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Information and Best Practices

Many organizations provide resources covering a wide range of transit topics and best practices.  This guidance can help improve the overall quality of transportation in specific sectors of transportation, as well as for the general transit provider or state DOT official.

 
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Organizations Providing General Information About Transit

The following organizations provide best practices and information about rural and tribal transit at a very broad and sweeping level.

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) produces reports on transit topics occasionally.  

American Public Transportation Association (APTA) provides some resources about general transportation topics.

Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) provides best practices for many aspects of transportation. 

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sometimes publishes reports pertaining to transit and safety. 

National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) has resources about rural transportation development. 

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) publishes reports, syntheses of current practice, and similar resources.

Transportation Research Board (TRB) publishes research and best practices reports for government research programs, including the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) and TCRP, as well as conference proceedings and syntheses.

 

Tribal Transit

These organizations focus on providing tribal transit organizations with information and best practices. 

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is the US Government’s bureau to serve tribes and tribal interests, and contains a tribal leaders directory. 

National RTAP provides best practices and information for rural and Tribal transit providers on our Tribal Transit page, and through the Tribal Transit Topic Guide.

 

Older Adults 

Best practices and information about transportation for older adults can be found at these organizations.

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) provides some information about community livability and older adult transportation.

Beverly Foundation produces informational materials about older adult transportation. 

National RTAP Resource Library subject search on Older Adults.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) co-administers the NCST with Easter Seals and provides informational resources.

National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) provides best practices around older adults and transportation. 

 

Human Service Transportation

Human service organizations often provide transportation to their clients. Below are some best practice resources for these types of organizations.

The Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) provides best practices for human service organizations at the state and community levels.  

 

Human Resources

National RTAP Resource Library subject search on Human Resources.

Public Transportation Occupational Guidebook, commissioned by the FTA, contains job descriptions for all aspects of a public transportation agency. 

 

Mobility Management

National Center for Mobility Management is a partnership between Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA), Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), and American Public Transit Association (APTA), that provides resources and information about mobility management.

See also Mobility Management and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Topic Guide.

 

Persons with Disabilities 

Every sector of transportation is involved in transporting persons with disabilities. Some best practice and general informational resources are below.

Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA) provides best practices resources with a focus on ADA transportation and passengers with disabilities. You can find their resources in their Resource Library.  

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) provides resources and information about paratransit and ADA, among other disability rights topics.

FTA Civil Rights webpage.

National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) mainly carries out advocacy activities on behalf of persons with disabilities.

National RTAP's ADA Toolkit gives transit managers the tools and information they need to comply with ADA regulations.

National RTAP Resource Library search on Passengers with Disabilities.

University of Montana’s Rural Institute administers the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities program and includes publications and resources about rural transportation for people with disabilities.

US Access Board provides resources for accessible design, including for transportation.

US Department of Justice Americans with Disabilities Act page includes general ADA guidelines, as well as a link to the FTA Americans with Disabilities Act page. ADA regulations specific to the FTA are here: Title 49, Vol 1, Part 37; Title 49, Vol 1, Part 38, and the FTA's Final Rule effective July 13, 2015.

 

 

Rural Transportation

Best practices and information specifically aimed at rural transit systems and communities. 

National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)’s Ruraltransportation.org is a clearinghouse for rural transportation information, news, and resources.

Rural Assistance Center (RAC) provides health and human services information, including information on transportation. 

Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) provides outreach, research and training to small urban and rural transportation systems. 

University of Montana’s Rural Institute administers the Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities program and includes publications and resources about rural transportation for people with disabilities.

 

State DOT

These resources provide practical information for state DOT officials.

National RTAP's State RTAP Managers' Forum is a place for RTAP managers to exchange ideas, information, and documents. 

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) provides a forum, research and programming for state DOT officials. 

National RTAP's Resource Library subject search on State Programs and Regulations.

 

University Transportation Centers

These are research-focused organizations that typically support FTA’s strategic goals through research, education, workforce development, and technology transfer activities across modes and disciplines.  In 2013, FTA’s strategic goals include safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness, livable communities, and environmental sustainability. See a full list of current University Transportation Centers.

 

Roadeos

For information about how to run a roadeo, review the resources below.

2016 International Bus Roadeo Handbook (APTA) 

2012 National Community Transportation Roadeo Guide (CTAA) 

2012 Wild West Bus Roadeo Judges’ Handbook

National RTAP's Bus Roadeo Toolkit

 

Funding

This section lists resources that provide information about funding, funding sources and writing grant applications. 

 

 

Information About Funding

Center for Funding and Finance (APTA) provides general information about transportation funding.

Conference sessions at many transit-related conferences found in Section III are also great resources to find out about funding programs and their details.

Foundation Center offers some free guidance to grant seekers, as well as resources for a fee, and databases of grants available to subscribers. They also run five libraries across the US with free resources. 

Fundamental Financial Management (National RTAP) is a training resource about financial management for transit operators. 

Grantsmanship Center provides general resources on grantmaking, grants available, consulting, and resources by state. 

National Transit Institute (NTI) occasionally hosts webinars about funding.

National RTAP's Resource Library subject search on Funding and Finance.

Survey of State Funding for Public Transportation (NCHRP)  

Tribal Transit Funding: Assessing Impacts and Determining Future Program Needs from the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC)’s 5311(c) discusses the state of Tribal Transit Funding and future needs for tribes.

 

Funding Sources

Banks administer some smaller, local foundations and are a good place to look for local funding. Call a local bank, or local arm of a national bank for more information. 

Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) administers loans through a financing program for transportation projects. The loan program is Community Development Transportation Lending Services (CDTLS)

Crossing Great Divides (National RTAP and NCST) highlights funding sources and solutions for elder mobility in Indian County.  

Easter Seals (ESPA) focuses on paratransit and mobility management, and occasionally offers funding for special initiatives.  

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sometimes offers grants for transit related to environmental initiatives. 

Federal Transit Administration (FTA) distributes formula and discretionary funding to states, tribes, and non-profit organizations through various funding programs. Find more information about FTA’s funding programs, or contact your state RTAP/5311 Program Manager or FTA Regional Office.  

Grants.gov displays all federal grants and allows users to apply to them. In fact, to apply for any federal grant, the grants.gov system must be used. 

Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a small number of grants that may include a component for transportation improvement, particularly in communities. 

National Center on Senior Transportation (NADTC) provides funding and resources for older adults and mobility. 

State Transit Associations sometimes have funding opportunities for members.

Sustainable Communities Grants for the promotion of livable communities, through HUD.

Thinking Outside the Farebox report (Transportation for America) is an excellent guide to alternative funding sources.

USDA Rural Development provides grant assistance to rural communities, including some that may apply to the development of rural transit.

 

 

Writing Grant Applications

Grant Writing for Dummies guide is a good list of general tips for the grant writing process.

Grant Writing Made Easy: How to Write a Successful Grant Application, a National RTAP technical brief.

 

Other places to find information about funding

Local governments may have funding available for transit, either in the form of grants, or opportunities to generate tax revenue. To find out about these opportunities, contact the appropriate local government agency for more information. 

Human service agencies such as United Way, or local agencies, may have funding opportunities. They also may provide unique opportunities to partner with transit agencies, therefore extending access to many more granting opportunities surrounding mobility management and human service transportation. Other local groups, such as faith-based organizations, may be able to provide financial backing to transit agencies, particularly as part of a partnership. Chambers of commerce, local business groups, and travel/tourism centers are other places to look for funds. 

For additional transportation-related grant tools, contact your state RTAP program and request resources about grant writing. They may even have state-specific information that will help hone the search for grants.