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October 21, 2014

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

  • CTAA Launches RIMMS: Resource Innovation Medical Mobility Systems
    In today's community and public transportation field - particularly in non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) - it is incumbent upon providers to embrace change and to do things differently. CTAA is proud to launch RIMMS, a new program designed specifically for NEMT operators that provides business planning, technical assistance, financing and more. RIMMS is designed to affordably provide organizations with the resources, information, products, services and skills necessary to efficiently start-up or expand a NEMT program of any size. Click here to visit the RIMMS webpage or email RIMMS@ctaa.org for more information.
  • 2014 Board of Directors and Delegate Election Results
    Elections by our Board of Directors resulted in the following regional Board Members re-elected to the Board: Midwest Region - Bill Osborne, New England Region - Dave White and Southwest Region- Dave Marsh. The Board re-elected National Directors, Ann Gilbert and Bill McDonald. Fourteen states held Delegate elections and members in Ala., Del., La., N.J., Okla., S.D., Tenn. and Utah re-elected their current delegates. Our new Delegates are from Calif., Ron Hughes, Conn., Kim Dunham, Hawaii, Harry Johnson, Nebr., Charles McGraw, Pa., Leeann MacWilliams and Va., Josh Baker. Visit our Website for more information on our Board of Directors and State and Tribal Delegates Council.
  • New Issue of DigitalCT Focuses on Small Urban Transit
    Recent population trends and future predictions suggest more people are moving from rural areas to urban areas of all kinds - both small and large - at the same time as health care and employment destinations are increasingly regionalized within metropolitan areas. It's these confluence of trends that make reliable, responsive and efficient mobility options in communities of all sizes more vital than ever.
  • Next Edition of RAIL Magazine Coming This Week: Thrilling Wonder Stories Revisited!
    The 36th Edition of RAIL Magazine, which will arrive in inboxes later this week, will borrow the Thrilling Wonder Stories motif that's appeared in past issues of Community Transportation and DigitalCT and update the latest developments of rail projects we've profiled previously in RAIL. We'll share the most recent news on the Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, Orlando's SunRail, Denver's emerging commuter rail network and rail transit activity across Canada. Stay tuned to @RAILMag on Twitter and wwww.railmagazine.org for more.
  • Join us for a Strengthening Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Partnerships to Promote Community Living National Webinar
    Cultural and Ethnic Diversity in Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Planning: Garnering the Support of a Diverse Range of Stakeholders in Human Services Coordination. Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. This interactive webinar will focus on building the capacity of inclusive coordinated transportation planning by assuring that the perspectives of those individuals who are culturally and linguistically diverse are reflected in inclusive practices. Panelists will offer the experiences of transit and human services as they seek to engage an increasingly diverse group of participants in planning activities. Panelists are Sabrina Herrera, Assistant General Manager, Sun Van Tucson, Tucson, Ariz., and Paul S. Branson, Community Mobility Manager, Marin Transit, San Rafael, Calif. Register at https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1855848-oIrS3bMI89.
  • CTAA Sends Letter to CMS
    Following up on the Association's letter to the state of Iowa earlier in October, CTAA has sent a companion letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services again protesting the state's request for an 18-month continuation of its NEMT waiver for expanded Medicaid patients. We encourage all Association members to send a similar letter. Please contact Dale Marsico for more details or assistance.
  • Upcoming NCMM Training Opportunity: Design Thinking for Mobility, Oct. 28 & 29 in Portland, Ore.
    This two-day, in-person innovation training, offered by the National Center for Mobility Management, will teach a customer-centered planning and design process, known as Design Thinking. This process guides transportation and mobility management professionals in broadening their thinking about potential solutions beyond the customary go-to concepts and helps ensure proposed solutions indeed fit customers' needs. This training will benefit those looking to better navigate complex mobility challenges and facilitate mobility solutions that are responsive to rider and stakeholder needs.
  • Make Your Way to Tampa Bay for EXPO 2015
    It's not too early to start planning for EXPO 2015 in Tampa, Fla. The 29th Annual EXPO will be held in the Tampa Bay area for the first time from May 31-June 5, 2015. In the meantime, stay tuned to Fast Mail, DigitalCT Magazine and www.ctaa.org/expo for more details.

