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November 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: Tips for Choosing Your Software Provider in an Evolving Transit Industry
To overcome the rising financial, demographic, and technological challenges faced by today's transportation and healthcare providers, agencies must rely on the innovation and expertise of transit software professionals. When evaluating various transit software providers, it's critical to ask the right questions and understand the steps that need to be taken prior to signing an agreement. If you'd like to learn more about what factors should be considered when evaluating potential transit software providers, download "Choosing Your Transit Software Provider".

  • Your Member Profile: Be Sure to Select the Information Categories
    As all CTAA members are aware, we launched our new website last week, including an all-new members only area. We recommend all members log-in to this new feature right away, and select the categories about which you'd like more information. It's easy. Just log in to the members only site, select my profile from the top menu and then scroll down and check your interest areas. You can check as many as you'd like. When CTAA has important issues about that topic, you'll automatically be notified.
  • Pre-Paying Your Member Dues at the Old Rates?
    With our announcement last week of new member categories and new dues, we offered all CTAA members the opportunity to pre-pay your next years' dues at our old rates. To take advantage of this offer, click here, but remember this offer expires on Dec. 31. 2016. If you need an invoice to pre-pay your dues, simply contact CTAA's Membership Director, Caryn Souza at and she'll get one right to you.
  • The Keys to NEMT Success Online Training: Nov. 29, Dec. 1, 6 & 8
    CTAA is pleased to announce its next sessions of its Keys to NEMT Success will begin starting November 29. This innovative and engaging training is low-cost, can be accessed fully right at your own computer and provides you the opportunity to ask questions and interact with renowned NEMT expert, Rex Knowlton. We've made it simple. This Keys to NEMT Success course will guide transportation professionals through the changing world of non-emergency medical transportation, helping trainees to become more competitive and profitable as a provider of NEMT services.
  • Mobility Rising: Detroit 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.
  • Discover Detroit: Did You Know?
    Want to learn about where transit in Detroit is heading following the defeat of its ballot measure on Election Day? This article helps clarify the lay of the land about the region's mobility future. Learn new facts about Detroit every day at CTAA EXPO's Facebook () and Twitter pages.



CTAA's Fed Central

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

  • CTAA's Election Scorecard: Results of Transit Ballot Measures, Passage Rate - 66 Percent (PDF)
    Featuring final results of all Nov. 8 transit ballot measures nationwide, CTAA's Election Scorecard is your one-stop resource to examine the results of Election Day. According to CTAA's Scorecard, 31 out of 47 binding transit ballot measures were approved by voters, amounting to a 66 percent passage rate. Had five failed measures in California not been required to pass with super-majority approval (66 percent), the passage rate would have been 77 percent. The Scorecard includes final approve/disapprove percentages for each measure, as well as details on what each sought to achieve. The Scorecard will be updated if needed as results are finalized.
  • Updated Rural Safety Infographic: A Rural Transit Provider Experiences a Fatality Only Once Every 93 Years (PDF)
    CTAA has updated its Rural Transit Safety Infographic with data from the 2015 National Transit Database and projections from the Federal Transit Administration. In 2015, with more than 1,300 rural transit systems operating more than 24,000 vehicles, carrying 135 million passengers and traveling more than 500 million miles, these services experienced only 14 total fatalities, the safest mode of moving people aside from commercial airlines. Based on current trends, an average rural transit provider will experience a fatality once every 93 years, but still expect to spend $25,000 per year and $95,000 per incident complying with the FTA's proposed safety regulations. In nearly all rural transit safety fatalities, the transit driver was not at fault. CTAA believes that rural transit providers could spend unlimited dollars complying with federal safety regulations and not expect any measurable decrease in incidents, injuries or fatalities.
  • CTAA Analysis: FTA Issues Buy America Domestic Content Waiver for Vans, Minivans (PDF)
    In a Federal Register notice that was published on October 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 September 30, 2019, or until FTA determines this waiver is no longer necessary, whichever comes first. CTAA's analysis 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.
  • Download FTA's Best Practices Procurement & Lessons Learned Manual - October 2016 (PDF)
    Source: Federal Transit Administration
    This Manual provides Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recipients with examples of procurement practices and lessons learned from a variety of third party procurements undertaken by FTA recipients. The Manual is divided into four major sections that cover the entire procurement cycle: Planning, Selecting Type of Contracting Method, Evaluation of Proposals and Contract Award, and Contract Administration. The topics discussed in each section are derived from Federal statutes, regulations, and guidance that affect recipients' FTA assisted procurements.


TripSpark Technologies

TripSpark Ignite SummitEnjoy the recap of our first annual TripSpark Ignite Summit
A chance for us to get to know our customers better, teach tips and tricks, announce new products and provides us the chance to receive direct feedback to move forward with.

