Visionary Seed Fund
Do you have an idea to grow transit ridership in LA County? Apply for LA Metro’s Visionary Seed Fund for up to $3 million to test your approach.
Template Grant Agreement to be uploaded shortly.
Notice of Funding Opportunity
Metro released the first Visionary Seed Fund Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) after the Innovation Forum on March 8, 2023. Metro seeks to fund innovative mobility pilot projects that test and assess strategies that return ridership to pre-COVID levels and beyond. Metro will fund up to six (6) pilot projects that demonstrate through measurable outcomes whether and how they contribute to increasing public transportation ridership in Los Angeles County. Metro, municipal operators, and local operators are eligible to apply for funds, but applicants may team with private, public, and non-profit partners to deliver the proposed pilot project. Each applicant should include at least one research partner in their proposal.
Key Dates and Information
Metro hosted a VSF Innovation Forum at the Los Angeles Union Station Ticket Concourse located at 800 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 on Wednesday, March 8, 2023. The Innovation Forum convened public, private, and non-profit stakeholders from across the transportation industry and served as an opportunity to help match potential partners with public transit operators. The event was livestreamed. The recording is available here.
Applicants must submit electronically to email@example.com by 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on May 5, 2023. Prospective applicants should submit their questions to the VSF Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Metro will post answers to questions and requests for clarifications at www.metro.net/vsf. The last day to submit questions is April 21, 2023.
What is the Visionary Seed Fund?
Measure M allocates $20 million over 40 years for the Visionary Seed Fund (VSF), a competitive grant process to support projects that “help spark and develop innovative mobility concepts in Los Angeles County.” VSF will direct up to $3 million to fund Metro, Municipal Operator, and Local Operator pilot projects for the 2023 grant cycle. Metro will fund pilot projects that test and assess ridership strategies that demonstrate through measurable outcomes how to grow ridership to pre-COVID levels and beyond.
Ideas include improving first/last mile connections, addressing women’s transportation needs, easing payment and navigation, and other creative proposals that will assist the region in restoring and growing ridership. Metro has committed to returning our ridership to pre-COVID levels by June 2023 and supporting our municipal operators as they endeavor to bring people back to transit. The more people who can access and ride transit, the better it is for economic mobility, quality of life, air quality and public health.
Who is eligible to apply?
Metro, municipal operators and local operators are all eligible to apply for VSF funding opportunities. Eligible applicants should identify one or more research partner(s) to evaluate how proposed projects demonstrate through measurable outcomes how each addresses the challenges put forth in the notice of funding opportunity. Eligible applicants may also bring project partners that include, but are not limited to:
- Private for-profit and not-for-profit organizations
- Operators of transportation services
- State or local government entities
- Academic institutions
What types of projects are eligible?
Project eligibility will be broad, beyond the requirement that projects be visionary and innovative; however, funded projects will demonstrate through measurable outcomes whether and how they contribute to expanding transit ridership. The forthcoming notice of funding opportunity will include specific ridership challenges that proposals should try to address. Each project team must include at least one transit operator and one research institution.
Where can I learn more about the Visionary Seed Fund?
For more information or to receive notifications, please send an email to email@example.com or check back here at this web page for updates as they become available.