April 26, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the Depot: Sponsored by Ecolane
New products, documents, upcoming events and training from CTAA's staff
Sponsored Content: Shoreline Metro Case Study
In 2014, Shoreline Metro was utilizing RouteMatch software to manage their demand response operations. In 2015, they engaged with Ecolane to help streamline internal processes and achieve greater operational efficiencies. Working with Shoreline, Ecolane was able to help them achieve their goals of additional control over revenue hours, increase of hourly ridership, reduction of the agency's carbon footprint and reliance on maintaining a high vehicle inventory. They were also able to eliminate a part-time data entry position. Read the case study today to learn more.
- Pecha Kucha Night at EXPO 2016
Have a quick, clever idea you've always wanted to share? EXPO 2016's Pecha Kucha Night (open at no cost to all EXPO attendees) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25 at Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery is your opportunity! Interested in presenting 20 slides at 20 seconds a slide, with presentations lasting no longer than 6 minutes and 40 seconds? Contact CTAA's Rich Sampson for full details or to sign-up as a presenter. Topics can be related to transit and mobility, or any topic at all (seriously, anything!). But remember to bring the funny...
- EXPO 2016: Classes and Hotels Selling Out Fast
Registration is overwhelming for EXPO 2016, May 22-27 in Portland, Ore. Intensive training classes, tours and symposia are selling out fast and we've had to expand our block of rooms at EXPO hotels due to our original block selling out. Though we're still three weeks away from the early registration discount deadline, all CTAA members and affiliates planning on attending EXPO should register and book their rooms right away. We're excited about this year's Community Transportation EXPO and the focus on Innovation in Action and look forward to reconnecting with all of our members and friends. Link to the EXPO site.
CTAA's FED CENTRAL
CTAA's one stop for legislative, policy and regulatory news, resources and information.
- Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2017 Funding Bill
Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017, which provides funding for federal surface transportation programs authorized under the FAST Act. The measure increases support for Federal Transit Administration programs by $575 million over FY 2016 levels to $12.3 billion, in keeping with levels authorized in the FAST Act. More specifically, FTA's transit formula grant programs are appropriated $9.7 billion, consistent with FAST Act authorization levels. The bill also appropriates funds for Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration, as well as the TIGER program. Full details are available from the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill now goes to a vote of the full Senate, while a similar measure is expected to advance from the House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee either this week or next. Stay tuned to CTAA's Fed Central and Fast Mail for further updates.
- FTA Announces Rides to Wellness Demonstration Grants: Deadline May 31
Transit agencies and their partners who're looking to try out new strategies for improving transportation access to health care should take note of this recent funding opportunity from FTA. In brief, FTA is soliciting project proposals for its Rides to Wellness (R2W) Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Grants. Application deadline is May 31, 2016. The full notice of funding opportunity was published in the March 29, 2016, Federal Register, and also appears on the FTA website. The stated goals of this initiative are to (1) increase access to health care, (2) improve health outcomes, and (3) reduce health care costs. FTA has a total of $5.3 million available for this initiative.
- Help Shape USDOT's Strategic Vision for Research
Source: U.S. DOT
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requests your input as the U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology begins to develop a multi-modal, five-year Research, Development and Technology Strategic Plan for the Department as directed by the FAST Act. FTA invites your input by April 29 on the Request for Information published in the Federal Register. Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts to help inform the department's strategic vision for research, development and technology.
The Community Transportation Flyer
Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country
- California Lawmakers Unveil Proposals to Increase Transportation Investments in Disadvantaged Communities
Source: Pasadena Now
Recognizing that far too many communities, and particularly low-income communities, lack sufficient pedestrian, bicycling, and public transit opportunities, Assemblymembers Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), and Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) unveiled a package of "transportation equity" proposals aimed at shifting California's transportation investments to provide more access for all. The four proposed bills work together to provide better transportation choices so all Californians can walk, bicycle, and take public transit easily and safely.
