Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

Tribal Transit Assessment Study Completed

A new report titled "5311(c) Tribal Transit Funding: Assessing Impacts and Determining Future Program Needs" by SURTC associate research fellow Jon Mielke has been posted online.

The study assesses the impacts of the federal 5311(c) tribal transit program and future program funding needs.

Over 100 tribal entities were identified as having received start-up or enhancement program funding since 2006. Grantees were surveyed to identify impacts associated with the receipt of program funds, all of which are available for operating and capital purposes with no local match requirements. Program funding increased from $8 million for FY 2006 to $15 million for FY 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The study reviews prior work regarding personal mobility need indicators as they pertain to Indian reservations, as well as prior and ongoing work concerning the growth in local tribal transit services since the late 1990s.

Survey responses were analyzed to identify former and current ridership levels, trip purposes, and funding sources. Results were also compared to National Transit Database findings on performance measures related to passenger trips per mile, operating expenses per trip and per mile, and farebox recovery.

The study assesses how dependent tribal transit operators are on 100% 5311(c) funding. These assessments, along with projections regarding the initiation of new services around the country, can serve as the basis for projecting future program funding needs.

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