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Center Identification Number: 416-091

Project Title: The Florida Department of Transportation On-Site Transit Technical Assistance Program

Co-Principal Investigators: 

Lisa Staes, Senior Research Associate
813-974-9787
E-mail: staes@cutr.eng.usf.edu

Dennis Hinebaugh, Transit Program Director
813-974-9833
E-mail: hinebaugh@cutr.eng.usf.edu

Institution: 

Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

External Project Contact: 

Elizabeth Stutts, Grant Programs Administrator, FDOT

I. Project Objective

To provide on-site technical assistance and short-term technical support to Florida's transit agencies as well as transit agencies from other states. On-site technical assistance would include providing presentations to local city or county commissions, transit agency policy boards, metropolitan planning organizations, or community groups and organizations on a broad range of transit related subjects. Short-term technical support would include preparing technical reports and/or "white papers" at the request of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), transit agencies or other public agencies. Short-term technical support provided to transit agencies will include those activities that are non-recurring in their nature.

II. Project Abstract

The FDOT has recognized that public transit agencies provide an invaluable service to the residents and visitors of the state of Florida, as well as other states and has further recognized the need to regularly provide public transit information, resources, and technical assistance to these agencies Many of these systems are limited in their ability to assign staff members to stay abreast of new and ever-changing transportation programs. In order to address an identified need for technical assistance, CUTR is recommending the establishment of a "Transit Technical Assistance Program" to provide one-on-one technical assistance and support to transit professionals. When utilizing this program, transit professional will have access to all of the available resources necessary to develop, improve and expand public transit services within their communities.

III. Task Descriptions

Task 1 Marketing the Program

In this task, CUTR, with the support of the FDOT, will market the availability of this program to transit agencies and their associated jurisdictions.

Task 2 Maintenance and Monitoring of Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Technical Reports, Directives, and Circulars and FDOT Procedures and Policy Statements

CUTR will maintain FTA technical reports, directives and circulars and FDOT procedures and policy statements necessary to provide the most concise and accurate responses for technical assistance and support. CUTR will monitor the FTA's homepage and the Federal Register for revisions to program guidance documents and circulars, notices of proposed rulemaking, comment solicitations, and notification of recently released publications. On a weekly basis, CUTR will provide the FDOT project manager with information gathered through this effort via electronic mail. All information obtained through these monitoring efforts will be kept by CUTR for dissemination to program participants.

Task 3 Maintenance of Support Materials

CUTR will maintain lists of on-site technical assistance requests and telephone and written requests for information. CUTR will also maintain files of written responses, presentation materials and "white papers," developed in response to these requests.

IV. Student Involvement

Graduate students will be used to research training topic areas and assist in the preparation of training materials.

V. Relationship to Other Research Projects

The Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) at the University of South Florida houses a number of FDOT sponsored technical assistance and training programs, such as the Maintenance Training Program, the Florida Vehicle Procurement Program, and the TDM Clearinghouse and Training Program. The development and implementation of the Transit Technical Assistance Program will be closely coordinated with these programs to avoid any duplication or fragmentation of effort and to ensure that the most current and accurate information will be disseminated.

VI. Technology Transfer Activities/Peer Review

This is a technical assistance program that is structured to increase the knowledge of transit professionals and their governing bodies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and local municipalities in transit related subject areas. Any documentation that is prepared in response to a request for technical assistance will be made available through independently scheduled training sessions or conferences and will also be made available upon request. In addition, CUTR staff will participate in additional training sessions, as requested, during the Florida Transit Association's annual and/or mid-year conferences and the Commission for Transportation Disadvantaged annual conference.

Requests for information and technical assistance will be monitored to identify those areas frequently discussed during technical assistance forums. These areas may later be the subjects of future training sessions provided through the Transit Training Program.

Peer reviews will be conducted on a continual basis with the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Transit Association and its member agencies, and the Federal Transit Administration in an effort to identify subject areas where technical assistance is most needed and areas for improvement.

VII. Potential Benefits of the Project

Transit professional will have access to the latest information within transit related subject areas that will assist them in developing, improving and/or expanding public transit services within their communities.

 

National Center for Transit Research at the Center For Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 Tampa, FL 33620-5375 (813) 974-3120 (813) 974-5168 www.nctr.usf.edu Comments: webmaster@cutr.eng.usf.edu