please forward! a quick job for a small web developer


My firm Jarrett Walker + Associates is looking for quick assistance in designing a web-based tool, designed to sit on a transit agency or project website, that will help citizens think through some transit planning choices and suggest priorities.  It requires the user to select different types of network for different parts of a city, and cover the whole city within a fixed budget of service.  

We need the product in a month.  Our absolute maximum budget $9000 but we will be very interested in proposals that come in substantially lower.  

This job is likely to be suited to a small, low-overhead web programmer who can do it quickly, efficiently, and yet creatively.  It could lead to a future relationship assisting us with more tools of this type, as the need arises often in our planning projects.

Everything is explained in our simple Request for Proposals, along with two attachments referenced in it.  (All materials are copyright Jarrett Walker+Associates and should not be reproduced for other purposes.)  All you need to do is reply with a quick letter.  

Download Service Allocation Exercise RFP

Download Service Allocation Game

Download Population and Employment Data

If you have a question:

  • Look at the comments below.
  • If your question hasn't been answered, add a comment beginning with the words "Question __:" where the space is the number of your question (the last number you see, plus 1).  I will then reference these numbers in my responses, which will also appear as comments.  (Alas, TypePad does not support threaded comments.)
  • Come back in a day or so to check for your answer.

Note:  To keep the flow of critical information clear on this procurement, I am reading but then unpublishing comments that are extraneous to the question-and-answer process.  


4 Responses to please forward! a quick job for a small web developer

  1. Christian June 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm #

    Question 1: Are proposals due June 27th at COB or July 1 at 12 noon PDT? The first page of the RFP had both dates.
    Question 2: Do you expect the map to be created/provided by the vendor? Is the map layer supposed to be a static image, or loaded from online map api (i.e. google, open street map, etc)?
    Question 3: Is the game only envisioned for desktops? Is there a need to handle smaller screens (tablets, mobile phones)?
    Question 4: Can you provide a sample spreadsheet with the job/population data? And also the boundary street data (or explain how you would like to enter this data)?

  2. Jarrett June 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    QUESTION 1: SUBMISSION DEADLINE is July 1, 2013, 1200 North America Pacific Daylight Time.
    QUESTION 2: Is the basemap created by the vendor? Short answer is no. Longer answer: For now, we suggest you design with a Google Maps, Bing, or Apple Maps layer in the background. We may later choose to substitute another kind of basemap that provides the same level of information, derived from GIS sources. Please note that this is meant to be a web development task, not a GIS task We will handle the creation of the base layer.
    QUESTION 3: Is the tool only for desktops, or also for tablets or phones? Do not budget additional effort solely to customize the tool for tablets or phones. If the web-based tool works well on a tablet anyway, that is highly desirable but not essential.
    QUESTION 4a: “Can you provide a sample spreadsheet with the job/population data? ” Presume that we will provide jobs and pop by zone in Excel format. We will update this link shortly in the post.
    QUESTION 4b: “And also the boundary street data (or explain how you would like to enter this data)?” For the physical gameboard, the boundary street names exist in Illustrator format; this was necessary to make the game clear very quickly on paper under mylar in a meeting. We suggest that you not worry about this, but simply propose to put a transparent grid over a basemap that we will provide. For design purposes, assume that this baseman is a standard Google, Bing, or Apple Maps layer. Be sure that your grid corresponds exactly to the grid shown on our map, as all our data is based on exactly those boundaries.

  3. Ming June 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    This game sounds really interesting, but it seems like it could be streamlined some more. The RFP seems to suggest that in this iteration, the spacing and direction of transit have no effect on the game (all the game reports is the percentage of jobs and residences covered by what frequency of transit). As such, it might make more sense to remove that aspect from the game. Unlike a workshop setting, there’s no human to evaluate a player’s designs and to keep things realistic, so people will just try to optimize what you’ve provided: cost and frequency coverage. You might want to check out the Redistricting Game for inspiration (it’s an old game that uses pop-ups, so it might not work in some web browsers).
    Also, although drag&drop does make the game feel closer to a physical board game, it’s actually much simpler to implement painting (and it’s probably easier for players to use and understand too).

  4. Jarrett July 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    THANKS FOR THE REPONSES. The successful bidder is City Building Tools of San Francisco, led by Drew Dara-Abrams.