The Regional Travel Options program supports transportation demand management (TDM) strategies to increase 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 provides grant funding and technical assistance through the RTO program to support partners’ work to educate, encourage, and provide information to increase people's use of these options.
Changes to RTO grants for 2021-22
Regretfully, Metro will not be offering Innovation and Infrastructure (I&I) grants for the upcoming 2021-22 fiscal year. Due to the impacts on Metro’s various sources of revenue since the outbreak of COVID-19, the agency has been forced to implement a broad range of cost-cutting measures. RTO program staff are currently working at 80% capacity until the end of calendar year 2020, with the possibility of limited capacity into 2021.
Additionally – and more importantly – the events of 2020 have every Metro department and program further examining business practices through a racial equity lens, including ensuring the support of racial equity through RTO grantmaking, research and evaluation, and communications.
The intent is to invest staff time in the remainder of 2020 and through 2021 working with RTO partners to thoughtfully and fully incorporate racial equity into the RTO program’s work, which will inform the 2022-25 cycle of RTO grantmaking scheduled to begin in January 2022. Combined with constraints on staff time outlined above, eliminating the Infrastructure and Innovation grant category for one cycle will allow staff to give this important work the attention and respect it deserves.
Two funding opportunities will be available in 2021
Marketing grants provide funding and staffing support to assist partners in project managing the development, design, and production of marketing campaigns and/or materials. Selected partners have access to Metro’s on-call marketing, graphic design, production, and translation vendors to create materials needed for community outreach efforts and work closely with Metro to develop outreach targets, messaging, and strategy. Funding is for projects that will begin after July 1, 2021 and be completed by June 30, 2022.
RTO sponsorships are designed to provide ancillary support to events, initiatives and programs, and provide Metro and partners with strategic marketing or outreach opportunities. Sponsorships are restricted to materials, events and activities that promote travel options as a core function. Applicants must apply no less than 60 days prior to the funding need. Applications for RTO sponsorships are accepted on a continuing basis.