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Rural Transit News

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NCMM Solicits Applications for Planning and Implementation

Posted June 25, 2019 - Updated July 24, 2019

The National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), supported by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), recently announced two new funding opportunities. 

Community Mobility Design Challenge 2019 Planning Grants - applications due Aug. 1, 2019

These grants will support communities seeking innovative ways to address the particular mobility challenges experienced by low-income community members for whom a lack of transportation is an obstacle to the pursuit of economic, health, and social well being. Grants up to $25,000 will be available; NCMM staff will guide communities through this five-month process. Visit the NCMM website for more information and to download the Request for Proposals (RFP) for  Community Mobility Design Challenge Planning Grants.  Applications are due 9:00 p.m. Eastern time on August 1.

Health Care Transportation Access "Ready-to-Launch" 2019 Implementation Grants - applications due Aug. 5, 2019 

Funding through this grant will support communities in taking concrete steps toward implementing transportation solutions to address health care access. Grants up to $75,000 will be available; NCMM staff will guide communities through this five-month process.  Visit the NCMM website for more information on the Health Care Transportation Access "Ready-to-Launch" 2019 Implementation GrantsApplications are due 9:00 p.m. Eastern time on August 5.


Applications due August 6 for FTA's Integrated Mobility Innovation (IMI) Demonstration Program

Posted May 15, 2019 - Updated June 25, 2019

On May 9, 2019, FTA announced the availability of funding under the Integrated Mobility Innovation (IMI) Demonstration Program.  The IMI program funds research in the three areas: Mobility on Demand (MOD) demonstration projects, Transit Automation (to explore the use of vehicle automation technologies in bus transit operations), and Mobility Payment Integration (MPI) research. Eligible applicants for IMI projects are providers of public transportation, including public transportation agencies, state/local government DOTs, and federally recognized Indian tribes.  Applicants must identify one or more strategic project partner(s) with a substantial interest and involvement in the project.  FTA's archived webinar on the IMI Demonstration Program, available through the program web page, provides information on the application process, key requirements, including data, and answers frequently asked questions.  Applications for IMI funding are due August 6, 2019


National RTAP Invites Photo Contest Submissions through Aug. 15, 2019

Posted July 11, 2019

National RTAP is currently accepting applications for it annual photo contest.  This year's theme is "Transit Through the Seasons."  The top prize is free registration to the National RTAP Technical Assistance Conference, Charting New Trails for Rural & Tribal Transit, held in Portland, Oregon on September 15-18, 2019.  Visit the National RTAP website for more information.


FMCSA seeks public comments on Safe Integration of Automated Driving Systems-Equipped Commercial Motor Vehicles

Posted May 28, 2019 - updated May 31, 2019

On May 28, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on automated driving systems (ADS) equipped commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).  FMCSA requests public comment about Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) that may need to be amended, revised, or eliminated to facilitate the safe introduction of ADS-equipped CMVs onto U.S. roadways. In approaching the task of adapting its regulations to accommodate automated vehicle technologies, FMCSA is considering changes to its rules to account for significant differences between human operators and ADS. On May 31, FMCSA published a correction to the ANPRM in the Federal Register with a corrected due date for public comments. Comments are due no later than July 29, 2019 to Docket Number FMCSA–2018–0037. 


U.S. DOT publishes Drug Testing Rule; “opiates” replaced with “opioids” on new MIS form

Posted April 24, 2019

On April 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule that makes minor technical corrections to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulations governing drug testing for safety-sensitive employees (as well as to ensure consistency with the recent amendments made to the DOT’s regulation, “Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs,” 49 CFR Part 40, which added requirements to test for oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone to DOT-regulated drug testing programs.  The changes to the DOT’s regulation make it necessary to refer to these substances, as well as the previously covered drugs morphine, 6-acetylmorphine, and codeine, by the more inclusive term “opioids,” rather than “opiates.”  This rule amends the term in the FAA, FTA, and PHMSA regulations to ensure that all DOT drug testing rules are consistent with one another and with the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.  In addition, this rule makes a conforming amendment to include the term “opioids” in the wording of the DOT’s annual information collection requirement and clarifications to section 40.26 and Appendix H regarding the requirement for employers to follow the DOT’s instructions for the annual information collection. The DOT MIS form has been updated with “opioids” instead of “opiates.”


FTA Seeks to Put Brakes on Human Trafficking, Offers $4 Million in Funding Opportunities

Posted March 29, 2019 - Updated April 19, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has launched a new Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative. The initiative includes two Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) totaling $4 million to prevent human trafficking and other crimes that may occur on buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.  Each NOFO offers $2 million in competitive funding and the application submission deadline for both is May 28, 2019.

  • The goal of the Innovations in Transit Public Safety NOFO is to develop projects that assist transit agencies with identifying and adopting specific measures to address public safety in transit systems, including crime prevention, human trafficking, and operator assault.  Eligible applicants for this program include state and local governmental entities; providers of public transportation; nonprofit organizations; or a consortium of entities, including a provider of public transportation, that will share costs, risks, and rewards of early deployment and demonstration of innovation. Applicants must be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database. 
  • The Crime Prevention and Public Safety Awareness NOFO has the goal of developing and disseminating materials supporting public safety awareness campaigns for transit systems, including crime prevention, human trafficking, and operator assault. Eligibility for this program is limited to national nonprofit organizations.

The FTA Human Trafficking Awareness and Public Safety Initiative builds upon the USDOT's work with transportation stakeholders across all modes of transportation to prevent human trafficking.  

FTA hosted two webinars on these initiatives which can be streamed through the links on this web page (scroll down to bottom half of the page).



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Posted May 2, 2018

New Resources

Updated June 25, 2019

New from the National RTAP


New from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC)

Read about the Senior Volunteer Transportation Network (SVTN), a coalition of stakeholders interested in transportation options for older adults, that is improving mobility options in western Tennessee.

Blount County, TN, Community Action Agency SMiles program is featured in NADTC's Volunteer Transportation Programs Topic Spotlight.  In this spotlight document, NADTC looks at volunteer transportation as a viable alternative for older adults and people with disabilities, examines funding, community support and collaboration, and the measurement structures of programs in Colorado, California, and Virginia, as well as Tennessee.

2018 Transportation Trends Report 


New from the National Center on Mobility Management (NCMM)


New from the Transportation Research Board

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) reports:

National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) reports: