August 24, 2015
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
- CTAA Seeks Executive Director
The Board of Directors of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) invites qualified candidates to apply for the position of Executive Director. The Application deadline is 5 p.m., Saturday, September 15, 2015. Interviews for selected applicants will be in September 2015 in Washington D.C.
- Follow-Up from CTAA's Inaugural Small Urban Network Conference
From August 12-14 in Denver, Colo., CTAA – with support from RouteMatch Software – hosted the inaugural edition of its Small Urban Network (SUN) Conference. The event featured networking among many of the nation's small urban transit leaders, sharing of key innovations and service strategies and site visits to mobility providers and facilities in the Denver region. All presentations delivered at the conference can be found here. Stay tuned for details on our second SUN conference in 2016!
- Seeking 20 Transit Innovators
Our next issue of DigitalCT Magazine will feature 20 of the top innovators in community and public transportation. We'll look at a variety of elements of innovative leadership, ranging from management style and organizational strategies to building partnerships, conducting outreach and pioneering use of technology. Have a potential innovator in mind? Click here to submit your suggestion.
- New Edition of DigitalCT: Oregon Transit Trail
As the 16th installment of Community Transportation's state transit tour series, the DigitalCT team visited eight community and public transportation providers in the western third of Oregon, covering more than 800 miles in the process. Along the way, a series of meaningful connections emerged as the bond that unites the state's mobility services and professionals in communities of all sizes.
The Capitol Limited
News on federal transportation policy and developments from the Nation's Capital
- House Working on Long-Term Reauthorization Bill
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is developing language for a long-term surface transportation reauthorization in the House. CTAA urges all of its members to contact their House members while they are back in their home districts in August to support the following facets of the Senate's DRIVE Act: Overall investment increases in the transit program, particularly the key formula programs (Sections 5307, 5310 and 5311); increases in dedicated bus capital investment, including a blended formula-discretionary approach; additional operating flexibility for all transit systems. Visit our Reauthorization page for the latest news.
- FTA Announces Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Public Transit Safety Program (PDF)
Source: Federal Register
The Federal Transit Administration seeks public comment on a proposed rule to establish a Public Transportation Safety Program to strengthen the safety of public transportation systems throughout the United States, based on the principles and practices of Safety Management Systems. Comments must be received by Oct. 13, 2015.
The Community Transportation Flyer
Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country
- Vermont's ACTR Marks 2 Millionth Ride on August 25
Source: Vermont Business
Addison County Transit Resources (ACTR) announces a major milestone in its service history. Ridership tracking indicates ACTR will deliver its two millionth ride on Tuesday, August 25, 2015. To thank riders, ACTR's buses will operate fare-free that day and each Bus System and Dial-A-Ride passenger will receive a gift, while supplies last. Community transportation services have come far in the past twenty-three years. In the beginning ACTR had a handful of volunteer drivers who offered fee-based transportation services. Over time, ACTR expanded its volunteer workforce, began serving senior meal sites, made all services more accessible, created 6 public bus routes, grew to a fleet of 21 buses, created 32 jobs and built a Community Transportation Center.
- Athens Transit (Ga.) Records More Than 2,400 Boardings for First Sunday Service
Source: Athens Banner-Herald
There were 2,428 boardings of Athens Transit buses on Sunday, the first time in the nearly 40-year history of public transit here that buses were in service on that day. The 2,428 boardings recorded Sunday as eight of Athens Transit's 19 routes operated from morning through the evening represented roughly 1,000 more boardings than the system records on average for its Saturday service.
- New Quad Cities-Iowa City Transit Service Begins Operations
Source: Quad City Business Journal
The trip between the Quad-Cities and Iowa City is now smoother with River Bend Transit, or RBT, in the driver's seat. The Davenport agency launched a new QC-IC X-press for passengers traveling between the Quad-Cities and Iowa City. The service, which runs Tuesdays through Fridays, is open to the public. It will depart from a Park & Ride location at NorthPark Mall, Davenport, in the mornings to several set destinations in Iowa City and other destinations of choice in Iowa City and Coralville. The return trip arrives in Davenport at 5 p.m. each day.
- New Transit Services in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti (Mich.) Begin
Source: M Live
The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority is rolling out its second wave of voter-approved service expansions. Starting on Sunday, August 23, that includes later bus service hours on weekends, new Sunday services in Ypsilanti, and a new Pittsfield Township route. The AAATA began implementing its five-year transit improvement program in August 2014, following voter approval of a new tax in May 2014.
- Transportation Provided to Jacksonville-Area (Fla.) Cancer Patients
Source: News 4 JAX
The American Cancer Society's Road to Recovery program offers transportation for cancer patients to treatments or doctor appointments. Many of the patients don't own a vehicle, cannot afford the extra gasoline or don't have access to public transportation, organizers said. Some patients are elderly and unable to drive, and have no family members or friends to provide regular assistance with transportation. Organizers say a Road to Recovery program is a tremendous asset to the community, and the society's volunteers ensure that cancer patients are able to receive life-saving treatments. Those who wish to volunteer with the program can help make a positive difference in the lives of those in their community.
- Princeton (N.J.) HealthCare System Launches Free Transportation Service to Replace 655 Bus
Source: Planet Princeton
As New Jersey Transit prepares to discontinue the 655 bus from Princeton to Plainsboro on Sept. 1, Princeton HealthCare System officials have announced that the hospital will provide on-demand taxi service to the Plainsboro campus for patients who live within a half mile of the former hospital on Witherspoon Street in downtown Princeton who have no other means of transportation. The new service began Monday, Aug. 24.
- Central Arkansas Transit System Gets New Name, 15 Buses
Source: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
The Central Arkansas Transit Authority formally rolled out its new name, Rock Region Metro, and environmentally friendly buses recently, changes supporters say represent the beginning of a more vibrant mass transit system in Pulaski County. Last month, the agency's board of directors adopted a strategic plan that envisions a $23.3 million upgrade in bus service in the county, centering on a sales-tax increase that must be approved by voters.
- CRT and DVTA Are Now Southeast Vermont Transit
Source: Brattleboro Reformer
The region's two bus companies have completed a deal that creates one single company to manage public transit service throughout Windham County and portions of Windsor County. Connecticut River Transit transferred its assets to Deerfield Valley Transit Association and the new company will now operate as Southeast Vermont Transit. The deal was neither a merger nor a consolidation, Southeast Vermont Transit CEO Randy Schoonmaker said, but rather a dissolving of one company, CRT, and then a transferring of its assets to another company, DVTA.
- Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority (W.Va.) Sees Substantial Gains in Ridership
Ridership in the Eastern Panhandle's public bus system topped 180,000 in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, setting a new benchmark in the transit system's 39 years on the road, according to figures released recently. The 15.4 percent increase in ridership was surpassed by an even greater spike in passengers' use of the Eastern Panhandle Transit Authority's "demand response" reservation service, which nearly doubled in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, exceeding 9,300 riders, according to the data. The fiscal year ended June 30.
- Fayetteville (N.C.) Transit Hub to Open in 2016
Source: Fayette Observer
Most folks get around Fayetteville by driving, but public transportation is expected to get a boost in 2016 when a $12.2 million transit hub opens. The city has made improvements to its bus system, the Fayetteville Area System of Transit, over the past several years. Upgrades include additional, faster routes, and longer operating hours. The transit hub will be the main transfer point for the bus system and also will have cab stands and retail shops. It was expected to open in 2015 but was delayed due to wet weather over the winter and unexpected design changes.
- Portage (Ind.) Public Transportation Feasibility Study Moving Forward
Source: Northwest Indiana Times
A study to look at the possibility of public transportation in the city is moving forward. The transit subcommittee of the Mayor's Advisory Committee on Senior Citizens reviewed eight proposals from companies seeking to conduct a transit study for the city. The company that is chosen will conduct an in-depth study of the community, including an analysis of demographics to determine who would benefit from a public transportation system.
- 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
- Millennials Want to Walk, Prefer Short Commute
Millennials prefer walking over driving by a substantially wider margin than any other generation, according to a new poll conducted by the National Association of Realtors and the Transportation Research and Education Center at Portland State University. The 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey found that millennials surveyed, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a mode of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. Millennials were also shown to prefer living in attached housing, living within walking distance of shops and restaurants, and having a short commute, and they are the most likely age group to make use of public transportation. Millennials surveyed showed a stronger preference than other generations for expanding public transportation and providing transportation alternatives to driving, such as biking and walking, while also increasing the availability of trains and buses.
- Houston Metro's (Texas) Massive Overhaul Makes Its Debut
Source: Houston Chronicle
The new system focuses on instituting buses that run frequently along key routes that form a grid pattern downtown, moving away from the current system where many buses take roundabout paths to cross the city. The overhaul also seeks to connect more closely with the 22-mile light rail system.
- How to Convince Transit Riders Their Wait Wasn't So Bad
Source: The Atlantic
Anyone who's ever relied on public transportation knows that waiting can be the worst part. Even with apps that provide arrival estimates, riders can still find themselves at a loss—straining their eyes in hopes of seeing train lights in the distance, or furiously checking phones while wondering what on earth is holding up a delayed bus. But a new study suggests that the feelings of frustration associated with waiting can differ significantly depending on how gross a station is, and that simple improvements could make that maddening wait time seem much shorter.
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 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.
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