Outstanding Rural Transit Systems improve mobility, enhance opportunity for transit-dependent ridersOctober 27th, 2010
For each of the last 15 years, our Federal Transit Administration has recognized transit providers that overcome significant challenges to deliver reliable services to families, seniors, and persons with disabilities who live and work in rural, often far-flung communities.
Yesterday FTA Deputy Administrator Therese McMillan traveled to the National Transportation Research Board Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Conference in Burlington, Vermont. There, she presented six transit providers with this year’s Outstanding Rural Transit System awards:
* Special Transit of Boulder, CO
* Rural Community Transportation of St. Johnsbury, VT
* Citylink Public Transit System of Worley, ID
* Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency of Cookeville, TN
* Flint Hills Transportation Agency of Manhattan, KS
* South Central Adult Services Council of Valley City, ND
Now, the millions of us who live and work in the nation’s cities and suburbs have options for getting around: car, taxi, bus, train, trolley, bike, or our own feet.
But that’s simply not the case for many Americans living in more rural areas. From the tribal communities of North Dakota to the Ozark Mountain towns of Arkansas, transportation choices are more limited, particularly if you can’t afford a car, and destinations are often spread far apart.
Can you imagine living miles and miles away from the nearest grocery, the nearest hospital, or the nearest major employer, without a car or truck to get around?
For many rural Americans, this is the reality they face. And, believe me, a transportation gap turns the day-to-day activities many of us take for granted into a real challenge, whether it’s getting out to look for a job, traveling to a dialysis center for treatment, or simply running the errands needed to manage a household.
That’s why I think the Outstanding Rural Transit System awards are so important. And why I want to thank this year’s winners for providing such a valuable service to the people who depend on them each and every day.
I also want to thank our partners in the National Rural Transit Assistance Program, who evaluated the winners.
We at DOT are really proud of this year’s winners. But we are also thankful for all of our rural transit providers. These are difficult times, and anything transit systems can do to make it less of a challenge for Americans to get where they need to go is important.
Urgent! Change in Radio Systems or Lose Communication Capabilities and LicensesOctober 18th, 2010
The following information and training opportunities about the changes mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requiring two way radio systems in the very high frequency (VHF) and ultra high frequency (UHF) bands to narrow their transmissions by 2013. This will require many transit agencies to replace their entire radio infrastructure and subscriber units. Agencies failing to make the transition may face license revocation and possible fines. Yet, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about what must be replaced to meet the new requirements.
For the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), the Narrowbanding outreach effort has become a very important task. We have worked with American Public Transportation Association (APTA), National Transit Institute (NTI) and various offices within FTA to spread the word out. Our latest effort with NTI was the development of materials for webinars and training classes.
NTI has scheduled Narrowbanding courses in:
Tampa, FL — November 8
San Francisco, CA — December 6
Los Angeles, CA — December 8
If you are interested in attending, please use the following link https://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=TRI36TEST and register online. The National Transit Institute (NTI) will be sponsoring this FREE course ($150 for consultants and contractors). If, for whatever reason (other than ‘Waiting List Only’), you are unable to register for this course online, download the Registration Form and fax the form to 732-932-1707.
Two Narrowbanding webinars on October 19, 2010 and November 4, 2010. If you are interested in attending, please use the following link https://www.ntionline.com/CourseInfo.asp?CourseNumber=TRI36 and register online. The National Transit Institute (NTI) will be sponsoring this FREE course ($0 for consultants and contractors). If, for whatever reason (other than ‘Waiting List Only’), you are unable to register for this course online, download the Registration Form and fax the form to 732-932-1707.
These schedules are posted also on the FTA Homepage at http://www.fta.dot.gov/, under “Upcoming Events” in October through December. For the general information about Narrowbanding, please click the button “Ready for Narrowbanding?” on the FTA homepage or go to the FCC link at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/topics/technology/communication/radios/fcc-narrowbanding.htm.
Key aspects of Narrrowbanding from the website:
–Most current public safety radio systems use 25 kHz-wide channels.
–FCC has mandated that all non-Federal public safety licensees using 25 kHz radio systems migrate to narrowband 12.5 kHz channels by January 1, 2013.
–Agencies that do not meet the deadline face the loss of communication capabilities.
–Agencies need to start planning now to migrate to narrowband systems by assessing their current radio equipment and applying for new or modified licenses.
For further information, please contact Region 10′s Annette Le at 206-220-4461 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.