Friday, February 25, 2011

Human Service, State and Other Perspectives on Budget Proposals

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A)
N4A applauds President Obama's budget request. It highlights the proposed "significant investment in programs to support older adults and their caregivers. We especially would like to acknowledge the increased funding of $96 million for home and community-based supportive services as part of the Administration’s Caregiver Initiative."

National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
NADO has posted a recording of its budget briefing and response to the House continuing resolution proposal. This is a long and detailed recording, but it gives an excellent review of the consequences of the budget debate for rural regions.

National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities (NASUAD)
NASUAD offers a family of materials about funding proposals, including a comprehensive agency-by-agency review of the President's budget.

National Head Start Association (NHSA)
NHSA is opposing proposed cuts to Head Start funding. The association has posted a chart of state-by-state reductions in student slots based on the House's continuing resolution proposal.

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
PVA comments on the Administration's proposed spending for veterans programs.

[Our NRC staff at the 2010 EXPO in Long Beach, CA. Join us this year for EXPO in Indianapolis. From right to left, bottom row: NRC Director Chris Zeilinger and Eileen Boswell; top row: Janice Lorenz, Charles Dickson and Sheryl Gross-Glaser.]

United Way
United Way is urging its local constituencies to oppose proposed cuts to early education, emergency shelters, Americorps, health programs and supports for low-wage families.

American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
APHSA offers its review of proposed federal expenditures for human services programs.

When Medical Care Goes Wrong

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
An important legal issue is not only which party to an agreement or a medical procedure will take the economic risk, but also who adjudicates the disputes and who sets the standards. NCSL sent a letter to a House committee opposing federal medical malpractice legislation due to the position of state legislatures that states should be the entities to set the rules about how these lawsuits proceed.

NCSL has posted a fact sheet about state pension systems. The fact sheet itself provides an overview of "the degree to which [pensions] fit in the overall budget picture at the state and local levels, and the steps state and local governments are taking to bring their pension plans into long-term solvency." The information compiled was a joint venture with several national organizations. Basically, the organizations put forth evidence that state pension systems are in decent shape, are not contributing to the poor fiscal conditions in which state governments find themselves, and that public employees assist in the funding of their retirement.


NCSL's Spring Forum - Apr. 14-15, 2011, in Washington, DC.

[Please note that due to the blogger software, this post is not being archived by organization (except for the event). Those national organization names are too long for the elves inside the software. Perhaps they are hobbits and not elves. Perhaps I should avoid technology issues and any machine that requires more than one remote control device.]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

March: Stay at the Office for these Events

American Public Works Association (APWA)
APWA will host a webinar on March 10 about using social media to deliver your message. The webinar is geared towards public works departments.

Easter Seals Project ACTION
On March 9, ESPA will host a livable communities teleconference. Planning for the Accessibility of Livable and Sustainable Communities will feature staff from the Department of Transportation, including the Federal Transit Administration, to promote the creation of community linkages among housing, employment and economic development through accessible transportation. For questions, contact Rik Opstelten at 800-659-6428 or

For a list of events related to transit and transportation services, visit the calendar of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA).

Legislative News

CTAA has just posted materials about the Administration's proposed budget, cuts contained in the pending continuing resolution, new House members and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee listening tour. Visit CTAA's homepage for updates.

Okay, I thought I would take a glance at Secretary LaHood's blog today and good thing I did as the Secretary put the spotlight on a school bus driver at our old elementary school. According to the Secretary, children are safer taking the school bus than traveling any other way to their daily destination. As the blog and the video declare, school buses are a common, recognizable form of transportation that operate from coast to coast.

[Via a U.K. Daily Mail article about a woman so upset about the vandalizing of her local bus stop that she redecorated it.]

Local News

Phoenix Strategic Plan
to include transit, livability and sustainability projects.

Hattiesburg, MS seeks to become pedestrian and transit friendly.

The Round Rock and Pflugerville area of Texas cites transportation as the number one issue that "affects every demographic in need." Other concerns for social service organizations included child care, housing and dental health.

The Georgia legislature is likely to abolish local planning mandates. The bill, according to its proponents, is not intended to do away with coordinated planning.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Transit is not just for policy geeks and people who need a ride. Transit, according to the Valentine's Day post on the CityFix blog, is for lovers and lovers of transit.

Read about romantic encounters and creative transit promotions. Honestly, the marriage of transit and love could put Valentine's Day ahead of Halloween.


National Head Start Association (NHSA)
NHSA has posted a national map of Head Start investments by state.

National Governors' Association
NGA released an analysis of the state-of-the-state addresses from the nation's governors. Read about priorities and challenges across the nation.

Government Accountability Office (GAO)
Rail Transit: FTA Programs Are Helping Address Transit Agencies’ Safety Challenges, but Improved Performance Goals and Measures Could Better Focus Efforts may say "rail" in the title, but the discussion of a "safety culture," seems to apply to transit and transportation services of all types. The GAO report states:

One expert in particular said that all the other safety challenges transit agencies faced flow from safety culture issues. Some experts we interviewed identified the importance of training to help instill a safety culture at all levels of a transit agency.

Federal Transit Administration
(FTA) officials used qualitative language to describe the attributes of a safety culture, including non-punitive reporting. But they also cited quantifiable measures of cost, hiring challenges, old infrastructure and other issues that impact safety.

FTA efforts include an FTA-produced video, “A Knock at Your Door,” which re-enacts fatal rail transit accidents to underscore the importance of safety procedures. FTA officials also mentioned that they have encouraged discussions about the importance of safety culture at roundtable meetings with transit agency management and other officials, teleconferences, and training classes.

Safety Courses

Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)
CTAA has a course to train Certified Safety and Security Managers. The training offers a protocol for on-site assessments by Certified Safety and Security Managers of their respective transit systems preparedness in the critical components and core elements of the Federal Transit Administration's Bus Safety and Security Program.

American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
Information about APTA's safety resources and training can be located at

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Transit a Priority for People with Disabilities, Commuters and Capitol Hill

American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
APSHA's Working for Tomorrow newsletter recommended a Minnesota policy brief. Following the link, I found a series devoted to employment of people with disabilities and the concrete changes needed to increase their employment rates. Particularly interesting is the brief about people with visual impairments and the brief about people who are deaf and blind, probably because of the prominent position of the recommendation for improved public transportation. For more information, visit the Minnesota Employment Policy Initiative.

Census Data for Transit and Transportation

National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
NADO's current Rural Transportation newsletter includes information helpful to anyone analyzing commuter patterns. It highlights the Census Transportation Planning Products release of the 2006 - 2008 3-year American Community Survey (ACS) Data. This release shows where people are commuting to and from and how they get there, and the data is organized by where workers live, where they work, and by the flow between those places. For more information, visit

National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination
The NRC has a Census 2010 page, which links to a wonderful resource, the Transportation Research Board's Census Data for Transportation Planning.

Happenings on the Hill

National Association of Regional Councils
NARC has updated information about the fast-moving developments on Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue regarding earmarks, the federal budget and transportation.

Friday, February 4, 2011

News Roundup: Coordination, Transportation Legislation and Technology

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
NCSL's Transportation Coordination Newsletter is a quarterly compendium of coordination developments, particularly at the state level. This issue also includes news about a volunteer driver law and resources.

NCSL's magazine has an article, Boomers on Board, which provides an overview of the demographics of the emerging boom in need and likely growth in mobility management, coordination, safety for older drivers, and land use and transportation coordination.


Federal Transit Administration (FTA)
FTA has a new webpage with information about each of its grant programs. Both the names and numbers of each program are supplied, with links to each program.

American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
APHSA is closely covering the activity in Congress relating to proposals for budget cuts and human services, including transit programs.

Association for Commuter Transportation
Act is supporting the COMMUTE Less Act (HR 260), which would actively encourage employer involvement in transit and transportation planning processes as well as "engage employers in providing commuting alternatives to employees, including carpooling, vanpooling, use of transit, and teleworking." It would also fund a national organization to house a technical assistance center, an information clearinghouse and an "information and educational program with respect to the employer investment in transportation and commuter benefit program."

Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL)
APRIL is now offering its mentors virtual peer visits, along with the equipment to make them possible, as an alternative to in-person mentoring visits. CILs retain the choice of an in-person visit. The website has more details about the CIL mentoring program.

In a Google search to find out more about Rep. John Mica's upcoming listening tour about transportation reauthorization, there were a few transit blog posts and coverage from the Wall Street Journal. In an excellent article, Fight Looms over Transportation, the paper lays out the different positions within the Republican Party and the Administration, the shrinking value of gas tax revenue, and what is at stake for all types of infrastructure and transportation. Positions of associations, states and other stakeholders are not discussed.

Listening tour dates are available from at

Transit Wire Highlights

The Transit Wire, a transit and technology blog, links to news of what GPS means for the Lehigh and Northanpton Authority, a Pennsyvania bus system, and its customers in terms of real-time bus information and using the information about passenger loads to improve service.

Your local bus stop could soon transform from the place with exhausted faces to the place people visit whether or not they are getting on a bus. The Transit Wire led me to this neat photo-laden article about a new generation of bus stops, places with interactive media, Internet and GPS access, solar energy-produced heat and power, opportunities to leave messages, and avant garde design.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Upcoming Events

Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA)
The 25th Annual EXPO conference will be held at the location of the first EXPO, Indianapolis, from June 5-11, 2011. This year's gathering for the early part of the week will be a mobility management conference.

Center for Transportation Excellence (CFTE)
Transit Initiatives and Communities Conference - June 20-22, 2011 in St. Louis. Learn about winning at the ballot box for transit initiatives. CFTE also has resources about transit advocacy groups and ballot measures across the country.

More Event News and Updates

For more transit and human services transportation events, visit CTAA's calendar.

Some previously announced events in this blog have been updated. These include:

National Association of Regional Councils (NARC)
2011 National Conference of Regions, Feb. 13-15, Washington, DC. Sessions will address homeland security, transportation and infrastructure, livable and sustainable communities, and economic development. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan will be the keynote speaker.

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
Washington Briefing
, Mar. 2-4, 2011, Washington, D.C. Details at Legislation, intercity rail and the financial outlook for transportation will be discussed. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will be the keynote speaker.

American Public Transportation Association
2011 Legislative Conference, Mar. 13-15, 2011, Washington, DC. Reauthorization and other legislative developments will be addressed. Keynote speakers include Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff. There are many more events coming up that are listed on APTA's website.