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The Benefits of Better Transportation Cost and Service Data 5 ple, in Lane County, Oregon, the fact that the program is coordinated and can document what various components of service cost helps them obtain grant funds (see Chapter 6 in Volume 2, "Research Report" for more information). Summary Cost accounting is a powerful tool. One of its key functions is to illuminate possibilities for more cost-effective program operations; this can be achieved by examining the costs of alterna- tive methods of producing services (or the costs of alternative providers of those services, appli- cable in communities that actually have choices of service providers). Programs that are providing or funding transportation services to clients or customers clearly need to understand service alternatives and their detailed cost implications. This Toolkit provides a framework for uniform service and cost reports regarding trans- portation services. All human service organizations, but especially those funded by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor--along with the recipi- ents of U.S. Department of Transportation funding--constitute the primary audiences for this uniform transportation service cost reporting framework. Why should agencies make changes in the way they approach data collection and reporting? Why go to the cost and expense of doing things differently in the future? · To improve internal program management. · To increase the cost effectiveness of services throughout the community. · To support requests for future funding.