Foursquare ITP helped Illinois DOT (IDOT) apply for an FTA Bus and Bus Facilities discretionary grant worth $12,600,000 that would allow IDOT to replace 134 on-demand paratransit vehicles at 33 subrecipient agencies.

The proposed project addressed unmet transportation needs throughout Illinois, particularly in areas of lower density and for populations with limited access to fixed-route transit. The funding would explicitly address a capital funding shortfall for rolling stock in these areas, focusing on replacing aging vehicles that have exceeded their useful life benchmarks. IDOT also wanted to develop a new methodology that would prioritize agencies that provide essential connections to jobs, healthcare, and education for rural communities with large numbers of low-income households and vulnerable populations that cannot operate or afford a private automobile.

Foursquare ITP worked with IDOT to make sense of their existing fleet information in the context of new FTA guidance, new federal programs including Justice40, and their own statewide Collective Vehicle Procurement program. Foursquare ITP developed a new, replicable, and flexible prioritization framework that prioritized vehicles for replacement based on both vehicle needs (e.g., useful life) and service area characteristics (on-demand transit use and Justice40). Foursquare ITP also prepared the Bus and Bus Facilities grant application text for submission to FTA.

IDOT successfully applied for a large federal grant using a robust analysis and a compelling narrative. IDOT and the agencies it supports received a new vehicle prioritization framework that will align decision-making with federal funding emphasis and program guidance. Foursquare ITP delivered a compelling grant application based on a rigorous methodology. Our analysis indicated that the proposal would improve state of good repair in demonstrably significant ways, and that the environmental benefits alone represent a 2.3x net economic return on investment to the United States after just one year. The FTA awarded IDOT the full amount of the grant through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Solutions and Outcomes
  • Won a $12.6 million FTA discretionary grant for paratransit vehicles across the state.
  • Categorized Illinois transit agencies’ vehicle purchase needs and current capital plans.
  • Developed a new prioritization framework for evaluating on-demand and paratransit vehicle needs aligned with agency needs, FTA 5330 rules, and Justice40 guidance.