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Department of For-Hire Vehicles
FY 2021 SchoolConnect
Deadline  
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DESCRIPTION OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY  [hide this]

DESCRIPTION OF FUNDING OPPORTUNITY:

The Government of the District of Columbia, Department of For-Hire Vehicles (“DFHV”), is soliciting applications from eligible DFHV licensed taxicab companies (“Taxicab Companies”) to operate DFHV’s SchoolConnect program, which will provide a shared riding mobility solution to transport children to and from selected schools in the District’s Safe Passages zones in Wards 7 and 8. Eligible entities must have a DFHV taxicab company operating authority. Entities may include partners (e.g. technology companies or support services contractors) in their application that will assist in delivering service.  The successful applicant will be expected to provide service every school day (ten months per year) for up to 24 schools. Each school will have a at least one dedicated vehicle that will service a particular route or set of stops that is planned in conjunction with DFHV and participating schools’ leadership.   The successful applicant will be able to provide professional services for service design and planning, provide a technology solution that meets the needs of the program and its multiple stakeholders, provide licensed DC taxi drivers to service routes, obtain and provide vehicles for the program, and manage all facets of daily service for the program.  

The FY21 announcement of the SchoolConnect Request for Applications (RFA) seeks to implement a cost-effective, high-quality transportation service offering flexible routing and/or flexible scheduling of shuttles for schools located in Safe Passage zones in order to provide a safe transportation alternative for students.  The FY21 SchoolConnect announcement is the start up, including planning and acquisition of resources, of this program.  This program is expected to launch in the 2021-2022 school year.  DFHV is seeking candidates with an expertise in microtransit/on demand mobility program operations, school or youth transportation, and driver and fleet management. The selected applicant, “SchoolConnect provider” or “Grantee,” at the direction of DFHV (“Grantor”) in collaboration with its partners such as District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME), schools’ leadership, and parents, will develop and manage the transportation program.   

The selected applicant must be located within the District of Columbia and must comply with Title 31 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations in its entirety with an emphasis on: Chapter 9, Insurance Requirements for Public Vehicles-For-Hire in its entirety including Applications and Scope pertaining to WAV vehicles; Chapter 16, Dispatch Services and District of Columbia Taxicab Industry CO-OP, and Chapter 18, Wheelchair Accessible Paratransit Taxicab Services.

In this pilot project, DFHV is seeking to leverage the capacity of the local for-hire vehicle industry and use innovations and best practices from the on-demand mobility field to provide an innovative school transportation solution.  There is no current transportation program for schools in place, and schools and parent are eager for a transportation solution.  The service envisioned for this pilot project is a shuttle and driver for each school that will be furnished by the provider.  Service will be provided in the morning and afternoon. For each service shift, the shuttle will provide pick-ups from designated points in the community to the school and will perform several runs in each shift to accommodate several loads of students.  The SchoolConnect provider will be expected to recruit drivers who are experienced and capable of safe operation of a shuttle vehicle and transportation of students. A monitor will be assigned to each vehicle (not part of the scope of this grant award) who will be responsible for supervision of students. The SchoolConnect provider and its drivers will work collaboratively with the assigned monitors to deliver the service.  As the program ramps up, the SchoolConnect provider should also be able to provide and manage a technology solution that allows for tracking of vehicles and students so that information can be relayed in real time to school administrators and parents.  In addition, the provider will need to be able to provide services related to service planning and design with inputs such as desired pick up points, scheduling windows for each school and geography of schools to be served.      

It is important to realize that the SchoolConnect program for DC is a new initiative.  This will be an unprecedented, new service in the District.  The successful applicant will need to work cooperatively with DFHV, the drivers, and our education partners including the Deputy Mayor for Education and DCPS, to test its parameters and work towards its success.  

The project will require:

· Commitment to the objective of providing effective transportation service to students;

· Flexibility in working out the early “bugs” typical of any new project; 

· A cooperative spirit in working with the various organizations and parties involved with the project; and 

· The ability to document and report experiences with the project in a way that will help the DFHV and other involved entities learn from the project’s early weeks and months of operation and make any needed adjustments and improvements to ensure success.

