Pre-Conference Training Sessions: October 2, 2016, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
All registrations for the pre-conference sessions must be received by August 15, 2016.
The FTA Bus Safety Program and Safety Management Systems (SMS)
Ream Lazaro, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Bus Safety Program, Scottsdale, AZ
This workshop is designed for State DOT's; small, rural and tribal bus transit agencies; and other industry stakeholders that will ultimately be involved in implementing Safety Management Systems (SMS) consistent with FTA's Bus Safety Program. The presentation will include an update on associated rulemakings and their application to small, rural, and tribal bus transit agencies. The workshop will provide an overview of the FTA Bus Safety Program and how it supports the safety mission transit agencies, the benefits and components of SMS, and how SMS can be scaled to agencies of all sizes, complexity and operating environments.
OMB's Super Circular: What This New Guidance Means for FTA Grantees
Rich Garrity, RLS & Associates, Inc., Surf City, NC
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released new guidance on Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, a/k/a “Super Circular” in December 2013. This guidance has substantial impact on all Federal grant recipients, including entities that receive Section 5311 and Section 5310 financial assistance. To date, FTA has issued little substantive guidance on these new requirements. This session will provide detailed information on how the new rules change existing FTA guidance in multiple areas, including: internal controls, conflicts of interest, cost documentation, cost and price analysis, purchasing, indirect costs, and audit.
Effective Service Contracting in the Rural Environment
George Sparks, Pomona Valley Transportation Authority, Diamond Bar, CA and Will Rodman, Principal, Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates, Milton, MA
Effective service contracting is more than following legal procurement guidelines. Much of the important work of contracting is done before the RFP is issued. The session will discuss approaches secure competitive proposals from high quality providers and how to get the most out of your contracted service. It will cover market analysis, development of service specifications, methods of payment, innovative incentives to optimize performance and the use of penalties. We discuss management of the procurement process. The session will explore how your service design will impact on the effectiveness of your contract. We will provide guidelines for defining the roles and responsibilities of the agency buying the service and the contractor. It will also cover the importance of service monitoring and developing an effective partnership with your contractor.
National Transit Database Rural Reporting
John Giorgis, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, DC
Agencies receiving funding from the Rural Formula Program (5311) are required to submit data to the NTD in uniform categories. More than 660 transit providers report to the NTD through the Internet-based system. This half-day session will provide you with the information you need to effectively use the system to report your system’s data. The goal of this course is to help transit professionals learn the necessary skills for reporting rural data to the National Transit Database internet reporting website. Topics include: • Benefits and impacts associated with the NTD annual reporting • “Who” reports and “What” to report • NTD reporting website, functionality and automation • Report year updates
If you are not planning to attend conference pre-conference training sessions, there are many opportunities in Asheville and the surrounding area to explore. In Asheville, consider the Urban Trail Walking Tour, a self-guided 1.7 mile walk around historic Asheville. Or, if you're up for a longer hike, check out the following details for a group hike on the Appalachian Trail planned for Sunday. Visit our Things to Do page for more ideas.
Appalachian Trail Hike, Sunday October 2 (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)
Join us for a loop hike on part of the Appalachian Trail to enjoy fall in the mountains!
Enjoy a moderately strenuous hike on the iconic Appalachian Trail for views of the Smoky Mountains in full fall foliage along the French Broad River. Depending on interest, abilities and vehicles, we can do hikes ranging from 1.6 to about 5 miles. The hike(s) will start in the Appalachian Trail Town of Hot Springs, about a 45-minute drive north from the Renaissance (we'll carpool from Asheville). Shopping in Hot Springs, an iconic designated AT Trail Town, and long-time mountain getaway, will follow.
Meet in the lobby of the Renaissance at 8:30 am for a 9 am departure for Hot Springs. We will plan to leave Hot Springs by 4 pm to allow time for clean-up before the Opening Reception at 5:30 pm. Hiker should bring water bottle(s), day or fanny pack, hiking poles/walking stick (if desired), sturdy hiking/walking shoes, and dress and bring clothing appropriate for the weather. Early Fall temperatures are in the high 60’s to low 70’s during the day and upper 40’s to mid 50’s in the morning. October historically is the driest month of the year, but this year, who knows? Contact Nathan Caldwell, at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to RSVP.
Opening Reception and Scavenger Hunt
Sunday, October 2nd, 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Join us to kick-off the conference and network with new friends and old from around the country. Light hors d'oeuvres and drinks (hosted & cash bar). Be sure to stop by the student winners' poster area to visit with our award winners.
