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17 CHAPTER 3 CURRENT COORDINATION TRENDS AND CHALLENGES This chapter summarizes the key trends and themes for their transportation-disadvantaged clients in some man- that emerged from the case studies of current, innovative ner, even though transportation is not their primary mission. approaches to the coordination of transportation services for Some human services agencies operate transportation ser- transportation-disadvantaged individuals. Common challenges vices, while others purchase or subsidize transportation ser- faced by coordination practitioners and cross-cutting lessons vices for their clients. Human services agencies that operate for organizations considering a coordination initiative are also transportation services have more in common with organiza- discussed. A definition of coordination and a framework for tions whose primary mission is transportation than human classifying coordination strategies are presented first, to pro- services agencies that purchase or subsidize trips for clients. vide an overview of the range of actions that may be used In addition, coordination activities tend to focus on differ- to coordinate transportation services for the transportation ent aspects of transportation services. Some types of strate- disadvantaged. gies are designed to increase coordination in the way services are planned, funded, purchased, or used. Other types of strate- gies concentrate on improving coordination in the operation DEFINING AND CLASSIFYING and management of services. COORDINATION STRATEGIES Therefore, a useful way to distinguish among entities that may participate in coordination activities is on the basis of Even when used in the specific context of the provision of whether or not the entity directly operates transportation ser- transportation services for transportation-disadvantaged indi- vices. Note that an organization that does not operate service viduals, coordination is a term that can have many meanings. directly may contract for or purchase service from a provider, Many types of organizations with an interest in such trans- or it may subsidize its clients' use of available public or pri- portation services have a role in coordination activities, and vate transportation services. the range of actions that can be taken by coordination partners For example, organizations that do not usually operate is similarly diverse. Taking a closer look at possible coordi- transportation services could include the following: nation participants and actions may help to define coordina- tion more clearly. State-level human services agencies State departments of transportation Regional or local human services agencies Coordination Participants Advocacy groups Community organizations (such as United Way or Amer- Transportation services for individuals with limited travel options are typically of interest to two types of organizations: ican Red Cross) Faith-based organizations (1) those that are charged with providing human services and other types of assistance to such individuals and (2) those MPOs or Regional Planning Agencies whose primary mission is the provision of transportation ser- Public transit agencies that contract for services vices. Organizations in the first category include public and nonprofit human services agencies and advocacy organiza- Organizations that operate transportation services could tions. Organizations such as public transit agencies and pri- include the following: vate nonprofit or for-profit transportation providers fall into the second category. Public transit agencies The first category of organizations can be broken down Private nonprofit transportation providers further. Because transportation is often a vital link between Private for-profit transportation companies individuals and health care, employment, and other types of Regional or local human services agencies programs and services provided by human services organiza- Community organizations tions, the organizations may provide transportation services Faith-based organizations