By Cornelia Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

As Del Norte's Local Transportation Commission gears up for its next meeting, members of its advisory committee met Thursday, offering input about issues they want to pursue further.

An ongoing goal of the group is to remain at the forefront of Caltrans' mind so that when funding for various projects becomes available, the transportation commission is poised to apply for the monies, commission members said.

Funding and the process to successfully obtain it was on the list, as were updates on various ongoing projects.

Of all the potential agenda topics the group discussed, however, the least inchoate was planning for an upcoming transit training session.

The two-day event is scheduled May 13-14, a Friday and Saturday so that both weekday and weekend shift workers can participate.

It will be run by consultant Gary Gleason, owner of the Communique firm.

In his correspondence to Tamera Buchanan, Director of the Local Transportation Commission, Gleason highlighted the importance now placed on safety by the Federal Transit Administration.

andquot;As a result of 9/11 - and the transit attacks in Spain, Great Britain and India - transit's traditional focus on safety has been expanded to include security, even in rural communities,andquot; Gleason wrote.

He added that hurricanes Katrina and Rita recently highlighted the use of public transit in response to natural disasters.

The transportation commission plans to recruit participants for the workshop. Those who take part could include transit operators, social service reps, public works officials emergency responders and representatives of local Native American tribes.

Areas of training being discussed include emergency preparedness and transit security issues, and transit accessibility for the disabled population.

The advisory group's meeting precedes the transportation commission meeting. LTCO meets next Thursday.