The Mobility Equity Research Initiative shall advance research and technology to expand accessibility and mobility to underserved communities, including people with disabilities, older Americans, Tribal Nations, and rural and disadvantaged communities. To achieve this, priority research areas include, but are not limited to, research proposals that support the following goals: Enable all people within the multimodal transportation networks to reach their desired destination safely, affordably, and with a comparable level of efficiency and ease. Reconnect communities and mitigating neighborhood bifurcation through land bridges, caps, lids, linear parks, investments in walking, biking and rolling assets, and other solutions. Address disproportional impacts of crashes on underserved communities, including individuals with disabilities. Expand access to critical community services such as education and healthcare through public transportation/mass transit services. Increase housing supply, particularly location-efficient affordable housing, locally driven land use and zoning reform, rural main street revitalization, growth management, and transit-oriented development. Address the unique challenges rural and Tribal communities face related to mobility and economic development, including isolation, transportation cost burden, and traffic safety. Encourage an increase in housing supply, particularly location-efficient affordable housing, land use and zoning reform, rural main street revitalization, growth management, and transit-oriented development. Incorporate and support integrated land use, economic development and transportation planning to improve the movement of people and goods and local fiscal health, facilitates greater public and private investments and strategies in land-use productivity, including rural main street revitalization or increase in the production or preservation of location-efficient housing.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Office of The Secretary, Department of Transportation
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 mandates that US DOT, “provides $2,970,000 for the complete trips program and the Secretary is encouraged to partner with universities, with expertise in mobility challenges, to increase mobility to disadvantaged groups, particularly in rural areas.” The OST-R Research, Development & Technology Office is meeting this mandate through the Mobility Equity Research Initiative.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
This competition is open to all eligible parties and their partnering organizations. Eligible parties include, but are not limited to, institutions of higher education, public research entities (e.g., University Affiliated Research Initiatives (UARCs), Federally Funded Research and Development Initiatives (FFRDCs), national laboratories, and similar entities), and 501(c)3 nonprofit research entities.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
The proposal must: o Include the signature of the principal investigator/manager of the initiative on the first page of the proposal. o Addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity. o Indicate budgets and financial information in U.S. dollars. o Provide documents on 8 1/2 x 11 paper format; all pages must be numbered sequentially. o Be submitted in either Microsoft Word or PDF format. Technical proposal shall be single-spaced, 12- point Times New Roman font, with a minimum of 1-inch margins. The Technical Proposal must include the following sections: o Proposal Summary: Provide a one-page narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact. o Activities and Deliverables: Describe the research center activities and deliverables and how they will help achieve the objectives. o Milestones and Timeline: Discuss and describe proposed performance metrics and milestones. Provide a table listing all proposed milestones and deliverables and estimated dates, based on time from award. o Introduction to the organization applying: Provide a description of past and present operations, showing ability to carry out the research center, including summary information on past research work with similar requirements or activities as this funding opportunity. o Key Personnel: Include the names, titles, roles, and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program. Also include a brief description of proportion of key personnel time that will be devoted to this initiative. o Partners: List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations, universities, and sub-awardees. o Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Indicate how activities will be monitored to ensure they are executed in a timely manner, and how the program performance will be evaluated to make sure performance is meeting the goals of the grant, throughout the duration period of the grant. o Future Funding or Sustainability Describe how the results and developments in this initiative can be sustained in future efforts either by the government or by industry, by transfer to the private sector, or by other long-term outcomes.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
Award Procedure
U.S. DOT will utilize the following merit review process to evaluate applications: A panel of Federal experts will evaluate all eligible technical applications using the merit criteria listed above. The panel will individually evaluate the technical applications. The panel will then collectively assign an adjectival rating to each eligible technical application using the following merit ratings: Exceptional, Satisfactory, Marginal, and Unsatisfactory. U.S. DOT will evaluate the cost criteria listed above and conduct a risk assessment of the Applicant prior to award as described below. The Government will award the application that is considered the most advantageous to the Government using the criteria cited above, and subject to the results of an Applicant risk assessment. Applications selected for possible award using the criteria cited above, will undergo the following risk assessment prior to award. The Government reserves the right to not make an award to an Applicant based on the results of the risk assessment. Only highly recommended applications will be considered for final selection. After completing the merit review, among projects of similar merit, U.S. DOT will prioritize applications that focus on the goals and priority topics listed in Section A of this NOFO. The AO is the official responsible for final award selection. The Government is not obligated to make any award as a result of this notice.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days. If your organization's application is selected for award, you will be notified and sent an award document for signature. Applicants not selected for award will be notified in writing by U.S. DOT. Only the AO can commit the U.S. DOT. The award document, signed by the AO, is the authorizing document. Only the AO can bind the Federal Government to the expenditure of funds. Notice that an Applicant has been selected as a Recipient does not constitute approval of the application as submitted. Before the actual award, U.S. DOT will enter into negotiations concerning such items as program components, staffing and funding levels, and administrative systems, if necessary. If the negotiations do not result in an acceptable submittal, the U.S. DOT reserves the right to terminate the negotiation and decline to fund the Applicant.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
The Government will evaluate applications on following criteria: MERIT: U.S. DOT will evaluate and rank the applications against the following technical evaluation criteria. These criteria are distinct from eligibility criteria (see Section C) that are addressed before an application is accepted for review. oQuality and Feasibility. The research center idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline. oInnovation and Impact. The proposing organization and research center idea are well-positioned to advance innovative research with high potential for significant impact on policy or other decision-making regarding mobility equity.o Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. Applicant demonstrates it can measure success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators and shows how and when those will be measured. oSustainability and User-orientation. Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program. Research is action-oriented and connected to potential end-users. oSupport of Underserved Communities. Proposal shows clearly how the research initiative's activities will support disadvantaged and underserved communities in the area of equity mobility, such as research that informs or advances the following goals: as listed in the notice of funding opportunity
How may assistance be used?
Applicants must address how the research proposal will consider climate change and environmental justice in the planning stage and in research delivery. In particular, applicants must address how the research proposal informs or supports greenhouse gas emissions deduction in the transportation sector, incorporates evidence-based climate resilience measures and/or features, and reduces the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from the project materials. Applicants also must address the extent to which the research proposal avoids adverse environmental impacts to air or water quality, wetlands, and endangered species, as well as address disproportionate negative impacts of climate change and pollution on disadvantaged communities, including natural disasters, with a focus on prevention, response, and recovery. Further, Applicants must address how their research proposal will include an equity assessment which evaluates whether the proposal will create proportional impacts and remove transportation related disparities to all populations in a project area. Applicants should demonstrate how meaningful public engagement will occur throughout a project’s life cycle. Applicants should address how the research proposal informs or supports USDOT efforts to increase affordable transportation options, improve safety, connect Americans to good-paying jobs, fight climate change, and/or improve access to resources and quality of life.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
In accordance with the U.S. DOT Plan to Increase Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research, and the U.S. DOT Departmental Data Release Policy (DOT Order 1351.34, adopted March 28, 2011) research cooperative agreement recipients are required to create a Data Management Plan (DMP). In the DMP, an Eligible Entity must propose program-level strategies to deposit Digital Data Sets resulting from U.S. DOT-funded scientific research in a repository that enables and allows for public access and sharing. The DMP will be reviewed and must be approved by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology following the award of a cooperative agreement.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching is mandatory. 20%. The Federal share of the cost of activities carried out by the Mobility Equity Research Initiative is based on a 20% funding match to the Federal share. Stated differently, of all total eligible project costs, the Federal share will be 83.3 percent and the recipient non-federal matching share will be 16.7 percent. For an expected award of $2,970,000 in federal funds under this program, recipients must provide a non-federal match of no less than $594,000. Applicants must include evidence of their ability to match the Federal Share at this level. Program income must be managed in accordance with Section F

