For the last few months, we’ve been talking a lot about the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Small Transit Intensive Cities Program (STIC) – which rewards high levels of transit service in small cities. In November, we released a report identifying 50 cities that were within decimal points of qualifying for new or additional STIC funds. And we’ve started holding Congressional briefings on the topic to ensure the federal government has small city priorities top of mind.
This month, we’ve been hard at work helping small cities on their quest to earn up to $1.1 million to fix buses and buy new ones, hire more drivers, and provide cheaper and more convenient transportation options to the public.
Meet Flagstaff, Arizona. With only 100,000 rides 14 years ago, Flagstaff is a true example of a small transit intensive city, reporting over 1.8 million trips this year.
That growth has been fueled, in part, by over $1.5 million in STIC funding awarded to Flagstaff’s Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA) over the program’s 8 year life. Now, with the help of Transit Labs, Flagstaff expects to earn almost $2 million in funding over fiscal years 2015 and 2016 alone, and over $1 million each year thereafter.
As these graphs clearly show, Flagstaff has consistently worked its way up to the FTA thresholds over the last 8 years, earning 3 STIC factors for the first time in Fiscal Year 2011, and earning an additional fourth STIC factor in 2014.
NAIPTA’s growth and STIC eligibility have been on a consistent positive trajectory, largely because of the agency’s diligence in constantly tracking and re-assessing the needs of the community they serve. This has resulted in a constant and efficient growth in service consumed as well as an increase in their STIC eligibility. Looking to FY2017, we are working with NAIPTA to coordinate data collection, calibration, and reporting to the National Transit Database (NTD) for university and vanpool services in the Flagstaff area that will help NAIPTA continue to earn more funding.
Cities and transit agencies across the country can better position themselves to qualify for STIC funds by retrieving unreported data, correcting inaccuracies in their collected data, and ensuring that all transit providers in their city report and contribute to the city’s overall KPIs used to determine STIC apportionments.
If you’re one of these fifty cities, we believe there’s an opportunity for you to earn more funds than you are currently, at minimum by $200,000. Flagstaff was the first city in our report, help spread the word to the other 49!