Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Driving Safely - Technical Assistance for Transit and Transportation Services

Federal Transit Administration
FTA issues a Dear Colleague letter about training for transit workers about distracted driving. The agency offers a half-hour course "to educate, inform, and increase awareness among all transit workers about the dangers and challenges associated with distracted driving." The course is available online and can be accessed at any time.

Community Transportation Association of America
CTAA's EXPO conference will feature safety and vehicle maintenance trainings as part of the one-to-three-day intensives available on May 21-23 in Baltimore, Md. The EXPO conference is on May 21-25.

CTAA's Safety and Security Manager training certifies managers. "[T]his is a protocol for on-site assessments by Certified Safety and Security Managers of their respective transit systems preparedness in the critical components and core elements of the Federal Transit Administration's Bus Safety and Security Program."

Rural Transit Assistance Program

RTAP has a number of safety-related introductory training products. These are available on the website via a search for safety materials. They are also available via the RTAP catalog.

Local Stories

Support for transit, first mile/last mile service, coordinating human services transportation, and just having another mode of transportation to get an impromptu cup of coffee are gearing up in nearby towns in Massachusetts. The Wicked Local Maynard (now that's a great news source name) reports that "a $184,575 grant from the state aims to identify these redundancies and propose solutions for a more efficient regional transit network in the towns of Acton, Maynard, Boxborough, Littleton and Stow." The article, Maynard, Stow among communities receiving grant from state describes ambitious goals for the grant, to "pay for geodetic positioning systems for the 13 vans ... and a project coordinator to analyze trip data and develop a shared dispatch service. The long-term goals, according to the grant application, are to improve economic viability and realize cost savings for towns in the region." Though the grant will not pay for fixed-route service, some see it as a step in that direction. A transportation summit is planned for May in Maynard.

Wichita wants bus shelters with real-time bus information. The city is applying for "a $1.08 million grant from the FTA’s Bus Livability Initiative to establish eight bus shelters every two blocks along the Douglas corridor downtown." Wichita seeks U.S. grant for Douglas bus shelters, an article in the Wichita Eagle and Kansas.com, discusses Wichita's goal to make transit an attractive alternative to car use in the downtown area.
“We’d like to get wait times to 10 minutes or less at these shelters so the bus becomes a car alternative,” Fluhr said. “We have a large geographic area for our downtown, 800 acres, and within that we have a number of epicenters like Old Town, the Douglas corridor, City Hall, the arena and WaterWalk.
Other Douglas corridor projects that would be covered by the grant project include streetscape amenities, parking for 175 bicycles, a signalized pedestrian crosswalk between Mead and Rock Island and pedestrian wayfinding signage.

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