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September 27, 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


TripSpark Technologies

TripSpark WebinarAFC Was the Best Decision For Us to Solve Our Key Challenges
TripSpark Technologies provides software solutions for fixed route, paratransit and NEMT operators. More than a vendor, we also offer material to help educate and connect operators within the transportation industry. Check out this video that offers some helpful advice surrounding the work that National RTAP is doing to help small rural, urban and tribal transit sites to access funding.

Around the Depot: Sponsored by Ecolane

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


Sponsored Content from Ecolane: Thoughts on Transit
Created to keep the transit community up-to-date on the latest challenges and trends faced by the public transportation industry, Ecolane's Resources Library draws on the knowledge and experience of experts in transit to provide you with a wide range of educational and insightful resources, including blog articles, on-demand webinars, eBooks, and case studies. For more insight into the state of today's public transportation industry, subscribe to Ecolane's blog, Thoughts on Transit.

CTAA's Rapid Response

CTAA Introduces New Rapid Response Team: Sign Up Today!
Throughout the year, specific issues, challenges and opportunities emerge in the community and public transportation field that require quick member engagement. We need to know - quickly - what you think. That's why CTAA is looking for a few good members to enlist in our Rapid Response Team. It's easy: just send an email to and we'll sign you up. Then, once or twice a month, we'll send an email to the Rapid Response team (you'll see RAPID RESPONSE in the subject of the email) requiring a reply within 24 hours. We'll use the collected data to inform CTAA legislative and policy direction, training concepts, research ideas and more. All replies will be treated anonymously and only aggregated data will be published. Help us help you - sign up today for the Rapid Response team!

  • View CTAA's Membership Pledge (PDF)
    The CTAA staff recently signed our membership pledge, a document which captures our commitment to our members. Here's what you can expect from CTAA: Responsiveness, Expertise, Insight & Passion.
  • Add or Update Your Company's Complimentary CTAA Buyers Guide
    CTAA's 2017 Buyers Guide will be published in digital format only via Fast Mail's Marketplace. Distribution will be to all CTAA members & our expanded audience of 4,500. Listings are complimentary. Text only. All web links will be live (clickable). Looking for a bigger impact? Advertise in the 2017 Buyers Guide! Contact CTAA's Advertising Sales Representative Tom Smull at or 515-201-3133 for full details.
  • Stay Tuned: Next Issue of DigitalCT to Focus on Small Urban Transit
    In the coming weeks, stay tuned to your inboxes for the next edition of DigitalCT Magazine, which will highlight trends, innovations and opportunities in small urban transit service. In addition to sharing content from small urban transit executives from across the country, it will also offer commentary on legislative and policy topics crucial to this rapidly-growing segment of our industry.



CTAA's Fed Central

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

  • CTAA's Analysis of FY 16 Bus & Bus Facilities Projects (PDF)
    Included in CTAA's analysis (PDF) of the 61 projects selected by FTA, 32 projects were in large urban areas, with 17 in small urban areas, 10 in rural communities and 2 to tribal transit programs. A total of 44 projects support purchases of new vehicles, while another 19 will help construct new facilities. Both Fairbanks, Alaska and Flint, Mich., received the largest single amount of $12,800,000 while Tomah, Wisc., was awarded the smallest grant of $26,400 for a single van.
  • CTAA's Analysis of FTA's Transit Safety Rule
    Most of what's in this rule should not come as a surprise to transit industry stakeholders. The rule embraces a "Safety Management Systems" approach to transit safety, which FTA has been promoting for several years. Under MAP-21, there was a legislative mandate for FTA to regulate the safety of all public transportation operations, which is what this rule specifically addresses.
  • U.S. DOT Announces Automated Vehicles Policy
    Source: U.S. DOT
    As the digital era increasingly reaches deeper into transportation, our task at the U.S. Department of Transportation is not only to keep pace, but to ensure public safety while establishing a strong foundation such that the rules of the road can be known, understood, and responded to by industry and the public. In developing this Policy, we have consulted with industry leaders, experts in the field, state governments, the traveling public, and safety advocates, among others.

