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Tribal Transit Programs Partnering with Transit Agencies. James Foster. Purpose & Objectives. Understanding Cultural Dynamics Coordinating Tribal Transit Programs Partnering with Tribal Businesses Evaluating Tribal Government’s Perspective

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Presentation Transcript

Purpose objectives
Purpose & Objectives

  • Understanding Cultural Dynamics

  • Coordinating Tribal Transit Programs

  • Partnering with Tribal Businesses

  • Evaluating Tribal Government’s Perspective

  • Defining the limitations of each Tribe’s Environment (utilization of transit funds)

  • Building Tribal relationships

  • Reflecting on Morongo’s current transportation projects

Tribal transit program
Tribal Transit Program

  • The purpose of the Tribal Transit Program is: to enhance public transportation access on and around Indian reservations in non-urbanized areas; to assist in development, maintenance, improvement, and use of public transportation systems on and around Indian reservations.

Tribal transit funding
Tribal Transit Funding

  • TRIBAL TRANSIT PROGRAM FUNDS [Public Transportation on Indian Reservations 5311(c)]SAFETEA-LU created a new Tribal Transit Program; it is funded as takedown under the Section 5311 program. Under the Tribal Transit Program, Federally-recognized Indian tribes are eligible direct recipients. Based upon an annual national competitive selection process, FTA awards Tribal Transit grants directly to eligible Indian tribes.

Tribal transit funding program
Tribal Transit Funding Program

  • FTA Section 5311(c) TTP funds can be used for any purpose authorized under the Section 5311 program, including public transportation capital projects, operating cost of equipment and facilities for use in public transportation, planning, and the acquisition of public transportation services, and service agreements with private providers of public transportation.

Tribal transit projects
Tribal Transit Projects

  • Establishing a Transit Agency

  • Transit Fix and Adjusting Route

  • Transit Vehicle Replacement Program

  • Roads and/or Bridges Program

  • Transit Planning and Consultant Program

  • Park and Ride Station and/or Rideshare Program

Tribal transit projects1
Tribal Transit Projects

  • Transit Facilities

  • Tribal Dial-a-Ride Services

  • Employee Transit Incentive Program

  • Transportation Capital Projects

  • Service Agreements with Private Providers of

    Public Transportation

Cultural dynamics
Cultural Dynamics

Sovereignty is a key component that influences a Tribe’s decision making process

Native American culture is rich with traditions and customs

The “Family” cultural dynamic is the driving force behind decision making

Tribes strive to be self sufficient to sustain their heritage and cultural needs


  • The need to sustain business partnerships is critical for Tribes to reach their goal of self sufficiency

  • Grant funding needs to include Tribal businesses in order to supply: employee benefits, planning development, and economic growth

Business cont

  • In most instances, Tribal businesses are required to follow Federal, State, and local guidelines

  • State Compacts allow Tribes to maneuver gaming operations

  • Tribal businesses impact the local economy and provide employment opportunities for the surrounding communities


  • Most Tribal Governments are ran by elected council members (which are usually elected by the tribal general membership)

  • A majority of Tribal Governments control and direct all operations of the tribe- cultural, business, political involvement

  • Tribal Government’s role is to protect the interests of the tribe

Government cont

  • Transit funds must meet the needs of each tribe

  • Needs should include: roads, vehicles, proper land use & development, and the livelihood of tribal members


  • Comprehending the demographics of each Reservation location is essential for the transit grant process

  • Demographics range from city, rural, country and suburban locations

  • A Tribe’s location represents a different transit grant application process; which reflects it’s demographic needs

Building tribal relationships
Building Tribal Relationships

  • Cultural awareness is essential in establishing positive tribal relationships

  • Honesty and reassurance of trust is beneficial during the process

  • Transit agencies need to be mindful of tribal sovereignty, cultural heritage, business and political objectives

  • Tribes may be reluctant to comply with certain transit grant criteria because it may contradict tribal objectives

Building tribal relationships cont
Building Tribal Relationships (cont.)

Transit agencies can invite tribal officials to local transportation committee meetings

State and City agencies can extend invitations to tribal officials to be a part of economic development/planning committees; which will assist with gaining support for tribal transit projects

Both entities can host “Meet and Greet” functions to start the relationship process

Morongo band of mission indians recent transportation projects
Morongo Band of Mission IndiansRecent Transportation Projects

  • Roundabout off the Interstate 10 Hwy 2007

  • Received 2010 National Clean Diesel EPA Grant

  • Placed a Transit Stop at MCRS 2009

  • Amtrak California Bus stop at MCRS 2011

  • Morongo held the Vice Chair Person position on the T-Now committee for 2010 & 2011

Morongo s roundabout project
Morongo’s Roundabout Project

General information about the roundabout:

  • This is the first roundabout that has been built in District 8

  • The roundabout was constructed in approximately 6 months

  • The Tribe funded 100% of the project

  • The roundabout was built as mitigation for the traffic that comes to the Morongo Casino, Resort and Spa, the outlet malls, and other businesses in the area.

Morongo s roundabout project1
Morongo’s Roundabout Project

The roundabout increased the Apache Trail Interchange Level of Service (LOS) Tremendously. It went from and "F" to an "A"

When planning and designing the roundabout several factors were taken into consideration, including the mandatory twenty (20) year traffic forecasting, required by Caltrans, which takes into account or includes in the forecasting formula an increase in traffic over the twenty year period. The reason for this is so that we understand at what point the project LOS begins to breakdown and not be effective.

Other transportation projects
Other Transportation Projects

California Amtrak Bus Stop at MCRS

MCRS Transit Stop

Personal actions with building relationships with local transit agencies
Personal Actions with Building Relationships with Local Transit Agencies

  • Introduced to the San Gorgonio Pass Transportation Now (T-Now) committee in 2008

  • Coordinated Transit Stop Shelter project for MCRS 2009

  • Nominated for Youth Chair Person and Secretary of the T-Now Committee

  • Coordinated and Supported RTA's “Go Pass” event for Mt San Jacinto College

  • Project Coordinator for the Youth T-Now Safety Awareness PowerPoint “Rabbus” Presentation

Personal actions with building relationships with local transit agencies1
Personal Actions with Building Relationships with Local Transit Agencies

Organized and provided support to Sun Lines Transit in their effort to acquire a support letter from Morongo for their transit grant application

Held the Youth Chair Person position on the T-Now committee for 2010 & 2011

Summary Transit Agencies

Establishing and maintaining tribal relationships are the key factors that must be initiated by local transit agencies. Cultural and economic awareness will benefit transit agencies with building & maintaining tribal business relationships.

Communication- e-mails, letters, phone conversations, and work shops are affective; however, face to face interactions should take precedence when dealing with tribes.

Presenter Transit Agencies

  • CEO/President of Foster’s CDE Consulting Business

  • Tribal Operations for 11years

  • California State School Bus Instructor

  • US Department of Transportation TSI Instructor

  • Graduated from University of Pacific Transit & Para Transit Management Certificate Program

  • Homeland Security Emergency Management Specialist

Q & A Transit Agencies