Published on January 31, 2008
A PROPOSED PLAN FOR A RICHMOND REGIONAL COORDINATED MOBILITY SYSTEM: April, 2007 Prepared By: Jim Congable, Transportation Coordinator Senior Connections, the Capital Area Agency on Aging A PROPOSED PLAN FOR A RICHMOND REGIONAL COORDINATED MOBILITY SYSTEM RIDE CONNECTION PURPOSE: PURPOSE Develop a plan for a coordinated, regional transportation/mobility system for the entire Richmond Region (Planning District 15), serving both the general public and special needs clients. “It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities." - Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), U.S. Philosopher. Reflections on the Human Condition VISION: VISION A regional transportation system serving all seven counties and the city of Richmond without regard to jurisdictional boundaries, Providing service to the general public for any trip purpose, Serving human service client transportation needs for any eligible trip purpose, Marketed to the public as their regional public transportation system, With a simple, easily accessible means of making transportation arrangements. KEY OBJECTIVES (Next 3 to 5 years): KEY OBJECTIVES (Next 3 to 5 years) Expand coordination within the region, Seamless system to provide regional as well as inter county trips, Combine transportation funding from Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Department of Social Services (DSS), Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Health (DOH) transportation programs including Medicaid, Richmond city and county funding to offer transportation services in all areas of the region, Market the system as public transportation service and as an economic resource by developing sponsorships from corporations and the business community through the Chambers of Commerce, Retail Merchants Association, Malls, Medical Centers and Hospital Corporations, Colleges, etc., Increase overall efficiency and cost effectiveness, Improve service quality through training, Improve and expand the vehicle fleet to support a regional program, Support emergency preparedness for potential assistance in evacuation or meeting other emergencies. IS IT NEEDED?: IS IT NEEDED? The most recent needs assessment completed by the Richmond Regional District Planning Commission and voted on by the MPO February 2, 2006 identifies the transportation need in the region in terms of the number and percentage of persons with these characteristics: Elderly Low-income (persons in poverty) Mobility limitation – persons with disabilities Living in autoless households Significant need identified, especially in the Non-Urban areas of the region: 85,809 persons over 65 63,950 persons living in poverty (14,702 households) 129,799 persons with a mobility limitation/disability 28,158 autoless households Slide6: PUBLIC MOBILITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT FOR DISADVANTAGED POPULATION GROUPS Disadvantaged Combinations Source: RRPDC 12/06 NEEDS/CONCERNS AS IDENTIFIED IN TRANSPORTATION FORUM MEETINGS: NEEDS/CONCERNS AS IDENTIFIED IN TRANSPORTATION FORUM MEETINGS Additional service -- more vehicles, more drivers, expanded hours Expanded Human Service – not just medical contingent or based upon funding – willing to pay fee for service Service open to the general public – expand GRTC services Employment trips – more hours and places Newer and safer vehicles – safety and sensitivity training Accessible vehicles and information/better access and help for persons with disabilities Public image of a public transit system that is open to all – remove stigma Easy to make trip arrangements – one phone call or on line WHERE IS THE GREATEST NEED FORHUMAN SERVICE TRANSPORTATION?: WHERE IS THE GREATEST NEED FOR HUMAN SERVICE TRANSPORTATION? Based on the percentage of the populations with high needs characteristics, the greatest need is in rural areas of: Goochland Powhatan Hanover New Kent Charles City South and Western Chesterfield Far Eastern and Far Western Henrico REGIONAL TRIP GENERATORS:CAN BECOME POTENTIAL FUNDERS: REGIONAL TRIP GENERATORS: CAN BECOME POTENTIAL FUNDERS Employment Major Employers – Downtown and throughout the region Industrial Parks and shopping centers (Expand on Van Pools and Car Pools – We can use these vehicles for other uses while these people are at work) Shopping Regional Retail (Malls, Wal-Mart, etc.) Community Retail (grocery stores) Medical Medical Facilities (such as Hospitals, Health Departments, Doctor’s Offices, Pharmacies, VA Hospital, Medical Centers, etc.) Public Service Human Service Agencies (such as senior centers, Department of Family and Children Service’s offices, etc.) Assisted Housing Education Colleges and Universities Vocational Technical Schools High Schools after school activities Slide10: Who would benefit from improved or expanded regional transportation? Elderly Low-income Disabled persons Employees and Employers Persons with no vehicle available – off bus line Persons making medical trips Students with special needs General public NEEDS IDENTIFIED – GENERAL MARKETING: MARKETING System should have a distinctive paint scheme, logo and markings on all different participating agency vehicles, and private vendors. Central information and reservation number for the region—for the public. Marketing plan to disseminate information to front-line service providers, the general public, and target groups (seniors, persons with disabilities, youth, etc.). RIDE CONNECTION POTENTIAL FOR COORDINATION WITH DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL TRANSIT: POTENTIAL FOR COORDINATION WITH DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL TRANSIT Proposed plan is for a rural and urban coordinated - seamless transportation system partnering with GRTC. Public Transit feasibility studies have already been scheduled and funded for the region. Transit systems in the region could be funded with VDOT/FTA S. 5307 funds and local dollars. In several counties the population threshold for S. 5307 has not been reached, but there may be a potential for a local deviated fixed-route or mini feeder system – with 5310 and 5311 funds - planning and feasibility work is needed. The proposed regional system could connect with these local systems, serving the outlying parts of the counties, or they could even be managed as part of the regional system—if local funding can be found for match. A WIN-WIN PROPOSITION: A WIN-WIN PROPOSITION The general public benefits: Demand-responsive transportation open to anyone, especially the elderly , disabled and low income, would be available throughout the region, without limitation as to trip purpose or funding source A consolidated fleet could be made available for public emergencies All Human Service Agencies and clients would benefit: Newer, reliable, accessible vehicles Lower unit costs to agencies due to more efficiently used vehicles- allow more trips to more varied clients for a given amount Improved scheduling systems would further improve efficiency and cost effective service Regional trips are facilitated – no boundary lines Foundation for the future: The regional system provides a basis for future service development of commuter ride-sharing services, fixed-route services in other areas in the region such as Goochland, Powhatan, Hanover, regional ride-sharing and van pooling, and GRTC and CARE systems throughout the region. WHY IMPLEMENT THIS PLAN?: WHY IMPLEMENT THIS PLAN? It combines different funding sources to make basic mobility feasible throughout the region for the general public as well as agency clients – any of these programs alone meets only a part of the need, leaving gaps in mobility due to eligibility restrictions or funding limitations. It meets much more of the need that many in our communities have for basic, necessary transportation for medical services, for training and education, for social services, for employment, for basic shopping, for personal business, and for family and friends. It utilizes a regional mechanism to administer and implement these services, spreading these costs over the entire region rather than relying on each county and agency to meet all the administrative, reporting, and operational requirements associated with these programs. It reflects the changing travel patterns of the region, in that the services will be regional, not limited to services within one county or town. WHY IMPLEMENT THIS PLAN? (Cont’d): WHY IMPLEMENT THIS PLAN? (Cont’d) It will greatly improve the safety, quality, and visibility of transportation services through new or re-imaged vehicles, improved scheduling, improved communications, more training, operational improvements, and better information and marketing. It will greatly increase the accessibility of transportation for persons with disabilities through a major increase in the number of lift-equipped vehicles. It will provide a resource for the entire community to assist in dealing with emergencies, particularly when the need is for evacuation. It provides a foundation for future development of improved transportation in the region. Slide16: Thank You! Questions?