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18 Any combination of organizations such as these could work Finally, in the last block at the bottom of the column, coor- together to plan, implement, or operate coordinated trans- dination actions that will result in a change to the structure of portation services or some other type of coordination strategy. transportation services are shown. Like the actions listed at the top of the column, these are actions that might be taken by organizations that do not operate service directly, by trans- Coordination Actions portation operators, or by a combination of both types of orga- nizations. These strategies include the collective procurement Coordination among entities in the planning, design, fund- of the services of a contract transportation operator, hiring of ing, and delivery of transportation services for the transporta- a transportation broker to manage services for the transporta- tion disadvantaged has been shown to address the problems tion-disadvantaged constituents of a number of agencies, or that can arise when multiple organizations provide similar consolidation of transportation programs. (More information transportation services independent of one another. These about transportation brokerages and other types of consoli- problems include duplication of services or administrative dated systems is provided in Chapter 4.) efforts, inefficient use of vehicles and other resources, poor service quality, and unmet transportation needs. Together, organizations with an interest in transportation SUMMARY OF CASE STUDY FINDINGS services for the transportation disadvantaged can undertake a variety of actions to improve coordination. At one end of the As a result of the research team's review of the coordina- range of coordination activities are steps to improve communi- tion literature, Internet searches, and the survey of state offi- cation and cooperation among interested parties while leaving cials, a great deal of information about funding sources, types separate transportation programs intact. At the other end of the of transportation services, and planning/decision-making range are actions that significantly change the way in which processes was compiled. Guidance for organizations inter- services are delivered by consolidating transportation programs ested in initiating or expanding coordination efforts based on previously managed or administered by separate organizations. that information is presented in subsequent chapters of the Figure 2 illustrates the types of actions that can be taken Resource Guide. by organizations working together in a coordination effort. The case studies were conducted to look more closely at Within the column, potential actions are listed according to recent examples of successful coordination strategies and the degree to which they will result in blended, or consoli- innovative practices. The case studies illustrate a number of dated, transportation programs. Listed in the first block at the different types of coordination strategies, ranging from state- top of the column are the coordination activities that might level efforts and implementation at the local or regional level be pursued among organizations that do not operate service of federal or state programs to ways of coordinating the plan- directly, by transportation operators, or by a combination of ning, funding, or delivery of this type of transportation ser- both types of organizations. These are also actions that will vice. To place successful strategies in the context of the range not change the separate nature of transportation services or of coordination actions, Table 3 shows the types of coordi- programs. For example, several organizations that do not nation actions that each of the case studies has undertaken, operate transportation services directly might join together to using the framework of coordination partners and actions promote awareness of transportation needs among the gen- that was depicted in Figure 2. eral public and community decision makers, yet continue to An overview of the case studies is provided below. Full case purchase or subsidize services for their clients independently. studies can be found in Appendix A on the accompanying CD- The second block from the top of the column shows the ROM. types of coordination activities that might be undertaken After the introduction to the case study sites, this chapter between organizations that do not operate transportation ser- summarizes the key trends and themes among these recent vices directly and those that do. They include actions to sub- coordination efforts, as well as some ongoing challenges. sidize or facilitate use of existing services by individuals. These actions will affect the way in which transportation ser- Full Case Study Sites vices are provided or the degree to which they will be used by transportation-disadvantaged individuals, but transporta- A brief description of each of the seven coordinated sys- tion programs will still remain separate. tems or coordination initiatives that were the subjects of full Actions that might be undertaken by several transportation case studies is provided below. operators to improve coordination between their services are listed in the third block from the top of the column. Note that many of the potential coordination activities that transporta- Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center/Delta tion operators might pursue concern the coordination of oper- Area Rural Transit System ational functions as well as the management and administra- tion of services. These types of coordination actions begin to The Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center (AEHCHC), blend transportation services by virtue of centralized func- Inc., is a primary health care provider serving seven counties tions or shared resources. in northwest Mississippi. In 1993, AEHCHC began provid-

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19 Separate Transportation Programs Transportation advocacy, Coalition building All types of Information and referral coordination partners working together Joint planning, decision making Coordinating council Sharing technical expertise Use or subsidize services for Organizations that do not operate client travel service working with transportation Travel training operators Mobility management Provide vehicles Provide technical assistance Joint grant applications Joint driver training Organizations that operate service Shared vehicle storage/maintenance working together facilities Joint procurement of vehicles, insurance, maintenance, fuel, hardware, software, technology Vehicle sharing Centralized functions (reservations, scheduling, dispatching) Purchase or contract for service All types of coordination Transportation brokerage partners working together Consolidation of transportation programs Blended Transportation Programs Figure 2. Coordination participants and actions. ing general public transportation as the Delta Area Rural United Way has been funding pilot transportation projects to Transit System (DARTS) using 5311 funds. Over the last advance a twofold agenda: to help individuals who would 10 years, DARTS has proactively collaborated with a num- benefit from car ownership and to encourage informal trans- ber of area partners and developed consortia arrangements portation systems to work together in a more coordinated with other transportation providers. way. United Way has partnered with the Center for Trans- portation Studies at the University of Minneapolis for assis- Greater Twin Cities United Way tance in evaluating its efforts and assessing results. United Way's goal is a coordination model that includes a Since a survey of United Way Vision Councils identified network of four to five experienced nonprofit transportation transportation as a barrier for clients of many human services providers that are able to provide needed services throughout agencies in the region several years ago, Greater Twin Cities the region and are supported by services such as centralized

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20 TABLE 3 Coordination actions illustrated by case studies Separate Transportation Programs Both Types of Coordination Partners: Transportation Organizations That Do Not Operate Service, Operators and Organizations That Do Not Operate Working with Transportation Operators Service Transportation Joint Advocacy/ Information Coordinating Planning, Use/Subsidy Standardized Travel Mobility Case Studies Coalition- and Referral Council Decision of Service Requirements Training Management Building Making Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center/Delta Area Rural Transit System Greater Twin Cities United Way King County Metro Community Partnerships Program Maricopa Association of Governments Regional Action Plan on Aging and Mobility Massachusetts Human Service Transportation Office Michigan Welfare to Work Program and Midland County RIDES Mass Transit District Space Coast Area Transit Baldwin Rural Area Transit System (BRATS) Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) St. Louis Transportation Management Association Ottumwa Transit Authority Alliance for Transportation Research Institute, University of New Mexico ACCESS Transportation Systems Cross County Transit DuPage County Taxi Subsidy Program Flint MTA MichiVan Nontraditional Vanpool Program Transportation Options Project (TOP) Washington State Agency Council on Coordinated Transportation and Thurston County York County Transit Authority/rabbittransit driver training and vehicle maintenance. Coordination will be are the first of those experienced providers. DARTS is pro- assisted by use of a software system for rider management viding support to United Way agencies in the areas of oper- that United Way helped to create. Full implementation of a ations support (where a focus will be coordination), technol- coordination network is estimated to be about 2 years away. ogy, driver training, and vehicle maintenance. Red Cross has Dakota Area Resources and Transportation for Seniors taken vehicles from other agencies and has assumed respon- (DARTS) and American Red Cross of the St. Paul Area (ARC) sibility for transporting their clients.

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21 TABLE 3 (Continued) Blended Transportation Programs Both Types of Coordination Partners: Transportation Operators Working Together Do Not Operate Service Joint Provide Purchase or Consolidation of Provide Joint Grant Joint Driver Procurement of Vehicle Centralized Technical Contract for Brokerage Transportation Vehicles Applications Training Vehicles, Sharing Functions Assistance Service Programs Equipment King County Metro Community Partnerships Metro also works with other local organizations to develop Program (CPP) transportation options for human services agency clients through the CPP. Metro provides public transit service in the City of Seattle Particularly interesting elements of this program include and King County, Washington, and participates in the deliv- the following: (1) the provision of retired paratransit vehi- ery of regional transit service with other providers. cles, free vehicle maintenance, and limited operations fund-

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22 ing to local nonprofit human services agencies that can pro- tem serving primarily people who were transportation disad- vide service directly for clients who are ADA-eligible; and vantaged to providing services for the entire community. (2) the provision of retired vanpool vehicles to agencies that Included in its array of services are fixed routes, ADA para- need vans to provide limited transportation for clients. transit, paratransit service for transportation-disadvantaged individuals (part of the Florida Coordinated Transportation System), a bus pass program, a Medicaid brokerage, and a Massachusetts Human Service Commuter Assistance Program. SCAT also provides Con- Transportation Office tracted Routes using its bus fleet to serve several not-for- profit agencies with contracted, demand-responsive service, In 2001, Massachusetts consolidated the purchase and man- and manages an innovative Volunteers in Motion program to agement of transportation services for the clients of a number of human services agencies in a new state-level Human Ser- provide rides for seniors by using volunteer drivers. vice Transportation Office (HST). Transportation managers from the state's Medicaid, Public Health, Mental Retarda- Clustered MiniCase Study Sites tion, and Job Access agencies, among others, jointly drew new district boundaries, standardized procurement proce- Groups of minicase studies were conducted on the themes dures, and began to contract with RTAs for the brokerage of of (1) building coalitions to support coordinated transporta- coordinated client transportation services. tion initiatives and (2) the use of technology to coordinate transportation operations and other functions. Each cluster Michigan Welfare-to-Work Program of minicase studies is described below. and Midland County Welfare reform began in the state of Michigan several years Coalition Building: Baldwin County Public before efforts at the national level were initiated. From the out- Transportation Coalition, Oklahoma Department set, identifying and resolving transportation issues was a high of Rehabilitative Services, and TMACOG priority. Project Zero, a program aimed at eliminating house- holds on public assistance without earned income, was initi- The Baldwin Rural Area Transit System (BRATS), a rural ated in July 1996. Six pilot sites were selected for efforts to public transportation provider, has a history of successful identify and remove barriers to employment, which included coordination. Its funding base is FTA Section 5311, matched transportation. with local funds (Alabama provides little or no funds for pub- Midland County was one of the