Rural Travel Training

3 Steps for a Successful Rural Travel Training

Step 1: RTT Planning

  1. Review RTT Curriculum
  2. Contact your HSTP coordinator to assist with first few RTTs
  3. Select two 5311 staff (with good communication skills) to co-facilitate the RTT:
    • Administrative: good understanding of policies and procedures, such as transit director, manager, or marketing person
    • Front Line: works directly with riders such as a driver or dispatcher
  4. Determine who you want to give an RTT to
  5. Pull this group together using:
    • HSTP coordinator for ideas
    • Rider numbers and population maps- pick an area you want to improve  ridership
    • Reach out to new groups through Stakeholder Contact Sheet
    • Pick an agency you already work with (may have questions about public transit)
    • Pick a group you want to impact directly (veterans, seniors, housing, etc.)
  6. Establish an agency contact to be at RTT and help get people excited about event
  7. Determine type of RTT based on audience:
    • For this group will you have more impact as a RTT, Train-the-Trainer, or both?
    • Timeframe to deliver RTT (will this be a one or two-part training?)
  8. Use RTT Curriculum to develop RTT:
    • See page 2 of Curriculum* for ideas about Ice-Breakers to use
    • Develop brief System Policies (10 minutes) and Safety Issues (5 minutes) sections
    • Note not to give too much information or overwhelm them
    • Highlight benefits and increased independence
    • Keep this positive
  9. Work through your agency contact to get Checklist of Interests to riders to learn about their interests and help plan a fun trip for the Field Travel section of the RTT

10. Schedule date and time for RTT

    • Don’t schedule RTT during peak am or pm hours of service
      • Best practices – use Checklist of Interests to find out where they want to go and/or meet with group pre-RTT to gather this information
      • Select best time for the RTT based on group desires
    • Best practices – Field Travel/Fun Trip
      • Ask agency contact to get information about their fun trip out early (at least a month in advance) so they look forward to it and plan for it – and to remind them closer to event
      • Have participants sign up for fun trip to determine size of vehicle to have on hand – so vehicle can accommodate mobility devices, etc.
      • Allow extra time for loading/unloading vehicle
      • Logistics –phone numbers for agency contact, will attendees need to use transit to get home, etc.

11. Make sure vehicle and a driver are available on that day/time

12. Create flyer and share with agency contact

13.  Create, update, print, and/or gather materials including:

    • Agenda
    • Transit Fact Sheets
    • Information Release Form
    • System brochures
    • Rider Guides
    • Business cards
    • Evaluations
    • PowerPoint presentation and/or slides if you will use them – always have back up paper copies even if using PowerPoint

Pack materials including pens, camera, (if using PowerPoint – lap top and projector), etc.

Step 2: RTT Presentation

  1. Meet HSTP coordinator, agency contact, and all staff at least 30 minutes early to set up
  2. Use RTT Curriculum to co-facilitate with HSTP coordinator and other staff members
    • Hand out materials
    • Ask permission to take photos, explain materials, etc.
    • Give presentation and provide time for questions and answers
    • Get testimonials from attendees
  3. After presentation, do evaluation
  4. As a group, tour the vehicle, meet driver, see how lift works, and get on the vehicle
  5. Field Travel: go on fun trip with interested parties
  6. Return to location and end RTT
  7. Leave stack of brochures with agency contact

Above all have fun and make it a positive experience for your new riders!

Step 3: RTT Follow up

  1. Review evaluations, testimonials, compile results, and follow up within 48 hours of RTT
  2. Best practices – Dispatchers:
    • Have dispatchers ask new riders how they found out about the system – was it a RTT or a referral from an RTT?
    • Track information they gather
    • Use information for future RTT locations and groups
  3. Follow up with agency contact within 48 hours
    • Feedback about RTT
    • What they liked
    • Ways to improve
    • Additional opportunities for Train-the-Trainer for other agency staff members
    • Ideas for future RTTs with other agencies they know
    • Ask them for a testimonial and use this within your internal marketing (see Marketing Plan Checklist for more information)
  4. Use materials from Community Transit MAP to continually improve transit system and your customer service/mobility management efforts
  5. Final note:
    • After presenting 3-5 RTTs, 5311 provider will transition into presenting RTTs without HSTP coordinator
    • If you need someone in this role, consider implementing a Transit Buddy Program for your system or hiring a mobility manager to assist

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Rural Travel Training Documents

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