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Instructions for the 2022 Needs Assessment Voucher Application

This document provides instructions for using the Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program’s (CMO) online application for Community Transportation Needs Assessment (CTNA) funding. The application is based on the Implementation Manual (IM), which has been updated for 2022. To learn more about CMO, including opportunities for separate funding through Mobility Project Vouchers, please visit www.cleanmobilityoptions.org. 

The instructions in this document provide links to key sections in the IM, which provides the full scope of detailed application and program requirements. Applicants must review and understand the IM itself and attest that they have done so. 

Applicants using the online application form will respond to a combination of question types including multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and upload fields. The application provides multiple-choice format when possible. When multiple-choice options are given, all options are eligible provided that the responses individually and the application as a whole are true, accurate, complete, and will be supported by evidence upon request. The application form is intended to be accessible and usable on a mobile device. 

Text in red refers to questions or groups of questions that only appear based on Applicant’s responses to certain previous questions.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN

1. Check that your organization is eligible.

The types of organizations that are eligible to submit applications as Lead Applicants are Federal, State, or local government agencies based in California, nonprofit organizations, and tribal governments. Other types of organizations may participate as Sub-Applicants and partners. This is not the full scope of organization eligibility requirements. For all organization eligibility requirements, see IM Section L.

2. Check that your project proposal is eligible.

CMO provides comprehensive funding for a wide variety community-based mobility projects that meet certain qualifications. This is not the full scope of proposal eligibility requirements. For all proposal eligibility requirements, see IM Sections L, M, N, O, P, Q, and R. 

3. Check that you can comply with general provisions.

Organizations that apply for CMO funding must be ready and willing to comply with the program’s General Provisions if they are accepted. Applicants are expected to secure clearance from their general counsel or other designated legal advisor before applying if applicable. General provision requirements are found throughout the IM. See Chapter III of the IM for more information.

SECTION 1: PRIMARY CONTACT INFORMATION

Organizations that are applying must designate an individual to be the primary contact who will prepare and complete the application as well as serve as the primary contact for all future voucher agreement and program requirements correspondences. The primary contact will certify that the application is complete, true, and accurate. We will use the email address of the primary contact to correspond with the organization regarding the application’s status. The application form will generate an email confirmation when an application has been saved or submitted and then send it to that email address. If the primary contact cannot find their saved application, we can assist to locate it using their contact information. The primary contact must be authorized by the Lead Applicant’s organization to act on behalf of the Lead Applicant in the capacities as described here. If the organization has operations that span beyond California (CA), the primary contact must be employed by its CA-based affiliate. All Applicants must complete this entire section. In the fields, [Individual’s Name], [Title], [Email Address], and [Phone], enter the pertinent information about the individual primary contact. In the [Additional Information], which is optional, please provide any other information that would be helpful for communication and coordination. For example, a secondary means of contact in case the primary contact might be out of office, special accessibility needs, or other correspondence information if relevant. If you do not wish to provide additional information, leave this field blank. This is not the full scope of the application submittal and evaluation process. For the full scope, see IM Section R.

SECTION 2: APPLICANT AND TEAM PROFILE

This section addresses information about the application team. This is not the full scope of Applicant and team profile requirements. For the full scope, see IM Section L and Q.

The first three sets of question fields, [Lead Applicant Organization Name], [Lead Applicant Organization Address], and [Lead Applicant Organization Type], address basic details about the party leading the application. This party will, if awarded, enter into a legal agreement with the CMO administrator and be legally responsible for project implementation and oversight of the entire project team. The party is referred to as the “Lead Applicant.” 

If the application includes Sub-Applicants, check the box at [Application Includes Sub-Applicants]. If that box is checked, a table with fields for information about the Sub-Applicant(s) will appear. Complete those fields as directed. In the [Role in project] field, summarize how Sub-Applicant(s) will support the effort, such as by operating mobility services, installing equipment, conducting community outreach, or providing other technical expertise/assistance, etc.

