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RURAL ACCESS AND MOBILITY: A CASE OF MANAGING INDIVIDUALIZED MOBILITY NEEDS THROUGH INNOVATIVE MANAGEMENT IN NW USA . Sen , Lalita Ph.D. Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, US Sen_LX@tsu.edu Johanson , Karl, Ph.D. Pullman, WA, US Council on Aging & Human Services
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RURAL ACCESS AND MOBILITY: A CASE OF MANAGING INDIVIDUALIZED MOBILITY NEEDS THROUGH INNOVATIVE MANAGEMENT IN NW USA Sen, Lalita Ph.D. Texas Southern University, Houston, TX, US Sen_LX@tsu.edu Johanson, Karl, Ph.D. Pullman, WA, US Council on Aging & Human Services firstname.lastname@example.org Majumdar, Sarmistha R., Ph.D. Texas Southern University email@example.com
Providing Subsidized Transportation Services for Sparsely Populated Rural Areas • US Rural transportation has a history of challenges and success requiring innovation • Service to agriculture or forested areas with little or no services or infrastructure to support the population • Early examples of such rural service is Access Transportation Services, serving Allegheny County started in the early 1970s to serve the larger rural areas around Pittsburg
Case of Rural Transportation in NW US Characteristics of Case Service Area Sparse population density Large expanse of forests and/or agricultural land Little or no service infrastructure Aging population Lower income of residents Need for innovation and sustenance of transit service to provide mobility to the rural population
COAST-Serving Eastern Washington and Western Idaho • Council of Aging & Human Services Transportation (COAST) provides an example of innovative transportation service to the rural area with • Sparse rural population • No major cities/ towns • Low income population • Older population who are aging in place
Case of COAST • The Council on Aging & Human Services (COAST) provides transportation services and serves an area of over 17,000 square miles, much of which is designated as wilderness • Service area includes three rural counties in the eastern part of Washington State and five mostly rural counties in the north central parts of Idaho.
Case Study Service Area of Rural Transport Source:http://tti.tamu.edu/documents/0-633-1 Parts of Washington & Idaho Served by COAST Two State Service Area
Socio Economic Characteristics of WA Service Areahttp://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/53000.html
Measures of Characteristics Associated with Per Capita Subsidy in Washington StateSource: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/16000.html
Eastern Washington State Whitman County Garfield County Asotin County
Socio Economic Characteristics of ID Service AreaSource:http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/16000.html
Measures of Characteristics Associated with Per Capita Subsidy in Idaho
Western Idaho Latah County Clearwater County Nez Perce County Lewis County Idaho County
Federal Subsidy Programs for Transportation • 5310 -contract for expanded services-Capital funds for vehicles for E/H transport • 5311- Non urbanized area formula funding for transportation services-allowing 80% subsidy for administration and capital costs • 5316- Job Access Reverse Commute Program • 5317- New Freedom Program for transportation alternative that improves mobility for individuals with disabilities • Medicaid-Medical Transportation Program ensures that individuals enrolled in Medicaid and Healthy Kids Gold have access to necessary medical services.
Other Methods of Innovation Introduced by COAST SHARING RESOURCES • Purchase / maintenance of vehicles for other agencies, retains title, and once FTA reverts the vehicles to COAST, who will then turn over the vehicle to the host agency to operate. • Coast has directly/ indirectly secured funding for services in an area to an agency who may have been denied further funding (Canyon Area Bus Service-CABS) through successfully obtaining funding and then contracting CABS personnel &pay for their operating expense • In turn All of CABS’s funding and in-kind service has been pledged to COAST for FTA proposal match, freeing up more funds for more services with CABS.
Value of Innovation COAST has generated revenue through a variety of complementary activities which include: • vehicle insurance pool; • acquiring and loaning vehicles; • operating van pools; • supporting volunteer car pools; • providing training services; • maintaining vehicles; • operating eight county Information & referral; • dispatching rides throughout the region.
Value of Innovation ………………continued • Annual budget of $1,200,000 (recently reduced to $900,000) due to the loss of the “Information and Assistance” contract for care management in Whitman County • Anticipating further federal funding cutbacks , COAST is seeking ways to cover costs (volunteers etc)to maintain services essential to the local population • Important to allow people to age in place and not be forced to relocate and further endanger their independence
Transportation Services Provided by COAST • COAST provides demand response services • serves as broker for van pools and car pools • Provides coordination between fixed route services along the US Highways • Provides more personalized cost efficient service using volunteers to meet the demand for accessible transportation services • Coast provides door to door services for the special needs population to connect to the fixed route services to the nearest towns
Global Value of Innovative Services • Combining subsidies, good will, and volunteers to meet and sustain transportation services in remote communities while serving a genuine need, is effective • This example provides the nature and form of services, the operations and the equipment used, and lends itself to flexibility of location and service design based on local conditions and other resources available • This case demonstrates that rural accessibility do not require huge resources • Such strategies could be applied by the SAARC member nations to their own rural operations.