Developing, Enhancing, and Sustaining Tribal Transit Services

The integral relationship between access to transportation and quality of life is well known. Yet many citizens across the country struggle with access to health care, education, jobs, businesses, and entertainment. This is especially true of many Native American communities. Although Native Americans living in "Indian Country" (on or near Indian reservations or designated Indian statistical areas) experienced marked improvement in real per capita income growth during the decade of the 1990s relative to the rest of the U.S. population (33% vs. 11%), even as the Native American population grew by more than 20%, this predominantly rural segment of the U.S. population lags substantially in economic resources behind mainstream America. While 79% of the U.S. population (2000 Census) is classified as urban, this statistic is reversed for Native American communities with about three-fourths of the population classified as rural. Even with the substantial improvements in Native American community economies since 1990 (e.g., poverty rate and unemployment improvements ten times higher than the U.S. as a whole), Native Americans still fall into poverty and are unemployed at triple the rate of the U.S. population. Even with improvement of their economy, Native American families often still do not have the luxury of personal automobiles. In these cases, public transportation can literally be a life line for Native Americans to their jobs, school, health care, and other important aspects that define "quality of life". The objectives of this project are to develop (a) an information package that describes and illustrates the variety of tribal transit practices in the United States; (b) a Guidebook that provides practical materials and clear processes for tribes to develop plans for and access funds for tribal transit; and (c) strategies and materials for leveraging resources through alternative organizational models and alternative funding mechanisms in order to create and sustain effective mobility for the people. For the purpose of this study, tribal communities (or tribes) are defined to include both tribal governments and their members.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project H-38

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Parker, Stephan

  • Performing Organizations:

    LSC Transportation Consultants, Incorporated

  • Principal Investigators:

    Stoddard, Albert

  • Start Date: 20080930
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20111231
  • Source Data: RiP Project 16668

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01464612
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project H-38
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:46PM