[fcb-l] Fw: Fast Mail: The Newsletter of the Community Transportation Industry
floridacouncil at comcast.net
Mon Jul 19 13:43:42 GMT 2010
July 13, 2010
About Fast Mail
Fast Mail is a regular compilation 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 fastmail at ctaa.org.
The Capitol Limited
News on federal transportation policy and developments from the Nation's Capitol
a.. LaHood, Rogoff Announce $293 Million Investment in Transit Projects: A $293 million investment recently announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood means that residents in dozens of communities nationwide will soon enjoy major transit improvements, including new streetcars, buses, and transit facilities. The nearly $300 million investment is part of the Obama Administration's livability initiative to better coordinate transportation, housing and commercial development investments to serve the people living in those communities. It is being made through two competitive grant programs, the Urban Circulator Grant Program and the Bus and Bus Livability Grant Program.
a.. Federal Investment Bills Move Forward in Congress: In the current Congressional climate, it's not really clear how next year's federal spending bills will be handled. Nevertheless, several subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee did their part this week, right before Congress took off for the Independence Day recess. This week's "markups" in these panels included FY 2011 appropriations for (i) Agriculture, (ii) Legislative Branch, (iii) State and Foreign Operations, (iv) Commerce, Justice and Science, and (v) Transportation and HUD. Much can change between now and final enactment of the FY 2011 appropriations, especially in the absence of a SAFETEA-LU transportation reauthorization. However, the House "T-HUD" appropriations draft at least gives an indication of how transit and related programs may fare next year.
a.. House Chairman Wants To Keep Transit Safety Bill in Broader Transportation Measure: A bill that would allow the federal government to oversee public transit safety has begun moving in the Senate, but its prospects for enactment this year are clouded in the House. That's a matter of process, not policy. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar, (D-Minn.), said he wants to any transit safety bill to advance next year as part of a broad surface transportation overhaul. "That would be my preference," Oberstar said. He said that breaking off pieces of the bigger measure would weaken its prospects for enactment. The Transportation Department, Oberstar said, is doing a number of things "by executive order and rulemaking...Wonderful, that's a compliment. But it also undercuts the [reauthorization] bill in the long run."
a.. TIGER II Pre-Applications Extended to July 26: If you're interested in applying for the Dept of Transportation's "TIGER II" discretionary grants, you may be relieved to know that the deadline for submitting this program's required "pre-applications" has been extended, to July 26, 2010. The deadline for final applications remains August 23, 2010. This competition is one of the recent flurry of grants and notices related to the DOT-HUD-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities and their commitment to promote livable communities. We recently summarized this effort both here and in the NRC's Express Stop blog. Details on the TIGER II program, including notices, FAQs, and more, can be found on the DOT's website at www.dot.gov/recovery/ost/TIGERII.
The Whistle Stop
Timely and insightful commentary, analysis and opinions regarding important trends, topics and developments in community and public transportation at the national, state, regional and local levels
a.. Study: Smart Transportation Emission Reduction Strategies (PDF): "This report investigates the optimal (best overall, taking into account all benefits and costs) transportation emission reduction strategies. Current evaluation methods tend to undervalue mobility management (also called Transportation Demand Management or TDM) strategies that increase transport system efficiency by changing travel behavior, due to biases that include (1) ignorance about these strategies; (2) failure to consider cobenefits; (3) failure to consider rebound effects of increased fuel economy; (4) belief that mobility management impacts are difficult to predict; (5) belief that mobility management programs are difficult to implement; and (6) belief that vehicle travel reductions harm consumers and the economy. More comprehensive and objective analysis tends to rank mobility management strategies among the most cost-effective emission reduction options. This report describes ways to correct current planning bias so mobility management solutions can be implemented to the degree optimal."
a.. Report: Effective Use of Citizen Advisory Committees for Transit Planning and Operations (PDF): "Transit administrators, engineers, and researchers often face problems for which information already exists, either in documented form or as undocumented experience and practice. This information may be fragmented, scattered, and unevaluated. As a consequence, full knowledge of what has been learned about a problem may not be brought to bear on its solution. Costly research findings may go unused, valuable experience may be overlooked, and due consideration may not be given to recommended practices for solving or alleviating the problem. There is information on nearly every subject of concern to the transit industry. Much of it derives from research or from the work of practitioners faced with problems in their day-today work. To provide a systematic means for assembling and evaluating such useful information and to make it available to the entire transit community, the Transit Cooperative Research Program Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee authorized the Transportation Research Board to undertake a continuing study. This study, TCRP Project J-7, "Synthesis of Information Related to Transit Problems," searches out and synthesizes useful knowledge from all available sources and prepares concise, documented reports on specific topics. Reports from this endeavor constitute a TCRP report series, Synthesis of Transit Practice."