original Project Zero pilot lic transportation). Most recently, BRATS worked with resort sites; it also received funds from Michigan's JARC grant. areas (Gulf Shores, Alabama) to fund transportation for resort Prior to the job access initiative, service consisted of demand- employees. A public transportation coalition has been formed responsive service in the City of Midland only. Funding was to address expansion needs. The coalition includes BRATS, used to extend days and hours of service and to provide trans- faith-based organizations, and the economic development portation to jobs at a large casino in a neighboring county. alliance. Services were so successful that a local millage, or additional The rehabilitation services provided by the Department of dollar per $1,000 of taxable property value, to fund county- Rehabilitative Services involve accessing medical services, wide service was recently passed. training, and employment, all of which require a client to have a means of transportation. With the goal of working with the state legislature to increase the scope and quality of RIDES MTD community-based transportation for all residents, the depart- ment has made a concerted effort over the past year to form The RIDES MTD, based in Harrisburg, Illinois, has been a multiagency transportation coalition in order to establish a so successful at providing transportation service to human unified approach. service agency clients that it has been able to (1) increase its Efforts to date have included a statewide survey, Public Ser- service area from two counties to nine, (2) offer service for vice Announcements, and a statewide conference/workshop the general public, and (3) persuade legislators to amend on transportation and employment for those with disabilities. Illinois' MTD-enabling legislation, which originally autho- TMACOG has been instrumental in a number of trans- rized the creation and funding of MTDs in urban areas, so portation coordination initiatives in the Toledo area. For exam- that RIDES and another rural provider are now able to ple, the CommuterLINK program, operated by TMACOG's receive state operating assistance. Commuter Services Council, is a transportation brokerage for clients of the Ohio Works First and Prevention, Retention and Space Coast Area Transit (SCAT) Contingency programs and other low-income individuals. Lucas County Job and Family Services contracts with Com- SCAT has a long history of providing nontraditional and muterLINK to identify transit, vanpool, and taxi options for innovative transportation services. SCAT evolved from a sys- clients who need to travel to work, training, and child care.

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23 One of the most interesting features of the efforts in the The call centers and radio dispatch centers of these four Toledo area is the leadership role that TMACOG, the region's large paratransit providers have been joined by means of a MPO, has played. Responding to guidance from the National new communications network. This network, together with Association of Regional Councils and federal agencies on paratransit reservations and scheduling software, enables the the role of MPOs in welfare reform activities, top staff at agencies to book trips for their customers on vehicles oper- TMACOG took the initiative to become actively involved in ated by the other providers, thereby filling empty seats. a significant welfare-to-work planning effort, spearhead the development of solutions to transportation problems, and secure JARC funding. Today, TMACOG continues to admin- MiniCase Study Sites ister transportation programs and services and to collaborate Each of the nine subjects of minicase studies is described with a number of human services and business organizations below. in the region. ACCESS Transportation Systems Use of Technology: CRRAFT, State of New Mexico; Ottumwa Transit Authority (OTA), ACCESS Transportation Systems, Inc., has been providing and St. Louis Transportation Management brokerage services for PAT, which is the Pittsburgh area's Association (TMA) public transit provider, since 1979. ACCESS has sponsorship agreements with over 120 local agencies, including Penn- In 2000, spurred by welfare reform and the corresponding DOT, which provides state lottery revenues for senior trans- need to better manage transportation being provided to wel- portation, and the County Office of the Bureau of Federal fare clients, the Alliance for Transportation Research Institute Programs, which is responsible for Medicaid transportation. (ATRI) at the University of New Mexico began to develop a PAT provides funding for ADA paratransit trips and the local web-based software application to coordinate rural trans- match for the senior transportation program. portation funding. The CRRAFT system is an interagency For these 120 agencies, ACCESS is responsible for the effort that includes the New Mexico DOL, the New Mexico provision of over 2 million trips annually through the net- Human Services Department, the New Mexico State High- work of eight for-profit and not-for-profit transportation pro- way and Transportation Department's Public Transportation viders it has under contract. The system is known for its high Programs Bureau (PTPB), and rural transit service providers. levels of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. OTA provides both fixed-route and demand-responsive services in the City of Ottumwa, Iowa, and the surrounding 10 counties. A significant amount of coordinated client trans- Cross County Transit portation is also provided under contract to human services Cross County Transit, based in Asheville, North Carolina, agencies. is an effort to coordinate nonemergency, out-of-county med- OTA has implemented several important Intelligent Trans- ical transportation that has been in operation since 1999. portation Systems (ITSs) components to enhance the opera- Coordination is achieved by means of a database accessible tion of its coordinated services, which can be difficult due via a website on which the general public can request a trip, to the size of the service area and its low population density. transit systems can notify the public and other transit systems ITS components include a new two-way radio system, an of upcoming trips scheduled to regional medical centers, and Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) system, a scheduling health care providers can view scheduled trips. and dispatch software component, and Mobile Data Termi- The project has grown from a regional application to coor- nals (MDTs) for the transfer of data between dispatchers and dinate nonemergency medical transportation in the Asheville drivers. area to now include a second site in the Piedmont Triad, with A number of paratransit providers serving St. Louis City plans to develop the database to include statewide coverage. and County are participating in a joint effort led by a TMA created for this purpose, East-West Gateway Coordinating Council, and Metro (formerly known as Bi-State Development DuPage County Taxi Subsidy Program Agency). Metro; OATS, Inc.; Medical Transportation Management In order to address countywide transportation needs that (MTM); and Care Cab Transportation Service are key mem- ADA paratransit and municipal Dial-A-Ride services were not bers of the TMA. These four organizations provide service able to meet, a group of municipalities and human services to ADA-eligible individuals, seniors, the general public in agencies in DuPage County, Illinois, formed an Interagency rural areas, individuals with developmental disabilities, and Paratransit Coordinating Council to oversee the implementa- Medicaid recipients (MTM operates a Medicaid brokerage tion of two pilot projects. One of those was a user-side subsidy throughout Missouri). taxicab program open to any entity interested in subsidizing

