Rural and tribal transit providers face many challenges as they work to provide critical transportation services for the residents of non-urbanized communities so they can get to work, school, medical facilities, shopping, and other destinations. In addition to low population densities, dispersed origins and destinations, and other operational difficulties, rural transit providers typically function with small staffs and limited resources.
Recognizing the unique needs of transit providers in rural areas, the Federal Transit Administration has administered the Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) since 1987. Principal Patti Monahan, former Executive Director of National RTAP, supervised the development and distribution of training materials, provision of technical assistance, creation of web-based applications, and research and publication of best practices. The national program also offered peer assistance for rural and tribal transit providers and state RTAP programs.
Under her leadership, RTAP organized a highly successful first-time National RTAP conference in 2012, and developed innovative web-based applications and tools that make rural transit providers’ jobs easier, including the popular 2 the Point Training cards, which provide a quick refresher for drivers.