CTAA’s new blog, the Community Transportation Reader, revives a brand long-time members recall fondly and will feature all the content you’ve come to expect from your Association in one easy to find place. Here, we’ll update you on CTAA projects around the nation, provide commentary from CTAA staff members, offer data analysis and infocards, research and so much more. If it’s happening at your Association, you’ll find it at CTR.

What Does Tactical Urbanism Look Like in Small-Urban & Rural Communities?
Upper Peninsula Transit Services
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Check out the CT Reader Archive for our greatest hits.

CTAA at the National Transportation in Indian Country Conference

This August, Loreal and Marcela attended the National Transportation in Indian Country Conference in Louisville, Ky. The conference included transportation professionals across the board from tribal nations from throughout America... from Alaska to Oklahoma.

What does Tactical Urbanism Look Like in Small-Urban & Rural Communities?

Tactical urbanism is known by many names, including DIY urbanism, guerilla urbanism, quick build projects, etc. – however you want to describe it, it is defined by taking action.

Electric Bus Fever

Every truck, bus and automotive engineering magazine that arrives at my office is filled with articles, ads and helpful hints about some type of electric vehicle. The articles also discuss the remanufacturing of the earlier battery packs, as well as looking into the many "new" vehicle manufacturers who are entering this fast-growing field. Some have never made commercial vehicles. Like most of CTAA's members, buses, of course, are at the center of my interest and they have been getting tremendous attention in recent months.

Health Policy Experts Dive into the Medicaid NEMT Benefit in Two Recent Publications

As non-emergency medical transportation has become a larger component of the health care discussion, it is only natural that health policy experts have started to take an interest in both the opportunities and challenges present within NEMT services - particularly within the Medicaid population (where they have existed the longest.) As a part of this trend, this past summer, we saw the release of two major health policy reports related to NEMT, that not only provide the most comprehensive summaries of the service since the TCRP report from 2018, but also begin to showcase the movement of the industry, the stakeholders and provide transportation providers with insights into this changing space.

Lethbridge Transit Redesigns Fixed Route & Implements Microtransit with TripSpark's Rides on Demand App Webinar

Sponsored by TripSpark. What does Lethbridge Transit have that other transit agencies need? Valuable insight on the impact of Microtransit to the future of transportation! On Wednesday Oct. 13 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, Lethbridge Transit will join TripSpark Technologies for an entertaining and interactive webinar that you don't want to miss. Please join us!

Three Questions to Ask Before Investing in New Paratransit Software

A guide to finding the best technology provider to support your ADA paratransit service, by Yannis Simaiakis, General Manager of Paratransit, Via.

Driver Shortage and Incarcerated Re-entry - Solution for Success?

Job security is a necessity to re-entering the community after incarceration, however recently released individuals often return to underserved communities and face a wide range of barriers that make successful reintegration difficult. Re-entry programs are vital to the success of employment, housing, social interaction and decision-making.

Looking Back for a Better Future: Data Driven Decision-making

This past month, CTAA staff traveled to visit Cape May Fare-Free Transportation on the New Jersey coast. Cape May Fare-Free Transportation provides demand-response, and subscription transportation service in Cape May county. Staff met with Dan Mulraney, the director of Cape May's transportation program to learn more about their pilot program to provide a mobility on-demand service via Routematch by Uber.

Top Ten Tips for Sourcing and Hiring Drivers

CTAA's Training & Certification Program Director, Caryn Souza, gives us her Top Ten.

Notes from the Road

The past 15 months have been challenging for everyone, including those of us at CTAA. Although our offices are in downtown Washington D.C., much of our work in providing technical assistance and training is undertaken outside the Beltway, in actual on-site engagement with transit providers and users in small urban, rural and tribal communities across the nation. Charles Rutkowski writes about returning to the road for his work with CTAA.

Meetings and More Meetings to Grow OATS

A CTAA Member Contribution from Peter Schauer, first Manager of OATS, chronicles its establishment.

CTAA Member Mountain Line (Mont.) Creates COVID-19 Vaccination Map

Earlier this year, CTAA member Mountain Line in Missoula, Mont., created a COVID-19 vaccination map that included vaccination sites and their bus routes for accessing them. I was able to speak with the team at Mountain Line on how they came to create and distribute this important resource, as well as how they plan on expanding vaccine accessibility to all community residents.

Impacts of Recent Federal Legislation on NEMT

For NEMT providers, there has recently been two main pieces of federal legislation passed that relate directly to their services. The Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in December 2020 and the American Rescue Plan recently passed early in March 2021. The following provides a summary of the two pieces of legislation and their impacts for NEMT.

State and Tribal Delegate Blog Series: North Carolina

This blog series comes to us from North Carolina, where David Rhew (Executive Director of the North Carolina Public Transportation Association) serves as the state delegate.

State and Tribal Delegate Blog Series: New Hampshire

Welcome to CTAA's latest blog series, providing updates from our state and tribal delegates on the state of transit.

The National Mask-Wearing Mandate for Public Transportation

On Jan. 28, representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation, along with presenters from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provided insight into how the Biden Administration plans on implementing the public transportation mask mandate signed by the President as an Executive Order on Jan. 21.

MACPAC Presents Further Findings from NEMT Report

On Jan. 29, 2021, the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (known as MACPAC) provided additional results from its congressionally mandated study of Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). The Final results will be included in MACPAC's June 2021 report to Congress. CTAA's Public Health and Transportation Policy Consultant Alex King listened in, and here are her notes.

CTAA Member HIRTA Awarded U.S. DOT Grant to Improve Transportation Mobility

Earlier this year, the Heart of Iowa Regional Transportation Agency (HIRTA) was awarded $1,084,257 in part of its Complete Trip - ITS4US Deployment Program. CTAA's Taylor Klocke spoke with HIRTA's Executive Director Julia Castillo about the program and its importance for her community.

Member Prairie Hills Transit Receives Accelerating Innovative Mobility Grant from FTA

Prairie Hills Transit (PHT), a CTAA member serving 15 rural communities in western South Dakota, has received the Accelerating Innovative Mobility grant from the FTA to automate its paratransit dispatch system using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. The system will collect real-time field data to replace most radio communication, allowing PHT to manage more rides with the same number of dispatchers and decrease costs.

A Snapshot of Public Transit in Small Urbanized Areas

In anticipation of this year's CTAA Small Urban Network meeting, it's interesting to take a look at a few foundational facts and figures about transit in urbanized areas with populations less than 200,000.

U.S. DOT Releases Mobility for All Project Selections

On June 5, 2020 the U.S. DOT released Mobility for All Project Selections. There were 17 projects awarded, with a total amount of $3,502,820.

New Challenges for Small Bus Maintenance

Today, what goes on in the bus maintenance shop is quite different from just ten years ago. Most of us have mastered the repair functions of the bus engine's fuel injection system, many of us have earned our certificate to inspect the compressed natural gas (CNG) system, and most all of us have learned about the federal requirements of the small bus through the Vehicles Maintenance Management & Inspection (VMMI) training of CTAA. However, a new requirement has just landed on the shops work order pages, it is called Covid-19, and it cannot be ignored.

Announcing CTAA's new State by State COVID-19 NEMT Guidance Tool

To provide additional resources to NEMT providers during this time, CTAA has collected, read, and analyzed guidance for NEMT providers provided by state Medicaid agencies. Through sharing the State by State COVID-19 NEMT Guidance Tool, CTAA hopes that NEMT providers, brokers, and even riders can get a sense of not only the available guidance in their state, but also look at trends across the country on topics such as PPE, Air ventilation, cleaning, payment and reimbursement, and transporting COVID+ riders.

