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Rural (Non-Metropolitan Local Official) Consultation

The Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act - A Legacy For Users (SAFETEA-LU) provides for consultation with non-metropolitan officials when State Departments of Transportation make transportation decisions in their Statewide Transportation Planning and Programming processes. This consultation process, separate and discrete from the public involvement process, is required to be documented in writing. All States have completed this task. Every five years beginning in 2006, States are required to review and solicit comments from non-metropolitan local officials and other interested parties regarding this process in order to ensure that the process continues to be effective.

A rule on non-metropolitan consultation, released in 2003, describes these requirements. The actual text of the regulation is available here.

A series of workshops was held in 2005 and 2006 to explore models of rural consultation. Materials from those workshops can be found here.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has posted several documents relevant to rural planning and coordination here. Of particular relevance to rural planning coordination is the NCHRP 8-36 report on Task 35.

On August 13-14, 2001 the FHWA, in conjunction with FTA and OST, held a focus group on rural capacity building in Annapolis, Maryland. The meeting resulted in a broad and candid exchange of ideas on rural communities, transportation, and a proposed new U.S. DOT initiative.

Rural Planning Methods

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has posted several documents relevant to rural planning and coordination here. Of particular relevance to rural planning practices and methods are NCHRP 8-36 reports on:

FHWA's Engaging Low-Literacy and Limited English Proficiency Populations provides examples of techniques that can be used to involve these populations in the transportation planning process.

Rural Transit and Multimodal Planning

A basic introduction to rural transit planning is available here. A more in-depth guide to rural transit service planning is provided here.

The Transit Cooperative Research Program has produced a number of downloadable publications on rural transit. Publication number R-101, Toolkit for Rural Community Coordinated Transportation Services, may be of particular interest.

The Federal Transit Administration also provides resources to help in providing transit services.

Updated: 03/26/2013
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