[CLOSED] Philly Free Streets – Business & strategic plan

Philly Free Streets is a people-powered initiative of the City of Philadelphia that temporarily closes streets to cars, inviting people to walk bike and play in the street. Philly Free Streets is an initiative of Mayor Jim Kenney that is led by the Managing Director’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, & Sustainability (OTIS) to advance Philadelphia transportation goals and to build relationships in the community. Over one dozen City departments contribute to operations and programs of each Philly Free Streets event.

Philly Free Streets is a popular program that welcomes people living in zip codes across the city and throughout the region. In 2018, on North Broad Street, Philly Free Streets welcomed over 50,000 people from 45 of the city’s 48 zip codes. For program summaries and press related to Philly Free Streets: http://www.phillyfreestreets.com/about.html.


With the existing constraints (capacity and operational costs), the opportunities to expand Philly Free Streets are limited. The Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, & Sustainability (OTIS) aims to expand the Philly Free Streets initiative and to cultivate the resources necessary to support the initiative’s growth.

To reach this goal, OTIS seeks support to:

  • Identify a business model that best supports Philly Free Streets’ growth
  • Develop a strategic business plan that supports the implementation of the identified business model

OTIS is seeking proposals from qualified vendors. Successful proposals should:

  • Demonstrate understanding of and expertise in strategic business planning process
    • Describe your relevant experience and understanding of the problem statement
    • Describe your firm’s approach to strategic business planning
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive and thoughtful approach to each of the five (5) deliverables and Describe how your proposed work plan prioritizes the most important aspects of the work and supports an accurate and useful product
  • Provide staff management plan, project activity details, and project timeline, demonstrating the successful completion with the five (5) associated deliverables
  • Describe resources or information from the City of Philadelphia that will be required to successfully complete this project within the appropriate budget

Special consideration will be given for proposals that appropriately synthesize and prioritize elements from task descriptions. Proposals must be under $34,000.

As part of this contract, the selected vendor will be required to complete the following deliverables:

Deliverable 1 Project management & meetings
Description Project oversight, timeline management, meeting coordination, agendas, facilitation, and notes.  Coordination of review process for final products.
Deliverable 2 Philly Free Streets – operations & programmatic review
Description Review existing structure of Philly Free Streets, conduct interviews of City departments that support Philly Free Streets, and conduct a strength, weakness, opportunity, threat (SWOT) analysis for Philly Free Streets.
Deliverable 3 U.S. open streets programs – best practice research & review
Description Analysis of at least (5) U.S. open streets programs with unique business model types and unique program types.
Deliverable 4 Business model recommendation & selection workshop
Description City of Philadelphia executive leadership workshop, in which business model recommendations are presented and the selection of a business model is facilitated
Deliverable 5 Strategic business plan
Description A formatted strategic business plan that synthesizes findings of the internal review, peer program evaluation and executive leadership workshop

OTIS will provide selected vendor with all available Philly Free Streets details to support with the successful completion of each task.

All deliverables must be made available in both the original Word and/or native Adobe format and in PDF format to the City. All deliverables produced will become the property of the City.

Selected vendor should expect to complete all associated tasks no later than September 30, 2019.


Successful respondents should be able to meet the following proposed deadlines:

February 5, 2019 Notice of City’s request for services distributed
February 15, 2019 (5PM) Questions to due electronically to
February 19, 2019 (5PM) Answers posted
February 27, 2019 (5PM) Proposals due electronically to Charlotte.Castle@phila.gov
March 4, 2019 (Week of) 30-minute interviews with respondents
March 15, 2019 (5PM) Successful company notified
April 1, 2019
(Week of)
Kick-off meeting
September 30, 2019 All final work provided to OTIS

Proposals are due by 5PM on February 27, 2019, and must be provided electronically to Charlotte Castle, Vision Zero & Neighborhood Programs Coordinator, City of Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, & Sustainability (OTIS), at Charlotte.Castle@Phila.gov. All questions must be submitted via email to Charlotte Castle by February 15, 2019 by 5PM. Responses will be provided to all questions via email on February 19, 2019 by 5PM.

Proposals must include:


  • Name, address, and telephone number of firm.
  • Description of Provider (corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, consortium) and year formed.
  • State if the firm is qualified to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia. Include all that apply:
    • Federal tax identification number;
    • City of Philadelphia tax identification number;
    • City of Philadelphia business license number.
  • Name, title and business address of persons to whom communications respecting this activity should be directed, if different from above.


Complete the following information:

  • Provide a general statement describing the firm, its size, number of employees, hours of operation and primary business areas.
  • Provide a description of the firm’s experience performing similar business & strategic planning for similar size/type clients. Include dates, locations and scale of these services. Provide contacts for 3 recent (within the last 3 years) clients for whom the firm has performed similar work.


  • Describe the staffing plan for this project, and hiring plan, if necessary. Please provide training and experience qualifications for each individual.
  • Indicate the proposed timeline for completing the project for anticipated project tasks, including completion, and any key dependencies.


  • All applicants must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the project.
  • All applicants must explain why they are qualified to perform the work required.


Proposals must be under $34,000.



  1. The RFP indicates that OTIS wants a sustainable business plan for growth. Generally speaking, what is your ambition for growth? E.g., assure current annual event? Multiple events/year? Some streets permanently or significantly closed to vehicular traffic? Other programming that reinforces to the public the ‘lessons learned’ from free streets? Use this process to discern the answer?Answer: The City’s core ambition—and priority for this contract—is to establish a strategic business plan that supports Philly Free Streets initiative’s growth as to host more than one program per year, in which streets are temporarily closed cars, inviting people to walk, bike, and play.  
  2. Who are the key stakeholders internal and external to city government that need to be engaged in the planning process? Of these, are some more critical to success than others?Answer: Key stakeholders include operational agencies and departments who support the execution of Philly Free Streets programming.


  3. To what extent have the stakeholders critical to the success embraced the initiative overall and this planning process in particular?Answer: Philly Free Streets is an initiative of Mayor Jim Kenney. Operation stakeholders who play a role in program delivery work to support Mayoral initiatives.


  4. Who [by title] will be part of the “executive leadership workshop” described in Deliverable 4?  How big a group is it?Answer: The Executive Leadership Workshop described in Deliverable 4 will be comprised of up to approximately fifteen (15) attendees. Identification of individuals and their titles has yet to be determined.


  5. Who are the ultimate decision makers regarding implementation of a growth plan for free streets such that the business plan needs to address the real politick of their interests and concerns?Answer: The Managing Director, under the guidance of the Mayor’s Office, will be the ultimate decision-maker regarding growth plan for Philly Free Streets.


  6. To what extent does OTIS view this engagement to be about finding the optimal business solution, and to what extent is it about socializing (aka selling) it to key decision makers in the city?Answer: OTIS seeks responses that demonstrate expertise in developing an optimal business solution for Philly Free Streets’ sustained growth.


  7. On what is the budget cap based? Any assumptions about which we should be aware?Answer: The strategic business plan should identify opportunities for financial support needed to implement the proposed program growth.
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