support; whether or not the original budget is realistic; and whether operating costs appear realistic and within regional norms.||4||12||Documentation in application materials|
• Does the project include a detailed, realistic service plan?
• Does the service plan include service for the general public?
|Operating projects will be evaluated based on the practicality and detail of their projected service plan. They will receive additional points if services are intended to be open to the general public in addition to a particular target market.||4||9||Documentation in application materials and MPO staff analysis|
|Performance monitoring plan
• Does the proposal include a plan for measuring performance and reporting to the MPO?
• Does the performance monitoring plan incorporate the MPO’s recommended and/or mandated metrics?
|Ongoing monitoring of project performance is key to understanding the nature of Community Transportation projects and improving evaluation going forward. The MPO will create guidelines for a performance monitoring plan, possibly including recommended or mandatory metrics. Projects will be scored higher for generating more rigorous reporting and data.||4||9||Documentation in application materials|