a.. What Happened to Public Transportation?: "In 2009, National Geographic conducted an annual study measuring and monitoring consumer progress toward environmentally sustainable consumption in seventeen countries around the world. The resulting 'Consumer Greendex' found that Americans ranked as the world's least green consumers. Of all the nations surveyed, we have the lowest percentage of people who use public transit on a daily basis. And we have the highest percentage of people who never, ever, take public transit. How did this happen? Are we Americans that antisocial? I don't think so. But our public policies have had unintended consequences."
a.. The Importance of Good Public Transportation for Homebuyers: "One of the things that you should look out for when shopping around for a new home is that the property should be near good public transportation. The importance of this is highlighted by the many benefits that you can experience. Topping the list is convenience. By just walking a few steps, you will be able to get to a train station or a bus stop in a few minutes. On a related note, having the train or bus nearby makes everything else accessible. With a reliable public transportation just a few steps away, everything else such as the office, malls, parks, hospitals, markets, and schools are easily accessible too."
The Community Transportation Flyer
Updates from community and public transportation systems from across the country
a.. Green Mountain Transit Agency (Vt.) Cuts Fares, Increases Service to Respond to Challenges: With the number of passengers dipping during the last year, Green Mountain Transit Agency slashed nearly all of its fares -- a move that took effect recently. With the exception of a route that goes between Montpelier and Burlington during peak commuter hours, GMTA has cut fares by 50 percent. "For obvious reasons right now, with the economy the way it is, we wanted to offer Vermonters ways to get to work, services and schools affordably," said Tawnya Kristen, the community relations manager for GMTA.
a.. Southampton Town (N.Y.) Provides Shuttle Service for Seniors to Cooling Centers: Due to recent high temperatures combined with humidity-and a heat index that reached 100 degrees-Southampton Town again offered a cooling center for residents The Senior Services Department will operated the center until 4 p.m. for those who needed to get out of the heat and humidity. Town residents without transportation could call the senior center for free shuttle service provided by the town. Those who were able to provide their own transportation are requested to do so, police said.
a.. CSU Monterey Bay (Calif.) to Receive New Transit Route: Beginning in September, California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students, faculty and staff will be able to commute more easily from their homes or jobs to campus. Monterey Salinas Transit (MST) will add a new bus line that will connect downtown Salinas, Hartnell College, CSUMB, the Dunes Shopping Center and other commercial locations in the city of Marina. Carl Sedoryk, GM/CEO of the transit agency, said that last year, MST identified a large untapped market of CSUMB students, faculty and employees that were not being well-served by public transit. "There was an issue [with] getting the funding together to provide more regular service," he explained.
a.. Georgia Supplies New Rural Transit Vehicles: The Georgia Department of Transportation recently delivered the first of more than 200 vehicles to be purchased with federal economic stimulus money. These shuttle buses and vans -- 20 of them headed to 10 northeast Georgia counties -- costing $8.25 million, will be used by rural public and community transportation systems throughout the state.
a.. Florida Public Transportation Association Announces Tell Your Story Winners: The Florida Public Transportation Association has announced the winners of the "Tell Your Story" contest that attracted hundreds of videos, images and stories from every corner of the state. The association had been seeking true stories from Floridians and visitors that benefit from using any of Florida's public transportation systems.
a.. Edmonton (Alberta) Notes Increase in Transit Ridership: Fewer people are driving downtown and more are taking buses and the light rail. While roughly two-thirds of people whose weekday destination was the urban core went by private vehicle and one-third took the bus or light rail in 2004, last year it was nearly a 50-50 split, says a recently released report. Even when travelers passing through the city centre on the way to somewhere else are factored in, the latest Central Business District Cordon Report shows cars are losing ground to transit. In 2009, 72.5 per cent of the average 444,500 people who passed through the core between 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. took automobiles, while 27.5 per cent used public transit.
a.. Ricon Introduces New Bi-Fold Ramp: Ricon Corporation -- A Wabtec Company, a leading manufacturer of vehicle accessibility products, introduces a new, double folding ramp for low-floor buses. The Model BR2C Bi-Fold Ramp is wider and longer than comparable ramps, and when mounted in the ARBOC "Spirit of Mobility" bus, provides a 1:6 slope, the lowest slope available in the industry today. "The mobility impaired community has been asking for lower ramp slopes," said Tony Ward, National Sales Manager for the Ricon Corporation. "The new Bi-Fold meets this requirement and we are pleased to offer this new ramp to our customers. Additionally, unlike competitive ramp systems, the BR2C does not require any special tools or procedures to manually operate the unit in the event of power loss."
