Marine Ferry Support Services

National Association of Development Organizations
May 12, 2023
122 C Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia
Job Type


To view the RFP as a PDF click here.

Request for Proposals for Marine Ferry Support Services

The National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation, the nonprofit research and capacity building affiliate of NADO, seeks proposals from qualified vendors for consulting planning services to be provided to a region of Alaska as part of a publicly funded research project.

NADO is a 501(c)(4) association that serves the nation’s multi-jurisdictional planning and development entities, often called regional development organizations or RDOs. The NADO Research Foundation (RF) is the 501(c)3 affiliate of NADO that provides technical assistance, education, research, and training to support and strengthen the national network of RDOs. Established in 1988, the NADO RF provides thought leadership, conducts research, and produces publications focused on promising practices and innovative approaches that promote regional community development. Learn more at

The research activity outlined in this RFP will be completed as part of a technical assistance scope of work regarding transportation and the economy in Southeast Alaska, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as part of the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) program.

Services to Be Performed
NADO RF is seeking proposals from qualified organizations with documented experience providing guidance and leadership on the topic of establishing a benchmark of essential level of service (ELOS) for marine ferry service to rural communities. The region seeks a ferry service analysis that includes the following topic areas:

- Ferry route efficiency analysis including review of existing routes, frequency, and type of service (vehicle and/or passenger only) with recommendations for route modifications or additions.
- Ferry service economic impact analysis that will establish an ELOS benchmark, including forecasted outcomes and impacts from any recommended changes to existing routes or schedules that exceed or fall short of recommended ELOS.
- Case study for one or more rural communities (Angoon, Kake, etc.).
- Participate in ongoing stakeholder involvement activities conducted primarily by Southeast Conference and NADO Research Foundation.

Period of Performance

Activities related to this project will commence on July 1, 2023, and all deliverables including final invoicing and required reporting must be completed and submitted to NADO RF by June 1, 2024.

Submission of Proposals

All proposals are due June 15, 2023.

All responses to this RFP must be in PDF format, submitted electronically to NADO RF at [email protected] Submissions should include all documents, spreadsheets, images, maps, or other materials as deemed necessary by the respondent.

Questions related to this request for proposals should be addressed to Carrie Kissel [email protected] and Bret Allphin [email protected] All questions must be submitted in writing by June 1, 2023.

In responding to this request for proposals, NADO RF requests the following information:

1. Detail and document your firm’s experience in providing marine ferry service analysis including examples of past studies, reports, documents, presentations, and any other materials that would communicate ability to deliver the requested services.

2. Provide contact information for clients or past project partners that would be able to discuss project delivery details and experience working with your organization.

3. Outline key staff within your organization who would be assigned to work on these tasks and their relevant work experience.

4. Develop a scope of work containing sufficient detail and timing for how your organization would approach and deliver the requested services.

5. Set forth your fee proposal for the project with a budget narrative of how you will accomplish the scope of work as outlined.

6. Describe how and why the selection of your organization as a consulting partner would benefit the client entity in Alaska.

Expectation of Award

The maximum anticipated cost of these services is $20,000. The term of the proposed contract is one year. Anticipated selection of the responsive proposal will take place on June 22, 2023.

Evaluation of Proposals

NADO RF will evaluate proposals on a qualitative basis. This includes review of the proposal
document, related materials, results of discussions with other clients and references, and the firm’s completeness and timeliness in its response to this RFP. If needed, interviews with project staff to be assigned to this project could be requested if additional information or clarification is needed after review of submitted materials.


NADO RF reserves the right to accept or reject any and all responses to this RFP and to re-advertise for new submissions.

NADO RF will not be responsible for any costs incurred by respondents related to the effort required to respond to this RFP.

NADO RF reserves the right to delay or discontinue the selection process at any time.

NADO RF reserves the right to award all, part, or none of the project in the best interest of the overall project, and will not be held responsible for any impact on respondents resulting from this decision.

NADO RF reserves the right to request modifications to any documentation submitted if it is in the best interest of the project prior to the time of selection.

NADO RF reserves the right to request clarification or additional information from a respondent prior to selection.

NADO RF reserves the right to negotiate with the selected respondent to provide additional services not outlined in this RFP if necessary and in the best interest of the project.

This RFP is the official documentation governing proposal procedures. No other documents, letters, or oral instructions shall have any influence unless incorporated by reference herein or unless an official amendment is made to this document by NADO RF.

Evaluation criteria contained herein shall be used in evaluating respondents for selection. NADO RF may contact any RFP respondent after receiving its submission to seek clarification on any portion thereof.

Proposal materials will not be returned to RFP respondents.

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2023 Impact Awards

The primary applicant must be a NADO member. Project partners, both NADO and non-members, can be recognized under "Project Partners" below.

Primary Project Contact:
This person will be the designated point of contact for all future awards-related correspondence and will receive the printed award certificates and other hardcopy materials should the project win an award.

Organization Address

Project Location (if different from Organization Address)

Executive Director

Additional Organizational Information
Please upload your organization's logo which will be included on the winning project award certificate.

Project Information
This title will be printed on the award certificate for winning projects and in all 2022 NADO Impact Award materials and cannot be changed.

Project Summary & Questions
Please craft clear, thoughtful, and engaging responses to the following questions. Use the following sections to tell us how your project has made an impact, such as its use of creative funding mechanisms, efforts to create efficiencies or reduce costs, unique partnership models, and emphasis on building resilience and/or enhancing your region's quality of life.

For award-winning projects, the information provided below may be used verbatim to inform project descriptions that will be published in the 2023 NADO Impact Awards materials and included on the NADO website.

Please submit at least one photo showing your project in action. Please keep file size to a minimum (<2Mb) and use JPEG format. If uploading multiple files, ZIP files prior to submitting. If you have trouble uploading images they can be directly emailed to Brett Schwartz at [email protected] Include the project title they correspond to in the subject line of your email.

Note: Submitted photos may be used in NADO Impact Awards materials and in other NADO published materials with credit to your organization. Please also consider submitting photos for NADO's 2023 Photo Contest, which will be held this summer.

Your application is not submitted until you are directed to a confirmation page. If you have any questions or are unsure if your application has been submitted, please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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