Project Access Coordination

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Karen Hoesch, Executive Director of Project Access in Pittsburgh, PA discussed the value of coordination with the Montgomery County Coordinating Committee on May 22, 2009. Project Access is a nationally-recognized model of customer service and cost containment.

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Project Access Coordination

  1. 1. Pittsburgh, PA Where coordination makes mobility possible!
  2. 2. ACCESS Transportation Systems Pittsburgh, PA <ul><li>Sponsored by Port Authority of Allegheny County </li></ul><ul><li>ACCESS serves as broker </li></ul><ul><li>1.7 million rides provided annually in coordinated system </li></ul><ul><li>Over 125 sponsoring agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Service provided by 9 companies – for profit and non profit with 445 vehicles </li></ul>
  3. 3. ACCESS Service A seat for everyone <ul><li>ADA Paratransit </li></ul><ul><li>65 Plus Program – PA Lottery </li></ul><ul><li>Area Agency on Aging </li></ul><ul><li>Medical Assistance Transportation </li></ul><ul><li>Churches </li></ul><ul><li>Nursing/personal care homes </li></ul><ul><li>Veteran’s Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Community based human service agencies </li></ul><ul><li>JARC – access to work </li></ul><ul><li>Food Bank pantries </li></ul><ul><li>Vanpool emergency ride home </li></ul><ul><li>General public service </li></ul><ul><li>30 years and still evolving </li></ul>
  4. 4. 2005 United We Ride National Leadership Award Awarded to ACCESS for Coordination of Human Service Transportation
  5. 5. Problem Statement <ul><li>Some transportation exists, yet unmet needs </li></ul><ul><li>Service for programs – not for people </li></ul><ul><li>Duplication – silo offerings -3 vans at the hospital </li></ul><ul><li>ADA paratransit ridership spiraling </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers and agencies confused by options </li></ul><ul><li>Human service find themselves in the transportation business </li></ul><ul><li>New local opportunity - how can we cooperate to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Serve more people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide more service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use capacity and existing resources effectively </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stretch everyone’s dollar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share costs fairly </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Why coordination? <ul><li>Value of transportation to the community </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminates duplication </li></ul><ul><li>Creates more capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination of trips throughout sponsor base, everyone pays their share </li></ul><ul><li>Improved efficiency reduces cost per trip </li></ul><ul><li>Why have empty seats? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Transportation that s erves People <ul><li>Not labeled , identified, segregated </li></ul><ul><li>Where you are going, not why </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility and usability benefits everyone </li></ul><ul><li>People who need rides matched with empty seats </li></ul>
  8. 8. What’s provided now? Agency Owned Vehicles <ul><li>Agency mission / purpose </li></ul><ul><ul><li>probably not transportation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation is support service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand / admit fully allocated costs? Perceived as cheap. </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity limited </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not rides for everyone, but according to vehicle </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accessibility issues </li></ul><ul><li>Used for multiple purposes </li></ul><ul><li>Significant vacant time </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes double standard - quality </li></ul>
  9. 9. Other options: Purchased Transportation <ul><li>You pay – you design </li></ul><ul><li>Typical features </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not ride shared </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Service on demand – as needed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Full cost charged </li></ul><ul><li>Modes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-emergency ambulance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contract service </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Challenges for buyer with monitoring </li></ul>
  10. 10. Create a system Coordination is the foundation <ul><li>Transportation system vs. human service program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Holistic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses what’s already in place - all modes in the community </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on ride, not purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Variety of attributes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responds to stated needs of it’s customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using human service funds to ride on public transportation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Multiple sponsors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage funds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create unique program offerings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoid duplication – coordinate everything! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spend money like it’s your own </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. How does everyone get rides? Cost Sharing – Agencies and Consumers <ul><li>Agencies that buy in are sponsors </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of operating service, purchase from the coordinated system </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsors pay a share </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsors subsidize part or all of customer fare </li></ul><ul><li>Customers may have multiple sponsors </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility management model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Right” choice for the trip </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. ACCESS approach Each sponsor is a customer <ul><li>One size does not fit all </li></ul><ul><li>ACCESS offers sponsors a menu of services including: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsor decides eligibility of people and trips </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsor requires cost sharing, if any </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invoicing as requested, accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsor may request special accommodations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For clients </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>For service design </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Sponsors pay their fair share – including portion of administrative cost </li></ul>
