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FHWA/FTA Questions and Answers on Public Involvement in Transportation Decisionmaking

[9] Who are the public and private providers and users of unconventional transportation services and how should they be included in the public involvement process?

Unconventional mass transportation services include school buses; transportation for the elderly, persons with disabilities, and children in Head Start; and other non-fixed route or unscheduled transportation. Both users and providers are members of the general public. Users of these unconventional transportation services tend to be underserved by the mainstream transportation system, and should be treated as such by the public involvement process. Traditionally, providers of unconventional transportation are social service agencies providing specialized, dedicated transit services (e.g., vans or buses) to fill gaps in the mobility needs of participants in certain public and private programs. These providers should be approached similarly to other public agencies. Their input should be sought out on effective ways to address transportation problems because they have experience in serving many of the traditionally underserved which traditional transportation agencies may not have. Other public and private transportation providers, which may or may not be considered to be "conventional," similarly need to be actively involved in MPO and State transportation decisionmaking. These may include trucking and rail freight carriers, representatives of transportation employees, and representatives of ports and airports. The creation of special committees or advisory groups may provide an organized structure to receive the input of transportation industry groups on an ongoing basis.

Updated: 5/16/2013
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