Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Transit in Minnesota


Winona public bus picking up a passaganer in a historic neighborhood

Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)

RTAP is a training, technical assistance and outreach program funded by the Federal Transit Administration as part of the Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Area Section 5311 program. Since 1987, RTAP has developed and distributed free training materials and provided technical assistance with the goal of improving mobility for the millions of Americans living in communities with populations under 50,000. The RTAP Program operates on both the state and national level to support community transit.


In Minnesota, RTAP funds are used to provide driver training in passenger assistance, defensive driving and maltreatment awareness as well as driver refresher training. Workshops and conferences for transit managers are regularly offered several times a year. The RTAP program also funds scholarships for transit system personnel to attend conferences of national significance to transit. An advisory committee meets quarterly to provide input to MnDOT staff in carrying out the RTAP Program.

If your organization does not receive 5311, 5307 or 5310 funding through any of these sections and/or you are a private transportation provider and are looking for Special Transportation Services, please contact:

Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations
395 John Ireland Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155-1800
Phone: 651-366-3717
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

National RTAP develops training materials and provides technical assistance on topics of national scope. Visit the National RTAP website to view the resource library of materials that are available to all transportation operators free of charge.

Conferences and workshops

MnRTAP Events

June 8 - 11, 2015
Call Taking-Optimal Scheduling Policy Writing Customer Service
MnDOT Training Center
1900 County Road I West,
Shoreview, MN 55126,
Phone: 651-366-5252
Registration Deadline: Thursday, May 07, 2015

July 17-18, 2015
MN Statewide Roadeo
Kelly Inn
St Cloud MN 56301
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, June 17, 2015

August 12, 2015
FTA Drug and Alcohol, One Day Seminar
MnDOT Training Center
1900 County Road I West,
Shoreview, MN 55126,
Phone: 651-366-5252
Registration Deadline: More information coming

September 1 - 4, 2015
Emergency Preparedness Vehicle Maintenance
MnDOT Training Center
3725 12th St N,
St Cloud MN 56303,
Phone: 320-223-6500
Registration Deadline: To be determined

October 19-21, 2015
MPTA Conference
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center
Duluth, MN
Registration Deadline: See website
Tentative: October
Train the Trainer: PASS, Defensive Driving/Maltreatment Awareness

Out-of-state events (non-MnRTAP)

May 31-June 5, 2015
Tampa Bay, FL

August 9-12, 2015
National Rural ITS Conference
Snowbird, UT

October 11-13, 2015
Transit Trainer Workshop
New Orleans, LA

Driver training classes

Minnesota RTAP provides training classes transit drivers statewide.

Scholarship information

Minnesota RTAP provides scholarships to eligible organizations to assist transit managers, staff and their organization's board members, who attend transit-related professional conferences and workshops, which may be held both in and out of the state.

To be eligible, your organization must receive funding from the Federal Transit Administration through Sections 5310.  Section 5307 organizations are eligible provided the event is primarily focused on rural issues.5311 Recipients should use funds available for training in Operating Budget.

Employees of non-eligible organizations may participate in RTAP-sponsored activities provided there is a) space available, and b) they pay the full cost of their share of expenses incurred in attending the program.  Non-eligible participants will be invoiced by MnDOT.

Questions? Feel free to contact Lora Bennett at 651-366-4196.