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Table 11: HOW COORDINATION ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN IMPLEMENTED Source of Authority States or Agencies for Coordination Using this Technique Legislation Arkansas California Florida Idaho Iowa Kansas Maine Missouri Pennsylvania South Carolina Texas Virginia Executive Order Alabama Louisiana Maryland North Carolina Interagency US DOT / US DHHS agreement/committee/Working Group Georgia Kentucky Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Mexico North Dakota Ohio Oregon Tennessee Utah 190 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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Specific Support for Coordination The first category of successful strategies needs to be that of general and specific support for coordination. Key items in this list would include Coordination encouragement or requirements in legislation or regulation, such as in State laws in many states including Florida, North Carolina, Washington, Iowa, California, Pennsylvania, and others, totaling 38 percent of all 50 states. (A good example of such legislation is shown in Appendix I.) Executive orders. Interagency coordinating councils or boards within 46 percent of the states. Instructions and encouragement from state agencies supporting the coordination of the transportation activities of their grantees. The establishment of regional meetings to discuss specific coordination plans within states (such as the regional coordination meetings spearheaded by FTA in 1998, 1999, and 2002). Quality Control Standards, Oversight, and Monitoring Florida's Committee for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD) sets the standard for quality control with clearly defined standards across the board, thorough reporting, and extensive oversight and monitoring. Their Quality Assurance Program is especially important because they contract with private agencies for over 43 million trips annually. Florida uses local coordinating board meetings to monitor their Community Transportation Coordinators' (CTCs') financial performance and payments to subcontractors. Florida conducts annual reviews of local CTCs in order to refine policies and standards. The state also administers an ombudsman program, which provides a repository for customer complaints and a forum for grievance procedures. In addition, Florida contracts with an accounting firm to monitor nonpayment issues and to conduct audits of the rates billed to the CTD and to conduct financial reviews of the CTD itself. Chapter 7 Model Processes for Statewide Coordination 191

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Technical Assistance Nearly every state involved with coordination provides technical assistance to local officials and transit operators. Florida provides Florida provides technical assistance at a level unmatched by any other state. In addition technical assistance to driver safety training and CPR, Florida provides first aid training, at a level that is driver sensitivity training, and passenger assistance training. For coordination officials, Florida provides management training, planning unmatched by any guidelines, contract management guidelines, quality assurance reviews, other state. operational reviews, financial evaluations, employee drug testing programs, and assistance with Federal guidelines. Establish Guiding Principles Early in Process "Organizations serving persons The State of Washington has established a comprehensive, easily with special transportation understood set of guiding principles for its coordination effort. These needs share responsibility for principles set a uniform standard of quality and service for the statewide ensuring that their customers can access services." transportation network, and the standard was established in the legislative process and written into the legislation. All subsequent coordination activities and decisions have been governed by these principles. The first principle is simply stated but carries a great deal of weight. It states that "Organizations serving persons with special transportation needs share responsibility for ensuring that their customers can access services." This guiding principle sets the tone for the entire coordination effort in Washington State by putting the needs of the client above any operational issues. Officials can point to it anytime there is a "turf" dispute or whenever there is an argument over responsibility. Extensive Local Planning Process Several states support Several states, such as North Carolina, New Jersey, Iowa, and Maryland employ an extensive local planning process as part of their coordination an extensive local efforts. These include the community transportation service planning planning process. process and the transportation advisory boards in North Carolina, the interagency steering committees in New Jersey, the technical advisory committees and policy boards in Iowa, and the local coordinating committees in Maryland. 192 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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Comprehensive System Vermont has built a statewide coordinated transportation system that Vermont has built a encompasses all modes of transit, all degrees of urbanization (i.e., rural, transportation system urban, and suburban), and all potential trip purposes including Medicaid and Welfare to Work. No other state can point to a transportation that is comprehensive system that is so comprehensive and completely integrated from top to and completely bottom. The key factor in the development of this statewide integrated. transportation network was the establishment of the Vermont Public Transit Association in 1986. The VPTA is a private nonprofit corporation that serves the purpose of a statewide coordinating body. It provides information to transit providers and policymakers, acts as an advocate for transit, and works to develop and coordinate transit services statewide. State DOT Assistance with "Selling" Coordination The Iowa DOT is working with the Iowa Department of Health on a Iowa DOT produced a series of presentations designed to convey the benefits of coordination video promoting to health care providers. The Iowa DOT has also produced a video entitled "Iowa Coordination Pledge" that is available to the transit