Julie Schafer
Director of State Initiatives

Ms. Julie Schafer is located in the Dayton, OH Headquarters. A former Section 5311 transit manager of a seven-county public transit system in rural Indiana, she has over 22 years of experience, 15 years of that in transit system operations and maintenance. Ms. Schafer brings considerable expertise in state and federal compliance, grant writing, resource development, data analysis, and policy and procedure development and implementation.

Ms. Schafer is RLS’ resident Rural Transit Circuit Rider and in this capacity, she has worked with transit systems in several states—Ohio, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and West Virginia—to strengthen administrative and operating practices, evaluate, enhance and improve services, and identify, document, and solve administrative and operating issues. A few examples include; developing and implementing policies and procedures for the New River Transit Authority (West Virginia), a newly designated Section 5307 system; an assessment of the current operating, management, and financial structures of Beaufort County Transit (North Carolina) in order to maintain the system’s State and Federal transit funding; and the Southwestern Community Services in Sullivan County (New Hampshire), where she coordinated the transition of a Section 5311 system to a new provider, including all aspects of a new transit system start up, interim transit system management, and staff training. She provided similar services and planning assistance on behalf of the National RTAP program to Wabash County Transit (WCT), operated by Living Well in Wabash County CoA, Inc. Ms. Schafer has many times been sent in by a state DOT transit office to serve as interim transit manager while diagnosing and solving critical transit issues, including labor disputes, financial concerns, and operating problems. An example of this was Ms. Schafer’s long-term assignment with the Chillicothe Transit System (Ohio), where she established and implemented administrative and operating policies and procedures, resolved labor and administrative issues, and more.

In addition to Ms. Schafer’s Circuit Rider assignments, she is also the Lead Consultant for RLS’ RTAP assignments in New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Massachusetts; Lead Researcher for the CTAA eLearning training module development; Project Manager and Lead Reviewer for the Indiana Compliance Monitoring Program; Lead Consultant for update of the Nevada DOT Section 5311 application package and development and conduct of DOT Staff and subrecipient training; Lead Consultant for the review and update of the Illinois DOT Section 5311 application package; and Lead Researcher for the Ohio Mobility Transformation Mobility Project to redesign how human service transportation services are funded and delivered in Ohio. Recent prior projects include Project Manager for the Trumbull County, Ohio Coordinated Transportation Plan; Crawford County Service Evaluation; Section 5311(f) financial audit; and a Lead Researcher for Indiana Regional Coordinated Plan updates.

Ms. Schafer attended Miami University-Hamilton. She is a CTAA Certified Community Transit Manager and holds a Registered Guardian Certification.

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