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Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)

Scholarship Guidelines -
How to get a training scholarship from RTAP

What is the scholarship program?

WSDOT administers the Rural Transit Assistance Program with funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration. The RTAP program supports a variety of services including the provision of technical assistance and training to meet the specific needs of transportation operators in non-urbanized areas. Included in those services is the provision of scholarships to cover registration and travel expenses for individuals to attend training courses, workshops and conferences. The intent of the program is to supplement existing training resources, not to replace them.

Who is eligible for a scholarship?

Eligible transportation agencies include:

  • Rural transportation providers (transits, tribes and nonprofit).
  • Providers of special needs transportation services if training is specific to special needs operations.
  • Officers, members and staff of the Washington State Transit Association, Washington State Transit Insurance Pool and the Community Transportation Association of the Northwest.
  • Small urban providers and for-profit providers at the discretion of the RTAP Coordinator.

What are the requirements?

To apply for an RTAP training scholarship, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The training or conference you wish to participate in must further the development of rural and specialized transportation providers in Washington state.
  • The application/request for a scholarship must be signed by the chief executive officer of the agency and received by WSDOT at least 30 days prior to the event.
  • Before your training, you must have a copy of an approved WSDOT expense worksheet signed by WSDOT.

The RTAP manager reviews each application and awards the scholarships. Criteria used in that determination include:

  • Justification in terms of financial need and anticipated value to the agency.
  • Relevance of training to the individual's job at the agency.
  • Award limitations listed below.
  • Availability of funds remaining in the scholarship program budget.

What will a training scholarship cover?

RTAP training scholarships will reimburse you at the state rate for the following expenses:

  • Training or conference registration.
  • Travel costs, such as airfare, mileage (calculated from residence or work station, whichever is closer), parking and ground transportation.
  • Government-rate lodging.
  • RTAP scholarships may not be used for meal reimbursement.

How does a scholarship work?

Send an application with estimated expenses to the RTAP manager.

If WSDOT approves your scholarship, you will receive an approved RTAP expense worksheet.

Following your training or conference, return the original expense worksheet signed by your chief executive officer within 60 days. Include all relevant receipts and a written summary and evaluation of the training/conference you attended.
RTAP will only pay up to the amount that was first agreed upon. All other costs over the approved amount will be the responsibility of the recipient's agency or organization.

How much funding is available?

RTAP will reimburse for approved scholarships based upon these guidelines:

  • Costs up to $600 are reimbursed at 100 percent.
  • Additional costs will be reimbursed at 50 percent up to a total award of $1,000.
  • Total reimbursement will not exceed $1,000 per scholarship. All costs beyond that are the responsibility of the recipient's agency/organization.
  • There is a limit of 10 scholarships to any one agency per fiscal year.
  • There is a limit of two individuals from a single agency, per training opportunity. Earmarked* events are not counted in this limit
  • Only out-of-state events earmarked for scholarship are eligible.
  • Exceptions to these limits are at the discretion of the RTAP manager and must be applied for in writing at the time the scholarships are requested.

*Earmarked scholarships will be available each fiscal year for the CTAA conference (5), ICB and rural or tribal/technical conference (4), state public transportation conference/ vendor expo (18), state ADA conference (10), state safety and training showcase (8), and the CTANW mobility management event (5).

WSDOT regional community liaisons will nominate agencies for the earmarked events .

What if I want a scholarship but don't meet the requirements?

The RTAP manager can make an exception to many of the requirements. To be considered as an exception, send a request in writing 30 days before the training or conference.

How do I apply for a scholarship?

  • Download an application form. (pdf 161 kb)
  • Complete the designated RTAP application form, including your estimated expenses and backup for estimates. Be sure that your agency's chief executive officer signs it.
  • Email a signed, scanned copy to howell@wsdot.wa.gov.

How do I get my reimbursement?

Return the original copy of the WSDOT approved expense worksheet, signed by your chief executive officer confirming your attendance at the conference/training.

  • Include a written report summarizing the training you received.
  • Attach all receipts for your eligible expenses.
  • Mail to the WSDOT Public Transportation Division within 60 days of your training/conference:

RTAP reimbursement
WSDOT Public Transportation
PO Box 47387
Olympia, WA 98504-7387

You will not be reimbursed if your signed application, report and receipts have not been received within 60 days of the training.