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24 transportation for clients or customers, particularly seniors operator leases vehicles to the City of Detroit's Department and people with disabilities. of Employment and Training to provide shared rides to con- The taxi subsidy program is an example of an extremely nect city residents with suburban employment opportunities. flexible and cost-effective coordination alternative, since lev- Traditional vanpool services require members of the vanpool els of subsidy, eligibility requirements, and other service poli- to assume responsibility for driving the vehicle and providing cies can be easily tailored to meet the needs of the individual insurance. Many of the residents that the city aimed to assist municipalities and agencies that are participating. with this service had been unable to participate in these pro- grams due to the lack of a driver's license or funds to con- tribute toward insurance. Using funds from a JARC grant, the Flint MTA city paid for the leasing of the vehicles, while community and faith-based organizations provided the drivers and insurance. Flint MTA provides transit service for a three-county area around the city of Flint, Michigan. In addition to traditional fixed route and paratransit, Flint MTA provides student trans- Washington State ACCT and Thurston County portation, service for human services agencies, and job access transportation. The Washington state legislature formed ACCT, a state- Student transportation provided by the MTA may be of wide forum on coordination, in 1998. An advisory council of particular interest to organizations in other areas. Service is state agencies was established to provide guidance to ACCT, combined with general public service; the MTA initiated an and local community forums were set up to develop local educational program for its traditional riders, particularly coordination plans in accordance with ACCT guidelines. seniors, when it took over school transportation. Demonstration projects were funded with $1 million that was appropriated by the legislature in 1997. Thurston County provides an example of a successful local MAG Regional Action Plan on Aging and Mobility effort to coordinate, in accordance with priorities established by ACCT at the state level. The county's MPO, transit agency, MAG, the MPO for the Phoenix, Arizona, region, recently and health department have teamed up with the state's wel- completed its Regional Action Plan on Aging & Mobility, fare agency to implement Village Vans service, which pro- which is likely to serve as a model for other transportation vides work trips for welfare clients. efforts for older adults. The comprehensive plan included active participation by more than 75 community stakehold- ers and focused on four key issues: (1) older driver compe- York County Transit Authority/rabbittransit tency, (2) alternative transportation modes, (3) infrastructure and land use, and (4) education and training. Public involve- York County Transportation Authority, or rabbittransit, is ment was a key component of the effort. known as a leader in the field of public transportation coordi- nation, providing a variety of services ranging from traditional fixed-route to demand-responsive service, as well as flexible Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission: TOP services, such as route and point deviation, and park-and-ride shuttles. It also is well known for its coordinated approach to The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission's TOP is program funding, utilizing a wide range of funding sources. aimed at identifying affordable transportation for people with disabilities to get to work, school, or training. The initiative cov- ers over 70 rural communities in three regions across the com- Coordination Trends monwealth of Massachusetts. The primary purpose of the proj- ect is to help identify transportation resources for people with While each of the case studies has unique features and disabilities, to identify unmet transportation needs, and then illustrates a particular coordination issue or approach, some move these needs into transportation solutions. Through TOP, underlying themes or trends emerged. local transit providers develop an individualized transportation The themes cover the following topics: plan for people with disabilities; the plan can include a variety of public transit, paratransit, and ridesharing services. Travel Coalition-building training, information about transportation voucher and auto Leadership ownership programs, and itinerary planning are also provided. Lead agencies Federal programs as catalysts for coordination State-level coordination initiatives MichiVan--Nontraditional Vanpool Program The importation of planning Coordination at the regional level The Michigan DOT administers the MichiVan program. In Nontraditional funding sources addition to traditional vanpool services, the private vanpool Use of technology

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25 These themes, discussed below, provide insight into the their focus. In Alabama, the Baldwin County Public Trans- strategies and approaches that have helped the case study portation Coalition was established in response to welfare sites successfully coordinate transportation services for the reform, but is now working to develop expanded public trans- transportation disadvantaged. portation services for seniors, tourists, and employees. Sim- ilarly, a coalition of agencies working together in the Toledo area, under the guidance of TMACOG to obtain JARC fund- Coalition-Building ing for welfare-to-work transportation is now tackling issues related to improving housing for disadvantaged families in Building a coalition organized around transportation issues addition to transportation services. is an effective way to achieve a number of goals: pursuing The experiences of the case study sites suggest the fol- funding opportunities, increasing public awareness of trans- lowing lessons for coalition-building efforts: portation issues and support for solutions, and influencing state/federal actions. 