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
The period of performance will be up to 24 months. The period of performance will begin on the effective date of the award, as stated in the resulting grant agreement, and end on the period of performance end date that is listed in the signed grant agreement, unless extended. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Lump.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Gretchen T. Goldman
1200 New Jersey Ave., SE
Washington, DC 20590 USA
Phone: 2023666281

Shawn Johnson
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E, E33-470
Washington, DC 20590 USA
Phone: 2023661762
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 22$0.00; FY 23 est $0.00; FY 24 est $2,970,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
o FY 2022-26 U.S. DOT Strategic Plan - Equity Strategic Goal o U.S. DOT Research Development & Technology (RD&T) Strategic Plan, FY 2022-26 - Equity research priority and Grand Challenge o Promising Practices for Meaningful Public Involvement in Transportation Decision-Making o U.S. DOT Equity Action Plan Further, programs managed by U.S. DOT and other Federal agencies are charged with supporting and complying with Presidential Executive Orders and Memoranda. The following Executive Orders (EO) and Memorandum are relevant to this NOFO: o EO 13985. Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government o EO 14008. Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad o Presidential Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking o EO 14091. Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through The Federal Government o EO 14096. Revitalizing Our Nation's Commitment to Environmental Justice for All In accordance with the Office of Management and Budget's guidance located at 2 CFR part 200, all applicable Federal laws, and relevant Executive guidance, U.S. DOT will review and consider applications for funding, as applicable to specific programs, pursuant to this notice of funding opportunity in accordance with the following: o Guidance for Grants and Agreements in Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), as updated in the Federal Register's 85 FR 49506 on August 13, 2020, particularly on:


Federal Grants Resources