coordination. providers in the state. Iowa coordination officials say that the DOT marketing efforts have been very helpful. Input from Nontransit Agencies Oregon's coordination planning process is unique because it involves Oregon's coordination several agencies that are seldom considered transit related. The planning process is governor has appointed representatives from the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Corrections, and Housing and Community Services to unique in including participate in the development of the coordination plan, and their many departments. presence has been extremely beneficial. They have created many new partnerships and motivated other representatives to rethink their views of how transit relates to their community. In addition, they have rethought the ways in which transit relates to their agencies and have re- examined their own policies to make them more transit friendly. Chapter 7 Model Processes for Statewide Coordination 193

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Handbooks and Guidebooks Ohio and Maryland Ohio and Maryland have both experienced a great deal of success with have both experienced the publication of handbooks and guidebooks. The publications provide technical assistance to local systems and officials on the coordination a great deal of success process and have become very popular. Ohio, for example, has with handbooks. distributed over 1,200 copies of its 1997 publication, "A Handbook for Coordinating Transportation Services." Demonstration Projects Ohio is making a The Ohio coordination process made extensive use of demonstration statewide effort to projects, especially very early on. The demonstration projects in Richland County served as a test bed for the statewide effort, allowing address barriers to the testing of ideas for addressing state regulations and policies that coordination. were seen as barriers to coordination. Areas Where Additional Assistance Is Needed Transportation The major area where additional assistance is needed, even in states that actively encourage coordination, is that of coordination incentives. operators have a Although such incentives are now found infrequently at the state level, keen interest in transportation operators have a keen interest in seeing such incentives seeing Coordination come into place, as they most vocally reported in responses to surveys conducted for this project, as well as at the July 1, 1998 meeting of the Incentives come Advisory Panel to the HHS/U.S. DOT Transportation Planning into place. Workgroup. The kinds of incentives that states have recommended include Funding for both coordination planning and operations; "Bonus points" that would favor coordinated systems over non- coordinated systems in funding applications; Additional funding for the most cost-effective operations; Coordination requirements inserted into grant applications; and 194 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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Investigation of how to implement disincentives to uncoordinated planning and operations (Burkhardt, 1998). COMMON PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS Coordination efforts do not always run smoothly. As can be imagined, when one begins reallocating resources and re-assigning responsibility statewide, individuals and agencies can sometimes feel threatened. Turf battles can result, necessitating substantial amounts of time and hard work. Beyond that, complex problems may affect coordination efforts, such as working with program regulations attached to specific funding sources, be they state or Federal regulations. The following discussion presents some commonly cited problems and solutions found in the course of this study. Medicaid Funding Many states (most notably Florida) have experienced problems with Nonemergency Medicaid co-payments and reductions in nonemergency Medicaid transportation funding. (This is now also a serious problem in Colorado Medicaid and California.) In response to these problems, Florida has created a transportation funding Medicaid committee in cooperation with the Agency on Health Care has experienced Administration. Together, they have developed an action plan and a best practices handbook for nonemergency Medicaid transportation. The serious reductions in action plan was scheduled to be implemented in the year 2002 through a several states. process of joint statewide training, which was also to include an updated Medicaid Transportation Manual. Vehicle Standards Washington State and Maryland both cited a lack of vehicle standards The lack of standards as a barrier to coordination. The lack of standards prevents vehicle sharing among agencies and, in some cases, it prevents ride sharing prevents vehicle among agency clients. Maryland, in response to this problem, has sharing among included state-sanctioned standards for vehicles and drivers in its agencies . . . forthcoming 5-year plan. Chapter 7 Model Processes for Statewide Coordination 195

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Problems with Trip Costs in Coordinated Transportation Systems Vermont is making North Carolina and Vermont reported that their local agencies were experiencing problems with trip costs in coordinated systems. In some more efficient use of cases, human service agencies that once provided transportation "in funds the state house" are now purchasing it from a coordinated system. In other cases, already has. the local transit provider had funding problems. In North Carolina, state DOT officials are meeting with providers to discuss ways of lowering insurance and other costs. They also meet with human service agencies and help them calculate the actual costs of providing in house transportation, which is usually much higher than they previously thought. In Vermont, VPTA officials try to steer providers away from searching for new funding and toward making more efficient use of the funds they already have. To that end, Vermont offers its transit providers training in cost allocation and budgeting. Problems with Synchronizing Funding Timelines One of the touted benefits of coordination is the ability to combine A benefit of funding sources and to fund projects from multiple sources. New Jersey coordination is the and Maryland both pointed to problems with synchronizing