The Porter's Station
Organizations and agencies in a wide range of disciplines and issue areas provide resources, events and technical assistance to help communities of all kinds improve mobility options. Here you'll find the latest announcements by these entities to provide you help along the way
a.. Keeping Kids Moving: How Reauthorization Can Help Stop Childhood Obesity: With the federal transportation authorization bill up for renewal, this national roundtable brings together national and local leaders to discuss promising ways transportation policy can help promote active lifestyles and decrease obesity rates, especially among poor children and children of color. The event will be held at The National Press Club (529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20045) on Thursday, July 15, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. -- 11:45 a.m.
a.. Applications Open for 2011 Collaboration Prize: The 2011 Collaboration Prize is a national award presented to nonprofit organizations that collaborate effectively to gain greater impact. In 2011, the Collaboration Prize will award a total of $250,000 to the collaborations that best exemplify the impact that can result from working together. Each of the eight finalists will receive $12,500 and the winner will receive an additional $150,000. The Prize is designed to identify and showcase models of collaboration among nonprofit organizations. Recognizing the impact that can be achieved from working together, the Prize shines a spotlight on collaborations among two or more nonprofit organizations that cooperate to demonstrate innovative and effective responses to challenges or opportunities.
a.. Reminder: 2010 State Public Transportation Partnerships Conference: Please note the following reminder for the 2010 State Public Transportation Partnerships Conference to be held in Seattle, Wash., August 3-6, 2010. Attached is a draft agenda for the meeting. Also, please note the change in registration fee from $425 to $325 for the conference. Anyone who paid the original $425 fee will be notified by APTA and refunded the extra $100. The conference is a cooperative effort among American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). This conference is hosted by Washington State Public Transit Association and the Washington State Department of Transportation. The agenda includes interactive group sessions on a variety of topics including state initiatives, state DOTs and state transit relationships, state financing of public transit, and effective management of state transit associations.
a.. National Disability Institute Presents Economic Empowerment -- Defining the New American Dream: The premise is simple: create a video that tells us your American Dream and how you are working toward that dream. For example, "My dream is to own my own condo, I am working, budgeting and saving money each month to achieve my dream." We want to hear the stories of individuals and their families who are working to achieve their American Dream thanks in part to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The American Dream is something we all share, disability or not.
Around the Depot
New products and documents and upcoming events and training from Community Transportation Association's staff
a.. Colloquium on What Health Care Reform Means for Coordinated Transportation: On Thursday, July 22, 2010 at the Grand Hyatt Washington (1000 H St., N.W., Washington, D.C.) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Community Transportation Association of America will host a Colloquium on "What Health Care Reform Means for Coordinated Transportation." The event will include an overview of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a panel discussion on Health Care Reform's Effects on Medical Transportation and Related Programs, lunch, a presentation on Health Care Reform, Medicaid Transportation Brokerages, and Other Intermediaries, and conclude with an Open Forum on How to Use Our Resources to Meet the Challenges of Health Care Reform. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Sheryl Gross-Glasier at grossglasier at ctaa.org or 202.386.1669.
a.. Joblinks, CUTR Announce Webinar Series on Planning for Employment Transportation: CTAA's Joblinks Employment Transportation Initiative and the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), University of South Florida, are pleased to announce a webinar series introducing two new planning tools. Join us to learn more about two tools that agencies can use to better analyze job developments and commute patterns in their communities. Presenters will demonstrate "OnTheMap" and discuss Help Wanted Online, two user-friendly tools sponsored by the Census Bureau and the Conference Board. The webinars will be held on Wednesday, July 21 and Wednesday, August 4 from 12:00-1:15 pm, Eastern Time.
a.. CTAA Technical Assistance Project to Improve Availability of Transit in Warren and Henderson Counties (Ill.): Michael Lewis, president and CEO of Warren Achievement Center, Inc., announced that WAC, the lead agency for the Tri-County Health Care Planning Network, is one of only four agencies in the nation this year to receive technical assistance, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, from the Community Transportation Association of America to expand the availability of coordinated public transportation services in Warren and Henderson Counties. WAC is the designated public transportation provider in the City of Monmouth and Warren County. This service provides door-to-door services for general public, people with disabilities and senior citizens. The Tri-County Health Care Planning Network was established to identify and address health care related needs in Warren, Henderson and Mercer Counties.
The Information Station
Our latest additions to www.ctaa.org
a.. Way to Work: Helping People with Employment Transportation (PDF)(143 KB): This brief highlights "Way to Work," a program dedicated to enhancing the availability of transportation information, education, and resources for low-income job seekers in Woonsocket/Northern Rhode Island. The information contained within can assist workforce development professionals in providing low-wage earners access to safe and available transportation to work related activities. Way to Work's innovative responses to meeting transportation challenges include a late night shuttle, encouraging local employers to support biking, and a partnership with Good News garage that makes affordable vehicles available to community residents who would otherwise not be able to purchase them.
a.. Tappy Grams: June 2010: 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.
a.. Partnership for Mobility Management: The Partnership for Mobility Management is a joint effort of technical assistance partners that work with local, state and regional leaders and organizations to realize the possibilities of improving transportation options for all Americans wherever they live and to assist those especially in need of alternative transportation options.
a.. CTAPnet Peer Network: The CTAP Peer Network, CTAPnet, is an online community of community transportation practitioners and experts. This revitalized Peer Network enables you to ask questions of transportation providers working in the field as well as engage in conversations with other transit professionals. It provides distance learning events on the latest topics of interest to community transportation. Visit http://ctapnet.org.
Community Transportation and RAIL Magazines
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