How to Get Rural Transit Right

With nearly 40 percent of the United States’ transit-dependent population living in rural areas, it's imperative that rural transit agencies get the most out of their investments. A new report explores how some are getting it right.
May 28, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Angie Schmitt summarizes the key findings of a new report titled "Putting Transit to Work in Main Street America" from Reconnecting America [PDF] that explores, "how smaller cities, towns, and rural places are integrating transit into their communities." According to Schmitt, the 1,358 rural and small town oriented transit agencies "operate much differently than urban transit providers. Only 31 percent of rural transit operators use fixed-route service. Meanwhile, 86 percent provide demand-response service, which operates much more like a public taxi service than a big-city bus."

Using case studies such as the achievements of Allendale County, South Carolina mentioned by Schmitt, the report seeks to "elevate the emerging best practices in smaller cities and rural places where transit investments are helping to set the stage for a robust future," in order to, "help local planners, elected leaders, and policymakers understand the strategies, partnerships, resources, and plans being enacted in comparable communities across the country." 

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Published on Friday, May 25, 2012 in Streetsblog D.C.
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