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Rural Transit News

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Proposals due May 14 for FTA Low-No grants 

Posted March 21, 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 April 17 for AARP Community Challenge grants

Posted March 7, 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


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

Posted March 4, 2019

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has posted 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.


US DOT invites comments on current guidance

Posted February 21, 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

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.



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Posted May 2, 2018

New Resources

Updated March 21, 2019

New from the National RTAP

Disasters Topic Guide (recently updated)

Plain Language for Rural Transit: Writing for Readability and Clarity Technical Brief 

Bloodborne Pathogens Topic Guide (recently updated)

Moving from Demand Response to a Deviated Fixed-Route Best Practices Spotlight Article

ProcurementPRO 2.0 - National RTAP recently released an update to its free web-based application that guides rural and Tribal grantees and state DOTs through FTA procurement procedures. Using basic project information entered by the user, the program provides the required Federal clauses and certifications that must be included in procurement documents. In addition to the Federal clauses and certifications, the program provides helpful checklists and guidance.  A webinar introducing ProcurementPRO 2.0 can be streamed on the National RTAP website.


New from the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP)

TCRP Research Report 201: Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation explores how changes in demographics, traveler preferences, and markets for public transportation affect transit ridership in the present and the future. The report explores how an individual’s demographics affect their long-term values, their current attitudes, and the type of neighborhood they choose to live in. Each of these factors also affects their likelihood to ride transit.

NADTC's Every Ride Counts Marketing Tools

In December 2018, the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) launches its Every Ride Counts campaign, which is designed to support local communities’ efforts to promote the availability and accessibility of transportation options for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers.