Fast Mail Logo

October 25, 2016

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



Around the Depot: Sponsored by Ecolane

New products, documents, upcoming events and training from CTAA's staff

Why Modern Technology is Critical to Success in today's Transportation Industry

Sponsored Content from Ecolane: Why Modern Technology is Critical to Success in today's Transportation Industry
As customer demands continue to increase and budget constraints get tighter, transit providers must take the necessary steps toward building more productive and cost-effective operations. The introduction and launch of Ecolane's Legacy Advancement Program (LAP) offers a new pricing structure for customers held captive in legacy software implementations, an all-too-common occurrence in the transit industry. The LAP Program provides agencies with the opportunity to leverage next generation transit technology in order to realize new operational efficiencies, at a price point equivalent to existing legacy maintenance fees. Learn how your agency can stay ahead of industry trends, request a free software demo.

  • CTAA Analysis: FTA Issues Buy America Domestic Content Waiver for Vans, Minivans (PDF)
    In a Federal Register notice that was published on Oct. 20, 2016, the Federal Transit Administration announced that its "Buy America" domestic content requirement is being waived for non-ADA-accessible vans and minivans through Sept. 30, 2019, or until FTA determines this waiver is no longer necessary, whichever comes first. CTAA's analysis (PDF) details the impact this waiver will have on community and public transportation providers. Through CTAA's Capitol Solutions program, CTAA members have access to the lowest rates available to purchase the production model 2017 Toyota Sienna, which was granted a FTA waiver.

Vehicle Maintenance Management and Inspection (VMMI) Training: Nov. 8-10, San Antonio, Texas
The Vehicle Maintenance Management and Inspection (VMMI) training program promotes the community transportation industry's commitment to safe, reliable transportation through building up the professional skills of maintenance personnel and managers. This program is designed to improve the maintenance oversight of fleets of smaller transit vehicles (less than 25-foot length). Training will be held November 8-10, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza San Antonio Airport Hotel. Registration is now open.

  • Add or Update Your Company's Complimentary CTAA Buyers Guide
    CTAA's 2017 Buyers Guide will be published in digital format only via Fast Mail's Marketplace. Distribution will be to all CTAA members & our expanded audience of 4,500. Listings are complimentary. Text only. All web links will be live (clickable). Looking for a bigger impact? Advertise in the 2017 Buyers Guide! Contact CTAA's Advertising Sales Representative Tom Smull at or 515-201-3133 for full details.
  • Discover Detroit for EXPO 2017
    It's no secret Detroit has experienced its share of struggles and challenges recently, and it's from this context that many of CTAA's members and regular EXPO attendees are asking us, why is EXPO 2017 heading to Detroit? CTAA's members – do the hard jobs: getting people to work, healthcare, community services and programs, and their riders' lives and livelihoods often depend on these crucial services. Detroit and Michigan certainly know something about hard work and producing things that matter a great deal. Learn more about why we're bringing EXPO 2017 to Detroit.


TripSpark Technologies

AFC & Fixed Route - One Vendor - TripSparkAFC & Fixed Route - One Vendor - TripSpark
TripSpark provides a single-vendor solution for automated fare collection and CAD/AVL software. Hear what John Jones, Transit Manager for Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) has to say about our AFC solution.

CTAA's Fed Central

CTAA's one stop for legislative, policy and regulatory news, resources and information.

  • CTAA Analysis: FTA, FHWA Award Technology & TOD Grants (PDF)
    No, it was not a case of premature trick-or-treating, although it may feel that way to a number of successful cities and transit agencies. In mid-October, the Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration announced more than $75 million in project selections for a number of their technology and planning-related initiatives: the inaugural FTA's Mobility On Demand Sandbox awards, the FHWA's Advanced Transportation Technology Grants and FTA's FTA TOD Planning Grants.

Rural & Tribal

The latest developments in improving mobility in rural and tribal communities

Specialized & NEMT

Covering the nuances, opportunities & challenges of providing specialized and non-emergency medical transportation


CTAA and Newtek

The Porter's Station

Technical assistance resources, documents and events, including webinars, conferences and training

  • Study Reaches a Simple Conclusion: Fast, Frequent Service is the Key to Increasing Transit Ridership
    Source: California Transit Association
    Fast, frequent transit that people can walk to is the key to increasing transit ridership. This is the main conclusion of Who's On Board 2016: What Today's Riders Teach Us About Transit That Works, the latest edition in TransitCenter's Who's On Board series of national transit rider opinion studies. Drawing on results from three focus groups and a survey of 3,000 people in 17 metropolitan areas across the country, Who's On Board offers several core findings to inform how government agencies and elected officials approach transportation, land use, and development policy.
  • Technical Assistance: Community Building in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado
    Source: Community Builders
    Twice a year, Community Builders offer a limited number of technical assistance opportunities for communities located within Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado. Through its technical assistance program, it provides local leaders the tools and information to build prosperous, livable communities. This fall, Community Builders is expanding the suite of issues its assistance projects can address: Those related to transportation through our New Mobility West initiative, and those related broadly to community planning and economic development through Community Builders assistance. Accepting Applications Now Through Dec. 9, 2016.
  • AARP Innovation@50+ LivePitch: April 12 & 13, 2017
    Source: AARP
    AARP's Innovation@50+ LivePitch event is a two-day pitch competition for emerging startups in the health technology and financial technology sectors. The event will include keynotes, featured speakers and panels of various thought leaders from around the globe with focus on innovation for the 50+ market. Representing 38 million members, the power of AARP takes this pitch event up a notch.

The Whistle Stop

Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation

  • Is Our Next President Going to Care about Transit and Street Safety?
    Source: Greater Greater Washington
    Broadly speaking, both candidates say that US transportation infrastructure is in desperate need of attention and vow a massive increase in transportation spending. Hillary Clinton says she would increase funding by $275 billion over a five year period, paid for by means of a higher tax on corporations. Donald Trump says he will double that amount by tapping private investment and taking on more debt.
  • The People Who Need Good Transit Most Have the Least Access to It
    Source: Treehugger
    For years, transit and urban planners have talked about the "last mile problem"- that people won't use transit if it is too far away to be convenient. The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), even though it is based in New York City, takes a shorter, and more international view with a look at the last kilometre problem, measuring the number of residents in cities that have to walk more than a kilometer to get to high quality rapid transit. It's called PNT or People Near Rapid Transit.
  • 8 Experts Predict How Autonomous Vehicles Will Transform Communities
    Source: Wired
    Elon Musk, ever the showman, plans to see one of his cars drive across the country next year without a human doing anything more than enjoying the scenery. Others lay out more conservative timelines for rolling out their technology, but make no mistake—robocars are coming, and sooner than you think. This technology promises to radically remake the very form and fabric of our cities, even if it remains to be seen just what those changes will look like. We asked eight urban planners and futurists to share their visions of a driverless future.
  • Transit and Municipalities Must Work to Make Bus Stops More Accessible
    Source: Saanich News
    In my bus travels, I have noticed the disparity in condition and quality of bus stops. Many do not seem to meet the recommended minimum design guidelines. Apparently, in those instances it falls to the bus driver to alert passengers to the localized shortcomings of certain bus stops. If the responsibility of bus stops lies with the municipality, why are some municipalities shortchanging bus commuters?

The Information Station

Resources from CTAA

  • CTAA's Capital Solutions
    CTAA's recently-launched Capital Solutions program has been focused on responding to the changing reality behind transit vehicle selection and acquisition. To understand why new and innovative solutions are essential for mobility providers to compete today, we look at the foundational concepts that have shifted during the past decade and detail how Capital Solutions exists to help close the gaps created by these paralleling trends.
  • Tip-Sheet: Planning Inclusive Meetings (PDF)(159 KB)
    We offer this short list to encourage you to think about similar tips and reminders as you begin planning a meeting; and a checklist for seeking out meeting locations. We also offer some suggestions for short-term solutions, and, encourage you to find meeting places that are more welcoming or to seek long-term solutions to some of the problems.
  • 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 LogoPASS 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 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.

Get Transit News Daily

Love Fast Mail? Get up-to-the-minute information from our news feeds.


Richard Sampson
Communications Specialist
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines
800.891.0590 x729