On Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, Health Affairs published a blog post titled, "Cutting Medicaid Non-emergency Medical Transportation Will Harm Community-Level Public Transportation." The essay was written by CTAA Staff, Scott Bogren and Alexandra King, along with Michael Adelberg, who leads research for the Medical Transportation Access Coalition (MTAC), a multi-stakeholder organization that educates the public and policy makers on medical transportation.
In an effort to ensure that CTAA members are familiar with the potential Presidential candidates' proposed infrastructure policy, we will be releasing key highlights of every candidate's policy proposals.
What is "persistent poverty?" The most common federal definition is that an area is experiencing persistent poverty if at least 20 percent of its population is living in poverty for each of at least three consecutive decennial censuses.
The week of Dec. 17, 2019, Congress will vote on FY2020 appropriations. Bill language was released last night and details exciting funding increases for public transit. The increased levels of funding are noted for the Section 5339 and 5311 programs.
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.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration recently released Section 5339b (bus and bus facilities) grant winners. A total of $423,329,839.00 was awarded to 94 projects across 42 states and the District of Columbia. As noted by the FTA, the demand for grants for the 5339b program far exceeded the available funds. FTA received applications for 318 eligible projects, totaling around $1.9 billion in funding requests.
Election Day is here, and in an effort to help CTAA members keep track of state elections, we've put together a brief update on ballot initiatives that might affect local transit operations. Taylor Klocke reports.
Update on Nov. 1, 2019: The Senate has passed a mini-spending package that includes appropriations for transportation, housing and urban development. Including in this package was an amendment introduced by Sens. Jones and McSally. This amendment (No. 1141 prohibits implementation of the "Rostenkowski Test" with respect to the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund. The Rostenkowski Test, if implemented, would have cut public transit funding across the board by 12 percent.
Earlier this year, the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) announced five winners of their Community Mobility Design Challenge 2019 Planning Grants. One of the five teams awarded is based in Allen County, Kan. In late October, Amy Conrick and Taylor Klocke flew to Kansas City, Mo., to begin the kick-off meeting with the team and had an opportunity to learn more about the culture and the region.
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.
While federal changes to non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) can have nationwide consequences, most often changes to the Medicaid benefit occur at the state level. CTAA's Alex King gives us an update on what's happening with NEMT at the state level.
Two of the participants in the CTAA's Tribal Passenger Transportation Technical Assistance Program are the Hopi Tribe in Arizona and the Penobscot Nation in Maine. CTAA's Director of Technical Assistance Program Charlie Rutkowski made the initial site visit to both projects in early September.
CTAA is excited to announce a new health care and transportation resource center! On this page, you will find a host of new information including: workshops and presentations, CTAA trainings, legislative updates and more.
In response to recent threats against the Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit, CTAA has been tracking policy developments and working with a number of key stakeholders in this arena to develop and implement an advocacy and policy strategy. CTAA along the Medical Transportation Access Coalition, and other allied stakeholders have been focusing on a two -prong approach to protecting the NEMT Benefit - 1. Using Appropriations to prevent CMS from publishing a Rule that would make NEMT option at the state level and 2. Through policy, writing the NEMT benefit into Medicaid Statute. We are excited to announce the progress that has been made on these two exciting efforts happening on Capitol Hill.
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.
If you receive, or hope to receive, or think you have colleagues who'll receive, formula-based funding from the Federal Transit Administration now or anytime in the foreseeable future, the 2020 census is of critical importance. Chris Zeilinger summarized all of this in a "Pecha Kucha" presentation at the recent CTAA Expo. If you weren't there, well, you sure missed something. Here, in a longer format with more detail, are my three key points, followed by some practical advice for you.
CTAA Proudly Joins the National Academy of Medicine's Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic. The number of opioid-related deaths - from both prescription opioids and illegal drugs including heroin, fentanyl, and carfentanil - has quadrupled in the last 20 years. At present, the opioid epidemic claims 130 lives every day. To provide an opportunity for organizations to discuss and share plans of action, the NAM recently called for and has collected statements describing current work and future goals to counter the opioid epidemic. By making a visible commitment to combating the opioid crisis, these groups, including CTAA, joined the action collaborative as network organizations.
Whatever the solution may be, there was an agreement among the Members and witnesses that Congress needs to come up with a fix that is indexed and automatically adjusts with time. It's also imperative that the new solution include vehicles using alternative fuel sources.
Chris Zeilinger traveled to the training room of the COLTS Lackawanna Transit Center in downtown Scranton, Pa., and taught "Preparing for the CTAA Management Certification Test" course to 21 of Pennsylvania's best transit managers.
Underscoring ongoing discussions as Congress prepares for the reauthorization of federal surface transportation legislation – currently known as the FAST Act – is the need to shore up the revenue streams that support federal transportation programs, including those dedicated for community and public transportation.