the timing of ability to combine these funding sources to coincide with project schedules. Maryland intends to eventually coordinate all funding through a single source, but is funding sources and in need of a short-term solution. New Jersey is having serious problems to fund projects from coordinating Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) and TANF funding with project timelines, and they are currently working with multiple sources. Federal officials to alleviate these problems. Lack of Administrative Funds for Coordination Kansas coordination officials pointed to an almost total lack of administrative funds as a major barrier to coordination. Federal administrative funds are available to human service agencies, but these agencies do not necessarily want to share their administrative personnel (or money) with the coordinated transportation systems. Section 5311 funds are supposed to provide for administrative costs, but some states choose not to spend them in this manner. Kansas coordination officials are working with the state to try to solve these funding problems, but no solution is imminent. 196 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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Head Start Vehicles Iowa coordination officials point out that, starting in 2006, all Head See Chapter 2 for information Start clients will have to be transported in school buses. This will cause about Head Start transportation coordination. problems for many statewide coordinated systems, such as in Iowa, where Head Start funds over 25 percent of the coordinated trips. Chapter 2 has a more detailed explanation of this problem. Confidentiality Issues Clients of coordinated systems in Ohio expressed concern that personal Confidentiality had medical information was being shared without safeguards or permission. They also complained about having to provide this become a very serious information again and again. In addition, transit providers were having barrier to coordination. problems because human service agencies, citing confidentiality rules, frequently refused to share client information. Overall, confidentiality became a very serious barrier to coordination in Ohio. In 1994, the Ohio Family and Children First Initiative staff formed a Confidentiality Work Group for the purpose of tackling this issue. Their goal was to provide a method for agencies to share essential client information, while providing privacy safeguards. They developed the Member Agreement for Information Sharing, which allows sharing of client information only for the purpose of improving the quality, availability, efficiency, or coordination of service. The agreement also specifies how the information will not be used and includes conditions of amendment and termination. The member agreement also requires a consent-for-release form from the client or his or her parent or guardian. STATEWIDE COORDINATION PROFILES In the responses to the survey of state coordination activities, several states seemed to be highly committed to the coordination process, more so than the average state. Some of these states have been involved with coordination since the early 1980s, while others began their statewide coordination process less than 5 years ago. Some have mature statewide coordinated transportation systems with years of operation, while others Chapter 7 Model Processes for Statewide Coordination 197

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have not yet adopted a coordination plan. These states not only responded to the questionnaire, but they provided additional information such as statewide coordination plans, local coordination handbooks, and various other sources of information. The common theme for all of these efforts is the overall commitment to the idea of coordination, and the comprehensive scope of their vision. 198 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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Florida Florida has long been at the forefront of innovative thinking with regard to public transportation, especially for persons who have disabilities or are elderly. Long before most states had considered the idea of coordinated transportation, Florida was already moving forward with its Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) program. The TD program was established in 1979 to provide "efficient, cost-effective and quality transportation services for persons with disabilities, elderly persons, and at-risk children with no other transportation." TD services are provided through a "coordination of multiple funding sources at the local level" where "limited funds are maximized to provide citizen transportation." Since 1989, the Independent Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD) has administered the Transportation Disadvantaged program. The CTD is the state-level policy board responsible for the overall implementation of TD services. The CTD appoints a local coordinating board for each county, usually contracting with an MPO or other local planning agency. The local coordinating board is responsible for appointing, evaluating, and generally overseeing the community transportation coordinator (CTC) in each county. Local coordinating boards also provide local assistance to the CTCs, identifying needs and providing information, advice, and direction. The CTC is responsible for the actual delivery of transportation services for the disadvantaged residents of a county and may provide TD services directly or contract with local providers through competitive procurement processes. Funding is provided by the TD trust fund, which receives $24 million per year (this amount has not been increased in 8 years!) and is administered by the TD Commission. The $24 million comes from the Public Transit Block Grant Program, which was established in 1990. The TD program has succeeded in providing cost-effective service and improving uniform standards of quality for service through its quality assurance program. The program has also improved oversight and accountability for the participating agencies; this is important given that 86 percent of the 51 million annual TD trips are provided by private-sector agencies. Despite the overwhelming success of the TD program, Florida recognizes that there is still much work to be done. TD officials estimate that over 1.6 million trips were not provided last year because of lack of funding and that this number of unmet trips is growing. Currently, TD officials are working to find ways of meeting those unserved needs, through legislative and other efforts. In addition to the unmet needs, other difficulties are facing the Florida TD Commission: Lack of funding for nonagency-sponsored trips, Rising costs of gasoline and insurance, Medicaid copay mandates, and Reduction in the funding of Medicaid nonemergency transportation. Florida is taking several steps to address these issues. A Medicaid committee has been established within the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged and is working to eliminate the Medicaid copayment and to maintain Medicaid funding at the current level. The committee also will work with the Agency for Health Care Administration to develop an action plan and a best practices handbook for dealing with nonemergency Medicaid transportation funding issues. Florida provides extensive technical assistance to the CTC in each county. Florida's TD program provides courses in CPR, first aid, driver safety, passenger assistance, and driver sensitivity. For CTC officials, the TD program provides guidelines for planning, program management training, contract management, quality assurance reviews, operational reviews, financial evaluations, drug testing of employees, and information on Federal guidelines. Chapter 7 Model Processes for Statewide Coordination 199

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Washington In 1998, statewide special-needs transportation coordination became a reality in Washington with the passage of Chapter 47.06B RCW by the state legislature. The legislation, entitled "Coordinating Special Needs Transportation," provided for the inception of the Program for Agency Coordinated Transportation (PACT), and the formation of the Agency Council on Coordinated Transportation (ACCT). The creation of PACT was intended to "increase efficiency, reduce waste and duplication, enable people to access social and health services, provide a basic level of mobility, and extend and improve transportation services to people with special transportation needs." According to the legislation, PACT employs a statewide approach to coordination that will encourage the development of community-based coordinated transportation systems according to the following guiding principles: Organizations serving persons with special transportation needs share responsibility for ensuring that their customers can access services. There is a single entry point for consumers. Consideration is given to transportation costs and providers' input when decisions are made with respect to siting of facilities or program policy implementation. Open-market competition is allowed. Vehicle sharing is allowed. There should be maximum sharing of operating facilities and administrative services. Trip sponsors and service providers agree on a process for allocating costs and billing for shared use of vehicles. There are minimum standards for safety, driver training, maintenance, vehicles, and technology, in order to remove barriers that may prevent sharing vehicles or serving the mix of clients. Systems are user-friendly and easy to access, regardless of funding structures, eligibility, contracting, and service delivery. There is continuous improvement of systems through sharing of technology, best practices, and research. Performance goals and an evaluation process are established that lead to continuous system improvement. The entire list of guiding principles has been included because they can apply to systems at any level of coordination: statewide, regional, or countywide. These principles are at the core of the ACCT coordination effort because they establish a uniform standard of quality and service that applies to all systems in the state. The ACCT is charged with implementing and managing PACT. The ACCT consists of nine voting members and eight nonvoting, legislative members. The voting members include a representative from the governor's office, two paratransit users, one representative from the Washington Association of Pupil Transportation, one from the Washington State Transit Association, and one from either the Community Transportation Association of the Northwest or the Community Action Council Association. The eight nonvoting members consist of four members of the state House of Representatives and four state Senators. The state Secretary of Transportation serves as the chair. The ACCT is responsible for local planning guidelines, state policy guidelines, facilitating the sharing of information among counties, mediating disputes, developing guidelines for performance measures, developing criteria for monitoring and reporting, providing technical assistance, and reporting to the state legislature. The primary task of the ACCT is selecting a lead agency for each community. The lead agency coordinates with public and private transportation providers, private and non-profit transportation brokers, local governments, and transit users. It operates according to the guidelines of PACT discussed above, and may 200 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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Approach the coordination process as you would to start a business. Remember that providing transit service is a business. Develop a business plan up front to guide program growth. Leverage funding. Finding funding is a significant challenge. By cultivating partnerships, new sources can be discovered and traditional funding sources can be leveraged. Clearly define what services will be provided in contracts and when applicable, clearly demonstrate potential cost savings. Pay close attention to the bottom line. Put in place reliable systems for invoicing and tracking revenues and expenditures. If your organization does not have this capability, bring in a CPA or consultant to assist you. Local volunteer expertise may be available at little or no cost. Operating and Managing Services Listen intently to both customers and providers. Successful coordination requires a lead agency that is able to moderate an ongoing dialog between people with transportation needs and those people that control the resources to provide transportation. Select a lead coordination