July 14, 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 email@example.com.
Around the Depot
New products, documents, upcoming events and training from CTAA's staff
- CTAA and Partners Launch New National Volunteer Transportation Center
The National Volunteer Transportation Center was created earlier this year in response to the outpouring of interest in volunteerism related to the delivery of transportation services to many population groups including children, work force participants and older adults. Each of the founders have extensive experience in studying, supporting, and delivering volunteer transportation and are aware of the positive experience of those who volunteer to provide services as well as the many benefits accorded to those who receive the services. The founders are: Community Transportation Association of Washington, D.C.; the Beverly Foundation of Albuquerque, N.M.; Ride Connection of Portland, Ore.; CIMA Volunteers Insurance of Woodbridge, Va.; and AlterNetWays of San Francisco, Calif.
- Coming Right Up: CTAA-AASHTO-APTA State Public Transportation Partnerships Conference
Are you active in state-centered transit advocacy and programming? Please join us in this year's State Public Transportation Partnerships Conference, taking place August 13-15, 2014, in Philadelphia Pa. The agenda addresses a variety of topics, including state initiatives, collaboration between state DOTs and transit associations, state financing of public transit, the latest news from FTA, and more. This conference is part of the ongoing collaboration between the Community Transportation Association, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the American Public Transportation Association.
- DigitalCT's Annual State Edition to Feature Georgia!
CTAA's DigitalCT Magazine staff of Editor-in-Chief Scott Bogren and Editor Rich Sampson will be traveling across Georgia in July to visit community and public transportation providers across the Peach State, preparing what is often among the most anticipated editions of DigitalCT each year. Stay tuned!
- New Edition of RAIL Magazine Coming Soon
Stay tuned to your inboxes in the coming weeks for the 35th edition of RAIL Magazine. We'll share RAIL's on-site account of the opening of the Green Line light-rail route between St. Paul and Minneapolis, Minn., as well as other key rail projects from across the nation. If you're not yet a subscriber to this free digital publication, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get you signed up.
- From Our Insurance Store Partners at Newtek: It Was a Pleasure Meeting You EXPO!
We would like to take a few minutes to re-introduce you to Newtek Business Services, and to see how we could work together. As mentioned; Newtek is a leading provider of professional business services including small business loans, payroll, merchant processing, cloud services, commercial/ personal and health insurance. Specifically, Newtek is here to provide your transportation business with low cost insurance solutions. Please feel free to reach out to us and we can discuss opportunities on how we can work together to help you obtain the services you need to grow their business. Please visit CTAA's Insurance Store for more information.
- Make Your Way to Tampa Bay for EXPO 2015
Although we just put the wraps on EXPO 2014 in St. Paul, 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 for more details.
The Capitol Limited
News on federal transportation policy and developments from the Nation's Capital
- Congress Moves to Replenish Highway, Transit Trust Funds
Source: Wall Street Journal
The House Ways and Means Committee, in a voice vote, approved legislation that would transfer $10.8 billion to the Highway Trust Fund by relying on financing mechanisms unrelated to transportation spending. The bill, which the House is expected to take up next week, would extend the funding through May 2015. The Senate Finance Committee voted later Thursday, also by voice vote, on a bipartisan alternative that would transfer about the same amount to the trust fund through similar funding strategies but also seek to improve compliance with existing tax laws, including taking Medicare payments from doctors and other providers who are delinquent on their taxes and tightening up on compliance with mortgage-interest deduction rules. The committee didn't specify an end date for its bill.
- CTAA's Small Urban Network Announces House Dear Colleague Letter on Increasing the Small Transit Intensive Cities Program
Since its inception in FY 2006, the Small Transit Intensive Cities (STIC) program has been a tremendous success, with approximately 165 communities in 45 states and Puerto Rico benefitting from it at least once. However, as more and more communities qualify for the STIC, allocations for each eligible community will soon decrease. As a result, Reps. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) are sending a letter to the leaders of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee asking that the Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Program set-aside for the STIC program be increased from 1.5 percent to 3 percent in the next transportation reauthorization. Such a change would not require any additional funding, and would continue to reward communities that make a strong local commitment to transit. If you'd like to contact your House member in support of STIC, please contact CTAA's SUN Coordinator, Scott Bogren, at email@example.com.
- FTA's Transit Safety Office Celebrates Productive First Year
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
At DOT, safety has always been our first priority, but it wasn't until two years ago that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) was finally granted the authority to oversee the safety of all of Americans individual public transportation systems. While NHTSA oversees all of the nation's cars, and FHWA ensures the safety of your roads and bridges, there was no federal role when it came to the nation's subways, inter-city buses and other forms of public transit until 2012.
The Community Transportation Flyer
Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country
- Bus Service is Planned for Local Rural Areas (Miss.)
Source: News Channel 12
Five County Community Transportation Co. plans for a daily bus service in Lincoln County. Tony Middleton, the company's operations supervisor, tells The Daily Leader a start date hasn't been determined. Middleton says bus routes will be set up to transport passengers from Auburn, Bogue Chitto, East Lincoln and Ruth to Brookhaven. The buses will run every 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
- Slab City (Calif.) Now Part of Imperial Valley Transit Service
Source: Imperial Valley Press
Slab City residents now should have an easier time accessing Imperial Valley's public transportation services. Starting Thursday and every other Thursday thereafter, shuttle buses will make a stop in front of the Christian Center just off the main drag. Just a handful of residents took advantage of the inaugural shuttle bus ride on Thursday. Operations manager Cesar Sanchez handed each rider a transit schedule and answered any questions.
