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Regional Travel Options (RTO) Grants

Grants to Portland Area, Oregon Nonprofits, Agencies, and Schools
to Encourage the Use of Alternative Methods of Transportation

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Deadline Date:

03/31/19 - Deadline for Core Partners, Marketing, Infrastructure and Innovation, and Safe Routes to School; Applications for Emerging Partners and Sponsorships are accepted on an ongoing basis.


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Grants to Portland area, Oregon nonprofit organizations, agencies, schools, and IHEs for programs that increase the use of less common travel modes, improve mobility, and reduce pollution. Some applicants may be required to submit an LOI. Requests will be considered in the following six categories: Core Partners, Emerging Partners, Marketing, Sponsorships, Infrastructure and Innovation, and Safe Routes to School.

Metro Regional Travel Options Program:
The Regional Travel Options (RTO) program carries out regional transportation demand management (TDM) strategies to increase the use of travel options, reduce pollution, and improve mobility. Travel options include anything besides driving alone – carpooling, vanpooling, riding transit, bicycling, walking, and telecommuting. Metro makes grants through the RTO program to support partners’ work to educate, encourage, and provide information to people to increase their use of these options. RTO grant projects must advance the region’s goals, objectives, and priorities for transportation and land use.

The plan guides the RTO program and identifies four program goals:
Goal 1: Increase access to, and use of, travel options to reduce vehicle miles traveled, provide cleaner air and water, improve health and safety, and ensure people have choices for traveling around the region.
Goal 2: Reach existing and new participants more effectively by expanding the RTO program and working with new partners.
Goal 3: Encourage families to walk and bicycle to school safely by implementing a regional Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program.
Goal 4: Measure, evaluate, and communicate the RTO program’s impacts to continually improve the program.

Applications for RTO funding will be through the grant categories below:

Core Partners:
Three-year grants for long-standing partners with fully developed RTO programs. Any organizations who wish to be considered for Core Partner funding in future cycles are encouraged to apply for Emerging Partner funding first.

Emerging Partners:
Grants for partners wishing to expand their travel options work towards the Core Partner level. Emerging Partners are defined as organizations that have conducted travel options work in a limited capacity previously and wish to expand their efforts into full-time, ongoing work. This funding is intended to encourage and assist partners with advancing towards Core Partner status. Funding: Estimated $450,000 available

Funds to develop and produce marketing campaigns, materials, or initiatives to support community outreach. Metro will provide funding and staffing support to assist partners in project managing the development, design, and production of marketing campaigns and/or materials. Selected partners will have access to Metro’s on-call marketing, graphic design, production, and translation vendors to create materials needed for the purpose of community outreach efforts and will work closely with Metro to develop outreach targets, messaging, and strategy.

Please note: Awards for this category are in the form of payments to Metro’s contracted vendors in exchange for services provided for the grantee. Funding: Estimated $240,000 available.

Small grants under $3,500 intended to help with event production expenses or small items to support outreach efforts. Funding: Estimated $163,500 available.

Infrastructure and Innovation:
Grants for installing supportive infrastructure needed to help people use active transportation modes, and grants to test how new techniques or emerging technologies can improve equitable, shared, and active transportation options. Projects should encourage or assist people with using non-single occupancy vehicle modes. Approximately $350,000 available each fiscal year, starting July 1st, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Safe Routes to School:
Grants to support existing and new efforts in the region’s schools aimed at educating children to walk, bike or roll safely to school. RTO SRTS funds are available as three-year grants and are prioritized to support travel options work in Title 1 schools or schools with high impact scores identified in the Regional SRTS Framework. Applications should indicate if these schools are included in the proposed project or program. Funding: Estimated $900,000 available.

Special Region-Wide Projects:
This funding category is reserved in ZoomGrants for investments administered through the RTO program. Unless directed otherwise, no applications are accepted through this category

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 132323

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Emerging Partners: $15,000 to $150,000 maximum
Marketing: $50,000 maximum
Sponsorship: $3,500 maximum
Infrastructure and Innovation: $3,500 to $200,000 maximum
Safe Routes to School: minimum and maximum grant award amount is not yet determined

Term of Contract:

Grant projects must begin as early as July 1st, 2019 and must end by June 30th, 2022.

See Pre-Application Information for further details.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Government agencies, colleges, universities, public school districts or schools (K-8), and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for an RTO grant.

The organization applying for an RTO grant must be located within the Metro boundary and the proposed project or program must primarily benefit residents and businesses of the Metro region, but may also be open to members of the public who live outside the Metro region.

Private, for-profit organizations are not eligible to directly receive FTA funding.