We are excited to welcome first-time attendees of the conference. As a first-timer, you are eligible to participate in the "Scavenger Hunt" for prizes, including free registration to attend the 23rd National Conference in 2018. The scavenger hunt provides an orientation to the conference, and a fun way to get to know other new attendees as well as those who have attended in the past.
Keynote Address: Monday, October 3, 2016, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Get Smart: Active Transportation for Rural Networks
Ellen Vanderslice, Portland, Oregon
"Active transportation" refers to walking, taking transit and riding bicycles. On the cusp of a new information age, these active modes are poised to transform the national transportation picture. What will this mean for rural America? Through a series of vignettes and stories Vanderslice will explore key developments and trends, and suggest how these might inform a vision of seamlessly integrated mobility.
Ellen Vanderslice has been a passionate advocate for active transportation for more than four decades, with first-hand experience of bicycle and transit issues in addition to a deep interest in walking. She is a licensed architect with a moonlight career as a jazz songwriter who also sings and plays trombone in a big band. In the 1990s she helped found Oregon Walks, a local walking advocacy group, and America Walks, the national coalition of pedestrian advocates, serving as president of America Walks for seven years. Among other appointments, she served on the Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee convened by the U.S. Access Board to recommend guidelines for making the public right-of-way accessible to people with disabilities, and was a vice-president of the International Federation of Pedestrians for eight years. As a project manager for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, she managed construction and planning projects including the Portland Pedestrian Master Plan (1998) and the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030 (2010). Ellen has been a featured speaker at more than two dozen events around the world. Since retiring from the City of Portland in 2012, she has helped pioneer a new method to model and analyze networks of pedestrian routes.
Preliminary List of Break-Out Sessions
The Emergence of Regional Rural Transit Services
Matching Rural Transit Service types and Markets
Mobility Management through Effective Coordination
Performance Measurement and Strategic Planning
Linkages and Other Innovations Connecting Users and Rides
Demographic Changes and Urbanization
Last Mile/First Mile on Intercity Bus
Working with Medicaid's Non-Emergency Transportation (NEMT) Services
Transit in the National Parks
Transit to the Rescue: Strategies to Improve the Well Being of Special Populations
Hiring and Retaining Qualified Personnel: Challenges and Strategies
We're Here! We're Here! Best Practices in Rural, Regional and Intercity Service Marketing
Build System Resilience with Comprehensive Emergency Preparation and Response
Working Effectively with Public Officials Through Good Communication and Good Data
Intercity Bus/Transit Feeder Services that Work
Identifying Issues and Procuring Technology Solutions
Make New Friends and Share Data: Coordination with Technology
Technology Tools Roundtable: What's in the Toolbox
Transit Esperanto: Rural, Regional and Intercity GTFS Implementation
Using Websites 101: Partnerships and Tools for Dynamic, Relevant Information
Awards Luncheon: Monday, October 3, 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
The Roger Tate is Smiling Award: The Transportation Research Board established this award to honor individuals who, like Roger Tate, have records of passionate, innovative, and unswerving commitment to improving transportation services in rural America. For 14 years, until his untimely death in 1996, Roger Tate kept the needs of rural transportation before the U.S. Department of Transportation leadership and others who could, and did, make a difference. For more information about the award or to make a nomination, please contact Jon Burkhardt at JonBurkhardt@comcast.net. Click here to download 2016 nomination procedures. The nomination deadline is July 15, 2016. For information about the 2014 award winner, click here.
The Rural Mobility Champion Award: The Transportation Research Board’s Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee (AP055) has established the “Rural Mobility Champion Award” to honor individuals who have made significant achievements in improving transportation services in communities in rural America. This award is established in parallel with the Committee’s Roger Tate Is Smiling Award, which is awarded to individuals who are recognized for their contributions to rural transportation improvements on a national scale. For more information about the award or to make a nomination, please contact Jon Burkhardt at JonBurkhardt@comcast.net. Click here to download 2016 nomination procedures. The nomination deadline is July 15, 2016.
FTA Administrator's Award for Outstanding Rural Transit System. The awards luncheon on Monday will feature presentation of awards by FTA, awarding outstanding rural transit systems. At each national rural conference since 1984, the Federal Transit Administration has presented an award for outstanding public service to several rural transit systems recognizing their accomplishments. The 2016 Administrator’s Awards for Outstanding Service in Rural Public Transportation are:
Durango Transit, Durango Colorado
Barry County Transit, Hastings Michigan
Tri-Valley Heartland Express, Crookston Minnesota
Student Award Presentations. Winners of the Student Paper Competition, both graduate students and undergraduate students, will be recognized and honored. This is the fifth conference in which student scholars have been honored for their contributions to research in rural public and intercity bus transportation. Click here for more information on this competition.
