Outreach & Stakeholder Education

Outreach & Stakeholder Education

Effective outreach utilizes a range techniques and strategies to invite public input and educate riders and prospective riders about public transportation.

  1. Transforming public perception through consensus building is a key tool among AMMA’s capabilities. Moving people through complex and difficult decision-making processes is inherent in AMMA’s community outreach and public involvement activities.
  2. Transit-focused education is a second critical tool to inviting and encouraging new riders. AMMA’s training of riders includes travel training individual and groups of older adults, training human service agency gatekeepers in transit familiarization and developing passive travel training tools to provide support through the trip to new users.

AMMA gathers public input and uses it to inform solid project direction or to construct engaging travel training tools. AMMA uses the following mechanisms and more:


  • Focus groups
  • Rider and non-rider intercept surveys
  • Stakeholder interviews
  • Consumer and agency surveys
  • Household and telephone surveys
  • Online surveys
  • Travel training for groups and individuals
  • Way-finding tools
  • Transit familiarization tools for agency staff

Related Projects

  • Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro)Seniors on the Move Senior Travel Training Program
  • Trinity County Transportation CommissionTransit Mobility and Awareness Plan for Trinity Transit
  • Orange County Transportation Authority / City of Laguna Woods, CAGo Local Way-Finding and Transportation Promotion Project

Valerie Mackintosh

img-staff-ValerieSedigMs. Mackintosh is a writer and public outreach facilitator with experience in qualitative thinking and community involvement from a range of technical and service backgrounds. She brings cultural competency and sensitivity to AMMA’s public participation work with diverse and vulnerable populations. Ms. Mackintosh outreach work with AMMA often involves engaging non-English Speaking and unserved individuals, such as agricultural workers and Tribal members and persons with low-incomes. This includes developing tools and strategies like working with trusted messengers to engage individuals who are often marginalized and not invited to the transit decisionmaking process. Her outreach-related responsibilities include facilitating and presenting at workshops and training, coordinating and facilitating stakeholder interviews and community focus groups and developing and analyzing surveys.

Ms. Mackintosh’s strong analytic skills and attention to the value of procedures serve her well in assisting transit providers and human services agencies with FTA grant processes and developing policy and procedure manuals. Additional responsibilities of Ms. Mackintosh include assisting in the preparation, writing and production of transportation reports; assisting in production of proposals; and administrative support for clients such as San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and the Riverside County Transportation Commission.

Since 2012, Ms. Mackintosh has provided Title VI support to transit providers and human service agencies throughout the state as part of Caltrans’ Rural Transit Assistance Program. This included developing templates and “how-to” guides, participating in multiple state-wide webinars and workshops, providing technical assistance and developing compliant Title VI Programs for multiple transit providers in California.

Ms. Mackintosh graduated in 2008 from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts in World Literature and Cultural Studies. In 2011, she received a Certificate in Public Involvement in Transportation Decisionmaking from the National Transit Institute. Ms. Mackintosh received her MFA in Writing at the University of San Francisco in December 2014.

Ms. Mackintosh lives in Monterey, CA with her husband and two dogs. She enjoys spending her time reading and writing and being outdoors.

Dennis Brooks

Dennis Brooks has been with AMMA Transit Planning since 2006, bringing his financial and mathematical abilities to provide strong analytic products to AMMA’s project efforts. His ability to evaluate and validate the financial and operating performance of transportation programs ensures that planning recommendations will sustain and improve efficient and effective transit operations.

Mr. Brooks has participated in a wide range of planning projects for public transit properties, regional planning agencies and human services transportation programs. He has led multiple FTA discretionary grant offerings in Southern California, where his analytical thinking and attention to detail has provided strong support to funding agencies, grant applicants and successful grantees over the past 15 years. Mr. Brooks regularly assesses the financial standing of public transportation providers and has developed multi-year financial forecasts for multiple transit agencies for comprehensive analyses and short-range transit plans. In over two dozen coordinated transportation plans, Mr. Brooks has led the census data demographic analyses and assessments of available transportation services.

Recent activities of Mr. Brooks include: an implementation-oriented evaluation of California’s new Innovative Clean Transportation (ICT) initiative’s zero emission bus requirements for small operators; lead responsibility for a regional paratransit call center and brokerage assessment; prepared an intercity bus plan, including operating schedules over multiple time horizons, to support intercity rail development through California’s State Rail Plan; and participated in the conduct of six Transportation Development Act (TDA) audits of public operators.

