Request for Proposal: NYC Ground Transportation for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)


RFP RELEASE DATE: December 8th, 2021



Please read the full RFP Here: Updated_RFP_MERIDIAN_Group_Transportation_NYC_RFP_NO._IVLP0003

Statement of Purpose

Meridian International Center’s IVLP Team 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 and New York City. 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, the IVLP requires ground transportation services in New York, New York in order to transport the groups to and from their professional meetings.

Similarly, other Meridian Teams require ground transportation services in DC. including transfers of participants to and from Dulles Washington Airport and Regan National Airport for Cultural Exchange (CE) programs and for Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy (MCCD) programs and for Collaborative Services (CS) programs and for any other division in Meridian.

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 that can accommodate between five and thirty individuals. Size requirement varies based on size of the group.
  • Transportation for project itinerary dates. Dates vary based on project schedule.
  • One to two airport transfers to/from LGA, JFK and/or EWR.
  • Possible three hours of transportation for a New York City tour.
  • Eight hours of transportation per weekday for professional meetings. Dates vary based on project schedule.
Meridian requires the following for NYC 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. Albany).
  • 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 New York City program.
  • Drivers who comply with all safety laws and regulations.
  • Drivers who comply with the latest Meridian, State Dept., Local and Federal COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocol.
  • Drivers who are and can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination.

Requests for services:

  • Requests will be submitted for each individual project itinerary.
  • Requests will be made by one of the IVLP Team’s 17 program teams. That program team will be the POC for that specific project request. Invoices should be sent to the POC team.
  • Requests for other Meridian’s programs (CE, MCCD, CS and for any other division) will be handled by the relevant program team’s point of contact and will be coordinated for invoicing by the same team.
Performance Standards

Meridian 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 business day before the group arrives.
  • Timeliness of drivers to ensure that groups arrive at meetings promptly.
  • Clean, presentable vehicles.
  • Follows CDC, State Dept., and Meridian guidance on cleaning and disinfecting vehicles as necessary.
  • Takes necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including completing Meridian health questionnaire each day of service.
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. Depending on the requesting program team (IVLP, CE, MCCD, CS or any other Meridian’s division), an invoice should be provided to the same requesting program team for each individual project itinerary.
  4. Meridian is tax exempt in New York.
  5. Meridian will pay for transportation expenses within 30 days of invoice receipt.
 Requirements for Proposal Preparation

Please include the following information in your proposal:

  • Pricing
    • Identify hourly or daily rate.
    • Outline pricing matrix based on vehicle size.
    • Identify gratuity rate and method for handling gratuity.
    • Note any additional fees.
  • Vehicles
    • 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.
    • Provide information on COVID-19 vehicle disinfecting procedures.
  • Drivers
    • Confirm that all drivers have a valid driver’s license.
    • Confirm that all drivers are full vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • Demonstrate proof that drivers have a good driving record (no DWI’s).
    • Describe credential/criminal record check for drivers.
  • Company
    • Provide resumes for key personnel.
    • Provide contact information for at least 2 references.
    • Provides company policy on COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols should driver test positive for COVID-19.
    • If applicable, describe previous work history with Meridian.
 Evaluation and Award Process

Meridian will evaluate proposals based on a best-value determination; Offerors should submit their most competitive price proposal. Proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:

- Technical proposal (40) points

- Past performance (30) points

- Budget cost (30) points

The evaluation committee will review the technical proposal based upon the technical criteria listed above. The cost proposals will be reviewed to ensure they are complete and free of computational errors. The committee will also assess the reasonableness of costs and the cost-effectiveness of the budget and will determine whether the costs reflect a clear understanding of project requirements. A contract will be offered to the responsible Offeror whose proposal follows the RFP instructions and is judged to be the most advantageous to Meridian.

Proposal Submission Instructions

The bidder is required to follow the instructions contained in this RFP in preparing and submitting bid or proposal. The bidder is advised to read thoroughly and follow all instructions.

Each bidder is given wide latitude in the degree of detail it elects to offer or extent to which plans, designs, systems, procedures are revealed. However, insufficient detail may result in a determination that the bid proposal is materially non-responsive or may lower its technical score.

Offerors will submit proposed budget with their proposals in a separate, separate file, via email to Ellen Manwaring, Operations Manager labeled “Budget Proposal.” All responses to this RFP must be received no later than the submission deadline. Reference the RFP number in proposal submission.

Questions regarding the services provided should be directed to Ellen Manwaring, Operations Manager at no later than the question/inquiry submission deadline December 14, 2021. Reference the RFP number in all questions/inquiries.

Proposals for the above services will be accepted from December 8 – December 17, 2021. Proposals will be evaluated based on their ability to provide the services outlined above. Vendors will be notified of their selection status on December 22, 2021. Services will go into effect on January 3rd, 2022.