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 v Sparse rural population v No major cities/ towns v Low income population v 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 Source: Parts of Washington & Idaho Two State Service Area Served by COAST Socio Economic Characteristics of WA Service Area http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/53000.html Counties in Asotin Garfield Whitman Washington State Population for 2010 21,623.0 2,266 .0 44,776 .0 % Population 65+ 19.4 23.1 9.8 % Females 52 51.2 49 % High School Grad. 88.9 91.7 95.7 Per capita income ($) 23,731 .0 22,825 .0 19,506.0 % Pop below poverty level 13.5 15.7 27.6 Federal Spending ($) 179,208 .0 42,362.0 445,578 .0 Land Area (in sq. miles) 636.21 710.69 2,159.09 Persons per sq. mile 34 3.2 20.7 Measures of Characteristics Associated with Per Capita Subsidy in Washington State Source: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/16000.html Counties in Asotin Garfield Whitman Washington State Pop. Below poverty 13.5 15.7 27.6 (%) Per capita Income 23,731 22,825 19,506 Population 21,623 2,266 44,776 Federal Spending ($) 179,208 42,362 445,578 Per Capita Subsidy 8.28 8.69 9.95 Nearby Lewiston/ID,WA _ Pullman micro/metropolitan cities Eastern Washington State Whitman County Garfield County Asotin County Socio Economic Characteristics of ID Service Area Source: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/16000.html Counties in Idaho Clear Idaho Latah Lewis Nez Water Perce Population for 2010 8,761 16,267 37,244 3,822 39,265 % Population 65+ 23.2 21.7 10.4 23 18.1 % Females 45.7 47.6 48.7 50 50.5 % High School Grad. 84.7 85.7 93.5 90.2 89.7 Per capita income ($) 20,507 18,980 20,218 18,580 23,899 % Pop below poverty level 11.7 19.1 21.5 16 11.6 Federal Spending ($) 130,195 183,126 289,005 83,360 422,695 Land Area (in sq. miles) 2,457.27 8,477.35 1,076 478.8 848.09 Persons per sq. mile 3.6 1.9 34.6 8 46.3 Metro/ Micropolitan None None Moscow None Lewiston Measures of Characteristics Associated with Per Capita Subsidy in Idaho Counties in Idaho Clear Idaho Latah Lewis Nez Perce Water Pop. Below poverty 11.7 19.1 21.5 16 11.6 Per capita Income ($) 20,507 18,980 20,218 18,580 23,899 Population 8,761 16,267 37,244 3,822 39,265 Federal Spending ($) 130,195 183,126 289,005 83,360 422,695 Per capita subsidy 14.8 11 7.75 21.8 10.7 Nearby Moscow Lewiston micro/metropolitan cities Western Idaho Latah Clearwater County 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. Funding Source for COAST’s Operation Source: COAST Funding Source Idaho FY 2011 Idaho FY 2012 WA FY 2011 WA 2012 5310 POS Contract ( for 105,000 114,800 expanded service area) 5316 0 16,500 5317 41,000 30,000 5311 0 49,800 137,000 Medicaid 48,000 48,000 100,000 128,000 State 0 0 137,000 251,000 Area Agency on Aging 0 0 36,000 36,000 Volunteer Drivers 48,000 48,000 90,000 90,000 (in kind) Total (excluding in 194,000 259,100 410,000 415,000 Vehicles used by COAST to serve Clients Securement system for the seat inside 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: ü vehicle insurance pool; ü acquiring and loaning vehicles; ü operating van pools; üsupporting volunteer car pools; üproviding training services; ümaintaining vehicles; üoperating eight county Information & referral; üdispatching 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.
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