The parameters of the SchoolConnect program are described in more detail below; a summary of responsibilities include but are not limited to:

· Project Implementation, Oversight and Management for SchoolConnect 

· Service Design and Planning

· Vehicle Acquisition and Fleet Maintenance

· Driver Recruitment

· Service Delivery

· Customer Experience

· Emergency and Safety Procedures and Protocols

· Communication and Coordination

· Data and Reporting

 


SCOPE OF PROJECT  [hide this]

SCOPE OF PROJECT:

1. Project Implementation, Management, and Oversight

    • The SchoolConnect provider must provide all components necessary to deliver the service each day including drivers, vehicles, administrator/parent-facing technology, a dispatcher who can take calls from parents or administrators, technology to track vehicles and monitor performance in real time, dedicated staff to oversee and manage the program, vehicles and drivers. The SchoolConnect provider can partner with or sub-contract with other providers or individuals as necessary to complete the bundle of goods and services required to deliver the services.
    • The SchoolConnect provider has end-to-end responsibility for completing all SchoolConnect rides each day, including ensuring that all school routes have a vehicle and driver available, providing back-up drivers or vehicles in the event of driver absence or breakdown, monitoring service including ride and passenger tracking and receiving phone calls and providing customer service.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall provide a plan to rapidly ramp up operations for the start of the 2021-2022 school year. 
    • The SchoolConnect provider must provide hands-on, active managers and/or dispatchers that interact daily with the drivers, parents, schools, and administrators.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will provide regular reports to all stakeholders.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will develop a budget that identifies the costs for drivers, vehicles, fuel, technology, equipment, training, and support staffing. Budgets will be reviewed and approved by DFHV.

 

2. Service Design and Planning

    • The DC Connect provider will provide services to assist DFHV and its partners in planning for SchoolConnect, such as scheduling or routing.  DFHV and its partners will obtain initial information from schools to provide to SchoolConnect provider, and the SchoolConnect provider may be asked to participate in additional sessions with stakeholders upon award. 
    • DFHV will furnish the SchoolConnect provider with information about the participating schools, number of students, school hours, desired community pick up/drop off points and the SchoolConnect provider shall prepare a plan for each school.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall participate in testing activities before the launch of the program, before the launch of any new school shuttle routes and before each new school year.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will participate in evaluative activities to help DFHV and schools’ leadership understand program performance, program outcomes and to identify any improvements or operational efficiencies.
    • The SchoolConnect may be on-demand service or fixed route system. DFHV will inform selected provider during the planning meetings as to which system will be used. Hence, selected provider must have ability to provide on demand service or fixed route system. 

3. Vehicle Acquisition, Ownership and Fleet Maintenance

    • The SchoolConnect provider will acquire a fleet of vehicles that will be dedicated exclusively to the SchoolConnect program. The vehicles can be used for no other purpose outside of this program unless agreed upon explicitly by DFHV in writing. The acquisition will be sufficient to provide at least one vehicle per participating school (estimated to be 23) plus a small reserve (to accommodate any overflow or vehicle breakdowns).
    • The SchoolConnect provider will acquire vehicles of at least fifteen seats for this program.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will ensure that all vehicles meet the standards of the regulations of the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, and is responsible for registering the vehicles with DFHV.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will maintain the vehicles used in the program and will provide repairs. 
    • SchoolConnect vehicles will be equipped to meet ADA standards, including wheelchair lifts.
    • SchoolConnect vehicles will be ‘hacked up’ to include routine taxicab markings, as well as any branding associated with the program. The Director of DFHV or their designee must approve all branding. 
    • The SchoolConnect provider will provide facilities to store and oversee vehicles when not in service.
    • The SchoolConnect provider is responsible for fueling the vehicles.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall furnish vehicles with two-way radios.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall furnish all vehicles with security cameras.  Video must be provided within 24 hours upon request by DFHV or its program partners.
    • The SchoolConnect provider must clean the vehicles on a daily basis.
    • The SchoolConnect provider hereby acknowledges that although the purchase, insurance coverage, maintenance and upkeep of the program vehicles is their sole responsibility during the performance of the grant period(s), the vehicles remain the property of the District. If the program is terminated, grant funds expire, or if the SchoolConnect provider is suspended indefinitely, the SchoolConnect provider will transfer and assign to the District ownership of the vehicles, vehicles’ titles, insurance policy documents, maintenance plans, any and all equipment including electric meters, consoles, printers, card readers, keys, vehicle door codes, and any instruments required.  The SchoolConnect provider agrees not to assert any rights in common law or ownership claims without written consent and approval by the District or Grantor regardless of whether the District releases the Grantee from its obligations.  

