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July 27, 2015

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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The Capitol Limited

News on federal transportation policy and developments from the Nation's Capital

  • The D.C. Update: Making Sense of Where Things Stand
    Last week, with the Senate's introduction and work on its MAP-21 reauthorization plan (known as the DRIVE Act), prospects for a long-term surface transportation heated up considerably. With the House having already passed a 5-month extension of MAP-21 and the July 31 deadline approaching for the current extension, we provide here an assessment of where things stand. Though progress has been made, the hurdle that has stood in the way of reauthorization all along - namely, finding the necessary revenue to add to current Highway Trust Fund (HTF) receipts - remains. Both the House in its extension and the Senate in the DRIVE Act continue to augment current HTF receipts with a collection of budget tricks and non-transportation-related offsets. In other words, the key challenge to a sustainable, long-term surface transportation bill has not been dealt with and tax reform and/or a gas tax increase are not a part of either of these proposals. For a closer look at the Senate's DRIVE Act, Senator Moran's amendment to increase dedicated bus capital and what happens next, click here.
  • CTAA, ATU, Others Push for More Bus Funding in Highway Bill
    Source: The Hill
    A group of 81 public transportation unions and advocacy groups is pushing Congress to increase federal funding for bus companies in a transportation spending bill that is coming up for renewal at the end of the month. - The transit groups, who were organized by the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), said Congress should reverse a 2012 decision to cut funding for buses in last two-year transportation bill that was approved by lawmakers.

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Around the Depot

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

  • CTAA's Small Urban Conference – Small Urban, Big Vision and Innovation: Two Days with Peers Discussing Topics that Matter to You
    Join your colleagues from small-urban areas across the nation in Denver from August 12-14, 2015 for the first CTAA Small Urban Network (SUN) conference designed solely with the needs of small-urban transit in mind. This two-day event will focus on building community partnerships, ridership and community engagement, planning and handling increased ridership and service expansions, policy and funding, technology, and much more. There are no registration fees to participate in this unique opportunity to tap like-minded small urban agency peers from all over the country who have "been there, done that." Contact CTAA Communications Director Scott Bogren at bogren@ctaa.org or 202.247.1921 with any questions.
  • Webinar Series: An Introduction to Volunteer Transportation
    The National Volunteer Transportation Center announces a new series of webinars and podcasts designed to help communities around the country implement and improve volunteer transportation programs. The first webinar in the series, An Introduction to Volunteer Transportation, is scheduled for Aug. 6, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern time and will feature CTAA Executive Director Dale J. Marsico, CCCTM and NVTC Director Helen Kerschner. For more information on the webinars contact Charles Dickson at dickson@ctaa.org or 202-247-8356. The series is sponsored by QRyde.
  • Next Edition of DigitalCT: The Oregon Transit Tour
    Our next issue of DigitalCT Magazine will be the annual installment of our transit tour, visiting a range of community and public transportation providers across a given state. This year, we explore Oregon – home to EXPO 2016 in Portland - and hope to capture some of the trends, nuances and innovations in a state known as one of the prime incubators of mobility ideas.

The Community Transportation Flyer

Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country

  • Fargo (N.D.) Looks to Expand Public Transportation
    Source: KVRR
    Fargo city officials and FM Metro COG talk about how they can bridge the gap between transportation and the growing Metro's population. Transportation plans are usually updated every five years, but the city has grown a lot faster than the original plan anticipated. They are hoping to create more public transportation access between 52nd Street and 100 Street South where Fargo and Horace meet.
  • Grant Assists in Expansion for Medical Transportation in Salem County (N.J.)
    Source: NJ.com
    The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation and the Community Foundation of New Jersey have announced $166,000 in funding to the Salem County ADRC/Office on Aging to expand portions of the Specialized Transportation System. These funds will provide the 50-percent match needed by the Office on Aging to secure additional funds from New Jersey Transit. The expanded service will be for medical purposes and will include two additional travel days outside the county into surrounding counties such as Burlington, Camden up to Philadelphia as well as Delaware. In addition, early morning, late evening and Saturday trips will be provided for dialysis patients. The service will be available to all seniors and disabled residents who meet the criteria of the program.
  • Beaumont Transit Service (Calif.) to be Extended
    Source: The Press-Enterprise
    Beaumont Pass Transit is extending passenger service in the Pass region, according to Beaumont officials. Starting Aug. 1 Commuter Link 120, with service to Loma Linda Veterans Administration Hospital and the San Bernardino Metrolink, will run on Saturdays. The route also has added a stop near Calimesa Boulevard and County Line Road in the city of Calimesa. In a separate service change, what was formally known as Route 1 has been renamed Beaumont Route 2, with daily service to Beaumont, Banning, Casino Morongo and Desert Hills Premium Outlets.
  • Miles 4 Vets Program (Va.) Looking to Expand
    Source: Martinsville Bulletin
    After nine successful months, the Southern Area Agency on Aging's (SAAA) Miles 4 Vets program is gearing up to expand its services. The free program, overseen by SAAA Mobility Manager Brooks Jones, carries Martinsville and Henry County veterans to the Salem VA Medical Center in Salem every Wednesday. That service recently expanded into Franklin County as well, Jones said, and will pick up Franklin County veterans either at the Essig Center in Rocky Mount or at their homes if they live less than 10 miles from U.S. 220. Eventually, Jones said, he would like to expand the program into Patrick County, and in the more immediate future, he hopes to begin carrying veterans to the Danville Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), a primary care clinic operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Transit Triangle Offers Convenient LaPorte County (Ind.) Travel
    Source: Northwest Indiana Times
    The Transit Triangle commuter bus service that connects LaPorte, Michigan City and Purdue University North Central offers affordable transportation to anyone who wants to travel between these locations for work, school or personal business. Two new buses will be put into service this month. They each seat 26 passengers and are equipped with an ADA wheelchair lift and two wheelchair positions. Seats include seat belts and USB ports are available. The buses replace two leased buses which have been in service for the first 5 months of the Transit Triangle.
  • Southern Bergen County (N.J.) Seniors Have Variety of Transportation Options Available
    Source: The Record
    Seniors 65 and older account for 15 percent of Southern Bergen County's population. But as seniors grow older, they find it more and more difficult to maintain their independence due to physical limitations and transportation options. Steps on and off a bus or train are an obstacle for some seniors, and even driving can become difficult. However, there are several transportation options available to Southern Bergen County seniors for essential trips, medical trips and running errands.
  • The Spoke Folks Increase Access to Bicycle Transportation Through Funding from Grand Rapids Community Foundation (Mich.)
    Source: The Rapidian
    The Spoke Folks promote the health, economic, social and environmental benefits of biking through cycling education workshops, community bike rides and bicycle repair sessions. The Spoke Folks know how important reliable transportation is for retaining employment. They hope to share their skills and resources to empower individuals to bicycle to work, even throughout the winter months. The grant from Grand Rapids Community Foundation will allow The Spoke Folks to hire a full-time staff member to provide mechanical services from their mobile repair truck. The new staff member will educate and empower individuals to use bicycles as a steady, dependable mode of 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.

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The Porter's Station

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

  • Report: Access to Public Transportation is Key for Returning Military Veterans with Disability in Achieving Reintegration Success
    Source: Rutgers
    Access to reliable transportation, particularly public transportation, is essential for returning military veterans with disabilities to reintegrate to civilian life and obtain critical medical and support services, according to a new Rutgers study. The research, conducted by the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, found that veterans with disabilities living in transit-oriented developments – mixed-use residential and commercial land uses integrally tied to transit – seem to be better poised to meet their needs independently.
  • Report: Public Transit Systems Provide Significant, Varied Benefits
    Source: Clean Technica
    In a finding that will surprise practically no one, a recent report - from Christopher E Ferrell at the Mineta Transportation Institute - has found that public transit systems in the US provide very notable and varied net benefits to the regions where they operate. The report - The Benefits of Transit in the United States: A Review and Analysis of Benefit-Cost Studies - is the result of an analysis/review of economic evaluation studies examining the estimated benefit/cost ratios of various US public transit systems (spread across the nation).

The Whistle Stop

Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation

  • The Zen of Public Transit
    Source: MinnPost
    "In this class-conscious society there remains one environment that is generously shared by all who choose to avail themselves of the freedom that public transit offers. Public transit is the common ground that provides a unique shared experience with legendary equanimity. One of the many advantages of public transit is that it gives the rider time and inspiration to ponder the mega-issues embedded in the economic, political technological and social conditions that typically pigeon-hole all of us, in spite of the revered premise that we were theoretically 'created equal.'"
  • Why Tap-and-Go Transit Fares Are Kind of a Big Deal
    Source: CityLab
    Provided they have an iPhone 6 and can actually figure out how to set up Apple Pay, Transport for London riders can now cover their fares on trains and buses with a tap of their smartphone. That's a nice step forward for merry old England, but the truth is it's just the latest development in a bigger push toward contactless fare payment on transit systems around the world. Fare cards are on the outs. The future is literally touch-and-go. It's not just busy travelers who stand to gain from the convenience—transit agencies and even city mobility networks at large are expected to benefit, too.
  • Wireless Broadband Solutions for Public Transportation
    Source: Equalities
    In today's world, public transportation, whether high-speed trains, subways or other commuting options, no longer simply face just the task of transporting passengers from point A to point B. Further considerations beyond vehicle operations apply, including public safety as well as passenger's experience. In the U.S., 81 percent of commuters spend an average of at least one hour a day commuting to and from work.

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