Official Rules

Just Transit
2016 Official Rules

Decrease emissions while increasing equitable access to reliable transportation in Fresno and Long Beach’s transportation systems.

Description of Opportunity
Cities are changing. Communities are growing, but the density of those communities varies from concentrated urban growth to suburban expansion. Mobility options are increasing, but so are the questions and tradeoffs that city officials, urban planners, local nonprofits, and entrepreneurs are facing:

  • How do you build smarter transit routes while ensuring equitable access to diverse and wide-reaching communities?
  • How can you keep up with new technologies and mobility options like electric vehicles and ride-sharing, and determine which are the right ones for the future of your community?
  • How do we maintain livable communities where human-powered transportation is accessible and appealing for all?

In 2015, the Just Transit Challenge focused on some of these questions in San Francisco, mobilizing an established but disconnected network of transportation solutions to design the future of transit in the city, and to do so with innovative partnerships and a commitment to implement the solutions within two-years. In 2017, we brought the Just Transit Challenge to Fresno and Long Beach. This year, the Just Transit Challenge is designed to discover innovative solutions in Los Angeles because we believe that everyone should get around town efficiently, that transit systems should work effectively, and that clean air should be accessible by all.

Who should apply?
Challenge entrants must be affiliated with organizations or businesses that can legally receive unrestricted grants. Eligible applicants are invited to submit their application between Thursday, October 27, 2016 12:00 AM PT and Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 11:59pm PT.

Up to $400,000 will be awarded to winners in 2018 and will be allocated as unrestricted grant funds based on the winners’ applications and the proposed budget needed to implement the proposed solutions. A panel of judges will make the final decision regarding grant funding for each winner.

Each application must:

  • Agree to all legal terms and conditions of the challenge, including the requirement that solutions are accessible to the public
  • Be affiliated with an organization that can legally receive unrestricted grant funding
  • Meet all submission deadlines, including submitting a completed application form by the noted deadline
  • Include a detailed implementation plan articulating how the solution will be deployed
  • Reduce oil and natural gas usage
  • Implement the proposed solution either in the City of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, South Gate, Lynwood, or Compton (Note: organizations not based in these cities can apply as long as they clearly outline their implementation plan for either city.)
  • While not required, eligible solutions are also encouraged to include a letter of support from at least one partner needed to implement the solution

Submission Deadlines and Review Process
The application must be completed and submitted by Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 11:59pm PT in English on the website. Additional information may be requested from an entrant at any time. A panel of judges will assess the merit of proposals and recommend winners to the challenge administrator and The 11th Hour Project who will make the final selection decisions. Due to the expected number of applications, reviewers will not be able to provide individual feedback for applications not selected. A request to submit additional information does not guarantee selection. The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and its partners assume no obligation, no responsibility and no liability for costs incurred by entrants in completing the application.

All selected entries will be notified by October 2018. Entry and notification deadlines are subject to change at any time. Any changes will be reflected on the Challenge website.

The panel of judges and the challenge administrator will assess the overall quality of each entry based on the responses to the questions posed in the application instructions and their expertise. Entries will be evaluated against all other eligible entries received. Each entry will be evaluated against the challenge criteria, detailed below. The winners will be the entries that most strongly fulfill or exceed the criteria and are approved by The 11th Hour Project.

The Solution

  • Does the solution reflect the design principles?
  • Is the proposed solution appropriate for the given city?
  • Does the solution align with, bolster, or build on existing initiatives and infrastructure?

Projected Impact

  • Does this solution have the potential to reduce emissions? Are the associated assumptions well documented?
  • Does this solution provide equitable access to underserved communities?
  • Does this solution have the potential to reduce cost and travel time? Are the associated assumptions well documented?
  • Does this solution promote access to shared and/or human-powered transit?
  • Will the project, if implemented as planned, result in tangible emission reductions and more equitable transportation options within two years?


  • Does the solution have a clear implementation plan?
  • Is the solution leveraging other resources, partners or relationships to support the plan?

Additional Criteria

  • The entrant will have successfully cleared the challenge due diligence process
  • The entrant will have met all legal requirements
  • The entrant will have met all eligibility requirements

Subsequent Changes
The 11th Hour Project, a program of The Schmidt Family Foundation, reserves the right to amend these Official Rules or cancel the Challenge at any time. Any changes will be reflected on the Challenge website

Restriction on Use of Funds
Funding received from The 11th Hour Project may not be used for any purpose other than the purpose for which the funding is provided. No portion of funds received from The 11th Hour Project may be used for lobbying, directly or indirectly, to influence specific legislation or to support any political activities such as campaigning or otherwise influencing the outcome of a specific public election.

Privacy Notice
Information collected from any entrant is subject to these Official Rules.

To help the challenge administrator in its evaluation and analysis of applications, all applications and associated materials submitted (collectively, “Submission Materials”) will remain the property of the entrant. Please carefully consider the information included in the Submission Materials. If you have any doubts about the wisdom of disclosure of confidential or proprietary information, please consult with your legal counsel and take any steps you deem necessary to protect your intellectual property or confidential information. You may wish to consider whether such information is critical for evaluating the submission, and whether more general, non-confidential information may be adequate as an alternative for these purposes.

The 11th Hour Project, the challenge administrator and their partners respect confidential information they receive. Nonetheless, notwithstanding your characterization of any information as being confidential, The 11th Hour Project, The Schmidt Family Foundation, the challenge administrator and their partners may publicly disclose all information contained in Submission Materials to the extent may be required by law and as is necessary for potential partners and external reviewers to evaluate them and the manner and scope of potential funding consistent with appropriate regulations and their internal guidelines and policies.

For international entrants, please be aware that the information you submit is collected in the United States of America. In addition to being subject to these Official Rules, the collection, storage, and use of your data will be subject to U.S. laws and regulations, which may be different from the laws and regulations of your home country. By participating in the Challenge, you are consenting to this collection, storage, and use.

By providing any Submission Materials, the sender warrants to The 11th Hour Project, The Schmidt Family Foundation, the challenge administrator and their partners that the sender has the right to provide the information submitted.

Governing Law
This Challenge shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the state of California without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions. All participants in the Challenge hereby irrevocably (1) agree that any and all disputes, claims, causes of action, or controversies arising out of or in connection with this Challenge shall be brought exclusively in the state or federal courts located in San Francisco County in the state of California and (2) consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of those courts and waive any objection to such venue based on grounds of forum non conveniens. Should any part of these Official Rules be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction of the state of California, such invalidation should not invalidate the remaining portions of these Official Rules, and they shall remain in full force and effect.

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