2021 Ready-to_Launch Questions & Answers

For all potential applicants:

Please be sure you comply with all the requirements listed below before applying. Applicants that do not meet these criteria will not be considered:

  1. An eligible applicant must submit the application.
  2. Complete application, in a single PDF document, must be received by email by the deadline of October 1, 2021, 11:59 pm Eastern time.
  3. Total grant funds requested cannot exceed $75,000.
  4. The applicant has included a detailed operations plan.
  5. The applicant has provided documentation that it has followed the key steps, outlined above, of the human-centered design process in developing the planned solution. Applicants must provide documentation (written description, results, images, etc.) that its team engaged in the following steps of the human-centered design process:
    • Implemented primary research with the target population related to one or more of the three focus areas for these grants: (1) becoming more fully engaged in economic opportunities; (2) improving health and well-being; and/or (3) becoming more integrated into their community. Primary research means research data gathered by the applicant from within the community, from the target population, and from those who serve the target population.
    • Gathered secondary data related to the focus area. Secondary research means information gathered from previously conducted studies.
    • As a team, analyzed the primary and secondary data to develop insights as to the needs of the target population and what type of solutions would work best for them.
    • Implemented one or more idea-generation sessions to create 2-3 potential solutions, using the insights for inspiration.
    • Tested the potential solutions with members of the target audience and other stakeholders to determine if the solutions: 1) would respond to the target audience’s needs and be readily adopted by them (“customer desirability” test); 2) could be operationalized (“operational feasibility” test); and 3) could attract and retain sustainable funding (“financial viability” test).

Application Process

1. The RFP lists each of you as the contact person for this project, but in two different locations. Who is the correct contact person for final submission of the application?
Answer: Please submit applications to Amy Conrick at conrick@ctaa.org

Eligible Recipients

1. If a nonprofit has previously received FTA funds only through another entity as the direct recipient, can it still be eligible to receive funds through the Ready-to_Launch initiative?
Answer: Yes, as long as it meets all the requirements in Section 1.D and Section 1.E of the RFP.

2. Is a nonprofit hospital interested in implementing a transportation program for our patients, but that is not currently an operator of a public transportation program, eligible for the Ready-to-Launch grants?
Answer: Yes, as long as it meets all the requirements in Section 1.D and Section 1.E of the RFP.
3. We are a current 5310 Mobility Management and capital recipient. Would a successful application have any positive or negative impact on that existing funding?
Answer: NCMM does not anticipate it will have any impact, but cannot speak for the direct recipient that is the source of your existing funding.


1. Are teams allowed to begin official grant activities starting on January 1st, instead of November?
Answer: Team work will begin as soon as FTA confirms NCMM's selection of grantees. We envision this to be close to December 1, 2020.
2. If part of our solution cannot be implemented at the start because of COVID-19 concerns related to group trips, will that be an issue?
Answer: Please explain how COVID-19 will impact the roll-out of your solution in your application, and suggest how you will respond to this limitation (e.g., by implementing a revised version of your solution, delaying the implementation). However, note that all funds must be spent by July 2021.
3. The website and grant list differing due dates in a variety of locations. We’ve been operating under the October 15, 2021 deadline as listed on the RFP. Can you confirm that applications will be honored through this date?
Answer:  Yes, the deadline is October 15.

4. Your 2021 ready to launch questions and answers do not seem to align with the current RFP – selection date mentions December 1, 2020 and grantees have until approximately July 2021 to complete activities and request reimbursement. Is a current version of the Q&A answers available via another location or link on your website?

Answer:  This is the only version of the Q&A. Applications due, October 15, 2021. Work will be completed by September 30, 2022.  We hope to notify applicants by December 2021, pending review of NCMM's choices by FTA.

Eligible Activities

1. We would like to use our this grant to purchase a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. Will we have to wait a great deal of time for reimbursement for that purchase or is reimbursement made upon submission of the documented expenditure?
Answer: The purchase of vehicles is not allowed under this grant.

2. Can we use this funding to continue a previous project in which our engagement efforts and extensive human-centered design process was halted because of COVID 19?
Answer: If your project completed the Research/Insight, Ideation, Assumption Testing, and Limited Launch/Learning Launch phases of the human-centered design process before COVID-19, then you may apply for NCMM funding.

3. The application requests in section M for consultants/contractors to be listed if they will be performing any of the work for the project.  If a vendor (not a consultant or contractor) will be used for the project should the vendor be listed in section m?
Answer: Yes

4. Can this grant be used for individuals /residents that’s transportation disadvantaged populations?
Answer: Yes

5. Would this grant cover all models of transportation? (E.g.: travel training/peer to peer training)
Answer: The eligible activities are listed in the RFP under II.C.


1. What is the drawdown period for the $75,000?
Answer: Grant funds are paid to grantees on a reimbursement basis. Grantees will have until approximately July 2021 to complete the activities and request reimbursement.
2. We plan to provide an estimate of matching funds for the lead and partner agencies for time\labor, planned equipment purchases and software service costs. Given these will only be estimates however, will there be an issue if the amounts spent by the involved parties does not match 100% of the estimate?
Answer: NCMM understands that funding needs change as the project progresses. Grantees are allowed to request changes to cost categories through a budget modification when NCMM's funds are affected.
3. Can the team's overall budget exceed $75,000 as long as the additional funds are obtained from another source?
Answer: The $75,000 limit applies to only NCMM funds; teams are welcome to blend funds from other sources, but please provide a full explanation in your application, including what cost categories NCMM funds will be used for.
4. Is it ok to estimate the labor costs of the agencies with whom we intend to partner for the purposes of the grant?
Answer: Yes. Please see the response to #2, above.
5. While there is not a requirement for local match and the budget has an optional column for in-kind funds, will proposals that have a significant local match or in-kind funds be given extra consideration for financial sustainability?
Answer: All applications will be judged on their merits in accordance with the screening and application scoring criteria noted in the RFP (Sect. III, B and C).

Choice of Focus Area

1. Our solution happens to cover all three of the focal areas outlined in section C of the RFP. Would it be ok to apply as such or are we strictly limited to only one focal area?
Answer: Please choose one focus area; however, you may note that your solution will also address other areas.

Supporting Documentation

1. Can teams submit further documentation on it solution that goes beyond what is required in the RFP without being penalized for doing so?
Answer: NCMM would prefer that teams not submit additional documentation, and instead include all the required information in the responses to the questions in the RFP.


1. What is your best overall advice for applicants?
Answer: Ensure you meet all the requirements in the RFP.


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