4. Driver Recruitment and Management

    • The SchoolConnect provider will provide a roster of DFHV licensed taxicab operators to provide service for all routes, every school day during scheduled service hours.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will maintain standby drivers that can be deployed in the event of absenteeism, mechanical difficulties, etc. so that all routes can be served each day. Standby drivers should equal 10% of the drivers that are required each day.  
    • The SchoolConnect provider and its drivers will be responsible for safe operation of the vehicles.
    • All drivers may need to meet additional driver requirements prescribed by DCPS, OSSE, or other school or District officials.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall ensure drivers comply with the criminal background checks requirements of the Child and Youth, Safety and Health Omnibus Amendment Act of 2004, as amended (D.C. Law 15-353; D.C. Official Code 4-1505.01 seq.).
    • The SchoolConnet provider will ensure that all drivers patriciate in and complete any additional trainings required by DFHV or its project partners.  
    • The SchoolConnect provider will onboard drivers. The SchoolConnect provider will have a standard onboarding and training plan to ensure consistency in service delivery. 
    • The SchoolConnect provider must have a plan in place or regularly communicate with all drivers participating in the program, both as a group and individually.
    • The SchoolConnect provider must maintain driver policies, which will be developed with DFHV and its partners and approved by DFHV.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall maintain an active list of drivers. Any changes to the driver roster must be communicated within one business day to DFHV.  In addition, all drivers for this program must be approved by DFHV before taking any shifts.

5. Service Delivery

    • The SchoolConnect provider will provide service twice per day.  There will be a morning session to transport students to school for the starting bell.  There will be an additional session in the afternoon, designed to transport both students who leave at the dismissal bell and additional service for students in afterschool activities or aftercare programs. 
    • The SchoolConnect provider will ensure that its drivers will not pick up or discharge students at any other points besides designated pick up and drop off points.
    • The SchoolConnect provider and its drivers will work collaboratively with the Monitor assigned to each van. The driver will be responsible for safe operation of the vehicle and the monitor will ensure oversight of students.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will ensure its drivers remain onboard the vehicles at all times that students or monitors are onboard.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will ensure that its drivers only transport authorized students for this program.  Under no circumstance should a vehicle transport anyone who is not a student that participates in this program during the service hours.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall furnish hardware and software necessary to track vehicles, rides and passengers.  The SchoolConnect provider is responsible for providing training to drivers and monitors on use of this hardware and software.  
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall provide DFHV with administrator level access to any software used in this program.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall be able track the locations of all vehicles and all drivers at all times during service hours.  In addition, the SchoolConnect provider shall track when students board and disembark each van.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall participate in demonstrations of its technology solution for DFHV, its partners (DCPS and DME), schools administrators or parent groups.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall provide a technology solution for this program that:
      • Tracks vehicles and students in real time.
      • Is accessible to stakeholders by mobile app and/or web site.
      • Provides visibility with respect to ride status, pick up and drop off times, etc.
        • For school administrators, this should provide visibility only for students from their school in the program.
        • For parents, this should provide visibility only for their child(ren) that are in the program.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will provide a telephone number and dispatcher to answer questions from administrators or parents about ride status, missed pick-ups, etc.  The hours for phone support on school days will be during the specified service hours by DFHV.

6. Communication and Coordination

    • The SchoolConnect provider will coordinate any public relations or media activity about the program with DFHV.
    • The SchoolConnect will submit any communications materials, including, but not limited to, brochures, fliers, videos, and social media to DFHV for review and approval.
    • The SchoolConnect provider may be asked to participate in outreach or engagement activities, such as meetings with school or parent groups.
    • The SchoolConnect provider shall participate in routine project status meetings with DFHV and its partners.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will make a principal point of contact for the program, who can be reached by the DFHV project lead during specified service hours.

7. Emergency Procedures, Safety Protocols and Insurance

    • The SchoolConnect will maintain a safety and emergency plan, including emergency procedures and protocols for SchoolConnect vehicles.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will provide safety materials for students and parents.  All materials will be approved by DFHV before being used.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will ensure that all drivers are trained in emergency procedures, such as operation of emergency exits and equipment in the vehicle.
    • The SchoolConnect provider must conduct periodic drills for all drivers and vehicles participating in this program on emergency procedures and protocols.
    • The SchoolConnect provider will maintain insurance, as such insurance requirements are described in this grant agreement and that meet all District laws and regulations regarding student transportation.

 

8. Data and Reporting

  • The SchoolConnect provider must maintain complete records on service including trip records for each student, vehicle driver login and logoff, student boardings and location data for vehicles.

 

  • The SchoolConnect provider will adhere to any Event Hub trip data submissions required by DFHV.
    The SchoolConnect provider must ensure that all students are picked up at their designated time. In the event, that a driver fails to pick up a student within 20 minutes of their designated time, the SchoolConnect provider must dispatch another driver “back-up” to pick up that student. 

 

  • The SchoolConnect provider must prepare a report (“Failed trip report”) on every instance in which a driver fails to complete a pick-up/misses a pick up within 20 minutes of expected pick-up time. A report for each instance shall be sent to DFHV within 24 hours of such failure. That report shall include:

(1) the taxicab PVIN number dispatched,

(2) the Face ID number of the driver assigned to the vehicle for service,

(3) the facts surrounding the failure to pick up the student timely,

(4) the Face ID number of the back-up

  • The SchoolConnect provider must submit a report for every unusual or material incident that occurs during a ride, such as accidents, crimes, police or ambulance calls, medical emergencies, etc. Such incident reports are due to DFHV 24 hours after the incident. The incident report template must be approved by DFHV.

 

  • The SchoolConnect provider must track and submit to DFHV a weekly operations report. The operations report will include at a minimum:
    • Dates of service and which vehicles and drivers served each shuttle route.
    • Odometer readings, mileage driven (both in service and other such as maintenance or deadheading) and fuel consumption for each vehicle.
    • The taxicab drivers (by FaceID) logged on platforms by time, date, and day of the week;
    • The number of trips missed by drivers (by FaceID);
    • The number of students transported;
    • The trip activity by taxicab driver and vehicle, including trips completed, hours of driving, number of students carried, etc.
    • The number of vehicles inspected for proper working equipment;
    • The number of complaints or customer service issues in the previous week, including time and data of the complaint, time and date of the incident, driver, vehicle, nature of the complaint and resolution.
    • Training Sessions:  Track the number of driver trainings and attendees at each training;

 

  • The SchoolConnect provider must provide DFHV real-time access to the software dashboards the grantee uses for scheduling, tracking and monitoring trips. DFHV will use this access for review and performance evaluation purposes only. The grantee, either through its dashboard or other reporting service, shall provide daily performance figures, such as daily completed trip counts, daily scheduled trip counts, daily average wait-times or other data as requested by DFHV. 

 

  •  All data collected or created by the SchoolConnect provider will be considered property of the District of Columbia and DFHV and must be made available in an efficient, electronic manner. The nature of the proposed mechanisms to meet this requirement will be a component of the evaluation and selection process.

 

  • Applications that involve non-exclusive access to the data to meet the legitimate needs of the Awardee will be considered. Applications that limit access by the District of Columbia or DFHV in narrowly tailored ways to protect privacy, trade secrets, or other important needs will be considered but should involve the minimum limits necessary to meet those needs. The most preferred approaches will involve direct database access; regular, complete extracts in Comma Separated Value or similar Microsoft Excel format(s); or other mechanisms that allow for complete and timely access to the raw data that DFHV can verify with DTS records.

  • Sufficient documentation to understand the data and manipulate it efficiently is a requirement. Report generation features/tools or other secondary mechanisms to work with the data are desirable and will be considered in evaluating and scoring applications.

 

  • Complaints or issues by the school administrators or parents must be tracked an updated with resolutions.  Upon DFHV’s request, the SchoolConnect provider must submit a complaint resolution form detailing the complaint, investigation, and resolution found within seventy-two hours of a complaint/public issue being lodged.

 

  • The SchoolConnect provider must maintain trip and business records for a minimum of three (3) years as required by DC law.

 

  • The SchoolConnect provider shall make the call center and all records available for inspection by DFHV Project Lead or designated staffers during normal business hours and be prepared for possible anonymous customer testing of the system at any time during service operations.

  • The SchoolConnect provider shall provide copies of requested records within three (3) business days of the request to the DFHV, unless DFHV has granted an extension for the production of records or unless another time period is specified herein.

 

The application submission deadline is July 06, 2021, at midnight PST.

Any applications submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed or considered for this grant.

DFHV published the Notice of Funding Availability (“NOFA”)  available at:

DFHV: Grant Funding Webpage and The Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism and Partnerships electronic clearinghouse available at Mayor's Office on Volunteerism and Partnerships.

Period of Award: The performance period will begin in July 26, 2021 and end on September 30, 2022. DFHV may elect to continue the funded program for four additional one-year option periods. Continued funding would be determined based upon satisfactory program performance, grant compliance, operating authority status, the availability of funding, and regulatory requirements. 

 


DFHV ELIGIBILITY & RESERVATIONS  [hide this]

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The District requires all grant recipients to meet the requirements listed below.  To learn more about citywide grant requirements, visit the Office of Partnership and Grant’s Citywide Grants Manual and Sourcebook (Citywide Grants Manual and Sourcebook).

  1. Clean Hands Certificate: Compliance status will be checked by DFHV. Only compliant DTS and DDS providers at the time of submission will be forwarded to the panel for review.
  2. Certificates of Insurance: General Liability, Commercial General Liability, Automobile Insurance, Employment Insurance, Sexual/Physical Abuse and Molestation Insurance, and Cyber Liability.
  3. Promises, Certifications, and Assurances: Appendix I must be signed and dated.
  4. Insurance Affidavit: Appendix II must be signed and dated.
  5. IRS W-9 form. A completed IRS (2018) form W-9.
  6. DC Business License
  7. Certified Business Enterprise Certification
  8. Certification of Good Standing with DC Consumer Regulatory Affairs

RESERVATIONS

Funding for any grant award is contingent on continued grantor funding. The publication of this grant application does not commit DFHV to make any awards.

DFHV reserves the right to issue addenda and/or amendments subsequent to the issuance of the NOFA and RFA and to rescind the NOFA or RFA. 

DFHV may suspend or terminate an outstanding RFA pursuant to its own grant making rule(s) or any DFHV, District, or federal regulation or requirement.

DFHV reserves the right to accept or deny any or all applications if DFHV determines that it is in the best interest of the District to do so.  The DFHV shall notify the applicant if it rejects the applicant’s proposal.  The DFHV may suspend or terminate an outstanding RFA pursuant to its own grantmaking rules(s) or any applicable federal regulation or requirement.

DFHV shall not be liable for any costs incurred by an applicant in the preparation of one or more grant applications for this Program. The applicant understands and agrees that all costs incurred in developing and preparing any grant application shall be the applicant’s sole responsibility. 

DFHV may conduct pre-award on-site visits to verify information submitted in a grant application. 

DFHV serves as its own reference in evaluating applications. Applicants’ performance in managing previous grants will be factored into grant decisions. 

DFHV may enter into negotiations with an applicant and adopt a firm funding amount or other revision of the awardee’s proposal that may result from the negotiations and/or contingent of funding availability. 

In the event of a conflict between the terms and conditions of the grant application and any applicable federal or local law or regulation, or any ambiguity related thereto, then the provisions of the applicable law or regulation shall control, and it shall be the responsibility of the applicant to ensure compliance.


Library  [hide this]
DescriptionFile NameDate UploadedFile Type
DC-DFHV SchoolConnect FY21 NOFA NOFAFY22SchoolConnect06-17-21-Thurs.pdf 6/17/2021 10:21:43 AM PDF
DC-DFHV SchoolConect FY21 RFA RFAFY21-22SchoolConnect06-21-21-Mon.pdf 6/22/2021 10:58:54 AM PDF


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Summary Application Questionnaire and Criteria for Evaluating the SchoolConnect Proposals Budget Monthly Performance Tables Documents Activity Log

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Instructions Show/Hide

The selected applicant must be located within the District of Columbia and must comply with Title 31 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations in its entirety with an emphasis on: Chapter 9, Insurance Requirements for Public Vehicles-For-Hire in its entirety including Applications and Scope pertaining to WAV vehicles; Chapter 16, Dispatch Services and District of Columbia Taxicab Industry CO-OP, and Chapter 18, Wheelchair Accessible Paratransit Taxicab Services.

 

In this pilot project, DFHV is seeking to leverage the capacity of the local for-hire vehicle industry and use innovations and best practices from the on-demand mobility field to provide an innovative school transportation solution. Applicants must also propose how they will scale this project to test for potential “bugs,” a timeframe for partial to full implementation, and how the applicant would troubleshoot a variety of potential challenges.


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