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8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION During the past 20 years, a great deal of effort has been research effort was the extensive work that has already been made to increase coordination among publicly funded trans- done in the area of transportation coordination, but innovative portation services for people with disabilities, clients of human approaches and strategies were a primary focus. Other key services agencies, and others who can be described as trans- focal points included coordination strategies that have been portation disadvantaged. Throughout the 1980s, local orga- implemented at a variety of levels--state, regional, and nizations, seeking to eliminate duplication or stretch scarce local--and those that increase mobility for clients in addition transportation resources, demonstrated that the coordination of to improving the use of transportation resources. transportation services among providers (defined to include The study included the following elements: both operators and agencies that purchase transportation ser- vices) could result in improved efficiency and service quality. Documentation of current funding sources, decision- Initiated by local champions--either individuals or agencies-- making processes, and service types that can be utilized these efforts were successful, but could be difficult to maintain by entities wishing to improve the coordination of their and were often challenging to replicate in other areas. transportation services. At the federal level, the U.S.DOT and the U.S. DHHS New case studies highlighting approaches and strategies began working together in the 1980s to foster increased coor- not investigated to date. dination among the transportation services sponsored by each Collection of updated information about previous case agency. Likewise, a number of states developed programs and study sites that have been shown to illustrate the bene- guidance to improve coordination among the transportation fits of coordination or important elements of successful services they fund or administer. These federal and state ini- strategies. tiatives encouraged and contributed to the success of sub- Analysis of existing and new case study information to sequent local coordination efforts. In many instances, local identify overall themes, elements of success, and rec- efforts have resulted in reduced transportation costs, improved ommended approaches. mobility for transportation-disadvantaged individuals, and increased administrative efficiency. Despite the progress that has been made, there are still many RESEARCH METHODOLOGY opportunities to improve the local and regional coordination of transportation services for the transportation disadvantaged. The following paragraphs summarize the approach taken Duplication of services or administration, insufficient funding, by the research team to the first three tasks of the project, unmet trip demand, numerous regulatory constraints, lack of which focused on the identification of the funding sources, interagency coordination, and poor service quality still exist. planning and decision-making processes, and types of ser- Moreover, the rapid growth and suburbanization that has vices usually associated with transportation services for the taken place in many communities has made it far more costly transportation disadvantaged. The selection of the case study and difficult to provide publicly funded transportation access sites is also discussed. to many destinations at a time when public resources at many levels are constrained. These conditions make the coordina- tion of transportation services for the transportation disad- Typical Funding Sources and Service Types vantaged an even more desirable goal than ever. Research into funding sources and service types typically associated with transportation for the transportation disad- STUDY OBJECTIVES vantaged was conducted through several means. The first was an extensive literature review. Next, the team conducted com- The primary objective of TCRP Project H-30 was to iden- prehensive Internet searches. Key printed and online sources tify strategies for initiating or improving coordination of local are listed in Table 1. and regional publicly funded transportation services for the Finally, an e-mail survey was sent to over 500 state agen- transportation disadvantaged. An important foundation for the cies or divisions, based on a listing of state agencies that

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9 TABLE 1 Sources for literature review and internet searches The most recent federal funding source report from the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA) -- Building Mobility Partnerships: Opportunities for Federal Funding (March 2002) A recent study conducted by the Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) on the subject of Regionalizing Public Transportation Services Pertinent federal and state legislation and program information regarding transit funding U.S.DOT and FTA CTAA American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) Transportation Research Information Services (TRIS) Online TRB/TCRP Each state's DOT Human services agencies in each state (identified from a list of agencies provided by the American Public Human Services Association) Community or regional transit agencies (RTAs) with innovative practices have a direct connection with the provision of public or com- ing successful approaches to coordination, particularly in the munity transportation prepared by the Community Trans- area of planning. Additional states and localities were iden- portation Association of America (CTAA). This list included tified during the course of the interviews. departments or divisions such as transportation, aging, family In addition to these interviews, team members conducted services, human resources, human services, social services, secondary research, including an online review of new fed- health, labor, workforce development, education, vocational eral initiatives and advocacy group websites and a review of rehabilitation, rehabilitation services, and developmental other relevant documents. disabilities. The survey requested information on state programs that fund or support transportation services for the transportation Case Study Approach disadvantaged and asked for examples of exemplary coordi- To look into recent coordination efforts in more detail, the nated systems or practices operating in each state. Approxi- research team conducted a number of case studies. mately 100 surveys were returned. Many respondents stated Seven full case studies each involved a site visit. Nine that they did not offer transportation programs, declined to minicase studies were conducted through telephone inter- complete the survey, or referred the research team to another views, to update earlier work, investigate a different aspect person or to a website. About 40 survey responses contained of a previously documented coordination effort, or develop a useful information. brief profile of a promising strategy. In addition, several mini case studies were combined into two theme-based clusters, Typical Decision-Making Processes one focused on coalition building and the other on the use of technology. The process used to select case study sites is The research team also used a variety of methods to col- summarized below. lect information on the processes used by transportation and As the research team reviewed the literature on coordination, human services agencies to make transportation funding and conducted searches of Internet sites, conducted e-mail surveys programming decisions. Telephone interviews with state, of state officials, and interviewed representatives of organiza- regional, and local officials and staff involved with the pro- tions involved with coordination, a running list of successful gramming and planning of federal transportation and human efforts that might be potential case study sites was assembled. services funding were the primary source of information. In compiling the list, the team sought examples of innovative Team members conducted these interviews with MPOs and approaches and representation of a variety of operating envi- other regional planners, state DOT officials with oversight ronments (e.g., urban, small urban, suburban, rural, and responsibility for coordination issues, and directors and staff statewide) and organizational levels (e.g., state, regional, and from state agencies charged with developing and adminis- local). In addition, team members sought to identify practices tering state coordination efforts. that not only increased the efficiency of transportation services The states contacted were primarily a subset of those iden- for the transportation disadvantaged, but resulted in improved tified by the research team at the outset of the project as hav- mobility for transportation-disadvantaged individuals.