START Online

Safety training and rural transit

Course Overview

START Online is an interactive and engaging self-paced, online course that provides the knowledge and skills you need to safely operate your vehicle. Designed by the National Rural Transit Assistance Program (National RTAP) as a complement to the START classroom program, the course has been derived from National RTAP’s Safety Training and Rural Transit (or START) program.


START has been a cornerstone training tool for many years and includes the latest guidelines for vehicle, driver/operator and passenger safety. It helps rural and small urban drivers be safer – for their passengers, their agencies and themselves.

Safety is our most important responsibility. Through videos, simulations, expert instruction, rich graphics and reinforcing learning exercises, this course demonstrates pre- and post-trip inspections, en route safety, and safely dealing with passengers. It teaches you the basics of safe vehicle operation, including fitness for duty, defensive driving, good safety habits, coping with adverse driving conditions, and other important aspects of driver/operator safety.

START Online will help you understand procedures for safely picking up and dropping off ambulatory and non-ambulatory passengers, securing mobility devices such as scooters and wheelchairs, handling difficult passengers, security awareness, and vehicle evacuation and other emergency situations, as well as skills for interacting with passengers to make every trip safer and more secure.

Benefits of Enrolling

  • Increase your professionalism

  • Ensure that your vehicle is safe before taking the road

  • Learn new skills for driving, including vehicle operation in poor weather and other adverse conditions

  • Increase your confidence in emergency situations

  • Learn new skills for dealing with passengers

  • Enhance your understanding of securing mobility devices

Learning Features

  • Fast and fun interactive features help maximize learning, application and retention

  • Simulations put you in the middle of the action and present real-life challenges

  • Videos make learning interesting and engaging

  • Search tools, topic and content lists direct you right to the information you need

  • Quizzes let you demonstrate what you’ve learned

  • A course transcript and a key distances fact sheet ensure increased understanding

  • The course is available to you for an entire year so you can retake modules, revisit resources or review critical concepts

Course Outline

The course is divided into three sections and presented in eight lessons and four videos.

  • Section 1, Vehicle Safety -- outlines procedures for the important pre-trip, en route, and post-trip vehicle inspections.

  • Section 2, Driver/Operator Safety -- covers the basics of safe driving, including everyday hazards, standard safety practices, coping with adverse driving conditions and other important aspects of driver/operator safety.

  • Section 3, Passenger Safety -- reviews procedures for safely boarding and disembarking ambulatory and non-ambulatory passengers, securing mobility devices, dealing with difficult and dangerous passengers, maintaining security awareness, and handling vehicle evacuation and other emergency situations.

Selected Learning Objectives

  • Understand the steps of conducting a pre-trip inspection

  • List the steps of en route and post-trip inspections

  • Describe the correct safety procedures of accelerating, steering, braking, signaling, turning, backing, following, stopping, and taking curves

  • Describe the correct safety procedures of approaching train crossings and intersections and passing on two-lane roads

  • Describe the correct safety procedures of driving in reduced visibility, bad weather, winter, summer, through water, in skids and at night

  • Describe the correct safety procedures for boarding and disembarking ambulatory passengers

  • Outline the correct safety procedures for boarding non-ambulatory passengers, including operating the lift, using the four-point tie-down system, and securing motorized wheelchairs and scooters

  • Identify at least eight types of suspicious people and packages and describe how to respond to them safely

  • Describe the proper response after an accident, including identifying the condition of the vehicle and passengers, evacuating and securing the vehicle, and cooperating with authorities

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Our Services

9609 S University Blvd.


Littleton, CO 80163


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The Center for Transportation e-Learning is a transit industry service provided by River Cities Public Transit and managed by ZPG Transit.