Request for Proposal – DC Ground Transportation for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Statement of Purpose

Meridian International Center’s Professional Exchanges Division (PED) is responsible for administering the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), a professional exchange program. IVLP participants from around the world travel to Washington, DC for the first leg of their U.S. professional exchange program. On average, Meridian administers projects for roughly 1,500 – 2,000 IVLP participants during the course of the year. For groups with four or more participants, PED requires ground transportation services in Washington, DC in order to transport the groups to and from their professional meetings.

Background Information

Meridian International Center is a non-profit organization that promotes international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas, and culture. Established in 1960 and headquartered in Washington, DC, Meridian offers a wide array of outreach, exchange, and arts programs. We promote dialogue among people of all ages about global issues, connect professionals from different countries and enrich the cultural perspectives of audiences across the United States and abroad.

Scope of Work

Transportation service requests generally include the following, but requests may vary according to the needs of each individual group:

  • Bus or van that can accommodate between five and thirty individuals. Size requirement varies based on size of the group.
  • Transportation for one week from Saturday – Saturday. Dates vary based on project schedule.
  • Two airport transfers for arrival and departure flights.
  • Three hours of transportation for a Washington, DC city tour.
  • Eight hours of transportation per day from Monday - Friday for professional meetings. Hours vary based on project schedule.

Meridian requires the following for DC ground transportation:

  • No deposits.
  • No penalty for cancellations at any time.
  • Ongoing scheduling flexibility while service is provided.
  • Ability to provide transfers to other cities (ex. New York City).
  • Adequate storage space for luggage/equipment.
  • ADA compliant vehicles.
  • Availability of additional vehicles and drivers in case of breakdown or unforeseen complications. No additional charge to be made for extra time accumulated due to delay.
  • Drivers who are able to assist with the loading and unloading of baggage/equipment.
  • Drivers who are able to be reached by cell phone at any time during the DC program.
  • Drivers who comply with all safety laws and regulations.

Requests for services:

  • Requests will be submitted for each individual project itinerary.
  • Requests will be made by one of PED’s 16 program teams. That program team will be the POC for that specific project request. Invoices should be sent to the POC team.

Performance Standards

The Professional Exchanges Division requires the following performance and quality standards for transportation companies:

  • Confirmation of and contact information for drivers should be received by close of business, at the latest, the day before the group arrives.
  • Timeliness of drivers to ensure that groups arrive at meetings promptly.
  • Clean, presentable vehicles.

Fees and Expenses

  1. Preference will be given to those vendors able to bill at an hourly rate.
  2. Preference will be given to those vendors able to include gratuity on the final invoice. If gratuity is included, gratuity is not to exceed 15%.
  3. An invoice should be provided to the Professional Exchanges Division for each individual project itinerary.
  4. Meridian is tax exempt in Washington, DC.
  5. Meridian will pay for transportation expenses within 30 days of invoice receipt.

Contractual Terms and Conditions

  1. Meridian reserves the right to accept or reject any quotations, cancel the bidding process and reject all quotations at any time prior to the award of the contract.
  2. Quotes must remain valid through December 31, 2019.
  3. Vendors will be re-evaluated on an annual basis. If vendors fail to meet the required needs during re-evaluation, Meridian reserves the right to terminate the contract.
  4. If the vendor demonstrates a continued failure to meet the needs or the performance standards required by the Professional Exchanges Division and the IVLP, Meridian reserves the right to terminate the contract.

Requirements for Proposal Preparation

Please include the following information in your proposal:


  • Identify hourly or daily rate.
  • Outline pricing matrix based on vehicle size.
  • Identify gratuity rate and method for handling gratuity.
  • Note any additional fees.


  • Identify number of vehicles.
  • Describe capacity of vehicles.
  • Identify number of ADA compliant vehicles.
  • Provide information about all vehicles in the fleet, including, but not limited to, make, mileage, facilities and accidents incurred.
  • Provide proof of insurance, insurance coverage and registration of vehicles.


  • Confirm that all drivers have a valid driver’s license.
  • Demonstrate proof that drivers have a good driving record (no DWI’s).
  • Describe credential/criminal record check for drivers.


  • Provide resumes for key personnel.
  • Provide contact information for at least 2 references.
  • If applicable, describe previous work history with Meridian.

Evaluation and Award Process

Proposals for the above services will be accepted from Monday, April 8 – Monday, April 15. Proposals will be evaluated based on their ability to provide the services outlined above. Vendors will be notified of their selection status on Friday, April 19. Services will go into effect on Monday, April 29.

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Questions regarding the services provided should be directed to Kerry Gilbertson, Division Administrator, at