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to senior mobility to aid the regional council State DOTs (Internet Survey) with the development of the Human Services The Internet survey revealed that the state DOTs Coordination Plan. The Framework is funded have mixed views on whether the Coordination by sustainable non-profit community funding and is estimated to have cost between $80,000 Plans have successfully met FTA's goals. More than and $100,000. 75 percent of the Internet survey respondents felt · Another agency spent an additional $60,000 that the Coordination Plans achieved average to sig- to look at medical transportation services. nificant success in meeting FTA's goal of enhancing This study was funded through a federal trans- transportation access for the target populations in portation planning grant. The Coordination their state. However, just over 50 percent of respon- Plan will be amended to include the results of dents indicated that the plans have achieved average this study. to significant success in meeting FTA's goal of min- · One agency discussed the additional expense of imizing the duplication of transportation services for having to translate materials into Spanish when target populations (57 percent) and facilitating the there is not a significant Spanish-speaking pop- most cost-effective transportation possible with avail- ulation. The agency estimated that they spent able resources (52 percent). 24 hours reviewing Spanish translation and had In addition, 52 percent of the state DOT respon- to hire a translator. dents indicated that additional state or local goals · Two agencies discussed the costs associated had been met by the federal Coordination Plan re- with the public meetings, and one emphasized quirement. For some states, the federal requirement the costs associated with a survey, particularly tied their local Coordination Plans to funding or the mailings (more than 2,000 stamps). brought the coordination effort up to the state level. · Agencies in South Carolina noted that the These varied additional goals included: initial plan development was the first effort · State coordination, rather than local for this type of planning; therefore, there was · Tied coordination plans to funding a learning curve and the costs may not be · Mobility Management projects in areas with- representative. The agencies also noted that out transit the coordinated planning efforts are likely to · Developed regional coordination councils expand outreach in the future, which likely · Interagency Committee on Special Trans- will occupy the same amount of time, if not portation goals more, than the learning curve associated with · Governor created transportation committee the first plans. In addition, the state helped · Did not have state or local specific goals pre- support the development of the first Coordi- viously nation Plans, but this support is not expected · Demand response state-funded program to continue. · 5317 provided alternative to paratransit One of the greatest successes of the coordination Successes Associated with Human Services planning process is the improved and new relation- Transportation Plans and Grant Programs ships formed between public and private agencies. The study attempted to determine the perceived The DOT survey respondents acknowledged that the success associated with the development of the Co- perceived level of commitment and participation in ordination Plans, particularly in terms of meeting the development of the Coordination Plans has been FTA's goals of enhancing transportation access for relatively strong at both the state and local levels. target populations, minimizing the duplication of Over 70 percent of the survey respondents indicated human services transportation provided, and facili- that the amount of commitment/participation at the tating the most appropriate and cost-effect trans- state and local levels was average or better. However, portation possible. The perceived successful aspects some respondents felt that funding levels and restric- of the coordinated planning process were gathered tive federal requirements for the JARC and NF grant from state DOTs as part of the Internet survey and programs often make it difficult to attract partici- from local Coordination Plan participants during the pants to the process, particularly other human ser- telephone surveys. vices agencies. 56
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In terms of the level of coordination achieved as service marketing and promotion have enabled the a result of the Coordination Plan, 67 percent of the In- programs to better meet customer needs. Several ternet survey respondents believed that the level of states noted having previous requirements, including coordination was better than before the federal re- Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Washington; however, quirement. Several respondents reported that there is federal specifications generally required even more now increased awareness and additional stakeholder outreach and coordination. In turn, Washington State participation. While most of the respondents indi- now has state programs that make use of the same cated that the level of coordination has improved after planning requirements as the federal programs. the federal requirement for the Coordination Plans, In addition, the telephone interviews highlighted 62 percent of the responding DOTs believed that the the successful expansion of human services trans- same objectives could be met without the plans be- portation. Based on the interviews conducted, suc- cause several states already had coordinated planning cessful projects accomplished under Section 5310, requirements in place. However, two respondents 5316, and 5317 funding include: indicated that the federal requirement sped up the co- · Sponsoring taxis for commuters without other ordinated planning process, and one indicated that co- means of transportation (JARC). ordination requires mandates. · Developing a plan for shuttle service to a mil- itary base, which led to a private operator im- Local Agencies (Telephone Interviews) plementing the service (JARC). The telephone interviews revealed that on the · Contracting with taxis for door-to-door demand whole the local Coordination Plan participants across response service to the elderly and disabled all six states interviewed believed the plans to be ef- (NF). fective. While some states had individual agencies · Providing a new fixed-route service to a work- that reported mixed or negative feelings about the force development and state services center plan requirement, the overall assessment by the states (NF). interviewed was positive. This support for the plans · Purchasing a new bus for a workforce devel- was a bit surprising given that three of the six states opment board (JARC). interviewed indicated in their Internet survey re- · Purchasing a GPS system to improve the coor- sponses that the plans were not effective. dination of demand-response service (5310). There is widespread agreement among the inter- · Improving website information on services viewees that the planning requirements of the Section available (NF). 5310, 5316, and 5317 programs have been effective · Developing a "Bus Buddy" program to intro- in developing new relationships and expanding the duce elderly and disabled citizens to public provision of human services transportation. Respon- transit (5310). dents talked of the coordination process bringing in · Providing a demand-response service for re- new organizations and improving information among turn trips for hospital users, enabling them to all participants about the resources available and the arrive via fixed-route services for appoint- needs of customers. While the FTA human services ments but have flexibility for return trips given transportation programs are relatively small, the co- variations in appointment duration (5310). ordinated planning process is designed to get the right · Creating Mobility Management programs to people into the room, including other human services connect customers with services, providing agencies that have larger transportation budgets. In information, and collecting data (5310). addition, the FTA programs have the flexibility to use · Sponsoring volunteer-operated transportation other federal human services agency grants as match. services (5310). In some instances in Ohio, agencies were able to use · Providing bus stop accessibility improve- federal dollars from other human services agencies to ments for wheelchair users (NF). match the JARC and NF projects; however, other · Improving access to shopping for low-income states found it was not possible to coordinate between customers (5310). the human services FTA grant programs and other federal grant programs. Pennsylvania DOT noted that the largest benefit In addition, several respondents indicated that cus- from human services transportation funding has been tomer outreach and improved information through the ability to purchase new vehicles and expand 57