- Triangle Transit (N.C.) Expands Service
Starting Aug. 18, Triangle Transit will provide seven-day service. The changes will extend service hours on Saturday and add new service on Sunday for: Route 100, serving the RDU International Airport; Route 400, serving Durham, New Hope Commons and Chapel Hill; Route 700, serving Durham and the Regional Transit Center; Route 800, serving Chapel Hill, Southpoint and the Regional Transit Center. Adjustments will be made to other routes to improve their on-time performance, the transit agency said. As part of expanded service provided with additional local funding, Triangle Transit will launch the Orange-Durham Express providing weekday rush hour commuter service. Beginning on Aug. 18, the route will run between Hillsborough and Durham with a later extension providing connections between Mebane, Efland, Hillsborough, the Duke/VA Hospitals and downtown Durham.
- Iowa DOT Honors Public Transit Systems
Transit systems from Ottumwa, Burlington, and Decorah have been honored by the Iowa Department of Transportation for their accomplishments during the 2013 fiscal year. Each year at the Iowa Public Transit Association Conference and Annual Meeting, the Iowa DOT recognizes one regional transit system and one urban transit system for the highest percentage increase in ridership coupled with a decrease or lowest increase in operating costs. Beginning this year, an individual transit manager will be recognized for their contributions to public transit in Iowa. The awards were presented in Davenport during the annual awards banquet co-sponsored by the Iowa Public Transit Association and the Iowa DOT.
- Program Allows Cities To Expand Transportation Choices For Lexington (Ky.) Citizens
Source: LEX 18
Governor Steve Beshear announced recently $603,120 in federal funding for a project that aims to expand transportation choices to citizens in Lexington. The funding is through the federal Transportation Alternatives Program and will be used to construct a visitor viewing area for Old Frankfort Pike Kentucky Scenic Byway, officials said, a recommendation included in the Old Frankfort Pike Corridor Management Plan.
- Transit Projects Are About to Get Much, Much Easier in California
Source: City Lab
In the twisted eyes of California law, public transit is considered a greater enemy to the environment than car travel. That's the bad news. The encouraging news is that this law is about to change. California will soon reform traffic analysis under CEQA by replacing "level of service" with another metric more in line with its environmental and urban mobility goals. So transit projects and transit-friendly development are about to get much, much easier in California cities—and some think the shift in mindset will spread across the country.
- MTA (N.Y.) Expands Bus Service on Inwood Line
Source: Time Warner Cable News
Officials announce a route change designed to make public transportation more accessible in one Manhattan neighborhood. The M100 bus will now run east and west along Dyckman Street in Inwood, then along Tenth Avenue to the north. The change will make it easier for people living in the city Housing Authority's Dyckman Houses to access the bus.
- Low-Floor City Transit Buses Reach Roanoke (Va.)
Source: Roanoke Times
People in wheelchairs, on canes and walkers and those who move a little slowly should find boarding Valley Metro buses easier from now on, bus system officials said recently. New buses with lower floors have begun showing up on routes. Not only is the floor much closer to the typical curb, the door is, too. Valley Metro is replacing 20 percent of its bus fleet with a low-floor vehicle type, officials announced. Federal and state government grants paid most of the $3.5 million cost for nine $389,000 buses. More new units are expected in 2016 or 2017 as the existing bus fleet wears out.
- New Buses for Bowling Green (Ky.) Transit System Arrive
Source: Bowling Green Daily News
New buses will soon be rolling on Bowling Green streets. Four 40-foot Gillig buses donated by the Transit Authority of River City, the transit service serving the Louisville area, arrived in town this week, said Ken Merideth, GObg Transit transportation manager.
- South Bay (Calif.) Transit Officials Stage Dry Run For New Levi's Stadium
Source: CBS SF Bay Area
With the opening of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara a few weeks away, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority staged a so-called "transit test" to deliver fans to the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. The brightest minds in Bay Area transportation are on the case, attaching an alphabet soup of transportation systems, including ACE, BART, Caltrain and VTA.
- Rochester (N.Y.) Transit Center Construction Near Completion
Source: TWC News
A massive construction project is underway in Downtown Rochester, and we're only four months away until the work is done. Mark Ballerstein has been working on the $50 million project since the very beginning. Ballerstein is the director of engineering for Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. He said a lot of work went into getting the transit ready. The enclosed, one-story facility is designed to accommodate 100 buses an hour. It will span an entire city block between St. Paul Street and North Clinton Avenue.
- Laguna Beach (Calif.) Trolley Shuttles Patrons with a Smile
Source: Laguna Beach Independent
Over 593,000 riders welcomed the Laguna Beach free summertime trolley last year, and this year, riders are already flocking to the popular service, Ken Fisher, deputy public works director, reported. The service, which rolled out Friday, June 27, and continues through Sunday, Aug. 31, saw a 2 percent increase in ridership last summer over 2012.
- 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.
The Whistle Stop
Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation
- Easter Seals Project ACTION Webinar on Community Transportation & Wayfinding
Source: Easter Seals Project ACTION
On August 6 from 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Easter Seals Project ACTION presents the Webinar "Neighborhood Wayfinding: What You Need to Know to Get Involved." People with disabilities, advocates, transportation providers and community planners are encouraged to join. This webinar will address issues like how communities can help people with disabilities find transportation options, improve access to public transportation, and make public places easier to navigate. Register online by August 4. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit questions.
The Information Station
Resources from CTAA
- 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 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.
- Veterans Transportation Resources
The National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination (NRC) has put together a list of resources for transportation (and other human services) issues from the perspective of veterans and military families.
- 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.
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.
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines