Tappy Grams

Tappy Grams: December 2010

Featured Resources

  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Human Service Transportation FY2010 Annual Report (PDF)
    By The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services Human Service Transportation
    The Commonwealth's Human Service Transportation (HST) system was designed and implemented in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Six Regional Transit Authority (RTA) brokers provide brokerage services under contract with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services in each of nine distinct HST Areas, encompassing all cities and towns within the Commonwealth. A high level of coordination is accomplished because each broker administers transportation services by subcontracting with qualified transportation providers in their HST Areas.
  • Case Studies on Transit and Livable Communities in Rural and Small Town America (PDF)
    By Transportation for America
    This collection of 12 case studies provides examples of how small cities, towns and rural regions across the country are transforming themselves into more livable communities. The sites profiled are:
    • Huron, South Dakota
    • Menominee Reservation, Wisconsin
    • Cache Valley, Utah
    • Laconia, New Hampshire
    • Davidson, North Carolina
    • Breckenridge, Colorado
    • Meridian, Mississippi
    • Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    • State of North Dakota
    • State of Wyoming
    • McCall, Idaho
    • Taos, New Mexico
  • Assessing Existing and Needed Community Transportation for People with Disabilities in North Dakota
    By the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, North Dakota State University, Fargo
    The objectives for this study were to obtain a current and accurate description of existing and needed community transportation for adults with disabilities in North Dakota, to establish a methodology for obtaining this information that can be used over time to assess progress in providing transportation for adults with disabilities in the state, and to create a data collection instrument that can be used by communities and states beyond North Dakota for collecting similar information. A survey was developed to collect information from individuals regarding their travel behavior, ability to make needed or desired trips, use of community transportation options (public transit, human service agencies, other), unmet needs, and difficulties encountered. The survey results indicated that a significant percentage of respondents desire more trips than they are currently taking (lack of transportation appears to be the main limiting factor), and that riders experience significant dissatisfaction with available transportation options, both in the community and for long-distance trips.

From the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

  • 2010 Census: Follow-up Should Reduce Coverage Errors, but Effects on Demographic Groups Need to Be Determined (PDF)
    GAO recommends that the Secretary of Commerce direct the Bureau to assess (1) how well questions to help identify miscounted people on census forms helped reduce differences in the undercounts between demographic groups; (2) the degree to which telephone numbers led to completed contacts for households of various demographic characteristics; and (3) how trends in telecommunication usage and new technology may influence the effectiveness of Coverage Follow-up. The Secretary of Commerce concurred with our recommendations.

Public Participation

  • A Citizen's Guide to Better Streets (PDF)
    By the Project for Public Spaces
    Excerpt: "Is it any wonder that the layout of American communities has been heavily influenced by transportation engineers while citizens, elected officials, planners and advocacy groups have played a minor role? If we can transform the way the transportation establishment views its mandate, we can rapidly and positively affect the quality of communities across the country. This guide is intended to show people who are passionate about creating better streets and walkable communities how they can influence highway professionals to address transportation in ways that place the most value on people and on places. This guide is primarily about how the average citizen can deal with the single-minded focus of the transportation profession."
  • Promising Practices in Online Engagement
    By Public Agenda
    Excerpt: "In this paper on promising practices in online engagement, we want to take a closer look at a selection of online engagement practices, from high-level national politics to our most immediate public realms, our neighborhoods. The patterns of opinion shaping, dialogue and decision making on each level have changed through the widespread availability of new communication tools. Nonetheless, the differences between scope of engagement and communication tools can be tremendous. At a national level, partisanship strongly affects the political discourse in the general online realm. We will highlight multiple approaches that try to bridge this divide and bring together individuals from all sides in meaningful dialogue."


  • Short and Sweet: Analysis of Shorter Trips Using National Personal Travel Survey Data (PDF)
    By the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)
    This paper summarizes information on shorter trips, based on 2009 National Household Travel Survey data. This analysis indicates that a significant portion of total personal travel consists of shorter trips. About 10 percent of reported trips are a half-mile or less, about 19 percent are a mile or less, and 41 percent are three miles or less. Since shorter trips tend to be undercounted, the actual share of short trips is probably higher than these figures indicate.
  • Falling Immigration Rates Mean Falling Transit Ridership
    From the Fall 2010 issue of ACCESS, the magazine of the University of California Transportation Center
    From the Introduction: "Immigration has contributed significantly to transit ridership in California, and has been responsible for almost all ridership growth since the 1980s; without immigration, transit use in the state would have declined. This ridership gravy train, however, is unlikely to last. The longer immigrants stay in the country, the less likely they are to use transit, and the number of new immigrants is projected to fall. One way transit agencies can address the potential loss of immigrant riders is to better meet the needs of those (fewer) immigrants who will be newly-arriving-perhaps by enhancing transit services in the dense urban neighborhoods that continue to serve as immigrant ports of entry. California has long had more immigrants than any other state and therefore provides a useful illustration of the dynamics in this study. Because reliable data on transit use by nativity are only available for the journey to work, the authors analyze transit commutes and use this as a proxy-albeit an imperfect one-for overall transit ridership."

Librarian's Desktop

U.S. Census Bureau

This month's featured resource is an innovative new data display from the U.S. Census Bureau. This interactive tool http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/ allows you to click on any state in the country (as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) to view and compare data from one decennial census to another. The Population Change tab (shown above) allows you to see at a glance whether a state's population increased or decreased in the last census, as well as by how much. Switch to the Population Density tab and hover over any state to see how it ranks, and how this has changed in the last ten years. The Apportionment tab offers a color-coded key to Congressional changes in each state. This map is also offered in an accessible version for visitors with disabilities, and the HTML code necessary to embed this colorful tool on your own website is displayed beneath the map. Data from Census 2010 is scheduled to be loaded to this map on Dec. 21, 2010.

Tappy the Penguin Turns 20

Tappy the Penguin is the long-serving mascot of the National Transit Resource Center. In 1990, Tappy debuted in an ad in what was then our Community Transportation Reporter. In the last twenty years, that publication has grown into what is now a digital magazine, Community Transportation, which will focus on Human Service Transportation Coordination next month. Tappy remains as the steadfast symbol of our commitment to serving the information needs of the transit and human service communities. In May 2010, Tappy the Penguin made a special appearance at the Community Transportation EXPO in Long Beach, California (pictured above with C. Marie Maus, Easter Seals Project ACTION Director of Communications). Thanks, Tappy, for twenty great years!

About Tappy Grams

Tappy Grams is an electronic newsletter published by the Community Transportation Association of America that describes new and timely publications on transportation-related information. Preparation and dissemination of this newsletter is an activity of the National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination, and is supported through a cooperative agreement with the Federal Transit Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. None of the opinions, analysis or conclusions herein reflects any statement or policy of the U.S. Government. Web URLs are furnished for purposes of information dissemination with no warranty of accuracy or Section 508 compliance.

"Tappy the Penguin" is the long-serving mascot of the National Transit Resource Center and is our symbol of commitment to serving the information needs of the transit and human service communities. Librarian's Desktop is a monthly feature that highlights some of the great websites used by the National Resource Center to collocate up-to-date information on human service transportation coordination, as well as internet search tips.

If you'd like to review any of these publications, you may view many of them online or contact the Association's librarian, Eileen Boswell, at boswell@ctaa.org, or (800) 527-8279, ext. 707 to arrange an alternate method of document delivery if available.