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Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)

Scholarship Guidelines -
How to get a training scholarship from RTAP

What is the scholarship program?

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is responsible for administering the Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) with funding provided by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). 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 supplant them.

Who is eligible for a scholarship?

Eligible transportation agencies include:

  • Rural transportation providers (transits, tribes and non-profit)
  • Providers of special needs transportation services if training is specific to special needs operations
  • Officers, members and staff of the Washington State Transit Association (WSTA), Washington State Transit Insurance Pool (WSTIP and WSTTC) and the Community Transportation Association of the Northwest (CTANW)
  • 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 in advance of 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*, parking and ground transportation.
  • Government lodging rate information can be found at
    http://www.ofm.wa.gov/resources/travel.asp
  • RTAP scholarships will not cover the cost of food
    *Calculated from residence or work station, whichever is closer

How does a scholarship work?

Send an application with estimated expenses, to the RTAP Coordinator.

After reviewing the application, if appropriate, WSDOT will approve your scholarship; You will know that your scholarship has been approved when you 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, with all relevant receipts, and a written summary and evaluation on 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 the following guidelines:

  • Costs up to $600 are reimbursed at 100 percent.
  • Additional costs will be reimbursed at 50 percent up to a total award of $1000.
  • 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 cumulative limit
  • 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 CTAA conference (4), ICB and Rural or Tribal/Technical conference (4), State public transportation conference/expo (18), State ADA conference (10), State safety and training showcase (8), 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 146 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.