1. A broad-based coalition has the highest chance of achiev- The concept of building transportation coalitions has ing its goals. In order to attract a wide range of partici- become more prominent in recent years, so one of the mini- pants, the transportation services advocated by the coali- case study clusters focused on this topic in relation to efforts tion should be available to as many rider groups as to coordinate transportation services for the transportation dis- possible. advantaged. However, the theme arose repeatedly throughout 2. Funding and sponsorship are critical coalition-building other case studies, as it became clear that other case study tools. Early on, partners should identify a means of subjects had established coalitions as part of a larger coordi- underwriting expenses for resources such as meeting nation strategy. Moreover, the success of those strategies was space, transportation, administrative tasks and items, often due at least in part to the coalition's endeavors. and information dissemination. The experiences of the case study subjects indicate a trend 3. A key element is the existence or development of trust toward looking beyond the transportation providers and human among coalition participants and with potential part- services agencies that are the typical partners in a coordina- ners. Building trust involves investing time, developing tion effort and enlisting the support of other stakeholders-- an effective means of communication, and listening to businesses, local elected officials, faith-based organizations, the needs and concerns of partners with an open mind, educational institutions, and others. so that a balance between special interests and group In some cases, a coalition has been used to plan or manage goals can be attained. a coordination effort. MAG is noted for its development of a 4. The support of state and local elected officials and rep- multifaceted and multidisciplinary community response to resentatives of federal agencies is also extremely help- the mobility needs of the rapidly growing population of older ful. Adequate research and data are needed in order to adults in Maricopa County, Arizona. MAG effectively used enlist the cooperation and assistance of such individu- coalition-building as a tool for creating its Regional Action als. Decision makers have many competing demands Plan on Aging and Mobility. In Midland County, Michigan, for their limited time. organizations that partnered to provide a successful job 5. Building trust, enlisting additional coalition partici- access transportation service were able to bring local human pants, gathering data, and planning actions all require services agencies, businesses, and politicians into their coali- an investment of time, but are critical elements of a tion, resulting in passage of a county millage to fund a county- fruitful coalition. wide service for the general public. Seattle's King County Metro has strengthened its CPP--a collection of programs and services designed to help community organizations fill Leadership service gaps and create cost-effective options to Metro's ADA Complementary Paratransit Service--by making outreach to Strong leadership--at local, regional, and state levels--is the communities and involving a variety of stakeholders in a key to the success of a transportation coordination initiative. the review and development of transportation services for The success of coordination efforts continues to be linked people with disabilities. to the involvement of a local champion, at least in the initial In other cases, a coalition has been established for a stages of development and implementation. The vision, ded- broader purpose. The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilita- ication, perseverance, and hard work of such an individual tion Services has taken the initiative to form a coalition whose (or individuals) were noted in many case study interviews as goal is to collect data and speak with a unified voice to the invaluable contributions to the implementation and success state legislature and local communities about the transporta- of a coordination strategy. tion needs of people with disabilities. Leadership at the state level was also identified by a num- Other coalitions were established to pursue job access fund- ber of case study sites as a crucial factor. State leadership ing or respond to welfare reform, but have since broadened may take several forms:

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26 Encouragement and support. The Mississippi DOT offers County Metro and its CPP, the creation of an advisory group an increased level of assistance to Section 5310 applica- headed by another entity (in King County, the Key Partners tions that can demonstrate coordination, and encourages in Transportation group, led by the Area Agency on Aging, organizations to apply for 5310 grants through Section advises Metro on the CPP) can provide similar benefits of 5311 recipients. This has made it easier for providers like impartiality, openness, and inclusion. the Delta Area Rural Transit System (DARTS) to add to its coordination partners. A state-level coordination initiative. Efforts such as Federal Programs as Catalysts for Coordination North Carolina DOT's sponsorship of the development of the Cross County Transit system to coordinate out-of- Federal mandates or programs can be leveraged to help county medical trips, or the centralization of the purchase build transportation infrastructure and expand customer bases. and management of human services client transportation Many recent successful coordination strategies were imple- in the new Massachusetts HST, can change the manner in mented in order to address the transportation needs of indi- which transportation services for the transportation dis- viduals making the transition from welfare to work. The advantaged are delivered or offer real opportunities for degree of coordination that has been achieved is due in large coordination. part to the joint efforts of the federal DHHS, DOL, and DOT Policy or procedural changes to make coordination more to make it possible for states and communities to respond to feasible. The New Mexico DOT has encouraged trans- the transportation challenges of welfare reform. These efforts portation providers to use CRRAFT and now requires have included joint guidance from all three agencies on the recipients of Section 5311, 3037, or TANF funding to coordinated use of funding sources and the FTA's require- use the system. This has increased the number of pro- ment for coordinated planning and funding of services to be viders that have coordinated their trip reservations, supported by its JARC grant program. billing, and record-keeping. The case studies provided several examples of areas in Funding to implement or operate coordinated services. which coordinated services that began as a means to provide In Michigan, the DOT, the Family