<h1>Innovative Connector Concepts</h1> <h1>Innovative Connector Concepts</h1>

Innovative Connector Concepts

On November 1, 2021, SANDAG issued a Request for Innovative Concepts inviting interested innovators, entrepreneurs, service providers, and mobility experts to submit innovative concepts for transportation “Connector” services that advance the transformative vision for transportation shaped by the 5 Big Moves. This is a phased procurement intended to explore new ways SANDAG can collaborate with the private sector to leverage new technologies and transportation trends in implementing the Regional Plan. 

SANDAG accepted Connector concepts in any area of the San Diego region, however five key transportation challenge areas were identified for consideration: 

  • Blue Line Trolley Corridor 
  • Decentralized Employment Centers 
  • Downtown Connectivity 
  • Border Congestion
  • East-West Connectivity

The Connector Service RFIC Interactive Data Tool is a helpful resource to learn more about the existing conditions, challenges, and opportunities within the identified challenge areas.


Three submissions were chosen to advance to the second phase of the RFIC process:

Beep, Inc., in partnership with Balfour Beatty, Kittleson, and TESIAC, proposes implementing mobility hubs to create a network of autonomous electric shuttles designed as a neighborhood circulator. The alternative transportation network will provide first- and last-mile connections to existing transit services. These mobility hubs will include strategically located electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and placemaking amenities to support the mobility networks. Additional electric charging investments, including microgrids, substations, and solar power, are proposed future concepts in these locations to support growth and enable the first demonstrated self-sustaining electric mobility hub.

Cordoba Corporation, in partnership with Sener, Rincon, Kleinfelder, iteris, Fehr & Peers, Gruen Associates, Cal y Mayor, Kosmont, VMA, and MBI, proposes the first-of-its-kind transit border crossing in the country. The concept is to extend the Blue Line Trolley one mile into Tijuana, expand the San Ysidro Transit Center, build connecting pre-clearance border crossing facilities, and provide improved traveler information through Intelligent Transportation System upgrades. The plan seeks to optimize border infrastructure, enhance mobility, reduce congestion, improve air quality for border communities and those who cross the border regularly.

Cavnue in partnership with Globalvia, Meridiam, AECOM, and Via, proposes a state-of-the-art, next generation managed lanes network to improve the speed and reliability of transit and shared mobility services. The technology-enabled infrastructure will improve safety, optimize the performance of existing roadways in the region, and prepare San Diego’s infrastructure for autonomous driving and connected vehicles. New on-demand transit services provide first-mile/last-mile connects and feed into the modernized managed lanes. 

How to Learn More About the RFIC

Please note that solicitation information posted on this project page is for informational purposes only. Please visit www.bidnetdirect.com/sandag for all up-to-date Request for Innovative Concepts information.

View the solicitation on BidNet, SANDAG's vendor portal. A list of registered attendees is also available on SANDAG’s vendor portal, BidNet.


During Phase 1, SANDAG sought Expressions of Interest that describe connector concepts, and public-private partnership opportunities to plan, develop, and finance projects that implement the Regional Plan. Eighteen project teams submitted diverse transportation concepts that were scored and ranked by a five-member evaluation panel. The evaluation panel short-listed eight submissions to participate in a virtual interview where the project teams had an opportunity to present their connector concept and respond to questions from the evaluation panel.

Three teams were selected for Phase 2. These teams entered into an agreement with SANDAG to work collaboratively to further develop their conceptual designs and costs, define service areas, explore innovative project delivery and financing options, and identify potential risks and barriers to delivering these projects. Each of the proposal teams will receive $50,000 for partial compensation to participate in this phase of the RFIC process. This phase included a connector concept pitch event at the SANDAG Community Fair on October 9. At this event, the three finalists presented their conceptual design to a panel of experts, regional stakeholders, and the public, and participated in a question-and-answer session.

Beep Inc., Cordoba Corporation, and Cavnue were evaluated by a second evaluation committee based on environmental considerations, ADA compliance, feasibility, constructability, cost, and stakeholder engagement. All three projects were recommended to continue into project development. During a SANDAG Board of Directors meeting on January 13, 2023, the Board voted to authorize our partnership with all three teams. Our next steps are to negotiate partnership agreements with each team and begin to pursue grant opportunities and other strategies to fund this phase and future phases of work. We will continue to provide regular updates to the Board.