New KCATA policy fosters innovation

Date:April 06, 2017
New KCATA policy fosters innovation

As the KCATA develops a culture of innovation, it is looking for the brightest and best ideas for delivering better and more cost-effective transportation.

The Authority is cutting the red-tape that might discourage the private sector from presenting proposals that could improve transit service for the Kansas City area.

The KCATA is inviting the private sector, including innovators, civic hackers and programmers, to share their ideas that will get quick consideration. Typically, it takes the agency months to respond to a proposal. Now, we will respond to innovative proposals submitted under this policy in 60 days.

Similar policies have been adopted in Boston, Denver, Dallas and Los Angeles to attract innovative transit ideas from the private sector.

“We are cutting down potential road blocks for the private sector so we can open the door to new and innovative ideas,” said Jameson Auten, chief of the KCATA’s Regional Service Delivery and Innovation Division.

“This is an inviting opportunity for the private sector to offer ground-breaking proposals that make a difference in how people get around in Kansas City.”

The new policy gives the private sector the ability to submit what’s defined as an “unsolicited proposal,” a written offer submitted to the KCATA for developing a partnership or idea that the Authority is not currently soliciting.

An unsolicited proposal must meet the following characteristics:

  • Be innovative and practical.
  • Potential to significantly reduce expenses.
  • Originate independently.
  • Proposal must be prepared without KCATA’s involvement.

An evaluation team will review every proposal. Among other things, proposals will be evaluated based on the benefits they provide the Authority, its passengers or the general public.

Other factors include whether the project is consistent with KCATA’s goals and objectives and whether it fits into the authority’s budget without increasing costs.

The KCATA will decide on the project’s merits within 60 days.   After a full review, the Authority will either forego the proposal, test a pilot program, proceed to a sole-source agreement or competitively bid the project.