Sub-Applicants are entities other than the Lead Applicant who enter into a partnership with the Lead Applicant and other eligible organizations to apply for the CMO Voucher Pilot Program. Sub-Applicants must be one of the following:

  • Nonprofit organization that has Federal 501 tax exempt status, CA state tax exempt status, and registration in active/good standing with the California Secretary of State (SOS);
  • Nonprofit organization that has a contract to be fiscally-sponsored by another nonprofit organization who has Federal 501 tax exempt status, CA state tax exempt status, and registration in active/good standing with the California SOS;
  • Private organization that is registered with the CA Secretary of State;
  • Public agency; or
  • Tribally chartered corporation under tribally enacted laws.

 

Sub-Applicants are not required and there is no minimum or maximum number Sub-Applicants needed for eligibility.

If the Applicant indicates that the organization type of a Sub-Applicant is “incorporated nonprofit organization” or “private organization,” the Applicant will be prompted to provide more information. The field, [CA SOS #], refers to California Secretary of State Registration Number, which should be 12 digits. The field, [Fed EIN #], refers to the federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS, which should be 9 digits. Applicants that select “Unincorporated nonprofit” will be prompted with fields for [Fiscal Sponsor Name], Fiscal [Sponsor Fed EIN #], and [Fiscal Sponsor CA SOS #], and should provide the information as directed. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section Q.

In the field, [Description of Team’s Qualifications to Conduct the Needs Assessment], describe the team’s qualifications to conduct the needs assessment. Discuss the history of local engagement and trust-building, key areas of expertise, organizational understandings of equity, and concrete examples of Applicant representing or advocating in and for their community. Also, discuss an explanation of the linkages of project team organizations to the targeted population and ties to grassroots/community-based organizations that are rooted in the culture(s) and language(s) of this population. The text limit is 6000 characters (which is about 2 pages).

DETAIL ON NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION STATUS OF LEAD APPLICANT*

Questions in this subsection are only for Applicants who indicated that their organization type is “Nonprofit Organization.” Other Applicants will not see them. In the field, [Non-Profit Employer Identification Number (EIN)], enter the Lead Applicant’s EIN. Eligible non-profit organizations must be registered as 501 tax-exempt entities under IRS and in active and good standing at the time of application submittal in order to receive CMO MPV funding. In the field, [CA Secretary of State Registration Number], enter the CA Secretary of State Registration Number. Eligible non-profit organizations must be registered with the CA Secretary of State and be in active and good standing at the time of application submittal in order to participate in the CMO program.

In the field, [Year of Incorporation], enter the year that the organization was incorporated. At the time of application submittal, eligible non-profit Lead Applicants must have been incorporated for at least 1 year. The organization must be based in California or have at least one full-time staff person based in California. In the field, [Address of Main Office or Primary Contact Based in California], enter the main address for the organization that is based in California. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section Q.

DETAIL ON TRIBAL GOVERNMENT STATUS OF LEAD APPLICANT*

Questions in this subsection are only for Applicants who indicated that their organization type is “Tribal Government.” Other Applicants will not see them. In the [Type of Tribal Government] field, select which type applies. A Tribal Government may be a Federally-Recognized Tribe located in CA on the Federal Register List or a Non-Federally Recognized Tribe located in CA on the CA Native American Heritage List. To be eligible, the named Lead Applicant must be the tribal government referenced in this section. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Sections L and Q.

This subsection addresses information about team as a whole. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section L and Q.

