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53 Finally, THE CENTER and the Humphrey Institute of Pub- taged (such as the New Freedom Initiative and legisla- lic Affairs at the University of Minnesota are helping United tive decisions such as the Olmstead decision, which are Way to evaluate its pilot transportation projects and assess discussed in Chapter 6) may not have dedicated sources the results they have achieved. of funding, enhance opportunities to benefit from these For more detail on each of these efforts, see the full case initiatives by becoming familiar with the legal frame- studies in Appendix A on the accompanying CD-ROM. work and by building coalitions with other potential beneficiaries. The broader the coalition organized around a funding ADVICE FROM PRACTITIONERS effort and the more specific and wide-ranging the ben- efits to be achieved by a new funding measure, the The points listed below have been compiled from com- more likely it is to succeed. This suggests the value of ments made by the transportation and human services pro- involvement in such efforts to broaden public awareness viders and state officials interviewed as part of the case stud- of, and support for, public transportation services of all ies described above, as well as from other case study subjects. types, including those that serve the transportation- These lessons offer guidance from experienced organizations disadvantaged population. related to the groundwork that is necessary for a successful Foster commitment to coordination throughout each par- coordination initiative--working with coordination partners, ticipating agency. It is not enough to have commitment creating effective coalitions, and planning and evaluating from the top if middle managers are opposed or resistant coordination activities. or if unwritten rules or status issues that may deter coor- dination efforts are not addressed (e.g., the status or pay It is important to include all of the entities involved of a manager may be based on the number of vehicles early in the planning process, so that they have a stake he or she manages). Nor is it enough to have middle in the success of the system. Additionally, things will go management commitment if top management is not more smoothly if policy issues are anticipated and dis- interested or has other priorities. cussed early on. Focus on improvements that can be created by a few Choose coordination partners carefully. Pick those who people but that will benefit many. Make sure everyone show a clear willingness to change the way they have has a specific mission and a budget to make it happen. traditionally done things. Focus on short-term improvements such as communi- Have the right people at the table at the right time. It cations tools (listservs and websites, for example), and greatly slows down and complicates the coordination data management software to simplify record keeping process if the people at the table are not able to make and reporting. appropriate decisions when needed. For long-term systemic changes, start small and test the Define goals and objectives clearly at the beginning. concept before broadening the scope. Start by thinking This serves to focus attention and energy and helps keep about the desired system improvement, then determine the process from wandering off track. what changes are needed to achieve it. Develop a better Building trust is critical and can take time. Be prepared understanding of technical and political issues before to meet and discuss issues of concern to coordination developing more formal systems for coordinating riders partners until satisfactory solutions can be identified. and resources. Another strategy is to make sure that the benefits of a more coordinated system are readily visible to all the parties. OTHER COORDINATION Establish an effective coalition early. It takes time to PLANNING RESOURCES identify the major players and get them involved. The activities of the coalition should also be supported by Other resources that can provide information and guidance adequate planning and research; action must be bal- related to planning, decision making, and advocacy include anced with careful consideration of the consequences. the following: Elected officials and other key decision makers should be approached only when the coalition has assembled Access to Jobs--Planning Case Studies, prepared by the all the facts to document transportation needs and issues Office of Planning, FTA, U.S.DOT, Washington, DC, and requests for support or assistance. September 2001. Enlist the support of local elected officials. This can be Coordinating Transportation Services: Local Collabora- especially helpful in efforts to obtain funding for coor- tion and Decision-Making, prepared by Creative Action, dination initiatives. Inc. for Project ACTION, Washington DC, May 2001. Although proposed programs that affect the provision of Innovative State and Local Planning for Coordinated Trans- transportation services for the transportation disadvan- portation, prepared by the Volpe National Transportation

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54 Systems Center for the Office of Planning, FTA, Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility, Office U.S.DOT, February 2002. of the Secretary, U. S. DHHS, and the FTA, U. S. DOT, Job Access Planning: Challenges and Approaches, December 2000. prepared for the FTA by the BRW Consulting Team, May 2001. See Appendix F, on the accompanying CD-ROM, for a guide Planning Guidelines for Coordinated State and Local to case studies conducted as part of previous research efforts by Specialized Transportation Services, prepared by the topic area, including Planning and Building Coalitions.