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33 vidualized transportation options such as paratransit service or operates transportation service, or a private transportation user-side subsidy programs. Service options and other ways of company. increasing mobility are described in Figure 4. MODELS FOR COORDINATED SERVICES SERVICE DELIVERY METHODS As discussed in Chapter 3, coordination can cover a wide Managing and operating services can also be accomplished range of cooperative efforts among transportation providers. in a number of ways. A provider (a public transit system, a The most comprehensive coordination strategies involve unit of local or regional government, a public or not-for-profit the consolidation of operations and service delivery into a human services agency, or a community organization) may coordinated transportation system. As described in a techni- own and operate its own vehicles, employ the drivers and cal assistance brief written for the Community Transpor- mechanics, and manage the system. Alternatively, a provider tation Assistance Project (CTAP), there are several basic may contract for service management, service operation, or categories that can be used to describe coordinated systems: both. Contractors can include a local public transit system, a the lead agency, brokerage, and administrative agency mod- public human services agency, a nonprofit organization that els (3). However, many variations are possible, based on Many options are available for increasing the mobility of the transportation disadvantaged, such as the following: Travel training programs are offered by many transit agencies, sometimes in conjunction with local independent living centers or senior centers, to help seniors or people with disabilities learn to use fixed-route transit service safely and independently. Transit authorities may also give individuals the opportunity to become familiar with a bus in a nonthreatening environment like an agency parking lot or to take a specially arranged test ride in a bus that is not in passenger service. Vouchers, transit passes, and even cash subsidies are used by some human services agencies. These are given to agency clients so that they are able to use transit service free of charge or for a discounted amount. This is a common method used by agencies responsible for the Medicaid nonemergency transportation and TANF programs. Service routes tailor service for particular groups of riders like seniors or people with disabilities by operating between key residential areas and popular destinations, such as stores and medical facilities. Deviated fixed-route services connect residential areas with popular destinations and offer a higher level of assistance for individuals who need it by making door-to-door stops upon request. Deviated fixed-route services are sometimes referred to as flex routes. Demand-responsive, or paratransit, service operates on flexible schedules and routes and offers a high level of assistance to riders. It usually refers to wheelchair- accessible, dial-a-ride type service using small buses or vans. Riders typically call to request a ride in advance. Service providers usually attempt to group trips for riders with similar trip times, origins, or destinations on a single vehicle in order to make the service more cost-effective. Volunteers driving private automobiles offer another means of providing service for transportation-disadvantaged individuals. The Independent Transportation Network (ITN) in Portland, Maine, combines the services of 75 volunteer drivers using their own cars with a small fleet of vehicles operated by paid drivers. In another variation on the volunteer driver approach, individuals providing rides can earn credits toward future rides for themselves. Subsidized taxi programs enable seniors and other paratransit users to make trips with participating taxi providers at a reduced fare, with sponsoring agencies making up the difference between fares and the cost of the trips. Agencies may also set their own eligibility requirements and restrictions on the number or type of trips that will be subsidized. Automobile ownership programs make private automobile transportation more affordable for individuals with mobility needs. In a number of states, TANF funds are used to support auto financing or vehicle donation programs in order to help transitioning welfare recipients to purchase or lease a vehicle. Figure 4. Options for increasing mobility for transportation- disadvantaged individuals.

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34 local needs and resources, and many actual coordinated sys- Eligibility determination tems are hybrids. Scrip/voucher sales Trip reservations Assignment of trips to providers or vehicle scheduling Lead Agency Model Dispatching Provision or procurement of vehicles, maintenance, fuel, In this type of coordinated system, one agency handles insurance or training services most of the functions associated with the provision of trans- Drug and alcohol testing portation services, such as administration, grants manage- Information and referral services ment, scheduling and dispatching, vehicle operations, and Operation of vehicles vehicle maintenance. Typically, the lead agency is either a human services agency that is responsible for a variety of pro- Most brokerages fit one of several models: the centralized, grams and services including transportation or a nonprofit or decentralized, hybrid, or partial brokerage. These brokerage other organization that is responsible for transportation ser- types are distinguishable from each other primarily by the vices only. In the latter case, the lead agency is often referred roles that the broker plays in trip reservations, scheduling, to as a pure transportation lead agency. and vehicle operation. Vesting responsibility for transportation services with an In the centralized brokerage model, all trip reservations existing human services agency can be advantageous when and vehicle scheduling are performed by the broker. Cus- the demand or commitment of resources is not high enough tomers of all participating agencies (or agency personnel on to justify the creation of a new transportation lead agency. behalf of their customers) call the broker to book their trips. Use of a lead agency can also lend stability to the coordinated The broker then develops schedules for each of the contract system. The existing lead agency model often works well in providers, choosing the most appropriate and cost-effective rural areas and can be the first step in the creation of a coor- provider to serve each trip. dinated system that evolves into other models over time. In a decentralized brokerage, the broker performs the basic administrative/management functions such as provider pro- curement, contract management, customer registration, record keeping, accounting, quality assurance, and customer rela- Brokerage Model tions. Each provider is responsible for performing its trip A fairly common approach used in the area of transporta- reservations and scheduling. tion service for the transportation disadvantaged is the use of A hybrid brokerage combines centralized reservations (per- a transportation broker, an intermediary organization that formed by the broker) and decentralized scheduling (per- formed by the providers). The broker is responsible for receiv- contracts with a sponsor agency to provide transportation, ing requests for service from customers and assigning trips and in turn subcontracts with a variety of public, nonprofit, to providers, who then develop their own vehicle schedules or private carriers to actually operate the service. Trans- for those trips. portation brokers are sometimes referred to as Mobility Man- A partial brokerage is characterized by the provision of agers. The broker may be a public agency, a private nonprofit some direct vehicle operation as well as centralized reserva- organization, or a professional brokerage management firm. tions and scheduling by the broker. In this model, the broker The agencies that choose to participate in a brokerage deter- is often a private nonprofit organization or human services mine the level and quality of service they would like to obtain agency that is already responsible for providing transporta- and establish their own desired service policies regarding such tion and related administrative and management services for issues as fares, allowable trip purposes, or degree of driver other agencies as well as for its own customers; as a broker, assistance. the organization also purchases some trips from contracted While brokerage by definition involves the centralization providers to augment the service it operates directly. For of some or all transportation functions, the role of the broker example, the broker may purchase trips from taxi operators and the specific functions that it will perform can be selected during peak travel times when its own vehicles are operating to fit the circumstances of each particular situation. at capacity, or during periods of low demand, such as evenings Core broker functions typically include the following: and weekends, when such trips are more cost-effective than those provided on its own vehicles. Carrier procurement Contract management Customer registration Administrative Agency Model Record keeping and accounting Quality assurance and customer relations In a coordinated system developed on the administrative agency model, one entity, usually a public agency and most Additionally, the broker may perform the following: often a transit authority, is responsible for the provision of