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February 1, 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 fastmail@ctaa.org.

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Around the Depot

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

  • Stay Tuned: CTAA's Punch List for FAST Act Implementation
    CTAA staff are currently combing through the FAST Act legislation for items the FTA and other agencies will be required to take action upon through rule makings, interpretations, guidance and grants. We'll be releasing this punch list of key details soon which will be shared with CTAA members. We intend to communicate early and often with the FTA to ensure these actions are in keeping with the intent of the legislation and the best interests of our industry. In the meantime, if you've identified a key aspect in the FAST Act you're concerned about, contact CTAA Deputy Director Scott Bogren at bogren@ctaa.org or 202.247.1921.

  • Applications Now Open for CTAA's Rural, Tribal Technical Assistance Programs
    The Rural and Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance programs helps rural and tribal communities enhance economic growth and development by improving passenger transportation services and facilities. Technical assistance provides planning to support transit service improvements and expansion, system start-up, facility development, development of marketing plans and materials, transportation coordination, training and other public transit problem solving activities. Technical Assistance is provided by CTAA staff and consultants and involves on-site and off-site work conducted over a period of eight to twelve months. No local match is required. Applications for the technical assistance programs must be submitted to CTAA by March 1, 2016.
  • Demonstration Funding Available for Community-Based Projects
    The Transit Planning for All project announces the availability of funding for community-based demonstration programs. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to encourage development of an inclusive coordinated transportation system in which people with disabilities and older adults actively participate in both advisory and decision-making capacities. While the intention is first and foremost the development of inclusionary processes and plans, the secondary expectation is that inclusion will result in identifiable and measurable changes in the transportation system that respond to the needs and preferences of older adults and people with disabilities. To take advantage of this funding opportunity, communities should download both the request for proposals and the grant application form. All requirements stated in the application form must be met in order for an application to be considered. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m., eastern time on Friday, March 18. There will be a conference call to answer questions on the demonstration grants on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 2 p.m., eastern time. Call toll-free: 866-906-9888; Passcode 2724141.
  • New DigitalCT Edition on Non–Emergency Medical Transportation
    The latest edition of DigitalCT Magazine takes an in-depth look at recent trends in Non–Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT), including research-driven assessments of NEMT in the context of state-level Medicaid expansion, analysis of the Medicaid demonstration of alternatives to scheduled, repetitive non-emergent ambulance trips and local profiles of NEMT innovation.
  • EXPO 2016 Website, Registration Now Open
    Visit www.ctaa.org/expo for full details for Community Transportation EXPO 2016, to be held in Portland, Ore., May 22-27. Information on the National Community Transportation Roadeo, intensive training and workshop sessions, our special-topic Symposiums, social events and much more is now available.
  • You Need Vehicles. We Have Solutions. (PDF)
    Whether you need to add vehicles to your current fleet or replace an aging vehicle, the Community Transportation Association of America's Capital Solutions program has a solution for you. Today, we can help you acquire a new, 2015 ADA-compliant, wheelchair-accessible Toyota Sienna for only $34,000 - a full 30 percent off the retail price.

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The Community Transportation Flyer

Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country

  • Detroit Adds 24-hour Bus Service on 3 Major Routes
    Source: The Detroit News
    The Detroit Department of Transportation recently implemented improvements and changes to more than 15 city bus routes, including 24-hour service on Woodward, Gratiot and Grand River. The changes went into effect Saturday, Jan. 23. "These service changes come directly from our customers and employees," DDOT director Dan Dirks said in a statement. "We received countless requests for better night service, frequent peak-hour service and more reliable schedules."
  • New Orleans RTA Plans to Add Overnight Service, More Weekend Trips
    Source: The Advocate
    The Regional Transit Authority has plans to add service to 22 of its routes, including overnight service on several lines, more frequent pickups on those and other routes and a new express bus to Louis Armstrong International Airport. The new service are expected to come online in March. When combined with a previous service expansion, the RTA will have invested about $10 million in expanded service over the past two years, Augustine said. That money comes from improvements in the agency's revenue stream, including a boost in the sales tax revenue that funds about two-thirds of its operations.
  • Petersburg Area Transit (Va.) Expands Route to Accommodate Workers to Amazon
    Source: WTVR
    Petersburg Area Transit is starting a new daily route to accommodate Petersburg workers to the Amazon distribution center in Dinwiddie County. The particular warehouse is located at 5000 Commerce Way in North Dinwiddie. The new expansion began on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The routes will start at 5.15 a.m., and 6.15 a.m., then arrive at the Dinwiddie warehouse 15 minutes later. The route will leave the Amazon warehouse at 3:15 p.m., and 5:15 p.m., to return Petersburg. The transit company said starting in 2014; they began a three-year strategic plan to provide the community with access to more jobs, healthcare and education.
  • Lakeview (Ore.) Senior Center Increases Transportation Program
    Source: Lake County Examiner
    Even though Lake County Senior Citizen Association's (LCSCA) Lake County Public Transportation program has been in operation for years, it has recently found a renewed interest to serve the entire population of the county. LCSCA Dir. Andrea Wishart said the program should be available for the community, so staff and drivers are looking to pull together resources to do just that. Part of this is to reach not just senior and disabled citizens but also those who struggle with transportation opportunities both in Lakeview town limits and around the county. Equipped with two buses and two new vans, which are soon to arrive, the Senior Center staff is well prepared to handle any citizen's need. There is also another bus in Summer Lake that runs citizens to Bend and Klamath Falls. It is operated by Debra Journey, who takes care of the needs of northern Lake County.
  • Westmoreland Transit Authority (Pa.) to Add Accessible Vehicles
    Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
    Wait times for physically challenged riders who use Westmoreland Transit's shared-ride program may be reduced when 11 wheelchair-accessible vehicles are added to the authority's fleet, according to its executive director. Westmoreland Transit Authority authorized using a $672,000 PennDOT grant to purchase the vehicles through a state-bid contract from Duncannon-based Rohrer Enterprises at a cost of $57,907 each. Executive Director Alan Blahovec said the vehicles are expected to be in operation within the next four to five months. They will be added to the current fleet of "60-plus" vans and cars used by contractor National Express Transit, the Cincinnati-based company that serves as the authority's paratransit operator.
  • Two Vermont Bus Systems to be Known as Green Mountain Transit
    Source: Hastings Tribune
    The Chittenden County Transportation Authority and the Green Mountain Transit Agency are going to be known as Green Mountain Transit. In 2011, the two organizations became one legal entity, when they formalized the operating relationship between them that had existed since 2003. The rebranding with a single name is the last step in becoming a unified regional agency. As part of that process, CCTA will soon provide customers with an automatic vehicle location system to provide passengers real-time bus tracking information. CCTA is also seeking a mobile ticketing app that would allow passengers to purchase tickets on their cell phones, eliminating the need to carry cash fares.
  • St. Cloud Metro Bus (Minn.) Launches Transportation Emergency Fund Program
    Source: Metro Bus
    The Transportation Emergency Fund Program, funded through a Morgan Family Foundation Grant, provides bus passes to low-income individuals who need transportation for job-related activities during that transitional time between job-seeking and when they have the financial means to purchase their own bus pass (e.g. their first paycheck). To be considered for the program an individual will need a referral from an agency. The Referral Agency is responsible for screening the applicant for need and will submit the application on behalf of their client.
  • Tyler Transit (Texas) Looking to Grow Ridership Through Partnerships
    Source: Tyler Morning Telegraph
    Tyler Transit runs five bus routes six days a week. The service does not run on Sundays. The system is looking to partner with existing businesses to create stops where people want to go most. That includes grocery stores and possibly the new Village at Cumberland Park, which has one stop outside the development. Partnerships with churches, apartment complexes and shopping centers are also a possibility. Through a partnership with a local nonprofit, the city will be able to give businesses a tax write off for allowing them to have a bus stop on their property. The business would fill out a form estimating costs for security, cleaning, lighting, seating and estimated asphalt repairs due to the bus traffic, among other things.
  • Gwinnett (Ga.) Seeks to Upgrade Transit Service
    Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Gwinnett County will ask the state for $12.4 million to help upgrade its transit system. Recently, the county Board of Commissioners approved plans to seek seven grants from the State Road and Tollway Authority. The grants would help replace 28 local transit buses and buy 5 additional buses to expand service. The money also would help improve the Sugarloaf Mills park-and-ride lot and resurface the Indian Trail Road and Hewatt Road lots. It would help build two new lots along Ga. 316 to serve the Lawrenceville and Dacula areas. And it would help replace the transfer center at Gwinnett Place Mall.
  • 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.

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The Porter's Station

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

  • Transportation and Health Tool
    Source: U.S. DOT
    The Transportation and Health Tool (THT) was developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide easy access to data that practitioners can use to examine the health impacts of transportation systems.

The Whistle Stop

Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation

  • The Transit Paradox: Why Is Transit Strong With Cheap Gas & Record Car Sales?
    Source: on Earth
    Why would voters from across the political spectrum be supporting publicly funded mass transit projects at precisely the same time that they're buying so many new cars and filling them up with so much cheap gas? The answer: Because they're buying so many new cars and filling them up with so much cheap gas. Urban planners have a term, induced demand, to describe the phenomenon by which our efforts to make driving faster and easier—typically by widening our highways and building more lanes for cars -actually end up making driving conditions worse.
  • Transit Agencies Can Now Test New Routes in a Virtual World
    Source: Wired
    Using the app, individuals can plug in their destination and present location, and see different combinations of travel modes to move as quickly as possible. The startup's data software lets public transportation agencies track their systems by vehicle occupancy and location, giving them a clearer view of patterns, where problems are, and what's working well. And it helps private companies plan logistics with interactive maps that blend private and public data.
  • Making It That 'Final Mile' to Work in Suburbia
    Source: Boston Globe
    Say you take the commuter rail to work in the suburbs west of Boston. After you step off the train, you need to find a ride to reach your office. Do you call a taxi? Request an Uber? Wait for a shuttle bus? Wait...is there a shuttle bus? Making that "final mile" can be difficult. It's an issue that many communities along the Interstate 495 corridor face, and it was the main topic of discussion Tuesday at the Boroughs+ Economic Development Summit. A panel discussion focused on finding ways to improve public transit west of Boston, and how to create more connections to that "final mile." The panel moderator, Barry Bluestone of Northeastern University, noted that with housing prices rising in the Boston area, more families will be moving out to the western suburbs.

The Information Station

Resources from CTAA

  • 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 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.

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Contact

Richard Sampson
Communications Specialist
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines
800.891.0590 x729
202.415.9666