- Transit tax revenue would add Ellensburg (Wash.) Transit, Expand Dial-A-Ride Options
Source: Daily Record
A proposed transit sales tax will mean more money for transportation services in Ellensburg like paratransit and cabulance. Proposition 1 authorizes collection of a sales tax of up to two-tenths of 1 percent on all taxable retail sales within the city of Ellensburg for the purpose of paying for or financing the costs of public transportation maintenance, operation and improvement projects. If the measure is approved, Dial-a-Ride, or paratransit, services would expand to parallel the Central Transit hours of operation.
- United Way of Steele County (Minn.) Targets Needs Through Transportation
Source: Owatonna People's Press
When the United Way of Steele County completed its formal community assessment process in 2015, it identified disparities in three areas: income, health and education. But in trying to address these needs, the organization has found one common thread binding all of them together: transportation. So when the United Way began putting plans in place to address these separate needs, it's not surprising that many boiled down to new ways to get people where they need to be. The latest such initiative launched earlier this month with a new shuttle to help Viracon employees get to work. The project is a collaboration between the United Way, Viracon and the Owatonna Bus Company, and Paley said she hopes to see it expand to other local employers.
- WellCare Addresses Transportation Barrier to Health Care in Muhlenberg County, Ky.
Source: PR Newswire
Transportation is a significant barrier to accessing primary and preventive care services, and treatment for acute and chronic health conditions for many low-income Americans living in rural areas. WellCare of Kentucky, a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG), is working to reduce this barrier to care in Muhlenberg County. The coalition determined medical transportation was one of the biggest barriers to health care in Muhlenberg County. With a $2,000 investment from WellCare, a transportation voucher system was created to subsidize the cost of transportation to medical appointments, hospitals, pharmacies, and dental and vision services.
- Free Van Service Meeting Goffstown (N.H.) Seniors' Needs
Source: Union Leader
On a recent April morning, Siu Kong boarded a van to travel from her Mast Road apartment in Goffstown to a medical appointment in Manchester. The trip didn't cost her a dime. Kong is one of the regular users of a Manchester Transit Authority curb-to-curb transportation program that provides Goffstown residents with free rides from their homes to other locations in town and to medical appointments in Goffstown, Manchester and Bedford. The program, which was launched on July 1, 2015 is a partnership between MTA and the town of Goffstown. It is a two-year pilot program that costs roughly $37,000 each year.
- Pennsylvania's Union, Snyder Counties Explore Joining Rabbit Transit
Source: Daily Item
Rabbit Transit may soon take over the Union-Snyder Transportation Alliance as the York-based authority expands its territory in Central Pennsylvania. The commissioners in Snyder and Union counties are working on a proposal to transfer USTA's assets to Rabbit Transit, which currently serves the counties of Northumberland, Columbia, Cumberland, Franklin, Adams and York later this summer. The potential agreement with Rabbit Transit to take over the shared-rider program is part of the two counties' ongoing effort to consolidate services, said Snyder County Commissioner Peggy Chamberlain Roup. "They will enhance services. We checked with the agencies using Rabbit Transit and all gave stellar reviews," she said.
- Iowa Provides Funds for New Transit Buses
After approval from the Iowa Transportation Commission, several cities are receiving money to buy new transit buses. The commission approved over $5.7 million in funding for 54 new transit vehicles. The buses and minivans will replace older transit vehicles in 20 cites across the state. The Federal Transit Administration defines the useful life for a bus as four years or 120,000 miles. There are about 1,600 transit vehicles in Iowa and the Department of Transportation says more than 1,000 of them are beyond the age or mileage recommended by the FTA.
- Transportation is Key Issue, Englewood (N.J.) Seniors Tell Age Coalition
Source: Northern Valley Suburbanite
Senior citizens told the Age-Friendly Englewood Coalition that transportation is one of the biggest concerns for residents over 60 years old following a meeting that many area seniors could not get rides to. The focus of the Age-Friendly Englewood Coalition, according to lead organizer Janet Sharma, is to ensure seniors can "age in place" within the city rather than have to downsize and move elsewhere. The coalition involves more than two dozen agencies and coalitions from across Englewood and Bergen County.
