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December 21, 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

Choosing Your Transit Software Provider

Sponsored Content from Ecolane: Legacy Advancement Program Explainer Video
In an effort to help transportation and healthcare providers combat rising financial, demographic and technological challenges, Ecolane and National Express have joined forces to create the Legacy Advancement Program. Designed to help agencies provide safe, reliable, and on-demand transportation and community access in light of these obstacles, the Legacy Advancement Program enables to advance beyond their legacy systems, achieve seamless mobility, and stay ahead of industry trends. To learn how your agency can take advantage of the Legacy Advancement Program, check out the Legacy Advancement Program explainer video.

Apply Now for CTAA's Rural & Tribal Technical Assistance Programs

Apply Now for CTAA's Rural & Tribal Technical Assistance Programs
As equal-opportunity programs supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), applications are now open for CTAA's Rural and Tribal Technical Assistance Programs. These programs offer free planning assistance to support local economic development and create jobs with public transportation. Potential projects may enhance, expand and improve existing services, establish new service and/or build or upgrade facilities. While no direct funding is provided, CTAA's experts work with communities to identify potential investment sources. Learn more about these programs, and CTAA's Director of Technical Assistance Programs, Charles Rutkowski, is available to answer any questions or help guide you through the application process at or 800.891.0590 x719.

  • Notes Available from CTAA's Rural and Specialized Members Forums
    CTAA's members in its Rural and specialized membership categories held forum gatherings on Nov. 21 and Dec. 14, respectively. Full notes from the forum calls are available for the Rural (PDF) and Specialized forums. CTAA's NEMT members will gather in January, along with its Small Urban Network (SUN) members.
Calendar Set for 2017 Keys to NEMT Success Online Training Sessions

Calendar Set for 2017 Keys to NEMT Success Online Training Sessions
CTAA's The Keys to NEMT Success is an online training program focused on the nuances of health care transportation with the goal of making your organization more successful and competitive. Our 2017 calendar for these sessions is now set: Session 1: February 14, 16, 21 and 23; Session 2: May 16, 18, 23 and 25; Session 3: September 19, 21, 26 and 28; Session 4: November 28, 30 and December 5, 7. Prices are $175 for CTAA members and $250 for non-members. Registration is now open for February.


TripSpark Technologies

CTAA's Fed Central

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

  • CTAA Update: Congress Passes Continuing Resolution; FAST Act Increases Delayed
    While Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to continue federal programs through April 27, 2017 - a measure signed into law by President Obama - it will maintain Fiscal Year 2016 levels, meaning federal transit program increases authorized by the FAST Act will not be in effect until then, at the earliest. In the meantime, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is expected to make partial-year apportionments to its grantees. Stay tuned to Fast Mail and CTAA for additional details on 2017 appropriations and FTA apportionments.
  • CTAA Analysis: FTA Announces Key 2017 Funding Availability and Circular Update Schedule (PDF)
    In recent weeks, representatives of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) have publicly shared two important timetables of which all CTAA members need to be aware (see PDF link). CTAA has shared with FTA leaders the need for more advance notice on competitive funding opportunities so that smaller operators might marshal their resources to more adequately respond. We're pleased that FTA has provided this information. Currently available on the CTAA members-only site.
  • CTAA Analysis: The New HHS Inspector General's Final Rule on NEMT Safe Harbor Provisions (PDF)
    The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has granted certainty and lots of possibilities with its final rule regarding financial contributions to and provision of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) for everyone - not only enrollees in Medicaid or Medicare, and shuttle transportation beyond NEMT. This fact sheet is a quick summary. The rule effectively creates a new safe harbor for two types of "local" transportation: (1) Transportation that is provided for patients; and (2) Shuttle services for patients or others along a fixed route with a set schedule. Currently available on the CTAA members-only site.
  • CTAA Analysis: Federal Access Board Rewrites ADA Vehicle Accessibility Guidelines (PDF)
    This month, these ADA vehicle accessibility guidelines have been revised, for the first time in 25 years. Despite the long time period since the initial ADA vehicle accessibility guidelines were issued, and the fact that the Access Board has gone through three different periods of proposed rulemaking on this topic, there are not that many substantive changes. They aim to be consistent across all non-rail transit vehicles, including buses, over-the-road buses and vans. That said, the existing distinctions in ADA compliance that vary among these diverse vehicles, according to vehicle size and use, continue to be reflected, with very little actual change. Currently available on the CTAA members-only site.
  • CTAA Analysis: The Volkswagen Settlement: Transit Possibilities? (PDF)
    In October 2016, the Volkswagen group of companies (VW) reached a settlement with the federal government regarding Clean Air Act violations. For the most part, this VW settlement will not affect most transit agencies. However, aspects of the settlement may be of interest, especially in California and a few other states where VW sold a high number of 2.0 liter diesel vehicles between 2009 and 2015. Many details remain to be seen, once VW has submitted more information to the federal and state agencies that are parties to this settlement. Currently available on the CTAA members-only site.
  • CTAA Analysis: FHWA/FTA Rule on MPO Coordination and Reform Hits the Streets (PDF)
    In the rulemaking, FHWA and FTA say that this rule will affect only about a third of the country's 409 MPOs. That's an understatement. Every MPO will be affected in some way, since the rule will require a greater redrawing and redefinition of all MPO boundaries following the 2020 decennial census than otherwise would have been the case. The most-affected MPOs will be those where this rule will call for the consolidation of MPOs in urbanized areas (UZAs) that appear to fall in the planning areas of more than one MPO, unless there is a specific request for an exemption from consolidation on account of an UZA's size and complexity. Currently available on the CTAA members-only site.
  • Trump Team Plans for Infrastructure ‘Task Force' to Advance Top Spending Priority
    Source: Washington Post
    President-elect Donald Trump is preparing to create an infrastructure "task force" that will help carry out the ambitious federal spending program he intends to undertake upon taking office, according to several individuals briefed on his plans. The task force head is "not Cabinet level," this individual said, but would play a critical role in coordinating among federal, state and local officials as well as private investors as the new administration prepares to inject hundreds of billions of dollars into projects across the country.



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

Holiday Greetings from TripSpark

Sponsored Content: Holiday Greetings from TripSpark
TripSpark wraps up the holidays (no pun intended) with our year-end newsletter. We are looking forward to 2017 and we hope you are too!

The Porter's Station

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

  • CityHealth Project Encourages Action Steps for Leaders to Create Healthy, Strong Communities
    Source: CityHealth
    CityHealth a project of the de Beaumont Foundation will release its first round of highly anticipated city policy ratings in February - a culmination of a two-year study of best policy practices with its roots in evidence and its eyes on change. Additionally, CityHealth announced its new package of nine proven, attainable policies that will help millions of people live longer, better lives in vibrant, prosperous communities.
  • ICOET 2017 International Conference on Ecology & Transportation
    Source: ICOET
    Co-hosted by Utah and Wyoming Departments of Transportation, the 2017 the International Conference On Ecology & Transportation - Beyond Boundaries: Building on Common Ground - will be held May 14-18, 2017 in Salt Lake City. ICOET is the foremost interdisciplinary, interagency supported conference addressing the broad range of ecological issues related to transportation systems in all modes.
  • Toyota Seeks Mobility Analyst
    Source: Toyota
    Toyota's Social Innovation Department is looking for a highly motivated and qualified Mobility Analyst. The primary responsibility is to execute initiatives that demonstrate Toyota's commitment to contributing to society through accessible, affordable, reliable and low emission mobility solutions and empower older adults, people with disabilities and low income communities to move about more freely in order to achieve a higher quality of life. Reporting to the Mobility Manager, the person in this role will support the Social Innovation department's objective to bring together ideas and people to solve social and environmental issues while strengthening Toyota's competitive advantage.
  • Mandated Reporter Training - Jan. 11 2017, State College, Pa.
    Source: PA Public Transportation Association
    This training is for individuals who are mandated by law to report suspected child abuse, as defined in the Child Protective Services Law. Who are mandated reporters? - Essentially, mandated reporters are adults who have direct contact with children through work or a volunteer position, or attorneys who are affiliated with an agency, institution, organization or other entity who are mandated reporters.
  • Conference: Transit State of Good Repair
    Source: Global Mass Transit Report
    Global Mass Transit is pleased to announce the fifth edition of its conference on Transit State of Good Repair (SGR) to be held on March 9-10, 2017 at The Willard InterContinental in Washington, D.C. The mission of the conference is to continue assisting the transit industry, both public and private sector members, in building the technical and managerial capacity for robust TAM in support of SGR.

The Whistle Stop

Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation

  • Why Tactical Transit is the Next Big Thing
    Source: Transit Center
    The raffish, worldwide movement known as tactical urbanism appears poised to take on a meatier role in improving transit in bus corridors. By providing low cost, agile alternatives to lengthy street improvement processes, "tactical transit" has the ability to jump start virtuous cycles of increasing bus ridership by speeding up travel times, improving passenger experience and enhancing overall perceptions of riding the bus.
  • Transit's Camel Problem
    Source: City Observatory
    Travel demand has two humps: There's a peak travel hour in the morning and a second one in the evening in virtually every community. It seems to be a regular systemic feature of human activity: we sleep and eat in one set of places, and work, study, shop, and socialize in a different set of places, and disproportionately tend to make trips between these sets of places at the same hours of the day. It's tempting to visualize alternatives to current transportation systems as a one-traveler or one vehicle-at-a-time problem. But the demand problem is not so much about individual vehicles and trips, as the way trips cumulate in both space and time. The problem is complex one, and will defy simple solutions.
  • Ignoring Fare Evaders Can Make Mass Transit Faster - And Richer
    Source: Wired
    By nixing fare gates, public transit agencies emphasize ease of access over making every last rider pay. Now, 21st century tech is making it easier than ever to blow up the turnstile. The result: Faster vehicles, less crowding, and thus more frequent service, leading (hopefully) to more riders overall.
  • How Transit Agencies Are Prepping for the Next Big Storm
    Source: NextCity
    Transit agencies are increasingly aware of the risk of severe weather, but frequently unable to put the necessary resources behind mitigation. After financial resources, respondents ranked internal coordination and awareness of extreme weather risks as the biggest barriers to preparedness.
  • Moving Kids Out of Poverty Requires Investments in Child Care, Transportation
    Solving child poverty will require more than offering job training and helping single mothers find jobs with decent wages. It will require significant investment in neighborhood-based child care and expanded transportation options. Making child care accessible in a variety of neighborhoods reduces the burden of transportation. Expanded public transit is also critical to solving the child poverty dilemma.

The Information Station

Resources from CTAA

  • CTAA's Capital Solutions
    CTAA's 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.

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Richard Sampson
Communications Specialist
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines
800.891.0590 x729