News Archives


FTA seeks comments on proposed changes to NTD Reporting

Posted April 9, 2019 - Archived June 11, 2019

FTA’s National Transit Database (NTD) was established by Congress to be the nation's primary source for information and statistics on the transit systems of the United States. Recipients and beneficiaries of FTA grants under the Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5307) or Rural Area Formula Program (49 U.S.C. 5311) are required by law to report to the NTD. Based on feedback from NTD stakeholders and the transit industry, FTA is proposing to make reporting changes and clarifications to NTD reporting requirements. FTA seeks comment on these proposed changes and clarifications:

  • New types of service
  • Changes to forms A-30, A-20, D-10 and FFA-10
  • Changes to safety event reporting
  • Clarification to requirements for reporting service information 
  • Clarification of terms 
  • Requirement for separate mode reporting 
  • Clarification to service survey standards
  • Clarification to reporting of miles in asset inventories 
  • Clarification of rural financial data reporting requirements

The Federal Register Notice for these proposed changes was published Tuesday, April 9, 2019 and is open for public comment through June 10, 2019. Changes will be made effective in September 2019.

 

FTA invites comments on proposed changes to Joint Development Guidance

Posted April 19, 2019 - Archived June 11, 2019

FTA has placed in the Federal Register docket and on its website proposed changes to its Joint Development Guidance (Circular (7050.1A).  The changes would increase flexibility for transit agencies to pursue joint development projects, resulting in more value capture opportunities that help create value for both transit systems and surrounding communities. The guidance also would streamline FTA’s regulations and approval process. FTA seeks public comment on the proposed changes to its joint development process. Submit comments by June 3, 2019.

 

FTA posts updated Implementation Guidelines for Drug & Alcohol Regulations in Public Transportation

Posted March 4, 2019 - Archived May 31, 2019

 

In February 2019, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published updated guidelines to provide transit employers with the knowledge and resources needed to develop, implement, and manage a drug and alcohol testing program to comply with FTA and U.S. Department of Transportation regulations.  FTA Report No. 0127, Implementation Guidelines for Drug and Alcohol Regulations in Public Transportation, provides employers with updated guidelines to assess their level of compliance, validate policies and procedures, and identify areas that require modification.  This guidance was last revised in 2009.  Note: as of May 31, 2019, FTA Report No. 0127 is not available on the FTA website, and the 2009 Implementation Guidelines are still recommended on the Drug and Alcohol Tools and Resources web page on the FTA website.

 

Proposals due May 14 for FTA Low-No grants 

Posted March 21, 2019 - Archived May 15, 2019

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is accepting project proposals for FY 2019 funding under the Low or No Emission Program (Low-No) Program.  The Low-No Program supports the transition of the nation’s transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy efficient transit vehicles. Low-No funding funds purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities.  Designated recipient of FTA grants, states, local governmental authorities and Indian tribes are eligible to apply.  The application deadline is May 14, 2019.  FTA is hosting a webinar on Thursday, April 11.  Section 5311 subrecipients should contact their state department of transportation for information on applying through the state.

 

Applications due May 3 for CTAA Rural and Tribal Technical Assistance

Posted March 29, 2019 - Archived May 7, 2019 

The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) is accepting applications for planning assistance under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural and Tribal Technical Assistance Programs. These programs provide planning assistance, at no cost, to rural and tribal communities to help establish new transit services, expand, enhance or improve existing services, or build transit facilities. The assistance is provided directly by CTAA staff. Applications are due by May 3, 2019.

 

NADTC invites photo contest submissions by April 26

Posted March 29, 2019 - Archived April 30, 2019

The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center announced its announce its third annual photo contest, seeking photos that illustrate NADTC's mission to increase the availability and accessibility of community transportation options for older adults and people with disabilities. Such photos could include people of color using transportation; youth and young adults with disabilities; caregivers or family providing support to an individual using transportation; tribal transportation; rural landscape transportation; service animals assisting their owners as they ride or get ready to ride transportation; transportation riders using technology that supports transportation access or accessible mobility; good customer service or travel training; vehicle operator assistance; and transit dispatchers. The contest is open to individuals who are transportation users or advocates, and organizations that provide, fund or are involved in (e.g., plan, advocate for, promote) community transportation and serve older adults and/or people with disabilities, including state or local government agencies, as well as nonprofit and for-profit organizations. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 26, 2019.

 

Applications due April 17 for AARP Community Challenge grants

Posted March 7, 2019 - Archived April 17, 2019

AARP invites applications for small grants to improve housing, transportation, public space, smart cities and other community elements. AARP's Community Challenge grant program supports quick-action projects (to be completed by November 4, 2019)  that can help a community become more livable. Examples of past grant projects include improvements to pedestrian infrastructure, including transit stop improvements.  Applications are due by April 17, 2019 through the link found at AARP.org/CommunityChallenge.

 

US DOT invites comments on current guidance

Posted February 21, 2019 - Archived April 9, 2019

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is reviewing its existing guidance documents to evaluate their continued necessity and determine whether they need to be updated or revised. As part of this review, the US DOT invites the public to identify and provide input on existing guidance documents that are good candidates for repeal, replacement, or modification.  Comments should be submitted on or before April 8, 2019. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment on specific actions that FMCSA would like to take on FMCSA guidance documents dealing with commercial drivers' licenses.


FTA increases minimum rate of random drug testing to 50 percent effective January 1, 2019

Posted October 26, 2018 - Archived March 29, 2019

On October 17, 2018, FTA issued a "Dear Colleague" letter announcing that FTA will increase the minimum rate of random drug testing from 25 percent to 50 percent of covered employees for employers subject to FTA’s drug and alcohol regulation, effective January 1, 2019. The minimum alcohol testing rate will remain at 10 percent. 
 

Call for presentations for National RTAP Conference

Archived March 4, 2019

The National RTAP Conference Committee seeks proposals for presentations for the 2019 Technical Assistance Conference in Portland, Oregon, September 15-18, 2019. This is National RTAP's fourth biennial conference focused on innovation, best practices, and compliance. The conference audience includes: management and other staff of rural transit agencies and human service transportation providers, tribal transit managers, planners, state transportation and human service agency staff, consultants, intercity bus operators, and others with an interest in rural transportation. The conference will include multiple routes to offer learning and technical assistance opportunities for all attendees: Administration and Planning; Operations; Compliance; Coordination; and Technology. Particular interest areas within the routes will include: rural public, tribal, intercity, and veterans transportation; mobility management and non-emergency medical transportation; transit manager 101; and state program manager 101. Presentation proposals are requested by February 28, 2019. 

 

Funding Opportunity:  FTA Access and Mobility Partnership Grants

Posted September 12, 2018 - Archived  February 20, 2019

On September 12, FTA announced the availability of $6.3 million in competitive grant funds for transit coordination projects that improve access to healthcare. Access and Mobility Partnership Grants seek to improve access to public transportation by building partnerships among health, transportation and other service providers. This program provides competitive funding to support innovative projects for the transportation disadvantaged that will improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation services. In 2018, there are two funding opportunities under the initiative: the Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility (ICAM) Pilot Program and Human Services Coordination Research (HSCR) grants. 

Eligible applicants for ICAM Pilot Program grants include states, tribes, and designated or direct recipients of FTA funding.  These funds will be awarded competitively to finance innovative capital projects for the transportation disadvantaged that will improve the coordination of transportation services and non-emergency medical transportation services.

Eligible applicants for HSCR grants include state and local governmental entities, providers of public transportation, private organizations, and non-profit organizations. Research activities awarded under this competitive program will support the implementation of innovative strategies in the coordination of human services transportation to provide more effective and efficient public transportation services to seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income individuals. Proposed research projects should address gaps identified in the locally developed Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan. The HSCR funds will finance operating and capital project expenditures to develop and deploy projects that improve transportation services for targeted populations as noted above through methods that effectively and efficiently coordinate human services transportation.

Applications for both programs are due November 13, 2018. For more information, visit this page on the FTA website:
https://www.transit.dot.gov/funding/grants/grant-programs/access-and-mobility-partnership-grants

 

New FTA Safety Regulations and Resources

Posted September 7, 2018- Archived  February 20, 2019

FTA recently produced a new drug abuse awareness video on effects and consequences of prohibited drug use on health, safety and work, and signs and symptoms that may indicate prohibited drug use. The video meets 60-minute training requirements of section 655.14(b)(1) for covered employees.  The video can be streamed on this web page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cwYqxGpJzM.

FTA also recently released Effective Practices in Bus Transit Safety: Emergency Response, a new guide that compiles voluntary recommendations from FTA’s Bus Safety Program to bus transit agencies to improve their responses during and after emergencies. The guide also provides examples of effective emergency response practices that transit agencies can adopt to implement the recommendations. The guide is the first in a series of voluntary bus safety guides for the industry based on FTA’s experience conducting voluntary onsite bus safety reviews since 2007. 

On July 19, 2018, FTA  issued two final regulations to strengthen the safety of public transportation systems: the Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan rule and the Safety Certification Training Program rule.  The Public Transportation Agency Safety Plan rule requires certain operators of public transportation systems that receive federal funds under FTA's Urbanized Area Formula Grants (Section 5307) to incorporate Safety Management System (SMS) policies and procedures as they develop safety plans to better manage their safety risks. Since no two transit systems are alike, the rule sets scalable and flexible requirements for safety plans. At this time, the federal rule does not apply to an operator of a public transportation system that only receives Section 5310 and/or 5311 program funding. The requirements of the Public Transportation Safety Training Certification Program rule establish a basic training curriculum to enhance the technical competencies and capabilities of individuals responsible for the safety oversight of rail transit systems.

