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4 Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation The uses of performance measures include the following: · Assess performance. · Measure progress toward the achievement of goals and objectives. · Consider actions which may change the course of future events. · Modify policies, procedures, and processes. · Make operational changes, including those leading to Service expansion, reduction, or cessation; Increases or decreases in services, revenues, and staff; and Changes or modifications to transportation modes, service delivery procedures, or other activities (such as marketing or public relations). Community-Wide Cost Effectiveness Improves We live in a time of increasing service needs and increasingly restricted funding. In many cases, human service programs have been developed individually and have operated separately from each other for many years. Although some communities have highly successful, highly cost-effective coordinated transportation systems, many communities still have instances of duplication and overlapping services, service gaps, and a lack of cost effectiveness in the ways that many of these programs are being delivered. This is a costly situation at a time when resources are scarce for individuals and at all levels of government. Coordination among a variety of agencies offers an opportunity to achieve more and better outcomes for the same levels of investment. A community-wide perspective would address questions such as the following: · Are all resources being fully employed at all times? · Is it necessary to have transportation directors for a large number of agencies? · Do multiple agencies need dispatchers, computers, maintenance facilities, training programs, accounting programs and staff, or even vehicles? · Is it possible to achieve the same or even greater levels of efficiency and effectiveness if some agencies that have been providing their own transportation services purchase those services from others instead? Through coordination, it is typically possible to realize cost savings on operating, administra- tive, and capital costs, particularly when all these costs are analyzed at a community-wide level. A key challenge for coordination programs is creating explicit agreements that detail tasks and responsibilities, including that of paying for services. Accurate cost reporting provides the foun- dation necessary to ensure an equitable and accurate distribution of costs among all partici- pating agencies. Having and using the right kinds of data can assure all stakeholders that the question "Will everyone be paying their fair share?" is being closely examined. Funding Requests Are Viewed More Favorably A key technique for obtaining additional funding is to demonstrate that the funds previously received were well spent. Accurate cost and service reporting is a fundamental component of such demonstrated competence. Good reporting can conclusively show how much service was delivered to whom and at what cost. Data can be analyzed to demonstrate that the services were provided in a cost-effective manner; if real improvements have been made, the figures should indicate that as well. Performance measures also can enable comparisons of safety and quality of service when indicators such as on-time performance, accidents, and incidents are considered. Eligibility for funding often is the main benefit of documenting coordination efforts. For exam-