agency that can function as a mobility manager. Broadly scoped agencies are often more willing to use a wider range of community resources (fiscal and human) to address transportation needs and thus make better candidates for lead agencies for coordination efforts. Agencies that have a tendency to use conventional tools and focus on one primary clientele (such as the able-bodied public) often make poorer lead agencies for coordination efforts. Create and deliver safe, personalized, and accessible door-to- door services. Safe, quality service is its own best advertising. Maximize resources. Use community resources wisely and avoid redundancy with other transportation providers by setting appropriate eligibility criteria. Mobilize an effective volunteer network. A volunteer network can be a potent means of saving large amounts of labor costs. Volunteer workers can provide a high level of service. But volunteers do require compensation in the form of recognition, quality treatment, and training and appreciation. 226 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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Create a strong commitment to training. Train all staff, including volunteers. Volunteers can provide an equal or higher level of service as paid employees if they receive the proper training and are recognized for quality work. Develop a clear and comprehensive program policy manual. It is much less work to retain staff than to train new staff. Identify what state and Federal regulations will affect your volunteer program. Volunteer driver programs work, but standards are not well developed. Market your service. Referrals help, but many people may believe that service is limited to only specific riders or communities. Selling the service to the larger community will help ensure the program's success. Establish sound managerial and business systems and procedures. Collect and carefully monitor fiscal, operating, and client data. Find the right software package that will allow you to track revenues more efficiently, allocate trip costs to specific funding sources more accurately, and improve efficiency, monitoring, and operations. Retain legal expertise and develop formal contracts with participating agencies. Informality may cause some problems collecting receivables. Recognize and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves with the emergence of new programs and funding sources, such as welfare reform's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Federal Transit Administration's Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program. New programs can create opportunities to involve new agencies and riders. They can present new transportation services to integrate and coordinate. Document and disseminate institutional knowledge. Ongoing documentation and dissemination of information during coordination can safeguard against the demise of a program due to the loss of one or two key staff members. Understand and deal effectively with the "P" factors. When facing roadblocks, discover which of these P factors (personality, power, and politics) you are dealing with and work with or around each of these factors. Chapter 8 Successful, Insightful, Coordinated Transportation Services in Rural Communities 227

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CASE STUDIES OF LOCAL COORDINATION EFFORTS Overview of the Cases The following pages present 29 case studies of coordinated transportation services in rural communities. For each case, background of the agency, the coordination process, benefits of coordination, problems encountered, and recommendations are presented. The cases are particularly notable for their variety and for the commitment of local stakeholders to fashion workable solutions while addressing the unique needs and resources of specific localities. These cases were chosen because each of them demonstrates valuable lessons in using coordination to achieve more effective and productive rural transportation services. These cases demonstrate that the concept of "level of coordination" is difficult to measure. As the numbers of agencies, funding sources, and service areas increase, opportunities for coordination benefits increase, but so does the level of administrative complexity. There may not be one generally applicable level of coordination for all rural communities, as these cases demonstrate that successful, cost-effective operations are found at many different levels of coordination and complexity. The cases presented here generally start with less complex operations. The case studies progress from some more modest coordination attempts to the more ambitious in terms of the complexity of coordination activities. Single-county systems with few funding sources that serve relatively focused groups of passengers and trip purposes in relatively small geographic areas are examined first. The perspective progressively expands to include multicounty, multifunded operations that provide multiple transportation and nontransportation services in rural and urban settings and across state lines. Even with this attempt to present these cases in order of their general overall level of complexity, it is not necessarily accurate to say that a system is more or less coordinated than those near to it in this list of systems. 228 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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Case Studies Greene County, Ohio: Countywide Public Transit Coordination; Buffalo County, Nebraska: Coordination Through Brokerage; Huron County, Ohio: Coordination Among Agencies, Transit Systems, and Counties; Bay County, Michigan: Transit System Brokerage; Northwest Montana: Blackfeet Transit; Roseau County, Minnesota: Small-Scale Agency Coordination; Ottawa County, Ohio: Growing from Agency to Public Transportation; Alger County, Michigan: Coordinated Public Transit Services; Holmes County, Ohio: Coordinated Services and Dispatching; Union County, Ohio: Contracted Local Services; Hubbard County, Minnesota: Public, Agency, and Intercity Services; Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska: Nearing Consolidation; Mason County, Washington: Countywide Coordination; Butte County, California: Attempting to Consolidate Services; Northwestern California: Klamath Trinity Non-Emergency Transportation; Wasco County, Oregon: Multistrategy Countywide Coordination; Riverside County, California: Volunteer Transportation for Multiple Agencies; Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas Counties, Oregon: Multicounty Coordinated Volunteer Services; Fresno County, California: Multiprovider Coordination; Kern County, California: Countywide Public Transportation Coordination; Chapter 8 Successful, Insightful, Coordinated Transportation Services in Rural Communities 229

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Western Indiana: Multicounty Public Transit Services; Malheur County, Oregon: Coordinated Agency Trips; Merced County, California: Consolidated Services; Baker, Union, and Wallowa Counties, Oregon: Program Coordination Within One Agency; South Central Illinois Mass Transit District: Progress Toward Coordination; Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah: Navajo Transit System; Southern Illinois: Centralized Multicounty Services; North Central Minnesota: Regional Public Transit Services; and Eastern Washington and North Central Idaho: Multiple Coordination Strategies. 230 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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GREENE COUNTY, OHIO: COUNTYWIDE PUBLIC TRANSIT COORDINATION Program Greene Coordinated Agency Transportation System (CATS) Sponsoring Organization Greene County Commissioners, MRDD, DJFS, other social service agencies City, State Xenia, OH Service Type Demand response Service Area Greene County, OH Service Area Population 147,886 Service Area Size (sq mi) 421 Data for Year Ending 2001 One-way Trips per Year 54,776 Annual Expenses $1,074,275 Cost/Trip $19.61 Major Funding Sources FTA Section 5311 Coordinating Agencies Greene County Commissioners, County Board of Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities, Department of Job and Family Services, social service agencies (informal) Other Broker for 51 participating agencies Background: The Greene Coordinated Agency Transportation System (CATS) offers countywide public transportation service. Major funding comes from the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA's) Section 5311 program administered by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Greene CATS has an agreement with Greene County Commissioners to provide Section 5311-funded service. Greene CATS is also, through the Greene County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, the lead agency for coordinating local transportation services. Greene CATS has service contracts with the Greene County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to provide their transportation service. Arrangements between Greene CATS and social service agencies participating in the brokerage system are informal. A private company operates under contract to Greene CATS to provide transportation service for the Section 5311 program. Greene CATS' vehicles are stored and maintained by the county. Greene County is located in southwest Ohio and is adjacent to the City of Dayton and Montgomery County. In 2000, Greene County had a population of 147,886 with a land area of 421 square miles. The largest communities in the county are Beavercreek (33,626); Fairborn (31,300); and Xenia (24,664). Despite being adjacent to Dayton, Greene County is highly rural in character. Rural land accounts for more than 95 percent of the land area in the county. Greene CATS operates demand-response service on weekdays, 5:00 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Overall days and hours vary by agency according to specific agency needs. The base fare is $1. A staff of three manages the brokered service. All requests for transportation and brokering are centralized through CATS. In addition to managing the public transportation service, Greene CATS is the transportation broker for 51 participating agencies. This brokering is achieved without contracts or memoranda of understanding. The 51 Chapter 8 Successful, Insightful, Coordinated Transportation Services in Rural Communities 231

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agencies have 97 vehicles, representing 86 percent of the social service agency vehicles in the county. Twenty-three agencies operate a transportation service, 34 agencies purchase services, and some do both. Greene CATS simply facilitates connections among agencies with transportation needs and those with available transportation capacity. The agencies work directly among themselves and each uses its own billing rates. All billing and payment for services is handled directly among the agencies at rates that the various agencies have established. The participating agencies discovered that they had more options to purchase trips to satisfy the needs of their clients. Trips are provided for work, medical, agency appointments, and other purposes. Most of the trips are referred by Greene CATS participating agencies (80%). Five percent are self-referrals and 15 percent are from agencies outside the brokering system. Greene CATS has helped participating agencies. For example, it has helped a senior center locate funding for dialysis transportation, a local taxi company to obtain a wheelchair accessible vehicle and place it in service, and the local county council on aging to obtain funding for brokered trips. Coordination Process: Before 1994, the desire to coordinate transportation services was an ongoing discussion for many years, with fits and starts as key players changed. In 1994, through the initiative of the metropolitan planning organization (MPO), a decision was made to conduct a study of the need for coordinated transportation services in the county. The study was supported by a grant from the MPO, which provided technical assistance to key Greene County stakeholders for completion of the study. The study was completed in 1996. In earlier years, when consolidation of services was entertained, turfism emerged as a critical issue that thwarted progress. An important outcome of the 1996 study was the consensus that it is acceptable to be protective of legitimate personal interests. The study recommended that a brokerage system be established to help participating agencies provide the best transportation they could. When the study was completed, the right people were participating and strong consensus had been achieved. In the words of the CATS director, it "just made sense" to take action. Strong political support, especially from county commissioners, was present at the outset of the needs study and carried over to implementation. Based on the study's recommendations, Greene CATS was organized in 1997 as a 501C(3) not-for-profit agency. This structure was created because the participating agencies that saw a need for organizing transportation service delivery were not-for-profit agencies. Greene CATS has a 13-member board, with an executive director, and all members are participating not-for-profit agencies. In January 2001, public transportation service started with funding from the Section 5311 rural transportation program. Benefits of Coordination and Success: According to the transportation coordinator, the principal benefits of coordination have been the following: Access to more funding (Federal, state, and local), An expansion in transportation options, Better use of vehicle capacity, An increase in overall trip making, and Enhanced visibility and image resulting from the presence of newer vehicles. Other benefits include increased productivity and higher quality, more competitive service among three taxi companies, which are stronger transportation providers as a result. The quality of service delivered by local taxi companies has improved with their purchase of $150,000 to $200,000 in transportation services. A third taxi company has opened in the county, adding additional competition. While no formal criteria have been developed, the rides are distributed on a fair share basis, with satisfactory performance required for a company to maintain its trip level. Agencies have shared their vehicles with the clients of other agencies, so that service among participating agencies is no longer client only. If agencies need more transportation than they can provide, agencies can purchase transportation from the contract service provider. A peer review system has been put in place to 232 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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ensure that agencies do not dump their clients on the transportation system. Contract rates have been established by agencies to discourage dumping. CATS is negotiating with a local hospital to take title to its van and integrate its transportation needs into the coordinated system. The biggest success to come from coordination efforts is that of 51 participating organizations, not a single agency has left. There have been few disagreements and a high level of trust has been achieved. Support, Problems, Barriers, Mistakes, Solutions: The biggest, or most surprising, problem has been the realization that coordinating has been much harder to achieve than was imagined. Interpersonal skills have been critical. Frontline leadership on a daily basis is required. Recommendations to Others: The best advice is to offer to the public, the community, and agencies involved in coordination efforts a set of products and services of true value. Chapter 8 Successful, Insightful, Coordinated Transportation Services in Rural Communities 233

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BUFFALO COUNTY, NEBRASKA: COORDINATION THROUGH BROKERAGE Program R.Y.D.E. (Reach Your Destination Easily) Sponsoring Organization Buffalo County Community Health Partners Transportation Social Work Group City, State Kearney, NE Service Type Door-to-door transportation services Service Area Buffalo County, NE Service Area Population 37,477 Service Area Size (sq mi) 968 Data for Year Ending 2002 One-way Trips per Year 81,789 one-way boardings Annual Expenses $475,000 Cost/Trip $475,000/81,789 = $5.81 Major Funding Sources JARC Coordinating Agencies Local university, City of Kearney, Buffalo County, local cab and livery companies, local school districts, Mid-Nebraska Community Action, Inc., hospital Other The total agency annual budget is $9.5 million; transportation gets 5 percent, according to 2002 annual report. Transit gets input and resources from Nebraska Department of Roads Transit Division. Background: Buffalo County, Nebraska is located in south central Nebraska. With a population of 37,477 and 968 square miles, Buffalo County is situated in the heart of Nebraska's farmland. The County's only city is Kearney, which has varied medical or major shopping facilities. With many people traveling to Kearney from outlying areas, transportation was always a problem. Many different systems of delivering transportation were in place in Buffalo County in 1996, yet many people were still unable to make the necessary connections to life services, such as medical appointments, employment, and shopping. In early 1996, four separate committees in Buffalo County looked into ways of delivering transportation services. Coordination was found to be the lacking factor in having a viable transportation alternative. Coordination Activities: R.Y.D.E. Transit started operation in Buffalo County on January 3, 2000, after 4 years of research, planning, and hard work by the Buffalo County Community Health Partners Transportation Goal Work Group. The Goal Work Group brought together representatives from more than 20 different agencies in Kearney and from Buffalo County. Agencies represented were as diverse as the local university, the City of Kearney, Buffalo County, employment specialists, health care representatives, local cab and livery companies, representatives from state agencies on transportation and human services, and local school district representatives. The Nebraska Department of Roads Transit Division gave valuable input to the process by providing leadership and resources for this group. This unique planning process made R.Y.D.E Transit a true community effort. From the beginning, the Goal Working Group realized eliminating duplication of planning and coordination resources was the best solution to a rural county's transportation needs. 234 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV

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The Goal Work Group focused on commonalities inherent in community transportation, thereby allowing a greater breadth of partnership to develop. R.Y.D.E. Transit serves Kearney and Buffalo County with on- demand public transportation and represents the first brokered transit system to operate in Nebraska. The idea is based on the utilization of existing community resources to meet the need of public transportation in rural areas. Mid-Nebraska Community Action, Inc. (MNCA), the local community action agency, took the lead in the effort by offering office space, salaries, and executive direction for the transit operation. R.Y.D.E. Transit began operation by assuming the responsibilities of a vehicle owned and operated by the local hospital, Good Samaritan Health Systems, the "Health Express." R.Y.D.E. operates this vehicle through a contract with the hospital. This vehicle was underutilized in its role of connecting people with mobility limitations to health care. Immediately, the ridership of the vehicle grew from an average of 5 boardings a day to more than 15 boardings a day within the first 2 weeks of operation. R.Y.D.E. then assumed the operational duties of the two existing public transit vehicles in Kearney, operated by MNCA. These three vehicles were brought under one dispatch system to help use resources more effectively. MNCA then allowed R.Y.D.E. to rehabilitate two vehicles to expand the fleet to five. R.Y.D.E. contracted with a local agency that provides transportation services to persons with disabilities. A few months later a contract with a local employment agency was written, allowing R.Y.D.E. to provide transportation for them. This brought the number of vehicles in the system to seven. These vehicles, when not in use for the contracts, are used to provide public transportation for Kearney and Buffalo County. The Buffalo County Community Health Partners Transportation Goal Work Group and Nebraska Department of Roads Transit Division still provide direction and leadership for R.Y.D.E. Through this collaboration, R.Y.D.E. Transit has been able to be involved with many different projects. Benefits of Coordination: By bringing these vehicles "under one roof," R.Y.D.E. has been more responsive to customer needs in Buffalo County. R.Y.D.E. eliminated barriers to providing transportation to the public. Original operating hours before R.Y.D.E. took over were 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and were expanded to 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. This has allowed R.Y.D.E. to better serve those community members who need to take public transportation to and from work. R.Y.D.E. also abolished the waiting and time requirements. Before R.Y.D.E., strict rules existed for scheduling rides 24 hours in advance and for providing intake information, which needed to be recorded before rides were given. R.Y.D.E. has also established operations on holidays to give mobility-limited customers access to health care, employment, and social activities on those days. Additionally, R.Y.D.E. has expanded transportation access to rural Buffalo County. R.Y.D.E. now has vehicles available to serve residents outside of Kearney 5 days a week. Before R.Y.D.E., established routes served only part of Buffalo County once a week. The expansion of these routes has been offset in part by the contract with the hospital. This has allowed for better service to mobility-limited rides outside of Kearney. R.Y.D.E. further expanded service to rural residents as part of the 2000 Job Access Reverse Commute/Job Access Grant, which was awarded to them in January 2001. The system has also been granted funds to implement intelligent transportation systems or ITS into rural transit. R.Y.D.E. is using these funds to upgrade the radio dispatch system to include telephone line access for the drivers, giving them safe, secure access to emergency personnel and the dispatch staff in times of emergency. The system is also implementing computer-aided dispatch software to increase the reliability of the system for the customers. R.Y.D.E. saw rapid growth in ridership in the first year of operations. R.Y.D.E. provided a total of 33,000 rides in 2000. In 1999, public transportation provided 11,000 rides in Buffalo County. During its first month of operation, the system provided 1,000 rides in Kearney and Buffalo County and that number increased to more than 38,000 rides in December 2000. After its first full fiscal year in operation, R.Y.D.E. had provided more than 50,000 public transportation rides in Buffalo County. Chapter 8 Successful, Insightful, Coordinated Transportation Services in Rural Communities 235

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HURON COUNTY, OHIO: COORDINATION AMONG AGENCIES, TRANSIT SYSTEMS, AND COUNTIES Program Huron County Transit Sponsoring Organization Huron County Transit Board City, State Norwalk, OH Service Type Demand response Service Area Huron County, OH + some Service Area Population 56,240 Service Area Size (sq mi) 497 Data for Year Ending 2001 One-way Trips per Year 14,500 Annual Expenses $199,142 Cost/Trip $13.73 Major Funding Sources Section 5311 Coordinating Agencies Erie County, Sandusky County, 15 local agencies, 3 Erie County agencies, Sandusky Transit (Huron County Transit has contracts with 10 of those agencies) Background: In Huron County, the Huron County Transit Board is the Section 5311 rural transportation grant recipient and the direct provider of transportation services. Huron County Transit serves Huron County and contiguous areas representing a service area of more than 497 square miles with a population of 56,240 in 1990. Through coordination with Erie County and a link in a transportation corridor connecting two counties, travel is coordinated with the transportation system in Sandusky County. Huron County Transit provides more than 14,500 passenger trips annually. Current operations include 197,449 vehicle miles and 10,929 vehicle hours of service. The Huron County Transit Board provides demand response service from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on weekends. The cost is $2 within the county. Transfers are $3 for the U.S. 250 corridor, where a significant concentration of employers are located. Huron County Transit has eight employees: three are in administrative positions and five are in operations positions. As of 2001, the system had five vehicles. Four vehicles are handicap accessible and will seat 10 riders plus two wheel chairs; the other vehicle seats 11 passengers. Recent operating information is shown in Table 12 and Figure 1. 236 Casebook of State and Local Coordination Models SECTION IV