Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)
RTAP was created by Congress in 1986, under the Section 18(h) of the Surface Transportation Act administered by the FTA. The program's goal is to provide training, technical assistance, and research activities that will improve rural transit services. Chapter VIII information is available to help you better understand how RTAP functions at the National level and how it is authorized and funded.
RTAP provides training and technical assistance and other support services tailored to meet the specific needs of transit operators in nonurbanized areas. RTAP has both state and national program components. The state program provides an annual allocation to each state to enable them to develop and implement training and technical assistance programs in conjunction with the state's administration of the Section 5311 formula assistance program. The national program is managed by the FTA provides for the development of information and materials for use by local operators and state administering agencies and supports research and technical assistance projects of national interest.
California State RTAP funds are administered in conjunction with its management of the Section 5311 formula assistance program. The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5311, promotes public transit in the non-urbanized areas of the state, and FTA Section 5311(f) promotes intercity transit in the non-urbanized areas of the state. DMT administers the California State RTAP program through a contract currently with the California Association for Coordinated Transportation (CalACT), a private non-profit association of transit providers serving the needs of the non-urbanized areas of California. CalACT is the largest state transit association in the United States, with more than 300 members dedicated to promoting professional excellence, stimulating ideas and advocating for effective community transportation.
CalAct's goal is to provide training, technical assistance, and research activities that will improve rural transit services. CalACT also offers a variety of activities that affect trainings for rural transit agencies. These activities Include:
- Scholarship assistance
- Resource catalog
- Lending library
- Free training classes
- Conferences and workshops tailored for rural transit operators needs
- Management workshops
- Vehicle maintenance workshops
- Driver safety rodeos
- Access to other California and national transportation professionals
- RTAP Bulletins
CalAct's Executive Director is Jacklyn Montgomery. You can contact her Toll Free: 1-800-422-5228.
For more information on RTAP, please visit the CalACT web page CalAct's Rural Transit Assistance Program
DMT's RTAP Program Objectives are as Follows:
- Ensure that safe and effective delivery of public transportation education is being met in non-urbanized areas of California.
- Monitor and assist in the development of State and local capacity for addressing training and provide technical assistance to rural/small urban transportation communities.
- Ensure that there are improvements in the quality of information provided through the development of new technologies and rural transit educational training.
- Provide leadership and technical assistance to transit agencies pertaining to rural transit operator's issues and training needs.
DMT works cooperatively with organizations such as CalACT, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), and equipment manufacturers to provide small urban, rural, and specialized transportation operators with information to better maintain their transit equipment and rolling stock. Maintenance workshops are regularly scheduled during the year at locations throughout California. These workshops are designed to provide transit operators with a thorough understanding of equipment maintenance requirements, and with bus maintenance and safety requirements mandated by the CHP. Best of all, theses workshops are free to all transit providers!