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Robert Schmitt

Dr. Schmitt is the Principal of Rolling Thunder Resources, Pittsburgh. Schmitt has more than 20 years of experience in many facets of driver training. His dedication as a trainer has earned him the reputation as being among the best Passenger Assistance trainers in the country.

Schmitt received his doctorate in Geography and Urban Planning from the University of Iowa, where he specialized in transportation-related studies. Since then, he has specialized in transportation research, technology transfer, technical assistance and training. In addition, he has taught university courses in transportation, statistics, geography and urban studies.

Previously, Dr. Schmitt was the Community Assistance Coordinator for the Office of Statewide Transportation Programs (now known as the Center for Transportation Education), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In this capacity, he worked with local transportation providers throughout the state to foster local coordination and statewide technical assistance. He has directed several major federally funded projects in transportation and participated in the planning and implementation of workshops and training courses in rural transportation management, planning and evaluation.

Dr. Schmitt has published over 25 articles in transportation and has given many presentations at professional meetings and conferences. He is co-author of the Technology Transfer Primer, a booklet on the tools of technology transfer and technical assistance. The Primer has been widely distributed by the FHWA and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He completed a statewide transportation funding consolidation study for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation involving rural fixed route and shared ride operations throughout the state. He carried out a transit needs, service evaluation study for the Indiana County Transit Authority and the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission. He has also directed several major projects funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Currently, Dr. Schmitt is a consultant in transportation and training and co-manages the PennTRAIN program for Pennsylvania DOT. During the past several years, he has participated in projects on effectiveness training, feasibility studies, small system evaluation, privatization in rural transit and training in Passenger Assistance Techniques, of which he is a certified instructor. In fact, Dr. Schmitt has developed and facilitated passenger assistance training programs for more than 150 systems in 21 states. He has recently completed a project for the Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities to study existing transportation services and additional service needs for the elderly and disabled. He was part of a Penn State team, planning and implementing training and technical assistance under Pennsylvania’s Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP).

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