Older Adults and Mobility: Considerations for the Future

COVID-19 has created conditions that will likely change the ways that we as a society live, work, and play - and in turn, how we get to these places.

Planning Past the Pandemic

The events of the past few weeks have altered the lives of most Americans and drastically changed the landscape for public transit. Systems across the country have adjusted service, transformed vehicles, and supported their communities with new initiatives. The CARES Act has given rural and urban transit operators $25 billion in additional formula-based funding, over double the annual regular allocation for some systems. By pausing to find a new baseline, our transit systems can plan for the future and take this as an opportunity to build improved, more resilient systems.

Rural Transit Manager's COVID-19 Roundtable

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, rural transit managers across the nation have found themselves, not unlike their small-urban counterparts, forced to make key decisions on the fly, keeping the safety of their staff and passengers in mind.

CTAA SUN Managers Discuss Operational Realities Amidst the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

If you've been keeping up with CTAA's transit news feed on Twitter (@OfficialCTAA), you've no doubt found yourself reading about small-urban transit systems and their wide-ranging reactions to the onset of COVID-19. The unfortunate truth is that managers of small-urban systems (along with their Boards and other local leadership) are being left to themselves to make the tough decisions about remaining open, reducing service, or even ceasing operations. There has been little to no guidance on when it is appropriate to make these kinds of decisions. In this article, we asked the leaders of nine SUN-member systems to discuss their thinking and their approach to this critical question. It is our hope that the discussion assists other CTAA SUN members.

CTAA NEMT Managers Discuss Operations During COVID-19

It's well known that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted rural and urban transit systems across the country, but how has it affected agencies where medical trips are their main source of operations? We spoke with a group of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) managers about what their experiences have been during this time.

How Transit Systems Can Continue to be Effective During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

CTAA is actively monitoring developments related to the virus, the impact it may have on our members and their communities across the country, and talking with local, state, and federal stakeholders to develop and share solutions. Given the scale of this outbreak, becoming oversaturated with information can be easy. CTAA knows that our members and the communities you serve are facing unprecedented challenges and changes to your transit operations. Despite these new challenges - CTAA will continue to remain a resource and an advocate for each and every one of you.

NEMT and The CARES Act

President Trump has signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act ("CARES") into law. This $2 trillion relief legislation provided $25.0 billion in relief for urban and rural public transit systems impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For FTA funded 5311 and 5307 public transportation systems, these dollars will provide coronavirus-related reimbursements (Read CTAA's review of the legislation here). However, for providers in the NEMT space, the CARES Act did not provide any special consideration or benefits. Despite this, there are still a few components where the passed relief and assistance programs could benefit NEMT providers

Increasing Parent-Child Reunification Through Innovative Transportation Options

Earlier this year, CTAA and its partners - EMBARK and the Oklahoma Transit Association (OTA) - were awarded the Arnall Family Foundation's Transportation Innovation Grant. The grant is focused on improving transportation for families in Oklahoma County who have children in the foster care system. The CTAA-led team has been working with its partners to develop a pilot program that will increase parent-child reunifications in Oklahoma County through innovative transportation delivery.

Women Lead the Way in Community Mobility - A Continuing Story

CTAA's Alex King and Taylor Klocke traveled to Irvine, Calif., to present their nine-month long project, "Women Lead the Way in Community Mobility." They presented this at Transportation Research Board's 6th Women's Issues in Transportation Conference. They not only had the opportunity to share their project with participants, but also met female industry leaders from across the country.

"Forward Together" in Oklahoma City

When looking for inspiration on communities that have embraced the evolving future of public transportation, one would be amiss not to look to Oklahoma City. The public transit system there, called Embark, is one of a growing number of transit systems that offer multi-modal traveling as well as fare payment.

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The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its members believe that mobility is a basic human right. From work and education to life-sustaining health care and human services programs to shopping and visiting with family and friends, mobility directly impacts quality of life.