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National RTAP Offers a Variety of Resources & Services
The National Rural Transit Assistance Program (National RTAP) is a program funded by the Federal Transit Administration that provides free technical assistance products and services to rural and tribal transit operators and state DOTs. Committed to bringing technology and innovation to rural and tribal transit, National RTAP has developed cutting-edge technology tools for tasks such as building a website, managing resources and events, and finding federal clauses for procurement projects. Other products and services include training modules, webinars, technical briefs and newsletters, and networking resources. Transit providers can use National RTAP services and products to enhance their own knowledge and effectiveness by creating or updating training classes, getting expert advice from a peer, or asking questions about transit planning, operations, and funding.
National RTAP’s website (www.nationalrtap.org) contains a wealth of information about products, programs, and news in the public transit sector. All resources, including training materials, eNews, and technology tools, can be accessed online through the website. A bi-weekly newsletter (eNews) is published by the staff, and includes updates about new resources, notices from federal and national agencies, and current events in the field. To receive eNews, interested individuals can sign up on the home page of the website. National RTAP also provides past webinar videos on the site, as well as an extensive collection of web app (web-based application) instructional videos.
Web apps available at no cost include:
- EventShare, a global calendar for sharing events
- ProcurementPRO, a tool that identifies the appropriate federal clauses and certifications for federally-funded procurement projects
- Website Builder, a website-building application hosted with National RTAP
- GTFS Builder, a tool that helps to organize transit route and schedule data for upload to Google Transit
- ResourceShare, a web app that allows users to upload and share documents, links, and other resources, as well as connects customers to National RTAP’s Resource Library
- Contact Builder, a contact management and emailing tool
Transit agencies and states interested in using National RTAP’s web-based applications simply need to sign up for a free Cloud account. National RTAP In-the-Cloud is an online space where customers can access National RTAP web apps without having to download any programs.
In addition to technology-based tools, National RTAP has developed a suite of training modules covering a range of topics from transit system management to emergency procedures to customer service. National RTAP’s training modules provide transit providers and state DOT officials with practical training tools. Most training modules consist of an Instructor’s and Learner’s guide, and at least one disc with digital content. Training modules may be used for self-training, group training classes, or adapted in other ways. National RTAP also produces technical briefs on timely topics in the rural and Tribal transit industry. Both training modules and technical briefs can be downloaded from the National RTAP Resource Library, and training modules can be ordered at no cost by searching for the item in the Resource Library and completing a check-out. Training materials can also be ordered by phone or e-mail. For a listing of National RTAP’s training modules and other materials, download a copy of the latest Resource Catalog from the website.
Rural and Tribal transit providers and state DOT officials can also take advantage of National RTAP’s technical assistance services. Staff will answer questions and provide information for requests relating to public transit, or refer customers to the appropriate source of information. Transit providers and DOT officials may take advantage of National RTAP’s Peer-to-Peer network, connecting transit professionals with peers to provide specialized support for specific questions. Requests for information and our peer network can be made via email, phone, or through the chat on our website.
To contact National RTAP or to take advantage of the free resources offered to rural and Tribal transit providers and other stakeholders, visit www.nationalrtap.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (888) 589-6821.
Resource: Jess Wallis, National RTAP Resource Center Customer & Product Specialist