Advancing Safe Connections for the Tribal and Rural Communities to the Intercity Bus Network

Intercity bus service is an integral piece of the mobility network across the country that provides access to employment, education, healthcare, community services, and the national intercity transportation network. The industry seeks to increase effectiveness following setbacks encountered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The key to a successful intercity bus network is rural and tribal transit systems partnerships and integration with local transportation resources and other intercity and interstate modes. Lessons gleaned from establishing service to tribal areas can often be transferred to non-tribal rural areas. However, research on tribal connections reveals different governance structures, historical experiences, and cultural norms. Rural and tribal transit systems are often either unaware of the need to connect with the intercity bus network or unable to overcome technological, jurisdictional, political, and/or regulatory hurdles necessary to create a strong, interconnected mobility network. The previous guidelines on how to connect rural and tribal areas to the intercity bus network are obsolete because of recent system changes, which include the realignment of routes and operators, the complete replacement of the interlined fare technologies, and the loss of major intercity bus facilities. The objective of this research is to develop a guide for expanding access to transportation for tribal and rural communities that includes successful practices for (1) connecting rural and tribal transit systems to the reinvented intercity bus network, including integrating technologies, physically co-locating stops, aligning schedules, meeting regulatory requirements, and establishing interlined tickets; (2) fostering collaboration among local and tribal governments and facilitating coordination between rural and tribal transit agencies and intercity bus providers; and (3) providing protocols for intercity bus providers, local and tribal government, and state DOTs to address business needs and cultural concerns.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-191

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Crichton-Sumners, Camille

  • Start Date: 20240520
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01919141
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-191
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 20 2024 8:10PM