Hear AMMA Present on Veterans Transportation in Monterey, CA

Next week, the AMMA team will be in Monterey, CA attending two conference: the 21st National Conference on Rural Public & Intercity Bus Transportation and TRB’s Shaping the New Future of Paratransit: An International Conference on Demand Responsive Transportation 

These conferences will bring together transit professionals and researchers from across California, the Nation and the world to discuss the ins and outs of rural, small urban, and demand responsive transportation.

AMMA’s Heather Menninger and Buffy Ellis of KHF Group will be presenting on TRB Report 164: Community Tools to Improve Transportation Options for Veterans, Military Service Members, and Their Families.

It’s not too late to register!

CalACT’s National Rural Public and Intercity Bus Conference: http://www2.calact.org/events/register/RIBTC-conference/

International Conference on Demand Responsive Transportation: http://www.cvent.com/events/shaping-the-future-for-paratransit/event-summary-412e7b4752bf41f58e038909c0864c92.aspx

AMMA Leads Title VI Development Workshops

CalACT caltrans logosAMMA Transit Planning just completed its series of full-day Title VI Development workshops for transit agencies with less than 50 vehicles. These workshops were made possible through the California Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP), which is administered by CalACT on behalf of Caltrans DMT. These statewide workshops were hosted by Paratransit Inc. in Sacramento, Access Services in El Monte, and by CalACT prior to its 2014 Spring Expo and Conference in San Diego.

Workshops were designed to assist rural and small urban transit operators with less than 50 vehicles understand the complex FTA Title VI regulation (FTA C. 4702.1B ) and provide a road map for developing a fully-compliant Title VI Program. The workshop provided hands-on assistance by the AMMA Transit Planning team, individuals who are deep into these regulations and have developed six Title VI Programs for providers across the state. AMMA has developed several MS Word templates to facilitate providers’ development of plans, including developing systemwide service standards and policies and preparing a community-specific language assistance plan.

Participants represented CTSAs, consulting agency, RTPAs, city transit programs, rural/small urban transit providers, large urban providers, nonprofits or human service transit providers.

Title VI of the Civil Right Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination by recipients of Federal funding on the basis of race, color, or national origin to any public. FTA has developed requirements for Title VI  Programs for recipients of its funds, as detailed in FTA Circular 4702.1B. Recipients that receive funding through Caltrans must complete their Title VI program by June 30, 2014 and all federal recipients must update their Title VI Programs every three years.

Title VI Development tools and resources are available on CalACT’s website here.

Thank you to our generous host agencies!

Success with Eastern Coachella Valley TRIP

NorthShoreEastern Coachella Valley TRIP is in full swing and successfully getting residents of North Shore to jobs and work-related activities. The Transit Reimbursement Project, a program of the Independent Living Partnership, enables qualified riders to provide mileage reimbursements to volunteer drivers.

The North Shore is an isolated, rural, and agricultural region of the Salton Sea in Riverside County. Many residents are agricultural workers and need to travel long distances to work in the fields throughout the area.  Other families depend on jobs in the hospitality sector on the west side of the Coachella Valley and many of their children attend the College of the Desert Campus located in Palm Desert.  For some, the daily commute can be 36 miles each way.

Eastern Coachella Valley TRIP was anticipated to enable 24,000 rides impacting 200 jobs between November 2013 and March 2014. We are happy to report that the program completed over 37,000 rides with 264 jobs affected.

Visit the TRIP website for more information about the mileage reimbursement program.

AMMA to lead Title VI Day-Long Workshops

Title VI Workshop Flyer finalThree day-long Title VI workshops will be provided this spring to assist small urban and rural transit operators develop their Title VI Program. AMMA will facilitate these workshops on behalf of CalACT’s Rural Transit Assistance Program. The AMMA and CalACT team will be on-hand to answer questions, provide examples, and tackle common issues and concerns agencies have encountered in developing these programs.

Workshop dates and locations include:

  • Thursday, April 24th 8:30 to 4:30 p..m. Paratransit Inc, Sacramento
  • Monday, May 19th, 8:30 to 4:30 p..m, CalACT Conference, San Diego
  • Thursday, June 5th 8:30 to 4:30 p..m, Access Services, Los Angeles

The fee is $20 and participants must attend one of the 1-hour webinar preceding their workshop date.

For more information and to register, visit CalACT’s website here.

For agencies reporting to Caltrans, Title VI Programs must be submitted by June 30, 2014.

Assisting Veterans and Service Members: TCRP Report 164 Now Available

tcrp_rpt_164 1AMMA is pleased to announce that TCRP Report 164: Community Tools to Improve Transportation Options for Veterans, Military Service Members, and Their Families has been published. This guide is available at http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/170466.aspx as a PDF.

A project of the Transportation Research Board, TCRP Report 164 provides guidance and tools to assess transportation needs of veterans, service members, and their families and ways to potentially improve public transit, specialized transportation, volunteer services, and other local transportation options needed to meet those needs.