U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), Mobility Services for All Americans (MSAA) Initiative Workshop:
“Mobility and Technology Solutions for Coordinated Human Services Transportation Systems”
Monday, October 3, 2016 1:45 - 5:30 p.m. Cherokee Room
Moderators: Carol Schweiger, President, Schweiger Consulting, Boston, MA
Murat Omay, Principal Research Scientist, Battelle Memorial Institute, Arlington, VA
This workshop showcases the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT’s) Mobility Services for All Americans (MSAA) Initiative. The MSAA event focuses on applying technologies that facilitate mobility management and Human Service Transportation (HST) delivery. Successful HST systems are based on a sustainable institutional model enhanced by information technology and data sharing that takes advantage of interoperable data specifications, wireless communications, and web-based technologies. This session highlights the deployment planning of U.S. DOT’s Travel Management Coordination Centers (TMCC’s) that support interoperable, coordinated HST systems. HST experts will deliver methods on how they planned, funded, and deployed low, high tech, and visionary applications for sustainable HST systems. Workshop participants will learn how agencies successfully adopted MSAA concepts, lessons learned, and will be provided the necessary tools in order to plan, develop, market, and deploy successful MSAA projects and HST systems. Other workshop highlights include updates on the U.S. DOT Mobility on Demand and Smart Cities Initiatives. The workshop is open to anyone who has an interest in planning, managing, researching, marketing, deploying, or mainstreaming human services transportation systems.
For a complete workshop agenda, click here.
Vendor EXPO and Social Hour: Monday, October 3, 2016; 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Enjoy a chance to visit with the vendors before heading off to dinner. Light hors d'oeuvres served with a cash bar in the vendor area.
New in 2016: Mini "Transportation Camp" and Special Topic Roundtables: Tuesday, October 4, 2016; 7:00 - 8:00 a.m.
This year, the National Conference on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation will be holding miniature "Transportation Camps" during two different session times at the conference. A Transportation Camp is an "unconference"--a discussion of ideas with themes developed by attendees of the sessions: it's a way to open up a conference space that has the rigor and thoughtfulness of a planned presentation, but the flexibility to address the ideas and themes important to the people in the room.
Tuesday morning, October 4, at 7am we'll hold five different roundtable discussions based on ideas proposed by you in advance, and decided on the first two days of the conference. We'll use a collaborative space like this one (our "hackpad") to share ideas together. Before the conference, we'll ask attendees to visit the hackpad and suggest discussion topics, and propose ideas to consider and those in which you’d like to participate as speakers or as an audience member.
During the first two days of the conference, we'll be in touch with conference attendees about which topics you would most like to hear about, and design roundtable sessions with experts at the conference to hold discussions about the most popular and timely ideas. During the sessions, those experts will start from the prompts and themes discussed, but also take conversations in the direction the audience wants them to go. Everyone in the room can participate as a full member of the discussion.
We'll post the final slate of roundtable talks by Monday afternoon, October 3. Visit the hackpad now and suggest the topics that are most intriguing to you. Topics related to operations challenges and solutions, marketing, collaboration strategies and technology are well suited to the format, but any and all ideas will be considered.
Plenary Session: Tuesday, October 4, 2016; 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.
National Perspectives on Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation: Words from the Industry (Diana Wortham Theatre)
Moderator: Jacklyn Montgomery, CalACT. Join this lively dialogue held in the beautiful Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville with leaders of our national associations: Scott Bogren, Executive Director of the Community Transportation Association; Rob Healy, Vice President-Government Affairs of the American Public Transportation Association; Brandon Buchanan, Director of Regulatory Affairs of the American Bus Association; and Bruce Robinson, Deputy Associate Administrator, FTA's Office of Program Management. The focus of the session will include a brief update from each of our featured speakers on current transit issues at the national level affecting rural transit agencies, followed by an open dialogue with participants.
Community Transportation Association of America Executive Director Scott Bogren has been working with, writing about and covering the community and public transportation industry for nearly three decades. His experience with CTAA includes being Editor-in-Chief of Community Transportation magazine; crafting the Association's various legislative, policy and regulatory positions on Capitol Hill; and shaping CTAA's communications, training and leadership activities.
