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Rethinking Transportation Funding. Invest your Time Spend time finding ways to reduce costs, secure funding. 3 hours/week. Rule # UNO: Provide value to your funders. 5 Funding Strategies. 1. Know how much it costs you to provide your service.

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Invest your Time

Spend time finding ways to reduce costs,

secure funding

3 hours/week


Rule # UNO:

Provide value to your funders


5 Funding Strategies

1. Know how much it costs you to provide your service

2. Save money where you can

3. Maximize federal dollars

4. Raise funds

5. Create long-term community support


What is your annual cost of service?

Passenger trip cost = annual cost of service ÷ annual number of trips (Note: define “passenger trip” as any completed, revenue-generating passenger trip)


“Transportation by the Numbers”

National Center for Senior Transportation tool


CTAA Member Benefits

  • The Insurance Store
  • Energy maintenance program
  • Bulk fueling program
  • Reduced costs background checks
  • Motor vehicle records
  • Employment screening products
  • Reduced loan costs
  • Reduced EXPO fees, under tab “Financing”


Community Development Transportation Lending Services, Inc. (sponsored by CTAA)

Microloans for transit software and hardware

Working capital loans

Insurance and self-insurance financing

Gap financing

3-4% financing


Your Employees are a Valuable Resource: Cherish them!

  • Turnover costs 1.5-2 times a person’s salary
  • Employees are partners in creating your image, establishing your agency within the community
  • Tap into their knowledge of their side of the business
  • Incentivize employees for innovative ways to save money

Reduce usage of natural resources

  • Green technologies (hybrid vehicles—CTAA benefit)
  • Bulk fuel purchasing (CTAA benefit)
  • National resource management (re-use waste water from washing vehicles, reduce idling)

Shared Operational Costs

  • Joint maintenance
  • Joint insurance
  • Joint purchases

Shared Personnel Costs

  • Driver training
  • Dispatcher/scheduler training
  • Staff hiring/screening
  • Drug/alcohol testing

Cost of Fare Collection

  • Fares are not required
  • Fares cover only a small portion of costs (farebox recovery ratio)
  • BUT
  • Do add a perception of value to the service

Write effective grants

Leverage non-DOT federal match money

Maximize opportunity for local and in-kind match


In-Kind Match

  • Private donations can serve as local match
  • Funds, real property, materials and services eligible
  • Document value of in-kind contributions

4. Raise Funds


Time to Get Creative



  • Any surface can be converted into revenue
  • “Trade” advertising space for services (e.g, radio spots, reduced vehicle maintenance costs)
  • Sponsorships (e.g., golf tournaments)
  • Infrastructure (agency built bus shelter in exchange for 1-2 years of advertising)
  • Sell the rights to put your cool logo on Tshirts, etc.

One source: Lessons Learned in Transit Efficiencies, Revenue Generation, and Cost Reduction


Seek Foundation Grants

  • Project must be in foundation’s primary area of interest
  • Foundations do not give away money -- they invest in a project with a specific goal and want to see results
  • Usually tied to a specific population—not for general services
  • Performance measures: be able to report benefits to donors/community
  • Successful grant leads to more grant money

Foundation funding, by category, 2011


Source: Foundation Center


Finding a Foundation

    • Foundation Center (
    • Council on Foundations (

Set up Your Own Foundation

  • Have a clear mission and objectives tied to community welfare
  • Solicit donations – from individuals and other foundations
  • Report benefits to donors/community

Contract Revenue

  • 1. Know what it will cost your agency to provide services
  • 2. Help the prospective purchaser know what it’s costing them now to provide transportation
  • 3. Standards – Ensure them you will treat “their” customers right
  • 4. Establish a contract, performance measures, review process

Working with Medicaid Brokerages

  • Brokerages motivated by completing the highest number of trips for least amount of money
  • Enter negotiations knowing your bottom line, be willing to negotiate on price and volume of trips
  • Know the players: brokerage managers, health care orgs., legislators that have a say in Medicaid

CTAA’s Competitive Edge training:

brush up on your negotiating skills


Other Contract Revenue

  • 1. Lease extra space in your facility
  • 2. Provide maintenance on other agency or nonprofit vehicles

3. Create contracts for your employees’ special expertise (e.g., safety training, HAZMAT handling, security)


Non-Transportation Revenue: for $ or Good Will

  • Delivery of auto parts and supplies to garages and dealerships on return “deadhead” trips
  • Transferring books for libraries
  • Collect recycling on the bus
  • Rocking chair marathons
  • Sponsored golf tournaments, other events
  • On-line auction


  • “Top ten crowdsourced funding platforms”


Crowd-funding raised

$1.2 billion globally in 2011


$320 million pledged by

2.2 millionpeopleon


2011: Kickstarter hit 1 million backers


Recap: What Funders Want

  • Services to match their priorities
  • Defined performance goals
  • To know that you can deliver
  • How it will benefit them

5. Create long-term community support

. . . by far, the best

long-term funding strategy


Thank you!

Amy Conrick

Community Transportation Association of America