Analysis of State Initiatives and Mobility Management Planning
or Dr. David Shen, (305) 348-1869, email@example.com
The latest reauthorization of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), currently named the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act—A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), occurred in August 2005. Among other goals, this Act requires increased attention to coordinated efforts between human service providers and transportation service providers. Many Federal programs award funding, particularly formula-based programs to state agencies to administer, so their roles in providing leadership and guidance on transportation coordination among programs is key.
To enhance state leadership on transportation coordination, FTA on behalf of the Federal Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility has awarded United We Ride grants to 42 states and territories in 2004. These grants were used to help state develop UWR coordination plans for their states through the formation of state coordination councils. Although most states have developed action plans and state coordinating bodies, these plans have not been analyzed, nor implementing actions monitored. While all 50 states and most US urban and rural localities that receive federal assistance for transportation programs are encouraged to develop a strategic plan that facilitates implementation management, little is known about their progress. One phase of this project is to undertake this analysis.
In addition, SAFETEA-LU provided a new category eligible capital funding for mobility management activities. SAFETEA-LU legislation defines mobility management as consisting of “short-range planning and management activities and projects for improving coordination among public transportation and other transportation service providers carried out by a recipient or subrecipient through an agreement entered into with a person, including a governmental entity.” Mobility management seeks to meet customer needs through more individual and market-based solutions that engage various service providers and coordinate efforts to deliver services more efficiently. Activities or projects that involve mobility management include:
- the identification of individualized customer or customer group needs and the development coordinated public and private service strategies to meet these needs;
- customer information and trip planning systems;
- coordination of financial and other public transportation and other human service transportation resources;
- improved coordination between public transportation providers and other transportation service providers through such means as transportation brokerage systems;
- advocacy for technology, service and methods innovations that promote public transportation customer service and coordination.
Mobility managers serve as 1) policy coordinators helping communities to develop local coordination bodies, plans and policies, 2) brokers who operationally coordinate service provision among customer groups, transportation service providers and funding entities, and 3) travel navigators that often work within human service agencies or One-Stop Centers coordinating the travel and trip planning needs of individual clients receiving federal human service program assistance.
To help implement the mobility management provisions of SAFETEA-LU, members of the National Consortium on the Coordination of Human Services Transportation, under APTA leadership, has undertaken a project to develop a 5 year strategic plan and an education campaign to implement mobility management structures around the country. Currently, there has been no inventory or tracking of mobility management activities presently occurring, or mechanism devised to track improvement that may result from SAFETEA-Lu funding over the next several years. Phase 2 of this proposal is to put such a system in place.