AMMA Transit Planning was proud to join Elizabeth Ellis and members of the KFH Group, INC as part of the research team developing this tool.

AMMA Conducts LEP Outreach in Lake County

IMG_7015AMMA kicked off its Title VI development for Lake Transit with a public outreach event at Yuba College’s Clearlake campus. Among fulfilling federal requirements, the Title VI program will ensure that Lake Transit’s services are accessible to non-English speakers.

In late October, campus administrators hosted a student conference for Spanish-speaking high-school age students and their parents. The conference included a campus tour, information about financial aid, a student panel and, following it, a chance to gather information from local businesses, non-profits and Lake Transit.

AMMA attended with Lake Transit to ask participants to respond to a short survey about their interactions with Lake Transit. Lake Transit drivers and dispatchers were there to answer questions and talk to students and their families. The information collected from this event—and from the additional outreach efforts AMMA will conduct over the course of this project—will be used to develop a Language Assistance Plan for Lake Transit.

AMMA will be working with Lake Transit on the Title VI Program over the next few months.

MBTA’s Title VI Program Approved and Applauded

AMMA recently completed the Title VI program for Morongo Basin Transit Authority (MBTA) on behalf of the San Bernardino Associated Governments. In addition to developing the Title VI core elements and corresponding procedures, AMMA prepared the Language Assistance Plan and Public Participation Plan.

Upon review, Caltrans reported that MBTA’s Title VI program was one of the best its seen. AMMA was pleased to work with MBTA on this project and looks forward to future joint efforts.

Potential TRB Publication and Presentation for Travel Training Paper

DSCN2368 (2)AMMA’s Heather Menninger and Riverside Transit Agency’s (RTA) Virginia Werly recently collaborated on a paper that studied the cost-savings to transit providers by providing fixed-route travel training.

Of the nearly 5200 papers submitted toTransportation Research Board for the 2014 Annual Meeting, this was one of the few to be recommended for Presentation at the 2014 Annual Meeting and Publication in the 2014 Transportation Research Record series (Journal of the Transportation Research Board).

Titled “ADA Cost Savings and Increased Fixed-Route Ridership through Transit Agency-Provided Travel Training“, Menninger and Werly’s paper uses RTA’s Freedom to Go Travel Training Program to document long-term riding experiences of travel trained individuals through analysis of GFI farebox data.

This paper documents the almost $333,000 in cost-saving RTA saw in its first full program year.The paper reports on trainees’ fixed-route use, some additional outcomes RTA has affected due to increased understanding of barriers to use by its ADA riders and overall demand trends in RTA’s ADA program.

The RTA Travel Training program is for people with disabilities and older adults who want to learn to travel safely and independently using public transportation. Travel training is a free self-paced process where an individual, regardless of ability or age, can learn to ride RTA’s fixed-route system. More about Freedom to Go is available here.

Menninger and Werly will be notified in the next few months if the paper is selected for publication and presentation, though the odds look good. Reviews commented on the paper’s quality writing, well documented research and needed contribution to literature on the topic of travel training.

 

Caltrans Offers Rave Reviews on RCTC’s Coordinated Plan Update

The reviews are in…and they are singing praises.

Riverside County’s 2012 Public Transit-Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan Update was recently reviewed by Caltrans’ Division of Mass Transportation (DMT) as part of their preparation for an impending in preparation for a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) audit this fall.

Caltrans DMT Office Chief, Jila Priebe, wrote that “Caltrans is pleased with the outcome of RCTC’s 2012 Coordinated Plan Update…”

Additional Caltrans remarks included, “This document exceeds minimum expectations for coordinated plans…RCTC has done an excellent job articulating the existing state of transportation in areas served and for populations served. The 2012 Coordinated Plan Update reflects a candid and comprehensive assessment of the region’s needs and offers realistic strategies for meeting specified priorities.”

AMMA is pleased to have developed this plan on behalf of RCTC (Riverside County Transportation Commission) and is proud to continue working with RCTC on their specialized transit program.

AMMA is currently authoring Coordinated Plan Updates for various California Counties, as well as in counties in Arizona and Oregon. Learn more about AMMA’s coordinated transportation planning by clicking here.

Riverside County Coordinated Plan Update and the original 2008 Coordinated are available on RCTC’s website.

Veterans Specialists Now in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties

logo-vetlink

Riverside County 2-1-1, administered by Community Connect, welcomes its first Veterans Specialist to the team! Miguel Duran, a Marine Veteran, is the second of two Veteran Specialists to be installed as part of VetLink, the Inland Southern California One-Call/One-Click Project.

Osvaldo Maysonet, Mr. Duran’s counterpart in San Bernardino–and also a Marine Veteran–has been working as the Veterans Specialist at Inland Empire 2-1-1 since the summer of 2012.

Mr. Duran and Mr. Maysonet are part of VetLink’s efforts to improve access to and information about transportation options for Veterans, their families, and the broader military community. More about this VTCLI project can be found here.

AMMA is pleased to welcome both to the team and the transit community!