Remote Rural Mobility
Solutions and the
Creation of a Rural
Transit District
Linda K. Cherrington
Sponsored by
Topics for Discussion
 Transit in Texas
 Rural Transit Services
 How is Rural Transit
Funded?
 How is Rural Transit
Organized?
Transit in Texas
 Regional Transit Authorities
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Dallas DART
Houston METRO
San Antonio VIA
Austin Capital Metro
Fort Worth The T
Corpus Christi RTD
 County Transit Authority
 Denton County
 Municipal Transit Depts.
 El Paso Sun Metro
 Laredo El Metro
Transit in Texas
 Small Urban Transit
 30 transit systems
 Rural Transit
 39 transit providers
Rural Transit in Texas
Characteristics
 Largest Rural Transit by Land
Area
 Panhandle Community Services
 25,749 sq mi
 West Texas Opportunities
 23,360 sq mi
 Smallest Rural Transit by
Population
 South Padre Island
 1,425 population
 Webb County
 17,535 population
 Rural Transit in Areas of Lowest
Population Density
 Concho Valley
 3.69 persons/sq mi
Why Transit in Rural
Communities?
 Access to Basic Necessities
 Medical
 Social Services
 Essential Shopping
 Improve Quality of Life
 Personal Business
 Family
 Recreation
 Advance Economic
Opportunity
 Jobs
 Education
Population Served by
Rural Transit
 Seniors
 Persons with disabilities
 Persons without limited
economic resources
 Families
 Persons in remote areas
Rural Transit in
West Texas
 El Paso County
 Services in El Paso County
outside El Paso Sun Metro
 Fixed Route
 General Population
 Commute services to
connect with Sun Metro
 Area 809 square miles
 Population 31,157 in 2000
Rural Transit in
West Texas
 Permian Basin Rural Transit
District
 Provider is West Texas
Opportunities, Inc.
 Services in 17 counties
 Demand-response
 General population
 Sub-regional dispatch
centers
 Area 23,360 square miles
 Population 166,056 in 2000
Funding Rural Transit in
Texas
 Federal Section 5311 Funds
for Rural Areas
 State of Texas Public
Transportation Funds
 Local Funds
Federal Funding for Transit
1992-2009
Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and
Efficient Transportation Equity Act
(SAFETEA-LU)
 Six-year funding policy 2004-2009
 Revisions to Urbanized Area
Formula Funds
 Revision to Section 5311 Rural
Area (Non-urbanized) Formula
 Apportion 20% of funds to land
area
 Increased funding
 New Formula Funding Programs
for Transit
 Growing States and High
Density States Program
 New Freedoms Program
 Alternative Transportation in
Parks
Section 5311 Rural Areas
 Rural Areas
 Under 50,000 Population
 Formula Funds
 Population (80%)
 Land Area (20%)
 Set aside 15% for intercity bus, 2% for
Rural Transit Assistance Program
(RTAP)
 Eligible Uses
 Capital projects including preventive
maintenance
 Eligible 80/20 federal/local
match*
 Operating expenses
 Eligible 50/50 federal/local
match*
 Administrative and planning expenses
 80/20 federal/local match*
Local match is any non-federal source of match
Section 5311 Funding
Allocation to Rural Areas
 Federal Funds to the
Governor of each State
 Governor of Texas
designates TxDOT as
responsible state agency
 Funding formula
established by Texas
Transportation Commission
Indirect Sources of
Federal Funds
 Rural Community Advancement
Program
 Vocational Rehabilitation State
Grants
 Independent Living Programs
 Medicaid
 Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families
 Community Services Block Grants
 Developmental Disabilities Grants
 Welfare to Work Grants
 Workforce Investment Act
Programs
State of Texas Funding
 Public Transportation Fund
 Health and Human Service
Programs
Public Transportation
Fund
 State Funds for Public
Transportation
 Small Urban Areas
 Rural Areas
 Subject to Biennium
Funding from Texas State
Legislature
 Allocation
 Historical Trend Continued
 Revised by Legislation 2003
Public Transportation in
Texas
 Significant Legislation
 House Bill 3588 revamped
Texas Department of
Transportation
responsibilities
 House Bill 2292 revamped
organization of health and
human services programs
 TxDOT has responsibility
for all public transportation
funding
 Administration of programs
not consolidated
State Funds for Transit
in Texas
 Responsibility delegated by the
Legislature to Texas
Transportation Commission in
2003
 Texas Transportation
Commission named Public
Transportation Committee
(PTAC) to advise on funding
formula
 PTAC recommended goals and
objectives for funding transit
 Includes Rural Federal and
State Funding Allocation
PTAC Goal #1
To improve access to public
transportation in Texas in a fiscally
responsible manner.
• Support transit to provide basic mobility for
dependent populations in all counties using
obtainable resources
• Provide incentives for local investment to support
public transportation
• Encourage service enhancements to support
economic opportunity, job access, cleaner air and
congestion mitigation by encouraging transit as a
mode of choice
• Improve awareness of the availability of services to
increase the utilization of transit.
PTAC Goal #2
To improve the effectiveness and
efficiency of public transportation
services.
• Recommend state funding formulae that
reward efficiency and effectiveness
• Recommend changes to current policies that
will result in improved efficiency, effectiveness
and utilization
• Recommend enhancements to processes
used to obtain and verify performance data
• Recommend programming of capital
investments to support managing assets
(vehicles, facilities) for enhanced utilization,
safety and reliability
PTAC Goal #3
To improve cooperation and
coordination of services.
• Recommend state funding formulae that
reward coordination of services
• Support changes to legislative and
administrative codes to resolve barriers or
remove constraints to the coordination of
services
• Ensure implementation of the
recommendations from the Regional
Services Planning (RSP) initiative to
coordinate public transportation services
State Transit Funding
Allocation
State Transit Funds
35%
Urban Systems
Needs
Performance
100% population
Federal 5311
Funds, too
65%
Rural Systems
Needs
Performance
75% population
25% land area
Funding Formula
Performance Indicators
Rural
Performance
33%
local $ /
expense
33%
rev. mi. /
expense
33%
riders / rev.
mi.
Sources of Local
Funding
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Transit generated revenues
Private sector
General revenue
Bonds for capital
Non-traditional
 Impact fees, parking fines
 Special districts
 Economic development sales
tax
 Federal programs that take on
a local veil
 Community Development Block
Grants
Sources of Local
Funding (continued)
 Dedicated sales tax
 Regional Transit Authorities
 Municipal Transit
Departments
 County Transportation
Authorities
 Eligible: Funding through
Regional Mobility
Authorities
Organizing for
Rural Transit in Texas
 Rural Transit Districts
 Texas Transportation Code
Chapter 458
 Political subdivision of the
state that provides and
coordinates public
transportation
 Eligible to receive funds from
State via TxDOT
 Single County or Multicounty
 New rural transit district
 Join an existing
Things to Consider
 Goals for Public
Transportation in Your Area
 Service Plan
 Provider
 Local Funding
 Challenges
 Opportunities
Questions?
 Contact
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Linda Cherrington
TTI
409-740-4734
[email protected]
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Remote Rural Mobility Solutions and the Creation of a Rural Transit