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

The Porter's Station

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

  • Webinar: Webinar: Building an Equitable Transportation System with Shared Mobility
    Source: Shared Use Mobility Center
    2:00-3:30 p.m., Central Time, Tuesday, Dec. 6. Presenters will discuss emerging best practices that cities are using to help address transportation equity needs in their communities. The webinar will also cover ways that transportation and policy experts can use SUMC's Shared Mobility Toolkit which includes a policy database, benefits calculator and mapping and opportunity analysis tool - to identify and realize opportunities for these services.
  • North Carolina DOT Launches Integrated Transit App
    Source: GovTech
    The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Rail Division is testing what may be the first "transit tech" agreement for a state transportation agency. The three-month pilot program will integrate the state's Amtrak train stations with local public transit and Uber through an app developed by Durham-based TransLoc. The idea is to help North Carolina passengers conduct "door-to-door trip planning" for both train travel and Uber rides, or other transportation to the train station. The partnership, includes nine Amtrak stations: Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury, Kannapolis and Charlotte.
  • New Study of U.S. Transit Bus Manufacturing Market Reveals a Challenging and Volatile Industry
    Source: Mineta Transportation Institute
    Manufacturing buses for the US transit market has been a challenging business over the last several decades. It is a small market with volatile demand. Many manufacturers have gone bankrupt, left the market, or been acquired by competitors. The purpose of this report is to provide policy makers with an update on the state of the industry, an analysis of how government policies are impacting the industry, and suggestions for policies that can help the industry move forward and thrive to best serve the transit-riding public.

The Whistle Stop

Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation

  • If Election Day Would Have Been Great for Transit But for Threat of Reduced Federal Support
    Source: Streetsblog
    Overshadowing these results, of course, was the national Trump/GOP wave, which could threaten transit in profound ways. Every major transit ballot measure counts on a degree of federal support for capital projects. But this year's Republican Party platform calls for eliminating all federal funding for transit (and walking and biking). If that plank were to become law, the effect would be felt in every major city, not just the ones that passed new ballot measures (which would actually be somewhat more insulated from federal policy turmoil). Transit agencies would have to cope with sudden funding shortfalls, jeopardizing the nuts and bolts of running buses and trains.
  • Sidewalks Are Critical Infrastructure for Transit and Should be a Civic Responsibility
    Source: Tree Hugger
    There's a shocking fact that in America, sidewalks are not considered transportation infrastructure that is maintained as a public service, but instead is a private responsibility even when it is in the public right of way. Is it a progressive pipe dream to promote walking as a legitimate form of transportation, to make it easy for those who don't drive to get around? Is that not the whole purpose of taxes, to pay for things like roads and sidewalks that that serve everyone?
  • How Cities Stopped Panicking About Fare Evasion and Made Transit Faster
    Source: Streetsblog
    Transportation officials from Boston, San Francisco, London, and Oslo shared how their agencies put the rider experience at the center of fare modernization efforts. They see the possibilities to provide fast, convenient service, and they are seizing them. "Fare payment isn't the point of running a bus system, [the point] is getting people to the places they want to get to," said David Block-Schachter, the chief technology officer at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which like the MTA is currently accepting proposals for a new fare payment system. Unlike the MTA, however, MBTA is making sure its fare collection upgrade makes all-door boarding "inevitable," Block-Schachter said. "Our solution is putting the technology in place to enable those policy decisions to be made further down the line."
  • How Public Transit And Roads Are Different
    Source: D Magazine
    Public transit and public roads are very, very different. A common misconception that laying more track adds capacity. Here are some loose, meandering, but interconnected thoughts on how to better understand and differentiate the notion of capacity in relation to cars and public transit.
  • Advocates for New York's Working Poor Push for Discounted Transit Fares
    Source: New York Times
    New York City's push to establish discounted fares for the poor is part of a broader national effort: The Seattle area embraced the idea of charging residents with low incomes less to ride public transportation last year; Boston is examining the concept; and transit systems in cities like Charlotte and Denver offer discount passes through nonprofit groups. But the idea of offering income-based fares in New York would be the biggest experiment of its kind yet.
  • Transportation and Logistics: The Next Platform
    Source: Medium
    Logistics and transport companies will become utilities; just like electricity, gas, or water. You will be able to 'press a button' and an object, or person, will appear on your doorstep. If not instantly (teleportation is not yet here), then at least automatically, and in minutes. Most of the elements of this future already exist: autonomous vehicles, networks of sensors, warehouse management software, drones, a 'human cloud' of delivery people, fleets of cars, fleets of robots. Each independent company is working on one particular aspect of the problem but all of these elements will blend to provide a fluid and utility-like solution.

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.

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Richard Sampson
Communications Specialist
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines
800.891.0590 x729