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The Community Transportation Flyer

Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country

  • Ceremony Celebrates Troy Transit Center (Mich.) Opening
    Source: The Detroit News
    More than 200 people witnessed the ribbon-cutting for the new Troy Transit Center Tuesday, Oct. 14, including Brian Smiatacz, 36, who had two kids in tow. Four-year-old Adam, and Grace, 2, came outfitted with train engineer hats. The $6.3 million facility took 14 years to complete. It replaces a much smaller stop about a quarter mile down the tracks. Located at the southwest corner of Maple and Coolidge, the station provides shelter from the elements, as well as free complimentary short- and long-term parking.
  • New Guam Bus Schedule Begins: Mass Transit Adds Routes, Hours and 7-day Service
    Source: Pacific Daily News
    The Guam Regional Transit Authority rolled out a new bus schedule recently, offering extended hours, reduced wait times and service seven days a week. As it stands, the mass transit bus system is inefficient, with long waits for buses. The previous schedule makes it difficult for riders in some villages to make it to work on time for a traditional work-week schedule.
  • Transit Changes Approved in Vacaville (Calif.)
    Source: The Reporter
    New and improved bus service is coming to Vacaville. In a unanimous vote, the City Council approved a restructuring of City Coach Transit Route 1 and a modification of Route 5. Route 1, dubbed Leisure Town Connect, will now include curbside pick-up and drop-off with advance notice and direct access to Kaiser Permanente Hospital. Route 5, meanwhile, aims to improve performance by continuing to provide service every 30 minutes but changing operating times from every hour (:00 min.) and half hour (:30 min.) to every quarter hour (:15 min) and three-quarters of the hour.
  • Kyle, Buda (Texas) Mulling Expanded Transit Services
    Source: Impact News
    Capital Metro, a public transportation provider in the Austin metropolitan area, could be growing its presence in Hays County. The cities of Kyle and Buda have been in talks with the Austin-based regional mass transit organization about potentially providing transit services to the two cities. The details of what that service will look like have yet to be determined. Michelle Meaux, regional coordination planner for Capital Metro, said the organization is working with Kyle on a transit development plan, to study what types of transportation services might suit the city. Buda City Council deferred studying mass transit options until the first or second quarter of FY 2015, when the city can evaluate whether it has enough money in the coffers, Mayor Todd Ruge said.
  • Utah Transit Authority to Expand Service, Make Improvements
    Source: FOX 13
    For those who rely on public transit to get around, the cost of travel will remain the same - for now. In its 2015 budget proposal, the Utah Transit Authority plans to maintain its current customer fares, while expanding its holiday service. Beginning next year, the agency will be up and running for three extra days, providing service on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. The addition is just one piece of the $347 million budget, which Barron contends is focused on improving the customer experience. Based on feedback from the public, the agency is focusing on making technological improvements to its system. The proposal calls for spending approximately $2.5 million to upgrade its WiFi system on the Frontrunner trains, while another $275,000 will go toward designing a new mobile app and online ticketing system.
  • New Trade and Transit II Development Project Recommended for Williamsport (Pa.)
    Source: Sun-Gazette
    The city planning commission recently gave a positive recommendation of a land development plan for the $9.4 million Trade and Transit Centre II proposed by River Valley Transit. The plan for three-story building, 40-space parking plaza and pedestrian walking path, one of which may have a sport's related theme, was presented by William E. Nichols Jr., general manager of River Valley Transit. Ground floor is reserved primarily for bus drivers and patrons of the bus service. The third floor will provide space for community gatherings and a possible emergency operations center.

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The Porter's Station

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

  • Training: Upcoming Courses from NTI
    Source: National Transit Institute
    The National Transit Institute is pleased to announce upcoming training sessions on Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, FTA Real Estate Requirements, Introduction to Transit Asset Management, Management of Transit Construction Projects, Paratransit Management and Operations, Quality Assurance and Quality Control and Risk Assessment for Transit Capital Projects. For more information on any of the above classes, please contact NTI Program Coordinator Myrna Sirleaf at 848-932-6040 or at msirleaf@nti.rutgers.edu.
  • Explainer: Why Buses Arrive in Bunches
    Source: WBEZ
    Bus bunching is ninth on the Chicago Transit Authority complaint list, the subject of around 2 percent of all calls. It seems like there should be something the Chicago Transit Authority can do to keep the buses on schedule. That's not always the case, though, according to University of Chicago Professor Donald Eisenstein. Eisenstein studies self-organizing systems, like workers in a production line. As a system, buses by design are set up to bunch. "A bus system by nature has bad dynamics," Eisenstein said. "Left on its own, buses will bunch." Big gaps between buses, he said, will get bigger, while small gaps will shrink. This reality makes it almost impossible to eliminate bunching on a route unless there's a lot of time between buses. "Zero isn't a possibility," he said. "The natural dynamics fight against you. I don't think you'll ever get zero bus bunching, so your goal is to reduce it as much as possible."

The Whistle Stop

Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation

  • Public Transit: The Road to Opportunity
    Source: Huffington Post
    Serious public transportation challenges are hurting the nation's economy. Qualified workers are not able to get to jobs they could do; would-be workers are not connecting to training; job efficiency is compromised because of lateness, missed work days, and transportation related-distractions due to unreliable, unaffordable and unsafe public transit. Transportation challenges exist in too many locations across the United States. Sadly, for too many residents of these communities, not enough change has come. One of the reasons for this is that transportation dollars in the federal budget are too frequently focused on highways. Public transit has been relegated to a backseat for far too long. But national and local advocates have been insistently pressing the need for another approach, one that is driven by equity, which means just and fair inclusion. Evidence exists that they're being heard.
  • Better Bike Lanes And Public Transit Could Slash Emissions By 2050 - And Save $100 Trillion
    Source: Fast Coexist
    As more and more people around the world can suddenly afford cars, transportation has become the fastest-growing source of carbon pollution in the world. But a new study explains how that can turn around: If the world's large cities make a serious effort to improve public transportation, we could collectively save $100 trillion and cut emissions from urban transit by 40 percent by 2050. It seems intuitive that better public transportation would reduce pollution. But this is the first study to look at exactly how much it could help. In the past, carbon policy has often looked at another part of the problem - how we can shift to renewable energy. This study wanted to change that emphasis.
  • Transit and Roads Not Mutually Exclusive
    Source: Winnipeg Free Press
    Public transit is often assumed to come at the expense of good roads, and vice versa. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are certainly cases where roadway spending and public transit are at odds. For instance, when light rail or streetcar projects remove lanes of traffic, or when road design doesn't accommodate buses. But in many other cases, roadway improvements and transit projects are symbiotic. After all, both cars and buses use the streets. Better road maintenance and design can give both transit riders and drivers faster and more pleasant commutes.
  • Study Exposes Bias in Transportation System Design
    Source: U-C Denver
    America's streets are designed and evaluated with a an inherent bias toward the needs of motor vehicles, ignoring those of bicyclists, pedestrians, and public transit users, according to a new study co-authored by Wesley Marshall of the University of Colorado Denver. "The most common way to measure transportation performance is with the level-of-service standard," said Marshall, PhD, PE, assistant professor of civil engineering at the CU Denver College of Engineering and Applied Science, the premier public research university in Denver. "But that measure only tells us about the convenience of driving a car."
  • When Planning for Retirement, Consider Transportation
    Source: New York Times
    During retirement planning, transportation is often an afterthought. Yet, figuring transportation into plans is essential, experts say. According to the American Journal of Public Health, Americans are outliving their ability to drive safely - a woman, on average, by 10 years, a man by seven. Over all, the ability to drive safely as one ages depends on health. Some people can drive into their 90s while others begin to cut back at 65. And yet, most people prefer not to think about the day when they have to rely on others or use public transportation for routine activities.

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.
  • New from the National Volunteer Transportation Center: Volunteer Driver Program Review (PDF)
    This review from the National Volunteer Transportation Center is intended to support volunteer driver programs in their efforts to provide what might be called "high touch/low cost" transportation services to people who cannot access other community-based transportation. It was designed to enable volunteer driver program managers and staff to review the operations and management of their volunteer driver program in providing and supporting the delivery of transportation services.
  • 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.

Transportation to Work Toolkit The Transportation to Work Toolkit for the Business Community gives businesses the information they need now to assist their employees in achieving a timely, cost-efficient commute that promotes productivity and job satisfaction. Explore the toolkit's flyers, fact sheets, resources and examples of transportation initiatives undertaken by employers nationwide. Each approach is straightforward to launch and simple to manage.

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Richard Sampson
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Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines
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