Independence Agency, access to jobs were expanded to become more comprehen- and the Department of Community Development all sive systems. The most striking example occurred in Mid- contributed funds that were used to establish the County Connection service in Midland County. land County, Michigan. A coalition of human services agen- cies used pilot project funding from Project Zero, Michigan's long-standing welfare reform program, and Michigan's JARC Lead Agencies grant to implement a countywide demand-responsive service for transitioning welfare recipients in 1996. The County Successful coordination initiatives are led by all types of Connection service became so successful that a local millage entities--transit providers, state or local-level human ser- was passed in 2000 to expand the service and open it to the vices agencies, MPOs, state DOTs, and private nonprofit general public. Between 1998 and 2002, the number of vehi- organizations. cles in operation increased from 6 to 19, and ridership dou- The experiences of a number of the case study sites sug- bled to 69,000 trips per year. Spot surveys conducted by the gest that coordination efforts do not need to be initiated by Education and Training Connection, the community-based transit providers. In fact, in some cases, efforts are more suc- nonprofit educational organization that operates the service, cessful when an entity other than the local transit agency indicate that only about one-half of the trips taken on the takes the lead role. County Connection today are work-related. With the transit agency as an equal partner to other partic- Similarly, King County Metro developed its CPP in order ipants or, as in the case of the Baldwin County Public Trans- to find a cost-effective way to meet its ADA Complementary portation Coalition, an advisory member, a coalition can more Paratransit service requirements. As a result of three differ- easily broaden both its agenda and support for its efforts ent programs through which Metro provides retired but ser- among decision makers. viceable paratransit vehicles and limited operating subsidies When a human services agency or planning organization to community-based agencies, transportation options have leads a coordination effort, the mistrust that participants been created for seniors and people with disabilities as well may have of the transit provider--based on fears that it will as for ADA-eligible individuals. In 2003, nearly one-half of encroach on other agency functions besides transportation, the 100,000 trips provided on 45 vehicles operated by 21 promote its own agenda, or transfer responsibility for pro- local agencies were taken by non-ADA eligible riders. viding transportation services to other entities--can be neu- tralized. Finally, coordination partners may be more willing to discuss transportation needs if by doing so they do not State-Level Coordination Initiatives appear to be criticizing existing services. Even when the local transit agency is the administrator or Formal state programs that require or encourage local manager of a coordination program, as is the case with King organizations to coordinate contribute greatly to coordina-

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27 tion successes, especially when incentive funding is an ele- tion providers are not always involved in human ser- ment of the program. vices decisions regarding transportation or related issues Experience has shown that coordination efforts have the such as the location of programs or facilities. One rea- greatest chance of success when supported by a formal coor- son that planning efforts continue to proceed in paral- dination policy or program at the state level, with or without lel is that the planning processes that recipients of fed- a legislative mandate. Incentive funding at the state level fur- eral transit funding are required to follow are often ther increases the chances of successful implementation of unfamiliar to human services agencies, while the plan- coordination efforts. ning requirements associated with health and human Several case study sites illustrate the effectiveness of state- services programs are diverse and usually unfamiliar level guidance and leadership. In 2001, Massachusetts con- to transportation providers. solidated the purchase and management of transportation The case studies, however, illustrate the value of services for clients of a number of human services agencies joint transportation planning to a successful coordina- in a new state-level HST. Transportation managers from the tion effort. The majority of the case study subjects par- state's Medicaid, Public Health, and Mental Retardation agen- ticipate in joint planning activities with their partner cies jointly drew new district boundaries, standardized pro- organizations or other stakeholders. In some instances-- curement procedures, and began to contract with RTAs for in Midland County, Michigan, and the metropolitan the brokerage of coordinated client transportation services. Toledo area, for example--coordination partners are This joint effort has already resulted in common service stan- involved in the planning process required at the federal dards and standardized reporting requirements that are fol- level for projects that utilize funds from federal trans- lowed by all brokers. Most of the entities involved in the pro- portation agencies. These and other coordination ini- gram feel that the brokerage system will ultimately result in tiatives grew out of job access planning efforts. In other cost savings, due to grouped trips, use of more cost-effective instances, the planning process in which coordination modes of transportation, monitoring of service providers, partners participate is led by a human services agency, such as Greater Twin Cities United Way or the Okla- and competitive procurements. homa Department of Rehabilitation Services. Pennsylvania provides another example. The state's Shared The Phoenix area offers an example of the value of Ride Program, funded with lottery revenues, subsidizes shared institutionalizing joint planning efforts by transportation ride demand-responsive service for seniors 65 years of age and human services agencies. MAG, the region's MPO, and older. In York County, rabbittransit uses its large base of is charged with helping to coordinate human services Shared Ride Program riders as the foundation for an inte- programs as well as transportation. This close connec- grated system of paratransit services that provide mobility tion between the two types of programs has helped to for younger seniors, people with disabilities, Medicaid recip- facilitate the exchange of information and to advance the ients, ADA-eligible individuals, low-income residents, cur- region's mobility agenda through cooperative efforts. rent and former welfare recipients, and the general public. 