Regional Travel Options grant funds may not be used for any of the following:

- Projects or programs held outside the Metro boundary
- Materials or costs not tied to the proposed project or program
- Costs that may be incurred in preparing this or other grant applications
- General organizational support, annual appeals, or fundraisers
- Direct grants or loans that primarily benefit specific individuals or businesses
- Meals, alcohol, or coffee meetings
- Infrastructure projects that build bicycle, pedestrian or transit infrastructure such as sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, signals, warning signage, transit stop enhancements, etc.
- The purchase of bicycles, scooters, etc. for either use in a shared system, or as prizes/awards (the single exception to this is the purchase of bicycles for use as training tools for SRTS programs)
- Any attempt to directly influence legislation or public policy,participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office,induce or encourage violations of law or public policy or improper private benefit to occur.
- Activities or events held on property whose owner discriminates against individuals or groups because of race, color creed, national origin, sex, age or disability, in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, as amended; 42 U.S.C. Section 2000d; Section 303 of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended; 42 U.S.C. Section 6102; Section 202 of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990; 42 U.S.C. Section 12132

Pre-proposal Conference:

A grant information session will be held on Wednesday January 23rd, 2019 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Metro, Council Chamber.

Learn about the upcoming 2019-2022 Regional Travel Options grant opportunities:
- Presentation on grant requirements and funding categories.
- Review of submitting an application through the ZoomGrants platform.
- Tips on creating a strong grant application.
- Question and answer session.


Pre-Application Information:

Application deadlines and other details vary based on grant category.

Core Partners:
Core Partners have been previously selected for the initial 2019-2022 grant cycle by an assessment conducted by RTO staff. Core Partners must still complete a grant application in order to receive funding. The Core Partner application process opens January 1st, 2019. Complete applications are due by March 31st, 2019.

Emerging Partners:
The Emerging Partner application process opens January 1st, 2019. Emerging Partner grant applications will be reviewed and scored starting April 1st, 2019. If funds remain after awarding grants to successful applicants who have applied by March 31, 2019, completed applications will continue to be accepted and evaluated, in the order received until funds run out or until March 31st, 2020, whichever comes first. Emerging Partner grants are awarded in a 2-3 year grant agreement.

The Marketing application process opens January 1st, 2019. Applicants must first submit a Letter of Interest. Once a Letter of Interest has been submitted for a Marketing grant, RTO staff will be in touch to discuss the proposed project or program. Marketing grant applications are competitive and will be accepted, reviewed, and scored on an annual schedule.

- 1st Round: Accepting applications until March 31st, 2019 for projects starting Jul 1st, 2019 – Jun 30th, 2020. Up to $80,000 available.
- 2nd Round: Accepting applications until March 31st, 2020 for projects starting Jul 1st, 2020 – Jun 30th, 2021. Additional $80,000 available.
- 3rd Round: Accepting applications until March 31st, 2021 for projects starting Jul 1st, 2021 or later and ending by June 30th, 2022. Additional $80,000 available.

The Sponsorship application process opens January 1st, 2019. Applications can be submitted at any time. Sponsorship applications will be scored starting July 1st, 2019 and in the order received until all funds for the first half of the fiscal year are awarded. In the second half of the fiscal year, starting January 1st, the remaining balance of funds (approximately half) will be released for award. $53,000 available from July 1st, 2019 – June 30th, 2020. Approximately half of the funds available awarded Jul 1st – Dec 31st, 2019 and remaining awarded Jan 1st – Jun 30th, 2020.

Infrastructure and Innovation:
Applications for Infrastructure and Innovation funds open January 1st, 2019. Complete applications are due annually by March 31st, 2019, 2020, and 2021. Grant agreements will typically be one year, with the option to submit subsequent applications for additional funding to conduct a second phase once a successful project or program has been completed.

Safe Routes to School:
The Safe Routes to School application process opens January 1st, 2019. Complete applications are due by March 31st, 2019. Grants begin July 1st, 2019 and end June 30th, 2022.

A cash match (non-federal/non-Metro) or in-kind local match (donated product or volunteer time) is required for all grant categories except for Sponsorship and Marketing categories. The match must provide a minimum of 10.27% of the project or program costs.

The application for all RTO grants is available via the online platform ZoomGrants.

Regional Transportation Plan:

All applicants must also have or obtain a DUNS number. DUNS Number:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply:

For more information call or email:

Daniel Kaempff, Principal Transportation Planner:

Caleb Winter, Senior Transportation Planner:

Marne Duke, Senior Public Affairs Specialist:

Fadi Opgenorth, Senior Management Analyst:

Kale Mattias, Assistant Transportation Planner:

Pamela Blackhorse, Program Assistant:

Metro Regional Center
600 NE Grand
Portland, Oregon 97232

Grant Coverage Areas:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon: Portland area