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November 1, 2017

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


TripSpark Technologies

Around the Depot: Sponsored by Ecolane

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

Ecolane's New Mobile App -- Transportation Management Made Easy

Sponsored Content from Ecolane: Ecolane's New Mobile App -- Transportation Management Made Easy
Transportation management just got easier with Ecolane's new mobile app. We're proud to be first-to-market for demand response transportation.

Whether you are a rider who needs to manage your own transportation, or an agency looking for streamlined scheduling operations; our app will help you do both.

Other features include automatic push notifications, real-time bus location tracking, insight into upcoming and canceled trips and more. You have enough on your plate, let us help you with your transportation management.

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CTAA SPECIAL REPORT: Transit Plans For, Responds To And Recovers From Disasters

CTAA SPECIAL REPORT: Transit Plans For, Responds To And Recovers From Disasters
Trends and evidence suggest that the frequency and strength of disaster events - both natural and man-made - are likely to continue and intensify in the years ahead. This report and infographic bring together the experiences of CTAA members as transit professionals across the country in planning for, responding to and recovering from these tragedies so their peers elsewhere might be ready when disaster strikes again.

CTAA, APTA Partner on Report on Rural Transit Ridership and Impact

CTAA, APTA Partner on Report on Rural Transit Ridership and Impact
A new study produced by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in partnership with CTAA finds rural transit ridership outpaced population growth from 2007-2015. Additionally, the study reports that public transit's affordability and the demographic makeup of these areas combine to make public transit desirable for rural and small town populations. Seniors, veterans and people with disabilities have the highest public transit use in these areas.


Welcome New CTAA Members!
From Oct. 14-30, CTAA welcomes the following new members: Bergen County Community Transportation (N.J.); Alliance Transit, LLC (Colo.); East Tennessee Human Resource Agency (Tenn.); Norwalk Transit District (Conn.); New England Wheels (Mass.); and Gwinnet County Transit (Ga.), while also thanking the nine current members who renewed their membership for another year. Thanks to all members for their ongoing support! Be sure to take advantage of our members-only resource section as well the benefits available to all CTAA members.

Staff Travel

Where Are CTAA Staff Heading in November?
From October 31-November 13, CTAA staff will be attending meetings and events in Roanoke, Va., Omaha, Neb., Lawrence, Kansas, Tampa, Fla., Georgetown, Ky., Princeton, Ind., and Austin, Texas. A full agenda of CTAA staff travels – as well as downloads of presentations – is available.

Webinar Recording: How to Purchase Vehicle Insurance
On Thursday, Oct. 26, CTAA and Cobbs Allen hosted "Commercial Insurance for Transit Agencies: How to Correctly Purchase Vehicle Insurance for the Upcoming Year." All too often purchasing insurance is transactional. We predicate the success of an insurance renewal on the amount of premium increase or decrease, which is understandable. This webinar will let us dive into the driving factors of insurance premiums and help you develop long term strategies to purchase insurance this year and control cost for years to come.



CTAA's Fed Central

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

TripSpark's Advanced Passenger Information System

Sponsored Content from TripSpark: TripSpark's Advanced Passenger Information System
With MyRide's News and Notifications features, riders can get personalized real-time bus departure information and news that is meaningful to them. Publish multimedia news stories and send riders real-time alerts for weather events or unexpected route interruptions. Give riders the flexibility of accessing MyRide via their web browser or apps for Android and iOS. Watch the video to discover how!

Watch the Webinar.

  • CTAA Comments on HHS Strategic Plan Emphasizes Important Role of Transit (PDF)
    In its considerations for this strategic plan, CTAA urges HHS to consider the implications of transportation access to health care services as well as the role of transportation in overall health (e.g., access to healthy food, health promoting activities, employment, socialization opportunities) and include specific strategies targeting mobility within the strategic plan for FY 2018 -2022.
  • CTAA Analysis of Federal Tax Reform Legislation & Impact on Infrastructure Measures
    Recently, a tax reform proposal emerged from the Trump Administration, the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Finance Committee. The measure would introduce substantial changes to both individual and corporate tax structures. Legislation to reform tax policy could be either a precursor or follow-on to an infrastructure package to deliver the revenue necessary to support new infrastructure funding. Given that an infrastructure plan draws significant support from both leaders in both parties and the public at large, many view infrastructure as essential to the success of tax reform. Many observers view infrastructure and tax reform as hand-in-glove partners for a President and Congressional leadership desperate to accomplish something. Full analysis is available to CTAA members at our Members-Only Area.
  • Draft DOT Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022: Available for Public Comment Until Nov. 13
    Source: U.S. DOT The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) invites the public to comment on the draft DOT Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022. The draft DOT Strategic Plan reflects the Secretary's priorities for achieving DOT's mission through four strategic goals: safety; infrastructure; innovation; and accountability. Comments must be received on or before Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.
  • T&I Chairman Shuster: No Appetite for Gas Tax Hike Now in House
    Source: The Hill
    The head of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said on Thursday that there is little appetite in the lower chamber right now for a hike in the federal gasoline tax. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) reportedly said that though there is little enthusiasm at present, members could get on board with the idea if the White House gets publicly involved on the issue and actively advocates for an increase. He emphasized that the president needs to take the lead on the infrastructure package.
  • How Federal Grants Are Accelerating the Adoption of Electric-Powered Buses
    Source: Green Tech Media
    The federal funds help transit providers launch or accelerate their vehicle and infrastructure programs even in the face of budget constraints or competing interests. Market growth in zero-emission technologies is fanned by growing public awareness of the new options that provide cleaner air, a better experience for passengers and drivers, and increasingly, an imperative to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Transit Agencies Could Benefit from VW Funding
    Source: Metro Magazine
    EMT funds will be available once the Trustee effective date is established, the state beneficiaries have been named, the state files its mitigation plan, and the Trustee approves the plan. It's estimated this will occur as soon as early 2018. Once plans are approved, the state then has 10 years to allocate funds. What can you do? Learn who your state's fund beneficiary is, and send a letter expressing your views on how EMT funding should be used.



