August 25, 2014
About Fast Mail
Fast Mail is a compilation from the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) of the latest news and updates from the Community Transportation industry that delivers timely information, resources, and announcements to our members, colleagues and friends. Please keep us posted on your latest news and developments by emailing your content to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the Depot
New products, documents, upcoming events and training from CTAA's staff
- New from the National Volunteer Transportation Center: Volunteer Driver Program Review (PDF)
This review from the National Volunteer Transportation Center is intended to support volunteer driver programs in their efforts to provide what might be called "high touch/low cost" transportation services to people who cannot access other community-based transportation. It was designed to enable volunteer driver program managers and staff to review the operations and management of their volunteer driver program in providing and supporting the delivery of transportation services.
- New CTPodcast Edition on HIPAA, Privacy and Community and Public Transportation
CTAA's Sheryl Gross-Glaser, director of the Partnership for Mobility Management, discusses the implications of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other privacy laws for various types of community and public transit agencies. We reference a recently-released TCRP Legal Research Digest on the topic, and cover additional information on HIPAA in plain English. Gross-Glaser, a lawyer, urges systems to think globally about privacy as well as the reasonable standards and training that all systems should consider.
- Make Your Way to Tampa Bay for EXPO 2015
Although we just put the wraps on EXPO 2014 in St. Paul, it's not too early to start planning for EXPO 2015 in Tampa, Fla. The 29th Annual EXPO will be held in the Tampa Bay area for the first time from May 31-June 5, 2015. In the meantime, stay tuned to Fast Mail, DigitalCT Magazine and www.ctaa.org for more details.
The Capitol Limited
News on federal transportation policy and developments from the Nation's Capital
- Communicate with Congress During the August Recess
Based on our Gathering meeting during EXPO 2014 in St. Paul, Minn., we've developed this easy-to-use card (PDF)(260 KB) that concisely communicates the importance of community and public transportation. We encourage you to schedule some time with your U.S. Senators and Representatives during the August recess and bring this card with you. The "Here At Home" boxes highlight what your system does and how you do it. Then, print out the card to bring to the meeting. Also, share your card with your colleagues around the nation by saving version of the card and emailing it to Rich Sampson.
The Community Transportation Flyer
Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country
- Michigan Counties Fare Well at Ballot Box, Not So Well in Missouri
Source: Center for Transportation Excellence
Aug. 5 saw eight Michigan counties hold millage votes, with voters in seven counties. Niles, Macomb, Oakland, Wayne, Buchanan, Addison and Escanaba all approving millage increases or renewals to support local or regional transit options. Only in Wells Township did voters reject a similar measure. Meanwhile, that same day, voters statewide in Missouri and locally in Kansas City turned down ballot measures to support transit projects across the state and to fund expansion of Kansas City's starter streetcar line, respectively. Full details on all transit ballot measures can be found via the Center for Transportation Excellence.
- Community Transit (Wash.) Awards Surplus Vans to Non-profits
Source: Edmonds Beacon
Community Transit would like to help people in the community get around more easily, without waiting for a bus. The agency is awarding up to 10 12-passenger vans to Snohomish County non-profit organizations as part of its Van GO program. The vehicles will help groups meet community transportation needs at a cost they can afford.
- Hazleton Public Transit (Pa.) Adds Daily Bus Run to Wilkes-Barre
Hazleton Public Transit recently added downtown Wilkes-Barre as a stop on its Monday-through-Saturday bus route to the Wilkes-Barre area effective Monday, Aug. 18. The bus will drop off/pick up passengers on South Washington Street just after the turn off Market Street near Public Square at 9:45 a.m. and 2:13 p.m. Afternoon bus stop times have been revised to accommodate the new afternoon stop.
- Wichita Transit (Kansas) Adds Two Stops On Wichita State Campus
Beginning Monday, Aug. 18, Wichita Transit's East 17th Street route runs through the Wichita State University main campus instead of around it. Wichita Transit buses use existing WSU Shuttle System bus shelters to provide two inbound and two outbound stops on campus. Currently, the 17th Street route offers only one stop serving WSU, on the south edge of campus.
- Metro Transit Begins Express Service from Anoka County to Minneapolis (Minn.)
Commuters in the central Anoka County cities of East Bethel, Ham Lake and Blaine now have new Metro Transit express bus service to downtown Minneapolis. Route 865 started Monday, August 25 and makes nine trips morning trips and nine evening trips on Hwy. 65 on weekdays. Three trips will serve the new park and ride lot at the East Bethel Theatre, 18635 NE. Ulysses St., while three will serve a parking lot Metro Transit is leasing at Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 16345 NE. Polk St. in Ham Lake. All nine trips will stop at the Paul Parkway Park and Ride lot, a 400-stall surface lot currently under construction at Paul Pkwy. and NE. Ulysses St. in Blaine.
- Communities Meeting to Discuss St. George-to-Zion (Utah) Bus Service
Source: The Spectrum
Proposals to develop regular public transit services between St. George and Zion National Park were shut down along with the economy during the Great Recession. But now that the downturn appears to be in the rearview mirror, area planners could be jumping back on board. Officials from Zion, Springdale, St. George, Hurricane and other communities along the state Route 9 corridor are in talks to renew the idea, seeing the potential benefits of a bus system that would potentially accommodate hundreds of thousands of rides annually, with stops located in each community.
- Record Rider Transit (N.C.) Use Prompts Route, Bus Stop Changes
Source: Independent Tribune
Almost 1,800 riders use the Rider Transit bus service every day in Cabarrus County, putting pressure on transit officials to streamline operations to become more efficient. Transit officials are eliminating some little-used bus stops and changing routes, but they are also adding stops to pick up passengers in areas with a growing number of potential riders. Now, officials are asking for feedback on the proposed changes, which could go into effect as early as November.
- Older Adults Face Transportation Challenges in Beaver County (Pa.) and Beyond
Source: The Times
For many who have always owned a vehicle, the loss of a driver's license or the physical ability to drive can mean the loss of independence. The same goes for older adults who have always lived in walkable communities or relied on public transportation, but may no longer be able to make the trek to the store or bus stop. And while more and more Americans want to age at home - 87 percent of people 65 years and older, a recent AARP Public Policy Institute report found - it could become very difficult without options and access to transportation.
- Trapeze Group Creates New Business Unit Focused On Mid-Sized Transit Operators
Trapeze Group recently announced the creation of a new business unit called TripSpark Technologies that is solely dedicated to providing hardware and software solutions to mid-sized public transport agencies, as well as all private operators. The focus for TripSpark Technologies is to partner with mid-sized agencies as well as private operators to align solutions with their unique business needs. TripSpark will develop and deliver solutions to its existing customers as well as new customers in the following industries: Fixed Route, Demand Response, Non-Emergency Medical, Ridesharing, and Campus Transportation.
- Follow Us on Twitter!
For all the latest transit industry updates including local system highlights, federal and legislative news follow @CTMag1 and @RAILmag on twitter.
The Porter's Station
Technical assistance resources, documents and events, including webinars, conferences and training
- Report: Use of Mobility Devices on Paratransit Vehicles and Buses (PDF)
Source: Transit Cooperative Research Program
TCRP Report 171: Use of Mobility Devices on Paratransit Vehicles and Buses describes the current and emerging issues which limit the use of mobility devices in paratransit vehicles and buses, and includes a separate guidance document to assist transit systems, manufacturers, and transit users in the implementation of potential accessible design and accommodation solutions for the short and long term. This report also addresses potential safety improvements and the level of service of public transport for larger and heavier occupied mobility devices in paratransit vehicles and buses.
- Report: Maintaining Transit Effectiveness Under Major Financial Constraints
Source: Transit Cooperative Research Program
This synthesis reports on hundreds of actions implemented by transit agencies to increase their cost-effectiveness, and describes how the agencies have engaged their communities during challenging fiscal circumstances. These actions have been generated from all functional areas of transit systems, making the report useful to virtually any transit employee or board member.