Mr. Brooks is currently enrolled in a degree program in Business Management at Riverside City College and has completed the Pepperdine Transit Management certificate program and various National Transit Institute courses.

A resident of Riverside, CA., Mr. Brooks is a devoted father of two and enjoys boating and tropical aquarium fishkeeping in his spare time.

Heather Menninger

With more than three decades of experience with public transportation service planning, Heather Menninger has designed, evaluated or implemented transit service improvements in a breadth of environments, with particular emphasis on community-level transit programs for small urban and rural settings and demand response programs. She has published in the Transportation Research Record (TRR), including two papers regarding paratransit demand estimation, and has contributed to Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) publications, on innovation in transit (TCRP Report 70) and on veterans transportation (TCRP Report 164).

As a sole proprietor, Ms. Menninger brings professional evaluation, problem-solving skills and critical thinking to the evaluation of public transit programs. At the individual, operator level and for multi-modal environments, she has led county-wide and regional planning initiatives. , Ms. Menninger has led projects that include: comprehensive operations analyses for rural and small urban transit; transit development plans; strategic, long-range and countywide transit planning; performance assessment of transit programs, including Americans with Disabilities Act complementary paratransit compliance and evaluation; micro-transit service evaluation; coordinated transportation planning; senior transportation and non-emergency medical transportation planning studies; human service transportation evaluation studies; staffing of mandated advisory groups; transit performance measurement, monitoring and reporting; bus-to-rail connectivity studies and commute needs assessments.

Ms. Menninger has provided long-term, contracted staff assistance to several regional transportation planning agencies for much of her career, stepping into issues that encompass regulatory compliance, grant writing that includes program design and contract administration, reporting and tracking of public transportation trends and staffing of advisory councils and commissions.

Ms. Menninger holds three degrees: a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Hampshire College (1977), a Master’s in Management of Human Services from Brandeis University (1981), and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University at Pomona (2002).

She lives in Pacific Grove, CA with her husband Kirk Visscher and two cats, Jonni Dep and Spotters. When she is not working, she enjoys reading, studying Tai Chi and knitting or, with her husband, kayaking on the Elkhorn Slough and camping.

Technical Assistance & Training

Technical Assistance & Training

Having worked with dozens of transit properties, in urbanized, small urban or rural settings and with decades of diverse consulting engagements, the AMMA team is able to provide support and assistance around an array of needs. AMMA’s variety of support services facilitate agency aims, helping to get more trips to more people through well-trained staff, clear procedures and effective public processes.

AMMA is well qualified to assist transit agencies, transportation commissions, human services agencies, and county governments and other public agencies with:


Related Projects

Active Transportation Program


Active Transportation Program

The Active Transportation Program (ATP) encourages increased use of active modes of transportation, such as biking and walking. This program is consistent with AMMA’s dedication to improve mobility for all individuals, ensure access for disadvantaged communities, and enhance public health.

AMMA’s team of grant writers has a proven track record of developing successful ATP grant applications by demonstrating the project’s benefits through developing compelling narrative and thorough data analysis. For ATP Cycle 2, AMMA prepared nine applications on behalf of Los Angeles Metro and nine sponsor entities. Five of AMMA’s nine ATP applications were successful and will be receiving Federal and State ATP funds, for a success rate of over 55%, compared to a 14% selection rate for the overall statewide application pool.Developing these ATP applications includes:

  • Mastering evolving Caltrans scoring criteria, new application forms and application guidelines
  • Working with street and road design, bicycle improvements and pedestrian enhancements to accurately describe and communicate each proposals’ strengths and to create the best competitive package possible
  • Supporting public engagement activities that help to ensure a strong application
  • Communicating the safety impacts of pedestrian and bicycle improvements
  • Capturing the regional benefit and accurately estimating demand in completing missing links of bikeway
  • Collecting and inputing data for Cost/Benefit Model
  • Coordinating with public health entities to identify benefits and secure health department support

AMMA can assist by:

  • Grant writing and grant assistance
  • Community outreach
  • Technical assistance and training

Related Projects:

    • Los Angeles MetroCaltrans Active Transportation Program (ATP) Cycle 2 Grant Development and Grant Assistance 

AMMA’s successful ATP grant applications include:

(1) City of Arcadia Bicycle and Facility Improvements;

(2) City of Lancaster 10th Street West Road Diet and Bikeway Improvements;

(3) City of La Verne Regional Bicycle Gap Closure Project;

(4) City of Los Angeles Orange Line Sherman Way Pedestrian Links;

(5) City of Lynwood Community Linkages to Civic Center and Long Beach Boulevard Metro Station.