WE’VE REFRESHED OUR ANALYSIS OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING HOTSPOTS SEE THE 2017 RANKINGS HERE In Onvia’s 10 Hotspots in Government Contracting for 2016, our market analysis team reports that state, local and education (SLED) government contracts for traffic engineering studies grew 19% in 2015 over 2014. Out of nearly 500 unique industry categories analyzed for the report, traffic engineering studies are the #5 ranked area for growth in the SLED government contracting market. 19% growth in the number of SLED bids & RFPs points to an increased readiness among agencies to make progress in improving our nation’s infrastructure. Firms who specialize in performing traffic engineering studies have a clear opportunity to maximize their government business as a result of agency efforts to find more efficient ways to deal with congestion. Agencies Are Thinking Creatively About Traffic Congestion For traffic planners across the U.S., traffic congestion has become a major challenge, especially when it comes to effective planning and budgeting. According to INRIX, a company that collects and analyzes transportation data, congestion has dramatically increased in recent decades, while agencies lag behind on making investments in transportation infrastructure. INRIX’s annual Traffic Scorecard reports that commuters spend on average 42 hours per year stuck in traffic – up from just 18 hours in 1982. Meanwhile, the extra fuel costs incurred each year per driver is on average $960, up from an inflation adjusted $400 in 1982. Furthermore, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) reports that our nation’s transportation is an expensive asset worth $4.47 trillion. Agencies looking to solve congestion issues are faced with the reality that building a new highway lane can cost up to $30 million per mile. The solution? Agencies have turned to expanded public transit options and intelligent transit, such as smart intersections, to leverage technology and maximize existing systems. “In pretty much any city in the United States at this point, we’re not making any more streets, we need to figure out how to use them more efficiently.” – City of Seattle Transportation Chief, Seattle Times Which Agencies Issue the Most Traffic Engineering Study Contracts? Onvia’s analysis shows that firms pursuing SLED government contracts related to traffic engineering studies are mostly likely to find the largest share of opportunities at the state level. State agencies accounted for a 37% share of bids & RFPs analyzed for the report. Contractors shouldn’t ignore traffic study contracts from city governments though, which come in at a close second place with a 34% share. Businesses can further narrow their pursuits by focusing their efforts on the top 5 states for issuing traffic engineering study contracts highlighted in the heatmap below: How to Get Ahead of the Competition and Win More Traffic Engineering Study Contracts With the average awarded value of SLED traffic study contracts averaging a healthy $1.3 million, contractors have the opportunity to secure long-term government clients by embedding their services in large agency transportation infrastructure efforts for years to come. Onvia recommends that businesses who are interested in pursuing these contracts first focus their outreach efforts on state and city agencies, who conduct the majority of traffic engineering studies. Infrastructure projects intended to combat congestion are generally large, long-term and expensive. Thus, the agencies planning for these efforts are typically discussing these initiatives years before issuance of the competitive bid or RFP. The firms who track future traffic engineering studies in agency budgets, transportation plans and capital improvement plans can greatly increase their chances of winning more contracts. Traffic Engineering Studies Isn’t the Only Growing Area in Government Contracting Watch the video below to learn about 9 other contracting hotspots that have seen notable growth rates in bids & RFPs over the last two years: