Visit the Training page for information on upcoming TNRTAP training events. Offerings in March include train-the-trainer courses in Defensive Driving, Emergency Procedures, and Passenger Assistance.
Rural Transit News
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.
Funding Opportunity: FTA Access and Mobility Partnership Grants
Posted September 12, 2018; updated September 20, 2018
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
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.