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dents added that greater flexibility for state and link between the planning process and the local recipients to redirect at least portions of grants would be appreciated by both the plan- the grant money to meet emergent needs or ning organizations and the service providers; redirect funds from projects that no longer need this could be accomplished by providing more or cannot use the funding in a timely manner technical advice, tying grant money to perfor- could also improve the grant administration mance measures, and rewarding cooperative process. efforts. Requests for additional federal guidance Many respondents suggested that some on performance measures. Study respon- funding could be tied to the planning process dents expressed a strong desire and need for and performance measures, preferably those additional federal guidance on performance identified at the federal level to help improve measures that look beyond basic service in- the perceived transparency and equity of fed- dicators and consider the effectiveness of eral grant distribution. This could include funded projects in promoting job sustainabil- consideration of the existing conditions and ity; effectiveness of the providers in supply- backgrounds of areas. Some respondents indi- ing these services against the baseline condi- cated that performance measures should also tions (such as unemployment, senior/disabled go beyond basic service indicators or cost data population, and distribution of customers and to be more results-oriented or outcomes- destinations); and measuring the number of based. They felt that data should be collected customers graduating from the need for JARC on the success of projects in getting customers transportation. Quantitatively, relatively few to the services they need and in the effective- interviewees mentioned performance measures ness of the providers in supplying these ser- playing a significant role in evaluating the ef- vices against the baseline conditions. fectiveness of projects, primarily because they The respondents' support for performance believe customer-focused measures have been measures and the perceived opportunity for an lacking. improved federal grant process comes back to Those states interviewed that did utilize the effectiveness of the coordinated planning performance measures in some manner primar- process. These respondents believe that by ily relied on standard transportation service in- using performance measures and data, and link- dicators to gauge the performance of the pro- ing federal funds to the results of this process, grams funded by the grants. However, many coordinated planning could make better use respondents believe the use of standard perfor- of quantitative information and link plans to re- mance measures fails to sufficiently measure sults more closely. They believe that stakehold- the human services aspect of the projects and ers making use of a performance-driven coordi- often favors urban areas over rural because nated planning process would get even more often rural areas have higher transportation out of the process of developing and working to costs due to longer distances, dispersed cus- implement the Coordination Plan. tomers and destinations, and little other infra- structure to support human services customers, which may make rural transportation appear in- CHAPTER 2 INTERNET SURVEY OF effective or inefficient. STATE DEPARTMENTS OF Requests for additional federal guidance TRANSPORTATION (DOTs) that strengthens the link between the plan- As part of the research effort, the research team ning process and grant funding. There was conducted an Internet survey of state DOTs. The sur- concern expressed by some planning organi- vey used multiple choice questions with opportunities zations interviewed that providers do not for additional comments. The purpose of the survey always see the benefit of coordinated planning was to help: (1) determine the extent to which respon- efforts, given the distinction between the dents believed their coordinated planning effort had planning process and the grant approval and met FTA goals of enhancing transportation access, disbursement process. Those interviewed felt minimizing duplication of services, and facilitating the that federal guidance that strengthened the most appropriate and cost-effective transportation 9