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Bay Area Transportation Agency in Early Stages on Website Refresh

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which handles transportation-related activities for nine San Francisco Bay Area counties, has released a mini request for qualifications as it works to update a key website.

The San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge on a clear, sunny day.
A San Francisco Bay Area transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency wants to hear from IT companies ahead of a potential technology procurement.

In a mini request for qualifications (RFQ) released March 13, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which administers transportation activities for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, seeks “Vital Signs web development and data engineering support services,” to the service categories of “website operations and maintenance services; (and) website design, development and enhancement services.” Created by the state Legislature in 1970, MTC was originally focused on planning for the expansion of the Bay Area’s transportation network, per its website. But over the years, work expanded to include “transportation planning, financing, coordination and management, and making sure transportation investments work with housing and development,” and the commission shifted “toward a more balanced, multimodal and environmentally sensitive approach.” Among the takeaways:

  • MTC’s interactive website is Vital Signs, which delivers “data, charts, maps, and narrative” on area trends affecting land use, transportation, the environment, the economy and equity. The site has 41 indicators that track everything from traffic congestion to housing development, and from poverty to transit systems’ per-passenger costs — in order to educate planners and residents alike. MTC is working on a new version of Vital Signs, due to be released by June 30. A beta version of Vital Signs is currently under development. Also part of the project is a “significant data development and ingestion pipeline” to process raw data from various sources, create indicator data sets and publish them to an open data portal for users that includes the Vital Signs front-end website itself.
  • MTC wants to hire a consultant for “web development and data engineering support services” for Vital Signs, and to offer “general maintenance, bug support, accessibility compliance, and feature development.” The company eventually chosen will also advise and help implement “indicator data set development and ingestion.” Technologies that are “anticipated” to be used in the project include GitHub, Python (pandas, geopandas), Amazon Web Services, Tableau, Jupyter Notebook and Tyler Technologies’ data and insights open data platform. The consultant may have to support tasks related to Vital Signs including developing new indicators, writing web narrative, doing user research, and identifying/implementing user engagement strategies.
  • Minimum qualifications are that only companies pre-qualified “on the 2020 and Website Support Services in both service categories” described above, “as a prime contracting firm,” can apply for the project. All other companies must partner “with a prime consultant on the bench as a subconsultant.” A list of firms approved on the bench(es) has been uploaded on Bonfire.
  • The project is expected to begin July 1, and be done by June 30, 2026, with the option of one two-year extension. Its budget consists of about $200,000 per year for a total of about $600,000 during the initial contract period. Funding will come in whole or part from “state/local funding from the MTC general fund,” and additional funding may be available “subject to budget approval.” Proposers must check the MTC procurement website for official procurement documents. Registering now as a Document Taker will enable the receipt of “notices of any changes to the procurement by registering or logging in as a vendor in Bonfire.”
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.