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MISCC TRANSPORTATION WORKGROUP STATUS REPORT Albany, New York April 9, 2008. Ron Epstein, Director Public Transportation Bureau New York State Department of Transportation. MISCC Transportation Workgroup. United We Ride/Transportation Work Group Mission Statement/Goals/Objectives

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MISCC TRANSPORTATION WORKGROUPSTATUS REPORT Albany, New YorkApril 9, 2008

Ron Epstein, Director

Public Transportation Bureau

New York State Department of Transportation


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MISCC Transportation Workgroup

  • United We Ride/Transportation Work Group

  • Mission Statement/Goals/Objectives

  • Identification of Better Practices/Models

  • CMS Medicaid Rule

  • Issues Under Consideration

  • Lessons Learned/Workgroup Direction

  • Transportation Funding Programs/Solicitations


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Federal United We Ride Initiative…

  • Executive order on human service transportation (EO 13330, February 2004)

  • Federal Agencies to collaborate/ensure transportation services

    • Seamless

    • Comprehensive

    • Accessible


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United We Ride…

  • Established Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility

    • Most appropriate

    • Cost effective

    • Reduce duplication



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United We Ride…

  • 62 federal programs support transportation

  • Little uniformity in program

    • Delivery

    • Reporting

    • Eligibility requirements

  • Uniquely different missions



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United We Ride…

  • Result = service gaps and inefficient services

  • Pronounced in rural areas

    • 40% of nation lives in rural areas without access to public transportation

    • 26% very limited access to public transportation


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United We Ride…

  • Recommendations

    • Coordinated transportation planning

    • Vehicle sharing

    • Cost allocation

    • Reporting & evaluation

    • Demonstration/pilot programs


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Agency Members

Ron Epstein, Department of Transportation

Carl Letson, Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

Sandy Longworth, Office for the Aging

Greg Jones, Commission on Quality Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities

John Allen, Office of Mental Health

Lisa Irizarry, Division of Housing and Community Renewal

Michael Peluso, State Education Department

Joe Nye, Office of Children and Family Services

William Barnette, Office for Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services

Nicholas Rose, Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

Advocacy Members

Harvey Rosenthal, Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Cliff Perez, Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley

Anne Shearer, Association on Independent Living

Donna Suhor, Capital District Coalition for Accessible Transportation

MISCC Transportation Workgroup


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MISCC Transportation Workgroup

MISSION STATEMENT

Promote and Advocate for the Accessibility, Reliability and Affordability of transportation alternatives for individuals with disabilities


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MISCC Transportation Workgroup

Goals & Objectives

  • Frame current issues that individuals with disabilities face with regard to transportation

  • Identify and develop strategies to eliminate barriers that hinder accessible transportation for individuals with disabilities and to change policy practices as necessary in order to meet varying transportation needs

  • Facilitate the creation and coordination of reliable transportation services for elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities

  • Identify local solutions, and replicate these solutions as specific recommendations for statewide action

  • Develop recommendations to address transportation needs of individuals with disabilities that the full council can adopt


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Identification of Better Practices

  • Expanded Services

    • Capacity/Routes

    • Improved Time and Distance

  • Mobility management

    • Information supports

    • Service changes

    • Connections

  • Improved reliability

    • Maintenance improvements

    • Driver/Dispatch training

    • Call Center improvements


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Identification of Better Practices

  • Paratransit is not the problem

    • Single purpose Mandate supported by one fund source

    • Have to develop programs that expand on the services by bringing funds and agencies to the table

      • Infrastructure (call center/booking/billing) is there

      • Need to find ways to expand services to make it more timely, efficient and a better practice


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Identification of Better Practices

  • Joint efforts to improve mobility

    • Transit Information supports

      • Bridge between Social Services and Transit

        • Broome, Franklin, Capital Region, Essex, Onondaga

    • Travel Trainer Program (Westchester County)

      • Connecting individuals with Disability to transit

    • Disability Navigators at One Stops

      • National pilot program

      • Improving employment opportunities


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Livingston County – Expanding/Improving access

  • Local Agencies working together (MOU’s as a vehicle)

    • OFA – providing funding

    • DSS – Drivers and brokerage

    • ARC – vehicles and drivers

    • Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation – training for door to door service

  • Target

    • Non-Medicaid transportation trips

    • Coordinating with public transportation in the area


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Sullivan County – Coordination/Technology

  • From a variety of uncoordinated actions

    • Created Division of Mobility Management

    • Centralized call center for efficient trips

  • Mix of Contracted Services and staff

    • Family of vehicle services

    • Public routes Coordinated with County transport

  • Maintain familiarity but increase efficiency

  • Purchase of Software to improve delivery


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Proposed CMS Medicaid Rule (Docket Number CMS-2232-P)

  • "Medicaid Program; State Flexibility for Medicaid Benefit Packages," published February 22, 2008.