- New Greenville (S.C.) Transit Center to Connect City to Major Metropolitans
Greenville is just a little over a year away from having a new transportation center located right in Uptown. The plans for the Greenville Transportation Activity Center (GTAC) were discussed during Thursday's city council meeting. Leaders of the project said it won't only serve city, ECU and GUC buses, but also Greyhound buses. Greyhound will take travelers to and from the Amtrak station in Wilson, which can connect them easily to major hubs like Washington, Philadelphia and New York City.
- Follow Us on Twitter!
For all the latest transit industry updates including local system highlights, federal and legislative news follow @CTAAExecDir and @RAILmag on twitter.
The Porter's Station
Technical assistance resources, documents and events, including webinars, conferences and training
- NCMM Offering Free Course on Human-Centered Design; Mobility Management Liaison Available in Each FTA Region
The National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) is offering two sessions of its free, 2-day, course on applying human-centered design principles to transportation services. These two classes will focus specifically on health care–related transportation. Both transportation and health care professionals are invited to these sessions. Session 1 will take place in FTA Region 6 (April 7 and 8) and Session 2 in FTA Region 2 (June 23-24). Although priority is given to individuals from these regions, participants from other regions can also apply to attend. Also, did you know the has a liaison dedicated to answering mobility management-related questions from each FTA region? Find the contact information for our liaison.
- Resource: Transit Street Design Guide
Getting streets to work for transit is indispensable to the urban future. The Transit Street Design Guide sets a new vision for how cities can harness the immense potential of transit to create active and efficient streets, in neighborhoods and downtowns alike. Following NACTO's influential Urban Street Design Guide and Urban Bikeway Design Guide, the Guide details how reliable transit routes—whether bus or rail—depend on a commitment to transit at every level of design. Developed through a new peer network of NACTO members and transit agency partners, the Guide provides street transportation departments and public transportation providers with the tools to actively prioritize transit on the street, not just accommodate existing service.
- How Good Is the Transit Where You Live? Measure It With AllTransit
Source: Streetsblog USA
Do you have the sense that transit in your city could be a lot better, and you want to show your local elected officials what needs to improve? Look no further: Chicago's Center for Neighborhood Technology has produced a new tool called AllTransit that assesses the quality of transit down to the neighborhood level. AllTransit lets you evaluate your local transit system in several ways. You can look up how many people in your city live within a half mile of transit service, for instance, or how many jobs are conveniently accessible via transit from your neighborhood compared to your city as a whole.
The Whistle Stop
Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation
- Will Next U.S. President Be All Aboard for Public Transit?
As a country, we are in the middle of a radical shift in our relationship to the automobile and its role in transportation, and the current candidates aren't speaking much to the change. Transit agencies in several U.S. cities posted record ridership last year. Commuters want more public transportation options, and they see real economic and environmental benefits to mass transit. Many are even willing to pay a little more for a better system. So where do the candidates stand on all of this?
- Why Transit Agencies Are Embracing Uber
When comparing people who use public transit with those who pair it with newer forms of shared mobility, the latter group drove less, was less likely to buy a new car, and was more likely to save money on transportation. The new mobility startups are linked to a lifestyle that's less dependent on car ownership even compared to people who use public transit frequently. That means if public transit agencies want to help people get around without cars, they might want to encourage their riders to check out more of these auxiliary transit options.
- Transportation Startups GlobeSherpa and RideScout Combine in U.S. Expansion for Daimler's Moovel
Moovel Group is combining the operations of Portland, Ore.-based mobile transit ticketing startup GlobeSherpa with RideScout, the "Kayak of ground transportation," to form the new Moovel North America, as the company expands into the U.S. Moovel acquired RideScout in 2014 and added GlobeSherpa to its portfolio last year. Moovel already operates one popular service in the U.S., car-sharing service car2go, but hopes to expand those options with the new company announced today. Its first step in that expansion is turning GlobeSherpa's TransitSherpa service into Moovel transit platform, which is a white-label solution for public transit agencies to provide mobile ticketing and payment options.
The Information Station
Resources from CTAA
- New DigitalCT Edition: 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 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.
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines