March 2017

FeaturedAbout Us
The UGPTI's Tribal Outreach effort improves safe transportation of people and goods on tribal reservations to enhance livability, community and cultural values through increased accessibility to employment, workforce development opportunities, education, healthcare and housing.
The Tribal Outreach effort will be a leader in facilitating improvements in tribal transportation to enhance livability, community and cultural values for reservation residents.
Currently, the effort offers outreach in:
  • funding opportunities
  • grant writing assistance
  • training (workforce development, youth, education, technology)
  • program/resource assistance
  • partnership/collaborative opportunities
  • outreach task force
  • monthly newsletter
Other resources and services will be offered as they become available. Please visit us on the web to  apply for assistance.

Our featured program this month is the Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC). SURTC has worked on various tribal projects for more than a decade.  The center has conducted tribal projects ranging from research, educational webinars, and training in order to help improve the mobility of tribal residents.  The research projects addressed funding issues by assessing program impacts and determining future program needs.  Another project looked at tribal demographics needs and staff created a Transit Development Plan for the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation and Rolette County.  

SURTC has hosted two webinars "Tribal Transit & Prospects for Future Funding" and "Tribal Transit Programs in MAP-21 and H.R.7." The webinars were recorded to reflect impacts of previous federal transportation legislation. Information on MAP-21 will at some point be updated to reflect the FASTACT authorization, pending the demand for such updates.  

SURTC also developed a Tribal Transit Training that introduces the tribes to the principles of managing and administering a transit system.   Under the new FASTACT legislation SURTC is part of the Small Urban and Rural Tribal Center On Mobility (SURTCOM), which is led by Montana State University. "Over the next five years, SURTC will dedicate more resources to tribal transit research, outreach, and education because of this new partnership," noted SURTC director Jill Hough  

SURTC is currently developing an intensive two-day course focusing on transit and paratransit management for tribes. Transit I will feature basic fundamentals and Transit II will cover advanced topics. For more information, please contact us.

To view a complete list of resources, research, training and outreach, including archived webinars, please visit SURTC's website

NewsHPMS Software Released Soon
The UGPTI has been developing software that converts existing Indian Reservation Roads (IRR) data to Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) format. The conversion will allow an agency to run FHWA planning models, using an existing database. 

The UGPTI will be offering tribes in the region, an opportunity to implement this software, with free training and technical assistance to maintain the software. Please inquire about this opportunity via our Technical Assistance Request form

The HPMS database consists of information regarding the extent, condition, performance, use and operating characteristics of highways throughout the United States.  Each state provides updated HPMS to FHWA on an annual basis for use in developing trends, costs and benchmark performance measures to evaluate the national system performance and conditions.  The HPMS database has a specific format which is used for national and state analysis. 

The state version of the Highway Economic Requirements System (HERS-ST) is used to estimate the direct benefits of making highway infrastructure improvements and to forecast the performance of the highway system in future years. HERS-ST is widely used at the federal and state levels.

HERS-ST estimates traveler, societal, and transportation agency benefits resulting from highway investments. Highway user benefits include  reductions in vehicle-operating costs,  travel-time costs, and crash costs as well as re ductions in vehicle emissions. 

Traveler and societal benefits are estimated by comparing the levels of vehicle, user, crash, and emission costs that would occur if an improvement is made to the projected levels of these variables with no improvement.  HERS-ST also estimates the maintenance cost savings resulting from timely resurfacing improvements, as well as the residual value of investments that continue to provide traffic or structural capacity beyond the end of the analysis period.

Tribal Outreach Task Force

The UGPTI recently initiated a Tribal Outreach program to aid local and regional Native Nations in establishing and maintaining specific programs to enhance tribal livability, community, and cultural values. UGPTI recognizes that livability as a whole is a broad concept, so we have narrowed our focus specifically to issues that have negatively affected tribal communities.

The objective of this task force is to afford an opportunity for tribal representatives and agencies with a vested interest in improving tribal livability with a platform to identify areas of concern (transportation, health care, education, employment, poverty, etc.), to sustain cultural and historic preservation, and to improve tribal to state relations. 

Currently, our member directory includes representatives from MHA Nation, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, ND House of Representatives, American Indian Public Health Resource Center (AIPHRC), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), USDA- Rural Development, Farm Services Agency (FSA), Northern Plains Tribal Technical Assistance Program (NPTTAP) and the UGPTI.

Our first quarterly conference call is scheduled for March. An agenda and member list is available by request. If you'd like to get involved, please contact us for more information. 


Meet us at the Tribal Transportation Workshop

UGPTI staff will attend the Tribal Transportation Workshop & Conference April 18-20th in Rapid City, SD. We would like to set up some one-on-one and/or group meetings between scheduled sessions at the conference. The goal is to get acquainted with the tribal community and the agencies who serve them. If you'd like to set up a time to meet, please contact us

Other events UGPTI staff will be attending: 

UTTC Tribal Leaders Summit
September 5-7th 
Bismarck, ND

National Tribal Transportation Conference
September 25-29th
Tucson, AZ


Funding Scholarships & Funding

UGPTI currently has five scholarships available for current NDSU juniors and seniors who have an interest in transportation and logistics. The scholarship would be awarded for the 2017-2018 school year. The deadline to apply is April 30, 2017. 

1. Charles E. Herman Scholarship (preference for women and minorities) - (1) $2,000
2. Paul E.R. Abrahamson Transportation Scholarship - (2) $1,500
3. Transportation Engineering Scholarship - (2) $1,500

The Tribal Historic Preservation Program recently concluded training on how to apply for a 2017 Historic Preservation Fund grant. Documents that include application requirements, instructions and the full training on how to apply can be found here and here