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National RTAP 2017 Technical Assistance Program

Now Accepting Applications

National RTAP is interested in providing technical assistance to your transportation program to help you improve your marketing, communications, and/or community outreach. Using our Marketing Transit Toolkit, web tools like Website Builder and GTFS Builder, and other resources, we can work with you to help you achieve your agency’s goals.  This year we are looking to select two small rural or tribal transit providers to receive technical assistance in 2017.  

We anticipate that each project will involve at a minimum developing or updating the agency’s marketing plan and an assessment of the system’s visibility, image, and passenger experience.  We will use the Worksheets from the Marketing Toolkit as a starting point.  

Part of the application requires you state your marketing or communications goals and project objectives by filling out the Goals & Objectives Worksheet and providing an additional description.  Examples of goals include increasing ridership and visibility; improving rider information and outreach; and enhancing your image.  Examples of objectives include developing a website, getting your route and schedule data into a trip planning program (e.g. Google Transit), creating marketing materials, surveying your community and riders, advertising, and doing targeted outreach to local stakeholders.

The application also asks you to state the resources (e.g. marketing budget, staff/volunteer time, in-house printing capabilities) your agency has available for marketing efforts and for working with National RTAP staff to accomplish your project goals.  Please do so by filling out the Resources Worksheet and providing additional information on the application form.  

Project Timeline and Details: 

Applications are due by 12:00 PM ET on Friday, March 17, 2017.  The first phase of the application process involves the Online Application Form, the above Marketing Toolkit worksheets, and written approval from your agency’s executive or similar.  The second phase may involve follow up questions from RTAP staff via phone or email.

National RTAP staff will review the applications, and anticipate making a decision by March 31 and holding a kick-off call by mid-April.  The project would be completed by the end of September 2017.  Other than a potential site visit by 1-2 RTAP staff, the bulk of the project would be completed remotely.  

The cost of infrastructure (e.g. bus stop signs) and advertising are examples of costs outside the scope of this project. Responsibilities for more marginal costs will be determined during the development of the project scope.

Eligible Recipients:

  • Small rural or tribal transit provider that receives 5311 funds and runs fixed route or demand-responsive service.
  • Must possess a computer capable of running a recent version of Microsoft Office.
  • Must have sufficient agency staff time available for the project, in-line with your project goals.
  • Preferred, but not required: Applicant would available to present on the project as a case study with National RTAP staff at our Conference in Omaha, October 29 to November 1, 2017.

Application Requirements:

  1. Completed copies of Goals & Objectives Worksheet and Resources Worksheet.
  2. Written approval from the agency CEO, General Manager, Advisory Board, and/or other executive, sufficient to guarantee broad agency support for your marketing goals and for participation in this technical assistance program.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Meets the above application requirements.
  • Clear and reasonable goals and objectives.
  • Demonstrated need for assistance with marketing.
  • Estimated hours of staff time per week available to work on project.

Online Form Instructions:

Complete the Online Application Form and click "Submit" when finished.  If you are not able to complete the application in one sitting, click out of the application, and when you want to come back to it, click on the initial link to access your application. You can access it at any time during the application period. All applications are due at 12:00 PM ET on Friday, March 17, 2017.

Information regarding our Marketing Toolkit and Web Apps can be found at www.nationalrtap.org. For questions about our tools or this application, email us at info@nationalrtap.org or call 888-589-6821. The National Rural Transit Assistance Program is a program of the Federal Transit Administration administered by the Neponset Valley TMA.