Rural & Tribal

The latest developments in improving mobility in rural and tribal communities


News, trends and updates of transit in small urban areas

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: Impacts of Laws and Regulations on Automated and Connected Vehicle Introduction in Transit (Nov. 16; 2-3:30 p.m. EDT)
    Source: Transportation Research Board
    TRB will conduct a webinar on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET that features research from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP)'s Web-Only Document 239: Impacts of Laws and Regulations on CV and AV Technology Introduction in Transit Operations. This webinar will discuss the changes in the way public transit agencies will approach operating policy with the introduction of connected vehicles (CV) and automated vehicles (AV) over the next few decades. The results of the decisions transit operators make may affect employees, agency management structure, and transit patrons.
  • Toolkit: Pathway to Autonomy Media Resources
    Source: SAE
    As a knowledge source for automotive, aerospace and commercial vehicles, SAE International has developed the six levels of driving automation and will continue to serve as the technical and standard development resource for the future of autonomous vehicles. Supporting this leadership position, the organization held an event – Pathway to Autonomy – to showcase resources available to the mobility industry.
  • Online Dialogue: Autonomous Vehicles – Driving Employment For People With Disabilities
    Source: Energy Fuse
    The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), along with Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), is hosting an online dialogue about how autonomous vehicle (AV) technology can improve employment opportunities for Americans with disabilities. The purpose of the dialogue is to promote innovative thinking around the design and deployment of AVs, specifically in regard to helping members of the disability community as they seek stable, long-term employment.
  • Upcoming Courses from NTI
    Source: NTI
    The National Transit Institute (NTI) is pleased to announce the following upcoming training sessions: Disadvantaged Business Enterprise; FTA Real Estate Requirements; Introduction to Transit Asset Management; Transit Asset Management for Tier II Providers and Sponsors; Management of Transit Construction Projects; Quality Assurance and Quality Control; and Risk Assessment for Transit Capital Projects. For more information about any of these courses, visit
  • Resource: Massachusetts Municipal Resource Guide for Walkability (PDF)
    Source: MassDOT
    The Municipal Resource Guide provides an introduction to the core concepts of walkability and outlines additional resources that are available on each topic. The Guide is intended to provide communities with the tools and information needed to hold discussions on why and how to improve walkability.

The Whistle Stop

Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation

  • How to Get More People to Ride the Bus
    Source: The Atlantic
    Almost every major U.S. city has seen years of decline in bus ridership, but Seattle has been the exception in recent years. What exactly did Seattle do to improve ridership in a city famously clogged by cars? Three people with different positions in the Seattle transit community—a bus driver, a transportation official, and a transit advocate—weigh in.
  • Are Uber & Left Helping or Hurting Mass Transit?
    Source: New York Times
    Study results suggest that ride-hailing draws people away from public transit. And the authors, Regina Clewlow and Gouri Shankar Mishra, estimate that 49 percent to 61 percent of ride-hailing trips either wouldn't have been made at all if these apps didn't exist, or would have been made by foot, biking or transit. All of those trips, in other words, added cars to the road that otherwise wouldn't have been there.
  • Creating a Responsive Transit Experience
    Source: Mass Transit Magazine
    Today, transit authorities are discovering that maintaining and developing the customer relationship themselves has value. In doing so, transit agencies can engage customers in a two-way dialogue that makes them more responsive to customer needs. This means improving security with “see something say something” apps, or using mobile devices to understand aggregate passenger behavior, with the goal of designing better stations and optimizing service.
  • Five Reasons Why We Must Modernize School Transportation
    Source: Real Clear Education
    School transportation is like plumbing: We rarely discuss it, but when it's not working, everyone notices. Like the pipes in your home, school transportation impacts every level of school systems, directly affecting the ability of schools to deliver on their core mission. To put it simply: If kids can't get to school, everything else falls away.
  • How Far Are We On the Road to Sustainable Mobility?
    Source: The World Bank
    According to the Global Mobility Report, unless action is taken by all transport stakeholders, the costs for increased mobility in terms of social exclusion, accidents, inefficiencies, and pollution are simply too high. For the first time, a report pulls together the global evidence and data, looking at the sector comprehensively and measuring the extent to which investments and policies go in the right direction.
  • The Myths Surrounding the Automated Car Abound
    Source: Car & Driver
    The myths surrounding the automated car abound, reinforced by a well-meaning press that has absolutely zero idea how the car business works, disclaimingly ignorant of the stock-driving power of overhyped new technology. The myths are these: 1) The computer-driven car is already here. 2) Okay, so maybe they're not here yet, but when they get here, they'll definitely drive you around all the time. 3) To the prior point, many think that computer-driven cars will eliminate the need for privately owned, human-driven cars.

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 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.

  • 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