Small Urban

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


CTAA and Newtek

The Porter's Station

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

  • $200 Billion of Public Transportation Ballot Initiatives at Stake on Nov. 8
    Source: APTA
    The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reports that November 8 will be an important Election Day for millions of public transportation riders and the communities they live and work in. Thirty-one communities, counties, and states are asking voters to pass public transit ballot measures that will help to create a future with better transportation options. If passed, ballot initiatives will allow communities to expand and increase service and to address infrastructure needs.
  • NSF Funds UC Santa Cruz Project to Develop Assisted Public Transit Services
    Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
    The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year, $992,000 grant to UC Santa Cruz to fund a research project to help passengers with special needs use public transit safely and confidently. Principal investigator Roberto Manduchi, a professor of computer engineering at UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering, said the project addresses the needs of a large community of people who rely on public transportation for independent mobility, yet face serious difficulties in using it.

The Whistle Stop

Commentary and analysis on developments in community and public transportation

  • Shifting Economic Gears in Transport
    Source: Transportist
    You can't swing a dead cat without hitting another story about driverless cars, shared taxis, new mobility or other tech oriented developments in passenger travel. Invariably, these stories treat the technological advance as the Big Change for travel, where being able to summon a cab on your mobile phone changes everything we know about the world. However, looking at the future of transportation through just a technological lens misses the biggest economic shift underway—the shift from high average cost/low marginal cost travel to low average cost/high marginal cost travel. While this shift is enabled by technology, it is not just technology.
  • Uber Investors Aren't Paying for Innovation Anymore
    Source: Quartz
    What is clear is that Uber is in a new phase of development. The initial innovation phase, in which Uber's engineers built the core of its ride-hailing product, has largely passed. Then there was a rapid expansion phase, gave way to slower, grinding turf wars. Now Uber is in its latest phase: monopolization. Its capital flows increasingly to market maneuvers and labor struggles. Instead of paying for new innovations and capacity building, investments in the most highly valued private company in the world primarily exist to give customers cheap rides until Uber comes out on top.
  • British Perspective: It's Not Just Cities That Need Decent Transport
    Source: The Guardian
    The virtual disappearance in some places of public transport is transforming the profile of who lives where, and what the economic and social mix of the countryside will look like in future, says Nick Richardson, a director of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport. "The bus subsidy might seem like a cost that's easy to do away with, but it has some profound consequences, one of which is a destabilisation of the rural demographic." When young people with ambition and skills leave rural areas for jobs or higher education elsewhere, they can be reluctant to return in their 20s and 30s, he points out.
  • Seattle CDC Pairs Affordable Rent With Transit Discounts
    Source: NextCity
    Capitol Hill Housing is an affordable housing provider with 48 buildings throughout Seattle. The average household income for its tenants is just $17,000, less than 30 percent of area median income. Income-restricted housing is critical in the city as rents continue to rocket upward, taking an ever bigger chunk of paychecks with them. Now, in a move somewhat unexpected for a housing provider, Capitol Hill Housing is trying to subsidize its tenants' second-biggest household expense: transportation. Earlier this year, the community development corporation launched a pilot to offer residents deeply discounted ORCA cards — the smart card that riders use to tap on to buses, light rail, streetcars and ferries in the Seattle region.
  • This Electric Bus Can Handle a Day's Worth of Transit on One Charge
    Source: TechCrunch
    Tesla topping the 300 mile per charge rating with its new 100 kWh battery was a big deal, but a new zero emission bus debuted recently by Proterra has actually managed 600 miles out of a full battery in testing. In a real-world setting, Proterra's new Catalyst E2 will probably manage somewhere between 194 and 350 miles in actual use settings – but that's plenty according to the company, representing the full route needs for the average bus in the U.S. That means that when the Catalyst E2 starts hitting city streets sometime in 2017, it'll represent the first full-EV mass transit option that can actually stand in for existing gas-based vehicles without much in the way of compromise.
  • Finding a Ride for Two-Year College Students
    Source: Inside Higher Ed
    For many students at two-year institutions across the country, regardless of whether they're in a rural or more urban setting, transportation can be a significant barrier. Extending bus lines, buying shuttles and partnering with ride-sharing services are just some of the solutions community college leaders are looking at when it comes to getting their students on campus.

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