2. Adequate planning is a necessary foundation for a successful coordination initiative. A number of case study organizations recommended The Importance of Planning a solid planning effort as one of the first steps in a coordination initiative. Data collection and outreach Transportation planning typically encompasses a range to transportation-disadvantaged groups, advocates, and of activities, including the assessment of mobility needs, stakeholders are necessary in order to identify and doc- design of appropriate services or strategies, identification of ument mobility needs. A clear definition of needs can resources, estimation of expected benefits and costs, devel- help to ensure that the solutions that are developed are opment of implementation plans and schedules, and evalua- effective. In addition, assembling data to document tion of programs and services. needs and make the case for suggested actions must The experiences of the case study subjects highlight sev- precede attempts to raise awareness of transportation eral planning issues of which organizations considering a issues among decision makers. coordination initiative should be aware. If the coordination initiative involves the deployment of a technology system, early research and planning to 1. Transportation and human services agencies need to identify the steps necessary for implementation are espe- become involved in the various planning processes cially important. Without such preparation, it can be that are used to make transportation decisions. difficult to implement a project effectively within the It is not unusual for human services agencies, advo- desired timeframe. For example, unanticipated aspects cates, and other organizations that have an interest in of the federal procurement process caused implemen- transportation but are not primarily transportation pro- tation delays and difficulties with equipment integra- viders to have little input into transportation planning tion for the Ottumwa Transit Authority and its AVL/ processes and planning decisions. Similarly, transporta- MDT project.

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28 3. Program evaluation is essential. and operated with funding from the North Carolina DOT, King County Metro staff involved with the CPP sug- Cross County Transit is currently in use in the Piedmont Triad gested collecting data from the beginning of a coordi- (Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point) and in the nation effort in order to document success and measure western portion of the state in and around Asheville, but will accomplishments is essential. Essential elements and eventually be in place throughout the state. evaluation criteria should be identified at the start, and reporting processes should be designed to be as simple as possible. Nontraditional Funding Sources Nontraditional funding sources exist and should be Coordination at the Regional Level explored. In addition to the major grant programs administered by Coordination is a key strategy for addressing needs for transportation and human services agencies at the federal and interregional service and providing that service efficiently. state levels, public and private foundations and other nontra- As residential and commercial development continues to ditional funding sources can be resources for local organiza- sprawl and the trend toward the provision of services on a tions that are planning or implementing coordination activi- regional basis persists, destinations for many transportation- ties. For example, Greater Twin Cities United Way relies on disadvantaged individuals may lie beyond county, state, or both traditional and nontraditional funding sources to sup- transit service area boundaries. For example, regional med- port its series of pilot transportation coordination projects. ical centers may draw patients from multicounty regions. Sim- Traditional sources include FTA, Medicaid, Older Ameri- ilarly, major employment centers are no longer located exclu- cans Act funds, and welfare-to-work grants. Nontraditional sively in downtown areas of major cities, but may be dispersed sources include the contributions it receives from individu- throughout suburban or rural areas. In order to access health als and corporations and the McKnight Foundation. care or travel to work, individuals may need to identify avail- able service options, evaluate schedule and price information, and, assuming that options are available from origin to desti- Use of Technology nation, arrange trips with multiple providers. Centralizing services through one provider can fill regional Technology can be used to coordinate operations, manage service gaps and streamline the processes of identifying information, and enhance customer service. options and planning trips for customers. For example, the The use of technology systems in transit and paratransit RIDES MTD serves nine mostly rural counties in southeast- services is the focus of other studies and research projects, and ern Illinois with a combination of demand-responsive and it was not the intent of this study to duplicate that work. How- deviated fixed-route services. Initially providing service in ever, several minicase studies were conducted to highlight 1974 as part of the Golden Senior Citizens Council, RIDES ways in which technology can be used to increase or support expanded service into five counties by 1989 and formed the coordination. The case studies included the following: first rural MTD in the state in 1990. Today, in addition to serving the general public, RIDES contracts with approxi- The New Mexico CRRAFT system developed by the mately 50 federal, state, and local agencies, providing access ATRI. The web-based CRRAFT system is used to enable across the nine-county region and beyond to a wide range of 27 rural transportation providers to certify human services rider groups. By developing creative solutions to requests for clients, schedule trips, track riders, prepare invoices, and transportation services, designing efficient routes and vehi- generate reports in a standardized way. cle runs, and coordinating trips for multiple agencies, RIDES The use of AVL/MDTs by the OTA in the services it has been able to keep the cost of its service close to what it provides under contract to the 10-15 RTA, which cov- was in the late 1980s. ers the ten counties of the Iowa DOT Region 15. The An alternate approach is coordination among multiple technologies are intended to improve communications transportation operators in a region. This approach has been with drivers, identify the location of vehicles, increase adopted in North Carolina, where a web-based system is used the safety and security of drivers and passengers while to coordinate out-of-county nonemergency medical trips. The onboard vehicles, and manage vehicle inspections and system, known as Cross County Transit, features a database maintenance at remote locations. accessible via the Internet through which individual riders The use of linked trip reservations and centralized can request a trip, transit systems can notify the public and reservations/scheduling software by the St. Louis TMA, other providers of upcoming trips scheduled to regional med- which comprises St. Louis Metro (formerly known as ical centers, and health care providers can view trip sched- Bi-State Development Agency) and two large paratran- ules when arranging appointments with patients. Developed sit providers. The systems enable the agencies to assign