 

FTA Seeks Nominations for Outstanding Public Service in Rural Public Transportation

Posted May 10, 2018 - Archived September 7, 2018

FTA seeks nominations for the FTA Administrator’s Award for Outstanding Public Service in Rural Public Transportation. Nominations must be submitted no later than May 31, 2018.  The awards will be presented during the 23rd National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation in Breckenridge, Colorado, September 30 to October 3, 2018.  Any local, rural transit provider receiving assistance under Section 5311 may be nominated for the award.  FTA will accept self-nominations, but encourages letters of support from the State transit association and/or State Department of Transportation. Nominations will be based on rural transit providers that demonstrate how their transit system is integral to the infrastructure of the community.  Questions may be addressed to your Regional office or Élan Flippin, at 202-366-3800, email Elan.Flippin@dot.gov. Tennessee is located within FTA Region 4.  The FTA Region 4 office is located at Atlanta, Georgia and can be reached by phone at 404-865-5600.

 

NADTC Announces New Grant Funding Opportunity

Posted May 2, 2018- Archived September 7, 2018

The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center recently announced a new grant program, Getting Ready to Innovate. These planning projects will serve as incubators to develop innovations and build community support and commitment for increasing the availability and accessibility of community transportation services for people with disabilities and older adults. Grants of up to $20,000 each will be awarded to as many as ten communities for a six-month period. Local and regional private nonprofit or government organizations may apply. The deadline for grant applications is May 31, 2018. For more information, contact Melissa Gray, NADTC Program Manager, at nadtcgrant@nadtc.org or call 202.872.0888. Application information is available at www.nadtc.org.


Reminder: Revised Federal Drug Testing CCF Must Be Used Beginning July 1, 2018

Posted May 10, 2018- Archived September 7, 2018

On August 8, 2017, the Office of Management and Budget approved a revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF) and authorized the continued use of the “old CCF” until June 30, 2018.  US DOT regulated employers and their service agents (collectors, laboratories, Medical Review Officers) may not use the “old CCF” for DOT mandated drug test collections after June 30, 2018.To learn more about what this means for US DOT drug testing, please visit the following web page: https://www.transportation.gov/odapc/Reminder_Notice_CCF_May_2018.

 

FTA Low or No Emission Program (Low-No Program) Notice of Funding

Posted May 2, 2018- Archived September 7, 2018

The Federal Transit Administration has announced funding for the Low-No Program which supports transition of the nation's transit fleet to the lowest polluting and most energy efficient transit vehicles. The program provides funding to state and local governmental authorities for the purchase or lease of zero-emission and low-emission transit buses, including acquisition, construction, and leasing of required supporting facilities. Eligible Applicants include designated recipients of FTA grants, states, local governmental authorities and Indian Tribes. The submission deadline on grants.gov is June 18, 2018. The National RTAP hosted a webinar on this program which is archived here: http://nationalrtap.org/Webinars#emissions. Tara Clark of FTA's Office of Program Management introduced the Low-No competitive grant program, walked through the supplemental application, and answered questions. In addition, successful proposers came to the table to talk about how they requested grants to start low or no emission programs at their systems.

 

U.S. DOT BUILD Program Notice of Funding Opportunity

Posted May 2, 2018- Archived September 7, 2018

BUILD Transportation grants replace the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. FY 2018 BUILD grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, or intermodal transportation. Eligible applicants include state, local, and tribal governments, including U.S. territories, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other political subdivisions of state or local governments. The submission deadline is July 19 at grants.gov, and several webinars will be held prior to the deadline.

 

Changes to US DOT Drug Testing Rule Took Effect Jan. 1, 2018

Posted December 2017 - Archived March 1, 2018

On November 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) published a final drug testing rule (49 CFR Part 40) that, among other items, expands the US DOT’s current drug testing panel to include certain semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone). To learn more about this final rule, which took effect January 1, 2018:

 

National RTAP Seeks Review Board Member Nominations 

Posted December 2017 - Archived January 16, 2018

For 2018, National RTAP is soliciting nominations for three rural or tribal transit operators and two state transit officials.  The term of office is three years beginning at the new member’s first meeting. 

National RTAP staff depends on the Review Board for guidance and assistance with the development of training materials and other tools and resources for rural and tribal transit operators.  Among other duties, Review Board members represent National RTAP’s primary customer groups and help National RTAP determine what products and services would be of the most value to them. 

Any group or individual involved in rural transit is encouraged to nominate a representative to the board.  An individual may nominate him/herself for consideration. Nominations are due January 15, 2018.

Visit the National RTAP website for more information:
http://nationalrtap.org/News/ArticleID/199/Solicitation-for-Nominations-for-National-RTAP-Review-Board