November 19, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Around the Depot
New products, documents, upcoming events and training from CTAA's staff
- Introducing CTAA's Newest Product: The Vanpool Works (PDF)(2.6 MB)
Introducing CTAA's newest product launch: The Vanpool Works - a way to create a self-supporting employment transportation business as part of the mobility services you already offer. If you're looking to do things differently, The Vanpool Works is a great place to start.
- New Issue of DigitalCT Focuses on the Changing American Commute
This edition of DigitalCT focuses on the changing American commute to work - with an emphasis on vanpooling and CTAA's new Vanpool Works product. You'll learn about emerging research and trends, technological breakthroughs and innovative, alternative commuting approaches.
- NCMM Podcasts: Discussions with Mobility Management Professionals
Ever wonder how to effectively use a consultant or how to supplement transit funds with sponsorships and fundraisers? Our podcasts will tell you how. Other topics focus on the use of apps in small urban and rural areas and impact of HIPPA and other privacy laws for community and public transportation agencies. The National Center for Mobility Management routinely posts podcasts addressing specific topics of interest to mobility managers and transportation officials. Share ideas for future topics. Email us at info@nc4mm. Don't forget to sign up for NCMM's e-newsletter for updates about recent postings and other important topics.
- 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.
The Capitol Limited
News on federal transportation policy and developments from the Nation's Capital
The Community Transportation Flyer
Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country
- Inland Empire (Calif.) Veteran Helps His Comrades Access Affordable Transportation
Source: San Bernardino Sun
Helping veterans access affordable transportation has been one man's mission since 2012. Veterans Specialist and Marine veteran Osvaldo Maysonet brought together United Way 2-1-1 VetLink San Bernardino County with other non-profits in the San Bernardino-Riverside county area to make veterans' transportation more accessible - and affordable. A former Marine sergeant, who served in Iraqi Freedom, Maysonet, who is also an employee of United Way 2-1-1 VetLink, said he would hear from veterans calling in to say they couldn't even afford bus fare. Maysonet said he developed the reduced fares program to look out for his brothers and sisters.
- Triangle Transit Will Soon Connect Fuquay-Varina, Downtown Raleigh (N.C.)
Source: The Cary News
Residents headed north on U.S. 401 to work in downtown Raleigh or Research Triangle Park will soon have a possible reprieve from the heavy rush-hour traffic. Thanks to N.C. Department of Transportation funding, the Triangle Transit Authority plans to expand bus service to Fuquay-Varina starting in January. The town is building a park-and-ride lot next to the Fuquay-Varina Community Center, and an express bus will take travelers from there to downtown Raleigh, with only one stop on the way at a Food Lion parking lot on N.C. 401.
- Birmingham (Ala.) Transit Agency Plans New Route
Source: ABC 33/40
An Alabama bus service is testing out a new commuter line. WVTM-TV reports that a pilot program run by the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority launches Monday, with service along Highway 280 aimed at commuters. The agency used a federal grant to buy seven commuter-style buses, which will make fewer stops than a typical fixed route. Agency director Ann August says people living nearby have complained that those routes didn't always help them reach work. The cost is set at $2.50 for a round trip.
- Kimberlee Morton, CCTM - Former Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority COO, to Head Norwalk Transit District (Conn.)
Source: The Hour
The Norwalk Transit District has hired a certified community transit manager with 30 years' experience to oversee operation of its 100-plus vehicles fleet. Norwalk Transit District commissioners announced recently that they had hired Kimberlee A. Morton as their next CEO. Morton, a resident of Orange, is currently director of fiscal and administrative services for the Greater Hartford Transit District. She worked for 13 years as Assistant General Manager of Administration at Connecticut Transit (CTTransit), the Connecticut Department of Transportation-owned bus service.
- Public Transit Ridership Reaches Record Levels in East Cooper (S.C.)
Source: Moultrie News
Public transit ridership east of the Cooper reached a historic peak in August, before taking a slight dip due to September rain days. All routes are up over the previous year. The No. 40 Mount Pleasant bus had the first best month in its history in August, peaking to 16,126 riders. It posted a 15.2 percent increase over the previous year in September despite rain, declining slightly from its August peak to a September 2014 total of 15,320. Ridership on this route was only 9,704 in July 2007. The newer No. 41 Coleman Boulevard route continues to show increasing ridership, carrying 2,967 riders, an increase of 522 over last year. The No. 41 also peaked in August with ridership at 3,447. The No. 2 Express moved 10,920 passengers in September. About half of Express riders are traveling to or from Mount Pleasant. Total transit ridership in the community, including Tri-County Link routes and Tel-A-Ride transportation for the disabled, exceeded 25,000 riders in September.
- Public Transit Critical Part of Bloomington-Normal's (Ill.) 'Economic Engine'
Source: The Vidette
For college students without a car, transportation can quickly become an obstacle when it comes to shopping, working off-campus and even socializing or going out with friends in the colder months. Illinois State University students are lucky because the Bloomington-Normal community offers alternatives to personal cars. Public figures such as Normal Mayor Chris Koos are invested in developing reliable public transportation options.
- Connect Transit (Ill.) Sees Spike In Riders
Public transportation has seen a big increase in ridership in Bloomington-Normal. Connect Transit had more than 993,000 riders on its buses from July through October this year. That's an increase of 11 percent from one year ago. Transit officials say a more aggressive marketing scheme has led to more riders. Local community colleges and ISU students also remain loyal passengers.
- Merger of Berks, Lancaster (Pa.) Mass Transit Systems Approved
The new year will formally bring together the mass transit agencies that serve Berks and Lancaster counties. After months of careful deliberation, the Berks County commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a merger of the Berks Area Regional Transportation Authority and Lancaster's Red Rose Transit Authority into the South Central Transit Authority (SCTA). The vote came a day after unanimous approval of the merger by the Lancaster County commissioners.
- ARTIC: Newest Southern California Transit Center Opens in December
Source: Pasadena Star-News
The Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, the full name of this igloo-looking mega-structure set to open Dec. 6, was designed to attract millennials and hipsters alike who've ditched their cars for a bus pass or a steel-framed "fixie" bicycle. It's a $184 million gamble, a kind of mission impossible to take commuters from the Inland Empire or eastern Los Angeles County driving to workplaces in Orange County, or vice versa. With concrete platforms stretching above tracks carrying Amtrak's Surfliner as well as north-south Metrolink trains, ARTIC hopes to carve out a piece of the destination market by attracting families headed for Hollywood, Disneyland or even Sea World in San Diego.
- New Flyer Poised for Solid Growth in Recovering Transit Industry
Source: The Globe & Mail
To sum up, the industry is recovering from a very bad period. There are few players and demand is perking up. It has to - given the aging fleet. New Flyer is poised to capture a good deal of the recovering demand, which, along with a strong balance sheet and internal improvements, could lead to dividend increases in a year or so (the dividend hasn't been increased since the IPO).
- 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
- New Report Examines Role of Transportation in Chronic Absenteeism
Source: School Transportation News
A new report from Upstream Public Health in Portland, Oregon, looks at the link between student health and chronic absenteeism in Oregon and the impact of various factors, including transportation, on student attendance. According to the report, a lack of reliable transportation is a primary factor in chronic absenteeism for students, as communities have become more dependent on the family vehicle to transport children to school. This can be a particular barrier for low-income students, with long-term repercussions for academic achievement and career success.
- How Suburban Sprawl, Inadequate Transit Worsen Unemployment
Source: Huffington Post
It's easy to grasp why poorly planned, haphazard suburban sprawl is bad for the environment: disconnected, spread-out subdivisions eat up watersheds and wildlife habitat while forcing people to drive ever-longer distances to get things done. Public transportation becomes inconvenient at best, and totally inaccessible to many. Increased automobile dependence is why per-household carbon emissions are so much higher on the metropolitan fringe than in closer-in neighborhoods. More hidden, though, are the economic consequences of sprawl, such as rising costs for the construction and maintenance of extended infrastructure and the burdens of increased transportation costs on household budgets.
- Singapore's Perspective on Paratransit
Source: Today Online
In our quest to become a more equitable society, we can do more to improve door-to-door accessibility for more of our population. Today, our pioneers and members of the public with disabilities have greater access to conventional modes of public transport than in the past, with transport concessions and barrier-free retrofitting. There are also private forms of para-transit such as private ambulances, accessible taxis, private fleets of minibuses and accessible vehicles owned by welfare organisations available for limited loans. However, a significant gap in our transport network remains to be plugged: The provision of public para-transit services or, at least, central legislation to consolidate our fragmented private services into a coherent framework.
The Information Station
Resources from CTAA
- RAIL 36: Thrilling Wonder Stories Revisited
When we first launched RAIL Magazine, we did so with the premise that this publication was dedicated not so much to trains themselves, but more to what those trains were creating in the communities they serve. This edition of RAIL - Thrilling Wonder Stories: Revisited - afforded us the chance to go back and take a new look at specific passenger rail projects we've highlighted over the years.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines