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Alt Fuels = Alt Economics

Fall cover: green gas pump with the sun in splendor behind it.

This timely issue of DigitalCT emphasizes the vital connection between alternative fuels in community and public transportation and alternative economics emerging in the field. We explore concepts ranging from alternative fuels, innovations in vehicle technologies and fleet management to social enterprise and financing, and much more.


  • Complete Edition: Alt Fuels (PDF)(5.51 MB)
  • Or Download Individual Articles featured below

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From the Editor

Digital CT's Alt Fuels edition overview

DigitalCT Editor-in-Chief Scott Bogren covers the articles and stories that comprise this edition.

Voices from the Community

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Bob Lasher -- Director of External Affairs for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority, serving the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area of Florida -- joins the CT Podcast to discuss his agency's efforts to break through one of the most pernicious myths in community and public transit: the Empty Bus myth. Meanwhile, in a special two-part CT Podcast, we speak with two important community and public transportation partners in Wisconsin: Steve Hiniker with 1000 Friends of Wisconsin and Bruce Speight of the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG).

Editorial: Better Accessibility is Good for Everyone

low-floor accessible vehicle

Periodically, we receive interesting and useful contributions to DigitalCT magazine from the vendor/exhibitor realm. The following is a great example -- the Dallas Smith Corporation takes a look at population demographics and how its low-floor accessible vehicle production and innovation help meet the growing mobility needs of American communities. We agree: Better accessibility is good for everyone.

Clean Power for Transport

clean fuel icons

Earlier in 2013, the European Commission, in response to its significant reliance on foreign oil, developed a Clean Power for Transport package that sets continent-wide alt fuels standards and that defines and analyses various alt fuels and their strengths and weaknesses. It is a powerful document that we thought bears sharing with the North American community and public transportation industry. What follows is an excerpted section of that important report.

Choosing Fuels for Your Fleet

Clean-fueled bus

As we developed this special edition on alt fuels and community and public transportation, we wondered what considerations other fleet-based industries take into account when making their buying decisions. Public Works magazine provides precisely that insight in the following article.

How Innovative Fuels Can Meet Your System's Need

Diagram of a hydrogen-powered bus

As alt fuels technology advances, the number of options available also grows. In this collection culled from the web site, Alternative Energy News, we offer some of the more unique community and public transportation alternative fuel technologies and strategies.

The Case of Tennessee Vans: A Social Business Model to Develop and Finance Community Mobility Resources

Diagram of Tennessee Vans business model

In the Summer/Fall edition of DigitalCT, we included an article focusing on Social Enterprise for Nonprofit Organizations. Designed to highlight alternative -- and more localized -- finance mechanisms for community and public transportation, the article encouraged Dr. Ted Newsom, director of Tennessee Vans, to share how his operation has also adopted the social enterprise model. We thought Dr. Newsom's manuscript excellent, and include here in full.

CTAA's Innovative Financing for Transit's Future

New Horizons logo

Capital is necessary to buy vehicles, office equipment and software. Capital is necessary to buy building and land on which to locate. Capital is necessary to fund operating costs while waiting for reimbursements for services rendered. Capital is necessary to increase the level of service that the operation provides. Each of these varieties has lenders who specialize in the purpose and are many times limited as to the scope of their leading.

MAP-21 Reauthorization Ideas Forum

Easels icons

We are now less than a year away from the end of the current federal surface transportation law: MAP-21. As reauthorization of that law begins to take shape, the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) has been conducting detailed listening sessions around the country with community and public transportation leaders, officials and advocates. These vital listening sessions -- which we've conducted in Kentucky, West Virginia, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota Maine, Minnesota, Vermont and New Hampshire -- have organized the industry's thoughts around three categories: 1. Must Haves; 2. Would Like to See; and 3. In a Perfect World. The response has been outstanding. What follows is a direct listing of the output from each of these sessions.

FTA Transit Safety ANPRM Analysis

CTAA Analysis Icon

What follows is CTAA's analysis of the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Transit Safety Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Please take note of the word, "Advanced," in that title, because it offers community and public transportation leaders, officials and advocates an extraordinary amount of time to provide input and solutions to the FTA on its safety initiative.

The CT Interview: Newtek & the CTAA Insurance Store

Newtek logo

CTAA members -- through the Insurance Store -- can now take advantage of an important new insurance and safety partnership with Newtek Business Services. Offering the full slate of insurance options, the Newtek insurance partnership represents a vital new opportunity for all Association members to get the best coverage possible, at the lowest rates.

Transit Notes

Utah State bus

Updates, news items and the latest stories on community and public transportation around the nation.


Richard Sampson
Communications Specialist
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines
800.891.0590 x729