The Whistle Stop
Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation
- Transportation a Major Issue for Communities' Older Populations
Source: Arizona Daily Star
There is a lot to think about when it comes to aging, asking questions about growing older, and preparing for elderhood. Sustaining physical health through daily exercise and good food choices, nurturing our emotional wellbeing, plotting and managing short and long term finances, and knowing where to go to connect with community services that are affordable and accessible seem to be prevalent thoughts. A reliable ride is a top need for many older and nondriving adults. Financial costs are another concern. These factors can lead to isolation and disconnection.
- Rural Clinics Help Those Caught in Coverage Gap
Source: The Gainesville Sun
At a time when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was supposed to significantly boost the number of people with health care insurance, safety-net clinics like ACORN remain crowded with uninsured patients who fall in the coverage gap between Medicaid and private insurance available under the ACA.
- Three Big-Time Benefits of Real-Time Transit Data
Unless an agency has enough money to invest in more frequent service, their options for reducing those frustrating waits are limited. Fortunately, one of the newest tools at their disposal is proving to be an extremely effective one. Real-time transit data and the mobile applications that use it to tell riders where a bus is at any given moment is changing the waiting game in ways that experts are only starting to measure in hard numbers.
The Information Station
Resources from CTAA
- CTAA and Partners Launch New National Volunteer Transportation Center
The National Volunteer Transportation Center was created earlier this year in response to the outpouring of interest in volunteerism related to the delivery of transportation services to many population groups including children, work force participants and older adults. Each of the founders have extensive experience in studying, supporting, and delivering volunteer transportation and are aware of the positive experience of those who volunteer to provide services as well as the many benefits accorded to those who receive the services. The founders are: Community Transportation Association of Washington, D.C.; the Beverly Foundation of Albuquerque, N.M.; Ride Connection of Portland, Ore.; CIMA Volunteers Insurance of Woodbridge, Va.; and AlterNetWays of San Francisco, Calif.
- Ahead of the Curve: CTAA's Safety Training Programs Lead the Way
For community and public transportation operators safety has always been the priority. Recent action by the Congress to include new transit safety requirements in the latest surface transportation law reinforces this industry-wide commitment. To help transit agencies further meet their system safety goals and come into compliance with the forthcoming federal transit guidelines, CTAA has launched the Community Transportation Safety and Security Accreditation (CTSSA) program.
PASS Training is Now Available Online!
The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) is excited to announce PASS Basic, the online alternative to its passenger assistance training. Simply by going to http://training.ctaa.org you can access the virtual classroom experience through six audio/visual modules which will prepare your drivers to attend the hands-on aspect of PASS training and attain full PASS driver certification.
- Strengthening Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Partnerships to Promote Community Living
The mission of this project, sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Community Living is to demonstrate the value that inclusive processes can bring to transportation efforts. The Community Transportation Association of America, in partnership with Easter Seals, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and Westat, is developing, testing and demonstrating ways to empower people with disabilities and older adults to be actively involved in designing and implementing coordinated transportation systems.
- Certified Safety and Security Officer Program
Also, learn more about CTAA's safety training programs. The mission of this Certified Safety and Security Officer Program is to assist in improving the professional preparedness of public and community transportation officers, and to maximize their ability to provide safe and secure transit service.
- The Competitive Edge: Making Community and Public Transit the Best Alternative for Medical Transportation: Today there is never-before-seen complexity in the non-emergency medical transportation field. Limited funding combined with growing patient loads has states seeking intermediaries that can control costs through competition. Community and public transportation providers must become efficient, safe, cost-effective and accountable to maintain these important medical transportation services. The Community Transportation Association, in response to requests from its members, is introducing a new initiative -- the Competitive Edge -- which will give community and public transit providers the tools, resources and benefits they need to make them central players in this new medical transportation environment.
The Transportation to Work Toolkit for the Business Community gives businesses the information they need now to assist their employees in achieving a timely, cost-efficient commute that promotes productivity and job satisfaction. Explore the toolkit's flyers, fact sheets, resources and examples of transportation initiatives undertaken by employers nationwide. Each approach is straightforward to launch and simple to manage.
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines