SD: Johnson Announces $275,000 for River Cities Public Transit

The following information was released by South Dakota Senator Tim Johnson:

U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) announced today that River Cities Public Transit in Pierre will receive a $275,000 federal grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The funding will be used to create the Center for Transit eLearning (C-TEL), an online learning system that can be used to train transit agency employees in rural areas. The center will be developed in partnership with national organizations and the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center.

The funding will allow rural transit agencies to strengthen, enhance and lower the cost of their workforce training, Johnson said. Rural transit agencies face unique challenges in training employees, such as the high cost, limited staff and lengthy travel distance. This new educational system will alleviate these problems.

The Center for Transit eLearning will allow administrators and employees to gain access to the site at any time and location. The site will offer various training modules to accommodate different types of transit employees and their specific skill sets. The training modules include virtual classrooms, prerecorded presentations and self guided tutorials. Employees will be reinforced on their understanding of the training through quizzes and tests, videos, and games.

C-TEL is unique in that other states and transit agencies will be able to adopt features of the system into their training programs. The system is able to host an unlimited amount of employees and courses at any given time which will allow for training on a large scale. The program is also flexible in that as training needs arise in the future, the program will be expanded and revised as necessary.

River Cities Public Transit provides transportation services throughout the Pierre-Fort Pierre area and across central South Dakota. They provide transportation for the general public and various nursing homes, medical clinics and schools. River Cities Public Transit also provides transportation to individuals living on the Fort Thompson, Lower Brule and Cheyenne River Indian Reservations.

As Chairman of the Banking, Housing, and Urban Development Committee, Senator Johnson is an advocate for strengthening and improving transit systems and infrastructure, especially in rural areas. The Banking Committee has jurisdiction over transit related legislation in the Senate.

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