Rural areas and tribal communities in the United States vary widely (e.g., size, population density, demographics, current mobility options, economic conditions, proximity to small, medium, and large urban areas, proximity to health facilities, geography, road infrastructure, internet connectivity, weather conditions, and other distinguishing characteristics).
Rural and tribal transit agencies located in different states and territories have different programs and practices overseeing, funding, and managing their services. Each of these factors, alone and in combination, effect decision-making and outcomes for the transit services. Insufficient financial and staffing resources make it challenging for transit in rural areas and tribal communities to identify and fully meet the travel and accessibility needs of the communities served, to communicate effectively with diverse patrons, to comply with national requirements, to improve equity, and to evaluate and adopt new technologies.
The objective of this research is to produce a guidebook on how to initiate new and enhance existing rural and tribal public transportation services that improve mobility and accessibility. The guidebook should promote practices that are responsive to customers and aid transit providers in improving efficiency and effectiveness. The guidebook should also help transit providers better leverage and coordinate resources, comply with federal requirements, and adopt appropriate emerging technologies.
Status: The research is underway.