News Archives


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


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:


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:

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 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 or call 202.872.0888. Application information is available at

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:


TCRP Seeks Research Ideas

Posted May 10, 2018- Archived September 7, 2018

Is there some aspect of rural public transportation you think needs researching? The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) seeks problem statements for future research.  Suggestions for FY 2019 are invited through June 15, 2018.  For more information, download the solicitation through:


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 is June 18, 2018. The National RTAP hosted a webinar on this program which is archived here: 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, and several webinars will be held prior to the deadline.


Registration is Now Open for the Rural & Intercity Bus Transportation Conference

Posted May 2, 2018- Archived September 7, 2018

The 23rd National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation will take place September 30-October 3, 2018 in Breckenridge, CO. The conference will explore practices and showcase research in rural public and intercity bus transportation. The conference includes pre-conference training, plenary sessions, roundtables, 30 concurrent sessions with more than 80 presenters. To register, view the program, and submit Rural Mobility Champion Award nominations, visit


NADTC Offers "Strategies for Enhancing Rural Transit Operations" Mini-Course

Posted March 1, 2018 - Archived May 2, 2018

The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center presents an online mini-course, Strategies for Enhancing Rural Transit Operations. This course, which runs throughout March, is designed to give you techniques and best practice examples for improving your rural transit operations with innovative solutions, including call center operations strategies, rural travel training program implementation, real-time technology integrations, and rural ride sharing. All course content is designed to support local rural transit operations. Registration deadline is March 5, and an assignment is due April 13.


NADTC Spotlights Rural Travel Training

Posted March 1, 2018 - Archived May 2, 2018

The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center will present a Rural Travel Training webinar on March 7.  On March 1, the NADTC posted a 2017 Trends Report Topic Spotlight on Rural Travel Training.


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:


New from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center

Posted January 16, 2018 - Archived March 1, 2018

Looking for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) training materials? The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) recently rebranded the following resources with the NADTC logo and colors:

They have also updated the Transit Operator’s Pocket Guide, which was designed for staff operations and customer service training. These four resources were originally developed by the former Project ACTION program. Download these and other updated resources from the NADTC website.


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:


National RTAP Training Catalog

Posted November 2017 - Archived January 16, 2018

The National RTAP recently updated its downloadable resource catalog and online library interface.


Health Resources and Services Administration's Rural Transportation Toolkit

Posted November 2017 - Archived January 16, 2018

The NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis in collaboration with the Rural Health Information Hub has developed a new Rural Transportation Toolkit. This toolkit compiles promising models and resources to support organizations implementing transportation programs in rural communities across the United States. The modules in the toolkit contain resources and information focused on developing, implementing, evaluating, and sustaining rural transportation programs.