Report: Improving transit boosts rural communities

Posted on May 25, 2012

Reconnecting America and the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) released a report that examines how smaller communities and rural regions are using transit and other mobility investments to revitalize their economies and connect residents to local and regional opportunities.

"Putting Transit to Work in Main Street America," which was funded by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, offers nine case studies looking into how improved bus networks, downtown circulators, intermodal transit centers and intercity transit improvements have helped communities address the unique mobility challenges that stem from large geographic distances, an aging population, and limited financial resources.

 “As the former Mayor of a small city who saw the positive impact of a multimodal transit facility, this report will be valuable to all who want to see examples of thriving rural communities,” said Reconnecting America President/CEO John Robert Smith.

Researchers found smaller communities are making a wide variety of transit investments, and these investments have had a positive impact on both the economy and the quality of life of residents.

As shown in the case studies, improved transit service can be integrated into a community without adversely affecting the small-town or rural character. Investments don't need to be overwhelming. Researchers found incremental or small-scale improvements in transit service can yield significant benefits. Success, however, requires coordination among multiple partners on the local and state level, with the federal government also an essential partner.

“The case studies included in the report prove that there are different solutions out there for every need – and the size or geography of where you live should not be a hindrance to achieving qualify of life for your citizens,” said G. Sasha Forbes, policy associate for Reconnecting America. “Federal grant opportunities can often be the catalyst that leads to successful completion of a project.”

While more data is needed to better quantify the impacts of transit on rural economies and residents, the cross-section of examples included in this study should help to inform the ongoing federal transportation discussion as well as provide guidance for other communities dealing with the same challenges.

Copies of the report may be downloaded here.

More News

Houston Metro to add paratransit rates for first time since 1991

To offset the fare increase, Metro says it will let MetroLift customers use the fixed-route buses for free.

Texas paratransit system could owe state close to $1M

The audit found TAPS had not submitted sufficient documentation for its requests for reimbursement, did not have processes in place to ensure compliance with TxDOT agreements and that its cost allocation methods were not sufficiently supported.

MBTA may partner with Uber, Lyft for paratransit

MBTA is running a six-month pilot program for 124 patrons with disabilities allowing them to pay for private taxis using an MBTA debit card, which they may expand for use on other ride-hailing platforms.

Fed judge orders MARTA to court over paratransit service

Ordered to appear over allegations it's violating a court order, which, among other stipulations, requires MARTA to strive for an on-time performance rate of 100%.

MBTA urged to explore cost saving actions for paratransit

Possible changes presented by MASSDOT's deputy administrator included raising fares to the maximum allowed by ADA and reducing some of The Ride’s overhead costs by partnering with taxis or other transportation companies.

See More News

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close