SECTION 3: PROJECT NARRATIVE

This section addresses general information about the project proposal, with four fields that each prompt narrative responses, and an optional field to submit supporting material if relevant. The text limit for each field is 6000 characters (which is about 2 pages). This does not reflect the full scope of project narrative requirements. For the full scope, see IM Sections O and Q. In the first field, [Explanation of Why a Transportation Needs Assessment is Needed], explain why a transportation needs assessment is needed. Discuss the history of environmental and social/economic challenges, areas of investment/disinvestment, and populations that have historically been underrepresented in community or transportation planning. In the second field, [Summary of Existing Regional or Community-Level Transportation Needs Assessment Efforts], summarize existing regional or community-level transportation needs assessment efforts. This step establishes that the Applicant has identified and considered existing relevant studies and related engagement and will be making a contribution that is new. In the third field, [Gap(s) With Existing Needs Assessments That the Needs Assessment Voucher Will Fill], explain what gap or gaps exist in the current state of assessment of need for the community. Types of gaps could include key unanswered questions, a lack of other specific knowledge, insufficient engagement with particular stakeholder groups, limitations with methods that have been employed to date, and analyses that have become out of date, for example. In the fourth field, [Description of Potential Transportation Gaps and Solutions that the Needs Assessment will Address], discuss the understanding of transportation gaps and solutions that the needs assessment will address. The focus of these gaps, in contrast to those discussed in the previous question, are about lacking or unmet needs in transportation (or mobility or accessibility) itself. Such gaps may establish one or more hypotheses that the needs assessment will be designed to examine. These gaps could include certain kinds of trips residents may not be able to make, mobility services they may prefer or are already using but which do not fulfill their requirements, and other lacking services or fulfillment of needs around transportation, mobility, and accessibility. In the fifth field, [Description of Timeline and Plan for Activities Conducted to Satisfy the Required Elements of the Transportation Needs Assessment Methodology], describe the timeline and plan for the activities that will be conducted to satisfy the required elements of the transportation needs assessment methodology, as well as optional elements (if applicable). The approach must include timeline and plan for the following elements:
  • Transportation Access Data Analysis: Description of proposed survey administration and data indicator approach.
  • Community Engagement Plan: Description of plans to engage with the community to conduct a needs assessment, including residents, businesses, or other stakeholders who may benefit or be affected by a new clean mobility service in the community. Detailed description of the two minimum required community engagement types (at minimum, the description must include locations, intended audience, and plans for notifying residents about events, meetings, or gatherings).
  • Final Report: Description of timing and process for developing the Final Report and plans for how the information will be communicated to the community and local decision-makers.
  • Clean Mobility Options Project Preparation and Design (optional).
  Taken together, responses to this section should tell a logical story about why and how the needs assessment is needed in a way that is consistent with the requirements for the Needs Assessment Eligible Methodology in IM section O. In the field, [Supporting Material], attach reference or other materials needed to support previous responses in the project narrative section Up to ten files are allowed at a maximum of 10 MB each. Applicants should indicate the relevance of any documents provided here in the body of their narrative responses in the fields above. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section O.

SECTION 4: PROJECT AREA

This section contains questions for all Applicants, along with follow-up questions for some Applicants. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section L, M, and Q.

Complete the field, [Where is Your Project Located?], by making the appropriate selection. Boundaries of the project area must be within at least one of the three selections listed. An interactive map indicating eligible project areas is available on the CMO website at www.cleanmobilityoptions.org or https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sites/default/files/auction-proceeds/lowincomemapfull.htm. See IM Section L, M, and Q for more information.

Complete section [Eligible Census Tracts of Project Area] by providing a list of census tract(s) in your project area. Census tracts contain six digits, a 4-digit basic code between 0001 and 9999, and may have a 2-digit suffix ranging from .01 to .98. Lookup tool at https://geomap.ffiec.go/FFIECGeocMap/GeocodeMap1.aspx. If there are multiple census tracts, separate them with commas. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section L, M, and Q.

Complete the field, [Project Area Setting Description], by choosing the best selection. All choices are eligible.

Applicants should select “unincorporated community” if and only if none of the project area falls within an incorporated area. If the Applicant makes this selection, it will prompt a request to provide information about whether the Applicant is separately applying for funding for other unincorporated communities (eligible Lead Applicants may submit up to three applications if all proposed project areas are entirely within unincorporated County jurisdiction). This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section L and Q.

Each Lead Applicant may only submit one application for MPV funding during each application window, except when the project area is in an unincorporated community where no city government represents the project area (for the purposes of this program, tribal land is not considered an unincorporated community). In this instance, eligible Lead Applicants may submit up to three applications only when all proposed project areas are entirely within unincorporated County jurisdiction.

Complete the field, [Name of County (or Counties)], by providing an accurate response. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application.

In the field, [Description of Basic Demographics], provide a description of the target demographics that will benefit from the project with consideration of income, household size, age, race, gender, and languages spoken. For the full scope, see IM Section Q.

PROJECT AREA DETAILS*

Applicants that indicated their project involves part of a city/town, all of a city/town, or multiple cities/towns will be prompted with the field, [Name of City/Cities or Town(s)]. Please provide an answer. Applicants that selected “Unincorporated Community” will be prompted with the field, [Name of Unincorporated Area(s)] and [Are You Applying as a Lead Applicant for Funding for Any Other Projects?] If the answer to the second question is “yes,” the Applicant will further be prompted with the field, [Name or names of additional projects that you are applying for]. Please provide an answer. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section L, M, and Q.

Project Area Map

This subsection addresses the Applicant’s project area map. Please use the Mapping Tool for CMO Eligible Tracts (2022) (arcgis.com) to draw your project area map and upload it to the [Project Area Map Upload] field. Up to three files are permitted, with a maximum size of 20 MB each. See https://www.cleanmobilityoptions.org/application-materials for supporting resources and/or contact our TA team for assistance. This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section M and Q.

SECTION 5: BUDGET SUMMARY

This subsection addresses the budget. Applicants must use the budget template at www.cleanmobilityoptions.org/application to provide a budget with estimated project costs. Then budget includes a description of total estimated project costs during the 12-months Voucher Agreement Term, itemized by project cost components. In order to meet the minimum eligibility criteria, the applicant must provide a clear, concise, and reasonable project budget that lists all expenditures and source of those funds in a logical sequence that leads to on-time completion of the project in accordance with the sample budget worksheet found on CMO website. This budget sheet will become the basis for future payment requests.

SECTION 6: COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATION SUPPORT

Lead Applicants must either be a Community-Based Organization (CBO) or submit a letter of support for the proposal from a project-related a CBO. “Project-related” means that the CBO represents community members who will be impacted by the project or have a service background related to the type of project.  This section contains questions and document submissions requirements related to CBO support.

Tribal Governments are exempt from CBO requirements. For Applicants that indicate in section 1 they are a Tribal Government, a message will appear saying that they may skip this section, and they will not be shown further questions.

In order to be considered a CBO for the purposes of CMO, an organization must meet at least two of the following criteria: 

  1. The organization is place-based, with an explicit geographic focus area that includes the proposed project area;
  2. Staff members, volunteers, or Board members reside in the community where the project is located; and
  3. The organization has a demonstrated track record of at least one year providing services in the proposed project area.

 

Public agencies are not considered to be CBOs.

In the field, [Does the Applicant Meet the Criteria to Be Considered a Community-Based Organization (CBO)?] select the correct answer. If the selection is “yes,” (note: “yes” is default answer), then next, check at least two of the three boxes corresponding to which traits qualify the organization as a CBO. 

After that, respond to the field, [Provide Evidence that the Statements Checked are True with Brief Examples or Details], by providing a simple explanation to substantiate the selections. For example, the following could substantiate all three selections: “Our organization is headquartered in Fresno, we have a stated mission of focusing on the San Joaquin Valley, all of our board and staff are located here, and we have been operating since 2010.” The text limit is 3,000 characters (which is about 1 page).

If the Applicant selects “no” (i.e., they do not meet the criteria of being a CBO themselves), then the field, [Provide Name of an Eligible CBO That Supports The Project], along with similar questions as above but corresponding to the eligible CBO, will appear. The Applicant must complete those fields accurately and in the same manner as in the paragraph above. 

Finally, Applicants that are making use of a third-party CBO must provide a letter of commitment from the organization in the field, [Letter of Support from CBO]. The letter of commitment should explain how the CBO meets the minimum definition criteria and demonstrates their support for the project.

This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section Q and X. 

SECTION 7: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

This section contains an optional field for all applications that wish to submit additional information, and required follow-up fields for some Applicants.

In the field, [Additional Supporting Documents (Optional)], Applicants may submit documentation to support responses to questions in any sections of the applications. If Applicants submit documents here, they should indicate the name of the documents and purpose in the field of the application that the document is used for. This field is optional and Applicants may skip it if desired.

The field, [Letter(s) of Commitment from Each Sub-Applicant] will appear for Applicants that indicated in section 1 the application includes Sub-Applicants. The Applicants must include a letter of commitment from each Sub-Applicant that expresses their support and commitment to the Lead Applicant and the proposed project. Each letter must include the Sub-Applicant’s specific roles and responsibilities in the project. Sample letters are available on the CMO website.

This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section L and Q. 

ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS FOR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS ONLY*

 

For Applicants who indicated that their organization type is nonprofit organization, a subsection will appear that directs them to submit documents needed to validate their legal status.

In the field, [Letter(s) of Commitment From a Local or Regional Public Agency], provide a letter of commitment from a local or regional public agency.

The following two fields concern tax exempt status. In [Evidence of Lead Applicant Tax-Exempt Status with the Internal Revenue Service], provide a copy of the organization’s IRS Determination Letter or an equivalent document. In [Evidence of Lead Applicant Tax-Exempt Status Under California State law], provide a copy of an exemption letter from the State of California Franchise Tax Board or an equivalent document.

Next, in the field, [Evidence of Lead Applicant Incorporation for at Least One Year], provide a copy of the organization’s articles of incorporation or an equivalent document.

Finally, in the field, [Evidence of Lead Applicant Being Registered and in Active and Good Standing with the California Secretary of State], provide a copy of a Statement of Information and Certificate of Status or an equivalent document.

For Applicants with nonprofit organization status, all fields in this subsection are mandatory and required at the time of application. Applicants must provide copies of accurate and up-to-date documents as indicated in order for their application to be considered complete and accepted. If the Applicant has questions about acceptable documents, please contact the CMO administrator using the contact information at the end of the instructions

This does not reflect the full scope of information available for this section of the application. For the full scope, see IM Section L and Q.

SECTION 8: ATTESTATIONS AND SIGNATURE

This section forms an agreement that the primary contact, on behalf of the Lead Applicant, acknowledges and will comply with critical program and application rules and procedures. The primary contact must read, understand, and agree to comply with all eligibility requirements and general provisions for the application and potential voucher award, and the complete the [Signature Fields]. Please ensure that the whole team including legal counsel has read through and agrees to comply with all requirements in the IM. This does not reflect the full scope of requirements for the Lead Applicant and general provisions. For the full scope, see IM Section C(1) and Chapter III. 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
You may save and return to your application at any time prior to submission. After the application window opens at the date and time listed above, submit this application by returning to your saved application and pressing “submit.” The “submit” function will be disabled until the moment that the application window opens. Applications that are saved but not submitted during the application window will not be reviewed. To be considered, Applicants must submit complete applications even if their complete application is saved. Use of the application form is strongly recommended but if desired the application may be downloaded and submitted by email to application@cleanmobilityoptions.org OR by mail to the Clean Mobility Options, address: CALSTART, 48 South Chester Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91106.  If your application is approved, you will be notified by the Program Administrator within six weeks after the evaluation is completed of advancement to proceed to Phase 2. Key topics in the Phase 2 application are project milestone schedule, budget detail, financial sustainability plan, community resource contributions, community outreach plan, and supporting documents (e.g., letters of support and commitment where applicable). Free and comprehensive technical assistance is available to you with completing the Phase 2 application.