Records Management

State RTAP Managers should be familiar with federal and state records management requirements. RTAP Managers also provide technical assistance to transit agencies that are transit authorities or part of a local government, who may also have record management requirements and responsibilities that are either established by the state or the local government. Recipients of federal funding are required to keep records on file for three years after completion of project activity. See FTA Record Retention Frequently Asked Questions, which includes links to legislation, for additional information. Transit agency managers may come to RTAP Managers with questions about records management, and the National RTAP Transit Manager’s Toolkit provides in-depth guidance throughout each section.

In addition to FTA record management requirements, RTAP Managers should be familiar with state record management requirements. In addition to the state statute, RTAP Managers should have on file guidance documents and should provide them to subrecipients. For example, the New Mexico State Records Center and Archives publishes a records retention schedule which must be adopted by municipalities and transit districts. The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History publishes a county records management manual. The Alaska State Archives publishes a local government model general administrative record retention schedule. 

A good practice is for State RTAP programs to maintain a narrative history. They may want to recommend that their subrecipients do so as well. For transit agencies, the narrative history (typically in bullet format) documents key milestones, such as year of founding, major fare and service changes, facility construction, and ridership. The narrative history is provided to Board members and staff and is often posted to the website for the general public. States that promote the use of narrative histories include Alaska, New Mexico, and West Virginia.

For more information on federal record retention requirements, please see the following regulations, circulars, and guidance:

Updated April 21, 2021