Transit Briefs: Greater Cleveland RTA, Denton County TA, WMATA

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor

Greater Cleveland (Ohio) Regional Transit Authority (RTA) canceled its railcar procurement Request for Proposal (RFP); Denton County (Texas) Transportation Authority (DCTA) received four first-place honors in the 2021 AdWheel Awards, presented by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA); and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Amazon are partnering on a transit-oriented development (TOD) program to create 1,000 affordable housing units.

Greater Cleveland RTA canceled RFP 2020-150 and expects to reissue it “in the next few months.” The RFP was issued on Feb. 22 with a May 19 deadline for submissions, which were to include technical and cost proposals. While two vendors participated, only one “submitted a proposal for consideration,” RTA reported. “The single proposal received was reviewed by the Technical Proposal Review Panel, and the Panel concluded that proposal was not responsive to the technical requirements of the solicitation.”

Because of this, the cost proposal portion was ineligible for review, RTA noted. The Technical Proposal Review Panel recommended that the Director of Procurement cancel the solicitation.

RTA said that it “remains committed to its Railcar Replacement Program.”

DCTA was honored in APTA’s 2021 AdWheel Awards program, recognizing the “best of the best” member marketing and communications efforts. The awards are presented in four categories, which each include seven subcategories. APTA members submitted 363 entries this year.

DCTA earned the Best Marketing and Communications to Support Ridership or Sales, Shoestring Tactic (“Election 2020 Free Ride Campaign Helped Voters Get to the Polls”); Best Marketing and Communications on the COVID-19 Pandemic, Comprehensive Campaign (“Ride Safe Stay Safe Campaign Informs and Educates Passengers on Agency COVID-19 Efforts”); Best Marketing and Communications on the COVID-19 Pandemic, Print Media (“Ride Safe Stay Safe Print Ad Brings Awareness to Agency’s COVID-19 Safety Measures”); and Best Marketing and Communications Educational Initiative, Social Media (“A-train Rail Trail Completion Article Brings Readership as the Most-Viewed Blog Post of 2020”).

“We’re honored to be recognized by APTA for our strategic marketing efforts to educate passengers, increase ridership and garner awareness for the many projects and campaign efforts we executed in the past year,” DCTA Senior Marketing and Communications Manager Adrienne Hamilton said.

With Amazon’s $125 million investment, WMATA and Amazon aim to finance 1,000 affordable housing units over the next five years. “This below-market capital will be available only to developers who have joint development agreements with Metro [WMATA], which operates a regional rail and bus service across Northern Virginia, D.C., and Maryland,” WMATA said, noting that $25 million of the total will be exclusively available for minority-led developers.

The investment is part Amazon’s $300 million total transit commitment “for equitable transit-oriented affordable housing development in communities it calls home.” In January 2021, Amazon established a $2 billion Housing Equity Fund to “preserve and create over 20,000 affordable housing units in Washington state’s Puget Sound region; Arlington, Va.; and Nashville, Tenn. Through below-market loans and grants to housing partners, traditional and non-traditional public agencies, and minority-led organizations, the Fund prioritizes the equitable and inclusive development of resource-rich communities with easy access to neighborhood services, amenities and jobs.”

“Transit-oriented development has a proud legacy at Metro, and with this investment from Amazon we can continue to help the region tackle the challenges of housing affordability, congestion and sustainability,” WMATA General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld said.

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