Rob Healy is vice president-government affairs for the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). He manages APTA’s lobbying efforts on federal legislative issues that affect the transit industry on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. In that capacity, he oversees industry efforts on the federal budget, the annual appropriations process, multi-year authorization bills, transit security, tax, energy and environmental legislation, and measures that affect commuter and intercity passenger rail service, including high-speed passenger rail. He also serves as a staff advisor to APTA’s Legislative Committee. Since coming to APTA in 1989, Healy has worked on a variety of legislative issues, including four multi-year surface transportation authorization bills, the Clean Air Act Amendments, transportation and homeland security appropriations, development of a National Transportation System, tax legislation, the Americans with Disabilities Act, climate change and energy legislation, and commuter and high-speed intercity passenger rail issues. Recently, in conjunction with APTA’s Policy and Communications & Marketing departments, he has managed APTA’s effort to develop and advocate for industry recommendations on legislation to replace the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act-A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), which expired Sept. 30, 2009.Before joining the APTA staff, Healy worked at the Democratic Study Group (DSG), in the U.S. House of Representatives, for 13 years. He also worked as a research director for the presidential campaign of Michael Dukakis in 1988.He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at the University of Massachusetts.
Brandon Buchanan is the Director of Regulatory Affairs for the American Bus Association. In the position, he works with the Board of Directors and within the Policy and Government Affairs Departments. At ABA, Brandon focuses on assisting members with grant applications, federal funding structures, and analyzing a variety of legislative and regulatory activity related to rural transportation, security, the environment, and taxation issues. He has been at ABA since 2003, beginning his experience with the transportation and tourism industry as an ABA intern. Brandon is a graduate of Brown University, earning undergraduate degrees in Economics and Political Science. He currently resides in Rockville, MD.
Bruce Robinson is the Deputy Associate Administrator for FTA's Office of Program Management. He has served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for that office since 2012. Along with the Associate Administrator, he oversees the Office of Transit Programs, the Office of Capital Project Management and the Office of Grants Management and Guidance. Collectively, these offices administer a national program of capital and operating assistance by directing program implementation through the FTA Regional Offices. The office provides procedures and program guidance to assist the field staff and grant recipients in grant program administration and grant management requirements and manages FTA’s major project capital oversight programs. Previously he served as the Deputy Associate Administrator for the Office of Research, Demonstration and Innovation. Mr. Robinson joined the Department of Transportation in 1997 within the Office of Acquisition Management of the Federal Highway Administration. He holds a Master of Arts from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Special Evening Dinner Event: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 6:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Dinner and Tour at the Biltmore Estates. Completed in 1895, George Vanderbilt’s 250-room chateau is as impressive today as it was more than a century ago. Biltmore House is truly a wonder of architecture and hospitality. The special evening will include dinner served on the Estate grounds, and a tour of the Biltmore House. Additional tickets for guests are available at registration.
Back to the Future in Transportation with Jim and Fred Lehrer
Wednesday, October 5, 2016; 8:15 - 9:00 am
The History of Rural Transportation Informs Our Future. We all know Jim Lehrer from his popular Jim Lehrer PBS Newshour program. What many do not know is that he and his brother, Fred, grew up in the Intercity Motorcoach business. In fact, their parents owned a Scheduled Service Provider, the Kansas Central Lines. Both of the Lehrer Brothers were involved in the business and each has great insight to the importance of rural transportation in the United States. Enjoy their living history as we look to the future of Rural Transportation.
Town Hall Meeting: Hot Topics Affecting Transit in Rural America
Wednesday, October 5, 2016; 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Moderators: Will Rodman, Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates and Robin Phillips, National RTAP. The Town Hall meeting is designed for conference attendees who wish to delve deeper into industry issues and topics, and will springboard from Tuesday’s roundtable sessions. Ideas submitted at the roundtable sessions will be recapped at the Town Meeting to get the conversation started. The Town Hall facilitators will include Will Rodman and Robin Phillips. Will, a Principal at Nelson\Nygaard, was the Principal Investigator for NCHRP Report 832 on linkages connecting specialized transportation users and rides and is considered one of the leading researchers on transit agency use of TNCs and shared mobility. Robin is Executive Director of National RTAP, and previously worked at Washington DOT and Oregon DOT. Everyone in the room can participate as a full member of the discussion. We'll post the final slate of roundtable talks by Monday afternoon, October 3. Visit the hackpad now and suggest the topics that are most intriguing to you. Topics related to operations challenges and solutions, marketing, collaboration strategies and technology are well suited to the format, but any and all ideas will be considered for the roundtables.
FTA States "Mini-Conference": Future of Transit Update
Wednesday, October 5, 2016, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 pm
Please join FTA staff for an update on what’s new with grant programs and requirements under the FAST Act. Learn the latest information to help your state get the most out of the federal program. Bring your questions about rural and tribal programs. Box lunch served (advance reservations required.