COAST is soliciting proposals for the design and creation of a new website for the Alliance for Community Transportation. The intent is to contract with one firm to provide all necessary conceptualization, design, and implementation for COAST. Additionally, COAST is looking to enter into a two (2) year contract with up to three (3) optional one (1) year extensions for continuing maintenance and service of the website.
The Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation (COAST) was established as a private non-profit organization in 1981 and further defined as an independent public body of the State of New Hampshire by NH RSA 239 in 1985. COAST’s mission is to “champion and provide customer-focused public transportation with a commitment to excellence in safety and service.” The organization is overseen by a Board of Directors, currently comprised of 13 seated members.
COAST is the fiscal sponsor and lead agency for the Southeast NH Regional Coordination Council for Community Transportation, also known as the Alliance for Community Transportation (ACT). ACT is comprised of social service agencies, planning commissions, transportation providers, and health care providers. Its mission is to facilitate the implementation of coordinated community transportation and encourage the development of improved and expanded regional community transportation services. ACT is funded through a combination of federal grants through the USDOT’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA), state contracts, and private grant funds. The annual operating budget is just over $500,000.
Scope of Work:
This project is divided into four tasks: Information Architecture, Design, Development, and Maintenance.
1.4.1 Task 1: Information Architecture
Work with COAST staff to develop a sitemap and navigation focusing on content, structure, and organization. Considerations should be made in terms of how to make the website the most user-friendly for various types of users, including existing and potential riders, the general public, stakeholders, vendors, and consultants.
The main goals and objectives of this task are:
1. Define a hierarchy of content and provide a more intuitive navigation structure, including homepage content, so that users can quickly and easily find the information they need
2. Reduce or eliminate duplicative information and extraneous content
3. Fill in any gaps in information
COAST staff will approve the sitemap prior to moving forward. This process should allow sufficient time for COAST to solicit input from partner agencies.
1.4.2 Task 2: Design
The design of the website should reflect the ACT brand and the hierarchy of content established by the new information architecture. The new website should carry forward ACT’s current branding elements.
Based on discussions with COAST staff and industry best practices, develop up to three redesign concepts for the communityrides.org home page and Community Transportation Directory. This should also include a style guide that specifies the color palette, typography, icons, and other elements that would be used throughout the site. (NOTE: COAST reserves the right to provide feedback on the initial designs and require edits to ensure we move forward with the best design.) Older adults and individuals with disabilities are a target audience and the site design should prioritize ease of use and universal accessibility.
Design to include a searchable Community Transportation Directory. The Directory lists between 65 and 80 transportation programs that operate within the region. The Directory can be filtered on a number of criteria and must present the results in an easily digestible format. Each listing in the Directory will be easily sharable.
The Directory is updated annually and on an ad hoc basis by COAST staff. Transportation Provider listings in the Directory include text, logos, and pdf files. Text data in the directory will be exported as an Excel or csv file.
Design to include a multi-service application. The online form will streamline the process of applying for eligibility-restricted demand-response transportation services operated throughout the region and by multiple providers. Clients will be able to complete a single application and provide evidence of their eligibility. When required, the transmission of documents to establish eligibility due to age and/or disability must meet HIPAA requirements. The form should be responsive and only ask users to submit information which is required for services for which they will likely be eligible. Eligibility is primarily based on the town of residence, age, or disability. The form will accommodate users who willfully complete the application online and others who will provide personal information via the form and submit accompanying documents by mail. The form be available for download or print as well.
COAST staff will agree on one of the proposed design concepts to be used as the template for the redesign of the remainder of the website. Based on the chosen template, develop redesigns for secondary level pages as identified in the sitemap. COAST staff will approve the design templates prior to moving forward. The design process should allow sufficient time for COAST to solicit input from typical end users such as seniors, individuals with disabilities, social workers, and hospital staff.
1.4.3 Task 3: Development
Provide recommendations for a content management system based on the selected design and desired functionality. The consultant will discuss with COAST staff the ability for the recommended CMS to accommodate the features outlined below.
Required CMS features include:
• Core functionality – creating, editing, deleting, versioning, organizing pages
• WYSIWYG editor – draft, review, publish, scheduling, versioning, font characteristics
• Asset management – data, image, and video files
• Search – thoroughness (page content and files), speed, display
• Customization – news stories, alerts, calendar of events, web forms, social media
• Roles and permissions – multi‐user login, multiple roles, management of user permissions
• Accessibility – variable text size, multilingual, color contrast
• Mobile-friendly – updates made in CMS should push to main and mobile sites simultaneously
• Full testing and rollback functionality – CMS must provide the ability to test and verify changes before pushing them live to website
• Open Non-Proprietary Architecture – CMS must remain fully functional, serviceable, and updateable after the end of the maintenance contract. Special note must be taken that due t federal funding requirements, website maintenance services will go out for a competitive bid process at the end of the signed and/or extended contract period.
The CMS should also allow for integration of the following tools and applications:
• Community Transportation Directory
• Multi-service Application
• Social media
The website must be compatible with standard web browsers, including Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. The website must also be mobile-friendly and compliant with Americans with Disabilities (ADA) regulations.
After approval by COAST staff, the consultant will develop or deploy the recommended CMS and develop appropriate templates and style sheets to be used as the framework for the remainder of the website. COAST staff will work with the consultant to create the individual pages using the templates, transfer existing content, and populate new content.
1.4.4 Task 4: Implementation and Maintenance
- Facilitate migration from our current website to the new website
- We anticipate that COAST will maintain its current hosting provider.
- Ongoing Maintenance
- Maintain the integrity of all elements of the site against spam, hackers, viruses and electronic attacks, including ecommerce
- Routine CMS, security and plug-in updates
- Routine ADA compliance checks and updates
- Responsive design and browser compatibility checks on any updates
- Pro-actively suggest updates or efficiencies
- Production of a monthly Google Analytics report, which will note the main website traffic trends
- Production of a bi-annual SEO (search engine optimization) report that will review the state of the website’s ranking on major search engines
- Training of COAST staff on how to use the website CMS (content management system) when required.
- Attend to technical functionality changes and modifications requested by the client
- Make modifications to the site to enhance the SEO of the website
- Limited uploading of content or data input support should the client need assistance/training and telephonic support where required
November 15, 2019
Jeff Donald, Community Transportation Manager
42 Sumner Drive
Dover, NH 03820
603-743-5777 Ext. 120
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