Regional Transportation Operations Improvement Program

Call for Applications

The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is announcing a call for applications for the Regional Transportation Operations (RTO) Pool identified in the 2016-2021 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). The purpose of the pool is to fund the implementation of technology and process improvements that enhances the capability of transportation operators to provide safe and reliable transportation operations in a well-connected region.

The TIP allocates $4.2 million of Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) funds each for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 for the RTO Pool. DRCOG, in partnership with the RTO Working Group, will assemble the RTO Improvement Program (targeting 4 to 6 years) to allocate funds to traffic signal system capital improvements, traffic signal timing improvement projects, and other advanced technology projects.  The RTO Improvement Program with proceed with the understanding that the current funding level over that period will be static and unused funds from any fiscal year will be rolled forward and retained for use by the program.

The RTO Improvement Program, extending from DRCOG Metro Vision Outcomes 4 and 5, has the following goal and objectives:

Goal:  Provide safe and reliable transportation operations for all users.

  • Increase trip travel time reliability on freeways and arterials for all modes
  • Reduce overall traveler stops and delay due to traffic control operations
  • Reduce average incident duration
  • Reduce occurrence of secondary incidents


The RTO Pool funds are designated for transportation operations improvements.  As such, all technology projects eligible for CMAQ funding on, or specifically benefitting either the DRCOG-designated Regional Roadway System or the Denver downtown core (bounded by I-25, I-70 and Colorado Boulevard), are eligible for submission.

All project sponsors are required to commit a 20 percent non-federal match.  The exceptions are projects that are exclusively for improved traffic signal timing coordination.  Those projects may be funded with 100% federal funds.  A list of specific project types in this category is included in the DRCOG RTO Improvement Program project application form.

There is no limit to the number of applications that may be submitted by a project sponsor.


Project sponsors must submit complete applications by the submission deadline to be considered. A complete application consists of a complete DRCOG RTO Improvement Program project application form with the following attachments:

  • Project location map
  • Project schedule
  • Detailed project engineering estimate (using provided template)
  • Benefits assessment (using CMAQ Benefits assessment framework)
  • Project Alternatives Analysis
  • Excerpts from DRCOG Regional ITS Architecture (
    • Data Flow Diagram
    • List of project stakeholders
    • List of stakeholder roles and responsibilities
    • List of project functional requirements
    • List of standards related to the project
  • Existing and relevant systems engineering documentation
  • Operations and Maintenance Estimate

DRCOG staff will provide project sponsors assistance with the preparation of DRCOG Regional ITS Architecture excerpts. Using the Turbo Architecture tool, DRCOG staff will prepare both an initial list of functional requirements and an initial list of standards for project sponsors. To request these products, project sponsors are requested to submit the following by the assistance deadline (listed below) to Greg MacKinnon, DRCOG, at

  1. Project description
  2. List of architecture service packages included in the project (in the form of annotated copies of the selected service package diagrams)
  3. List project stakeholders
  4. Customized list of Stakeholder Roles and Responsibilities

Additionally, DRCOG draws specific attention to key requirements in the application form, including:

  • A problem definition along with an explanation of how the project will address the problem.
  • Estimation of project benefits in terms of both CMAQ benefits (using CMAQ Benefits assessment framework) and improvements in performance measures associated with the RTO Program goal and objectives.
  • Initial documentation that satisfies the federal Systems Engineering Analysis requirements (Code of Federal Regulations, Title 23, Part 940—Intelligent Transportation System Architecture and Standards).

Please direct questions regarding the application process to Greg MacKinnon at

Application and Selection Process

DRCOG staff, the RTO Working Group and project sponsors will work as partners in the project application process to develop the resulting RTO Improvement Program document.  The schedule for the application and selection process is as follows:


DRCOG staff available in-person at DRCOG (1290 Broadway, in the 1st Fl. Independence Pass Conference Room) to assist project sponsors with ITS architecture excerpts

March 22 (2–5 PM)


April 19 (9 AM–12 PM)

Deadline for DRCOG Application Assistance

April 19 (5 PM)

Completed Applications Due

April 28

(by 12 noon)

DRCOG staff reviews and conducts initial draft ranking of project applications. DRCOG staff distributes draft ranking to RTO Working Group.

May 17

RTO Working Group discusses draft ranking and comes to consensus on the project priority list

May 24

DRCOG staff completes the RTO Improvement Program document (including review by RTO Working Group)

June 9

RTO Improvement Program document presented to DRCOG Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC)

June 26

RTO Improvement Program document presented to DRCOG Regional Transportation Committee (RTC)

July 18

RTO Improvement Program document presented to DRCOG Board for approval

July 19


DRCOG staff will assess points for each complete application as follows to determine the initial ranking of projects brought forward to the RTO Working Group:


Scoring Element



Project Location/Congestion

Weighted average of DRCOG’s current Congestion Mitigation Program Scores on roadways included in project

0 – 20

Regional Operations Strategy/Initiative deployed

Scoring based on the highest priority regional transportation operations strategy to be implemented by the project

5 – 30

CMAQ Benefits/Cost Effectiveness

The ratio of CMAQ benefits to project cost for all project is compared.  The results are ordered and proportional points are assigned with 15 assigned for the top project.

1 – 15

Estimated Project Impact

The percentage improvement in performance measures are ordered and proportional points are assigned with 15 assigned for the top project.

1 – 15


Application Submission Deadline

Please submit your complete application by e-mail to Jerry Luor at no later than April 28 at 12 noon.

Note: If your completed application is larger than 10 MB, you will need to split it into several smaller-sized emails and email them separately; or you can send your application by other electronic means; i.e., upload and create a link of your application using a web service (such as Dropbox or Google Docs, etc.) and email the link.



Questions about the application process should be directed to:

Greg MacKinnon
Transportation Operations Program Manager
303 480-5633