  • NYSDOT’s position that rule is seriously flawed.

  • Result in cost escalation for Medicaid program as recipients defer/forgo medically necessary treatment.

  • The proposed rule would effectively shift the financial burden of providing non-emergency medical transportation to municipalities/local transit agencies.

  • New CMS proposal is inconsistent with other federal transportation coordination initiatives.

  • Recommendation that proposed rule be withdrawn.


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Issues Under Consideration

  • Quality public transportation in every county

  • Mobility Manager/Coordinator in every County

  • Paratransit - ¾ mile limitation

  • Accessible Taxi Legislation

  • 511 Travel Information/Human Service Agency Participation

  • Other


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  • National number system for transportation Information

    • November 2008 Downstate release

    • Early 2009 Statewide

  • NYSDOT will be working with agencies to develop the appropriate paths to info (phone & Web)

    • Transit agencies call centers

    • Training centers

    • Appropriate Human service agencies


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Lessons Learned

  • Coordination occurs at local level

  • State business practices have to:

    • Understand the variability (flexibility)

    • Address where State Policies are the barriers

      • Clear guidelines

      • Legislative initiatives

    • Develop multiple agency pilots to improve flow of funds that improve mobility

      • Community Solutions for Transportation

      • New Freedom funds

      • Development Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) grants


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Direction of the MISCC Transportation Workgroup

  • Next Steps/Direction:

    • MISCC Transportation Workgroup has been meeting regularly

    • Goal is to issue a report with recommendations for action items by the full council and the Commissioners of MISCC - End of the 2008 calendar year

    • Quarterly update report at next full MISCC meeting



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What is Section 5310?

  • Section 5310 – Federal Transit Administrartion (FTA) program.

  • Provides capital funding to address needs of elderly individuals/individuals with disabilities.

  • In New York State, NYSDOT is the agency designated by the Governor to administer this federal funding program.


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Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • Not-for-profit organizations which serve elderly individuals and/or individuals with disabilities.

  • Public bodies (i.e. municipalities, County level governments) which can certify that no not-for-profit organizations are available in the area to provide these services.


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How Much is Available?

  • Approximately $8.0 million annually.

  • The program funds 80% of the vehicle purchase cost, with the remaining 20% provided by the applicant .

  • There are no operating funds provided under this program, and recipients are responsible for 100% of their ongoing operating expenses for buses awarded through the 5310 program grant.


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Section 5310 Process

  • Competitive grant program.

  • Interagency Review Committee

  • Historically, approximately 50% of applicants are funded under this grant program.

  • Applications available @ www.nysdot.dov or 518-457-8343.


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Section 5310 Process

  • Program grants are awarded competitively based upon such factors as:

    • The need for the vehicle, and the level of need of transportation service in the area

    • The ability of the applicant to operate, maintain and finance their transportation service

    • The actual vehicle usage for transporting the elderly and individuals with disabilities

    • Meeting the federal requirement that projects proposed for funding are part of a Locally Developed Coordinated Plan


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Job Access/Reverse Commute Program (Section 5316)

  • FTA formula grant program.

  • Transportation services for eligible low-income individuals to/from jobs and job-related activities and to address reverse commute needs.

  • Funds may be used for capital expenses (80 percent federal share) and/or operating expenses (50 percent federal share).


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New Freedom Program (Section 5317)

  • FTA formula grant program

  • New transportation services and public transportation alternatives beyond those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC 12101).

  • Funds may be used for capital expenses (80 percent federal share) and/or operating expenses (50 percent federal share).


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New Freedom & JARC Process

  • Eligible applicants awarded grant funding based upon competitive solicitation process.

  • Approximately $10 million (annual) available for JARC and $6.0 million (annually) for New Freedom Statewide.

  • Check for availability of applications @ www.nysdot.dov or call 518-457-8343.


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Locally Developed, Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan

  • JARC, New Freedom and 5310 all require projects to come from a Coordinated Transportation plan.

  • Most Urbanized areas have competed their first plans and projects are moving forward

  • Rural areas have also been working at the county level to identify gaps in service


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Locally Developed, Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan

  • Identifies the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities, older adults, and people with low incomes;

  • Provides strategies for meeting those local needs; and

  • Prioritizes transportation services for funding and implementation.

  • Intent is to make the most efficient use of resources through federally-assisted programs (to minimize duplication of services) and to improve current services.


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Summary… Transportation Plan

  • Successful coordinated human service transportation is essential to:

    • Greater economic independence

    • Healthy living

    • Improved quality of life

  • Work together to ensure that transportation is not a barrier to full participation in community life!


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