Procurement Type and Method Examples


Procurement Types

Rolling Stock

Rolling Stock is defined in the Buy America regulations (49 CFR Part 661.3) as: "transit vehicles such as buses, vans, cars, railcars, locomotives, trolley cars and buses, and ferry boats, as well as vehicles used for support services.”

  • Examples: Buses, vans, cars, railcars, locomotives, trolley cars & buses, ferry boats, vehicles used for support services.


Materials and Supplies     

Materials and Supplies consist of tangible property to be consumed in normal transit related operations. Purchases relate to operations, maintenance, parts, and repairs.

  • Examples: Office supplies, tires, bus equipment, lifts, technology, shop equipment, farebox technology (when purchased separately from rolling stock specifications).


Professional Services

Services for planning, marketing, and other non-architecture and engineering (A&E) related professional services.        

  • Examples: Business managers/consultants, marketing & website development services, lawyers, accountants, public relations, researchers, real estate brokers, landscapers, janitorial services.



Architecture has to do with the planning, designing, and constructing of structure, space, and appearance that reflect practical, technical, social, and environmental considerations. It is the creative coordination of materials and technology with scheduling, cost estimating, and construction administration. Documentation produced by architects defines the structure and its functionality that is to be or has been constructed.

  • Examples: Facility design, transit hub design, technical architecture, landscape architecture, effects of lighting and shadow in design.



Engineering is the discipline, skill, and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials, and processes that safely realize improvements to the lives of people.

  • Examples: Civil engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, system engineering, footing design strength, concrete slab design strength.


Architecture & Engineering

Services for feasibility studies, architectural and engineering services (A&E), program management, construction management, surveying, mapping, preliminary engineering, or design services.

  • Examples: Program management, construction management, engineering and design, feasibility studies.


Operations and Management​

A transportation provider or management firm that will provide transit related services for a public or private entity under a contractual agreement.

  • Examples: Contracts for: program management, public transit services, paratransit services, maintenance services, a Mobility Coordinator, call center brokerage.



Services for design and construction of transit related facilities including bus maintenance and storage facilities, rail stations, ferry docks, and other multi-modal transportation operations.

  • Examples: Transit facility, transit hub, shelters, pole barns, bus wash, abatement system, rail station, construction of docks, rehabilitation or expansion.


Procurement Methods

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

A request for qualifications can determine the competitive range of prospective contractors that demonstrate a technically satisfactory approach and have satisfactory qualifications. FTA’s enabling legislation at 49 U.S.C. Section 5325(b)(1) requires the use of the qualifications-based procurement procedures contained in the “Brooks Act,” 40 U.S.C. Sections 1101 through 1104, to acquire A&E services, but also for program management, construction management, feasibility studies, preliminary engineering, design, architectural, engineering, surveying, mapping, and related services.

  • Examples: Contractors performing program management, project design, construction management or engineering services in which that contractor would select the finished products to be acquired for an FTA-assisted construction project must be selected through qualifications-based procurement procedures. For further guidance on the performance of qualification-based procurement, please see Federal Circular 4220.1F.


Sole Source

When supplies or services are available from only one responsible source, and no other supplies or services will satisfy its requirements, the recipient may make a sole source award pending acceptable justification.

  • Examples: Property or services available from only one source, change to a contract that is beyond the scope, patents or restrictive data rights, substantial duplication of costs, unacceptable delay, unique or innovative concepts.


Non-Competitive Quotation

Acquisition of property and services valued at less than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold by obtaining only quotations. The recipient may set lower thresholds for small purchases in compliance with state and local law, or otherwise as it considers appropriate.

  • Examples: The following purchases, if valued at less than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold: materials and supplies, computer hardware and software, shop equipment, used equipment, facility enhancements.


Request for Proposals (RFP)

The use of competitive proposals is a generally accepted procurement method when price alone is not the determining factor, and the recipient expects that more than one source will be willing and able to submit an offer or proposal.

  • Examples: Bus acquisitions, non-A&E design services, consulting services, information technology, intelligent transportation technology.


Invitation for Bid (IFB)

Sealed Bids (formal advertising) are a generally accepted procurement method in which bids are publicly solicited, and a firm fixed price contract (lump sum or unit price) is awarded to the responsible bidder whose bid, conforming to all the material terms and conditions of the invitation for bids, is lowest in price.

  • Examples: Construction, renovations, materials and supplies, buses and other rolling stock, service contracts.



Piggybacking is the post-award use of a contractual document or process that allows someone who was not contemplated in the original procurement to purchase the same supplies or equipment through the original document or process.

  • Examples: Existing bus contract containing additional options, existing material and supplies contract containing additional options.