The Standing Committee on Public Transportation (SCOPT) is responsible for advising AASHTO’s leadership and its member departments on national and state public transportation policy and legislative positions, and for identifying and responding to emerging issues and industry needs that affect the diverse public transportation responsibilities of the DOTs. While many national organizations advocate for public transportation, State DOTs have unique needs and interests that cannot be represented adequately by the organizations whose memberships is primarily transit operators of large, urban transit systems. Although the public transit responsibilities of state DOTs may vary from state to state, SCOPT is the voice of state DOT transit programs that:
- Administer state and federal grants for hundreds of local operators of rural transit who provide transportation to millions of rural Americans,
- Oversee the provision of state-assisted programs that provide hundreds of transportation options for millions of seniors and persons with disabilities, and may
- Operate state-run transit systems.
In addition, there is a growing recognition among State DOT executives and political leaders that public transportation is an important resource for addressing the major dilemma experienced by virtually every American transportation agency: meeting growing demands for passenger and freight transportation with rapidly dwindling abilities to build new infrastructure.
A primary purpose of this strategic plan is to establish a committee structure and a relevant action agenda that advances the public transportation interests of State DOTs and that reclaims SCOPT’s leadership role within AASHTO. A secondary purpose is to protect and enhance the role of the AASHTO Multi-State Technical Assistance Program (MTAP) in providing technical assistance to State DOTs and their recipient transit providers.