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29 customer trips to vehicles operated by the other pro- ensure that ADA complementary paratransit service is pro- viders, thereby filling empty seats. vided in compliance with federal law and regulations and also that services beyond the minimum ADA requirements The lessons learned at these sites relate directly to the intro- will be provided as funding allows and as desired by King duction of an advanced technology--for instance, sufficient County. This structure formalizes Metro's CPP, among other technological resources and ongoing technical support are programs and services. In Massachusetts, the creation of an necessary for a successful implementation. office specifically focused on coordinating transportation resulted in a level of formality that helped the effort move forward. An even higher level of formality appears to be on Current Challenges the horizon for the HST office. As of the beginning of calen- dar year 2004, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health Most of the themes or trends that emerged from the case and Human Services has decided to bring the HST office studies dealt with effective strategies or key ingredients for a directly under its umbrella. Under the new arrangement, staff successful coordination effort. Two themes, however, spot- will be dedicated to the HST office, rather than spending only light challenges faced by many organizations that have been part of their time there. The management fee provided to the involved in recent efforts to coordinate transportation ser- RTA brokers will be pooled for all participating agencies. vices for the transportation disadvantaged--sustainability The agencies will also negotiate contracts together, rather and building trust. than each having their own contract with the RTAs. Sustainability Building Trust Sustaining a coordination effort over the long term--espe- The other major challenge that was mentioned in nearly cially after a local champion departs or a primary funding every case study was the development of trust among coor- source is no longer available--can be a major challenge. dination partners. Trust among potential or actual coordina- Several of the case study sites encountered such circum- tion partners and concerns about control over client services stances. or funding continue to be obstacles to coordination. In Midland County, the County Connection service sur- The organizations that were successful in developing good vived the retirement of the director of the local Family Inde- relationships with partners cited a number of important fac- pendence Agency, one of its earliest and most committed tors. Ongoing communication is critical, and this can be supporters, as well as the reduced role of that agency in day- accomplished through regular meetings, the development of to-day operations (due to changes in funding flows following some mechanism for disseminating information, and work- the passage of the local millage to support the service). Its shops or summits on particular topics. Individual meetings continued success is attributed to the broad base of support with organizations that may have concerns about control that was created as part of efforts to ensure that the millage over services for their clients or funding, for example, can was approved by voters and to the quality and reputation of help to neutralize those fears. While communicating with the system. partners, it is essential to listen to their needs and concerns The RIDES MTD also recently saw the retirement of its with an open mind, so that a balance between special inter- founder and long-time champion. RIDES was able to ensure ests and group goals can be attained. Developing relation- its continued success by relying on a similar reputation for ships takes time, often more time than the case study sites high-quality service and for customizing transportation ser- anticipated, but it is well worth the investment in terms of the vices to meet the needs and available funding of agencies and success of the coordination effort. communities. Another factor is identifying all potential stakeholders at Flexibility can also help to sustain a coordination effort. the beginning of the process and involving them from the The St. Louis TMA, which has centralized reservations, start. They are more likely to be supportive if this is done and scheduling, and dispatching among several large paratransit will also have the chance to contribute ideas or information providers, experienced the loss of state funding for job access that can improve the coordination strategy that is adopted. transportation but was able to shift its focus away from job Trust also develops when the lead agency in a coordination access transportation to providing service for developmen- effort makes sure that services and programs are tailored to tally disabled individuals and to restructure parts of its oper- the particular needs of partner organizations or communities. ations accordingly. King County Metro, RIDES MTD, and Midland County's Another key factor that can contribute to the sustainability County Connection are all recognized locally for such flexi- of a coordination effort is the existence (or establishment) of bility and responsiveness. a legal or institutional framework for coordination. King Finally, case study sites mentioned the value of doing ade- County adopted a formal county ordinance and policies that quate research and collecting data to share with partners or

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30 potential participants to enlist their participation--to identify An incremental or phased approach to implementing transportation needs in the beginning of a coordination effort, coordinated services can increase the likelihood that the for example, or to document coordination successes as they services will be successful. are achieved. Communication among entities considering or engaged in coordination activities is vital. Time and effort will need to be devoted to developing Cross-Cutting Lessons trust among partners and addressing concerns about control. Lastly, the case studies offered several lessons for organi- The time spent in developing support, resources, and a zations that are interested in the coordination of transporta- framework for coordination will pay off in terms of future tion services for the transportation disadvantaged, no matter growth and stability for the effort. Benefits may not appear what particular strategy they may adopt: in the short term.