  13. 13. Major Sponsors ACCESS Service Offerings MA eligible individuals (elderly or disabled) living in the community instead of institutions Home & Community Based Waivers (DHS) Shuttle services to link people to local destinations and bus stops Access to Work Age 60, not nursing home resident, register with AC/AAA Group and individual service OPT- Area Agency on Aging People with MA insurance – can’t use bus – MA eligible destinations MATP (AC DHS) People with disabilities who cannot use the bus ACCESS ADA (PAAC) Anyone aged 65 and over ACCESS 65 Plus (Lottery) Eligibility Program
  14. 14. Distribution of ACCESS ridership
  15. 15. Essential Elements <ul><li>Customer service orientation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumers, purchasers and funders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communication and honesty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consensus re: goals, policies and evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Cost allocation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elements of fully allocated cost / general public fare structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Method to determine each sponsor’s share </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Balanced budget approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Include administrative costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Flexible service design </li></ul><ul><li>Offer menu of amenities </li></ul><ul><li>Technology supports business plan and service design </li></ul><ul><li>Independent program manager – works for all the sponsors </li></ul><ul><li>Create environment of success for private and public providers </li></ul>
  16. 16. Implementing the kind of service seniors want <ul><li>No trip purpose restrictions </li></ul><ul><li>Door to door </li></ul><ul><li>Driver assistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Boarding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Packages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No affiliation </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable </li></ul><ul><li>Days and hours include weekends and holidays </li></ul><ul><li>Every trip important </li></ul>
  17. 17. Fare vs. cost <ul><li>Fixed route service – program funded </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ride costs $4.50 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rider pays $2.25 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remainder from state and federal grants </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Often based on formulas </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Paratransit – person funded </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ride costs $25 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some agencies (sponsors) pay part or all of fare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eligible people, eligible trips </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Without a sponsor-customer receives no fare subsidy </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Blending multiple elements Gradually building a comprehensive system <ul><li>Coordinate information about existing transportation options – one call </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobility Management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coordinate rides sponsored by several agencies into one shared ride system </li></ul><ul><li>Coordinate service delivery using existing community providers </li></ul>
  19. 19. Mobility management in operations <ul><li>One call </li></ul><ul><li>One trip request </li></ul><ul><li>Centralized info re: multiple options and eligibility </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions based on policies of coordinated system </li></ul><ul><li>Place customer on best sponsor choice for trip </li></ul>
  20. 20. Mobility Management in Operations <ul><li>Customer </li></ul><ul><li>Over 60 </li></ul><ul><li>ADA eligible Conditionally </li></ul><ul><li>Lives in Squirrel Hill (Pittsburgh neighborhood) </li></ul>ADA Paratransit Daughter’s House Port Authority Macy’s downtown Elder Express Circulator Grocery Store Area Agency on Aging Senior Center Best Option Trip Request
  21. 21. Who will make the rules? <ul><li>Agreement on essential policies and procedures that define the service </li></ul><ul><li>Sufficient flexibility for diverse sponsors to add individual elements </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cost sharing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Eligibility </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Who is ultimately responsible </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For implementation and accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For cost recovery and fare setting </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Barriers to success <ul><li>Lack of trust and honesty </li></ul><ul><li>Desire for control </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of clear, measurable goals, no consistency in data (apples and oranges,) and no evaluation process </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of cost allocation, fare structure designed to cover costs </li></ul><ul><li>Technology issues </li></ul><ul><li>One size fits all model </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on institutional needs rather than customer – inflexible </li></ul><ul><li>Excuses…. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Momentum Killers <ul><li>We don’t do that </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve always done it this way </li></ul><ul><li>That won’t work </li></ul><ul><li>What’s in it for me? </li></ul>
  24. 24. We can’t afford it ?? <ul><li>Cost of duplication of service </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of empty seats </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of idle vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of doing otherwise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. It can start with a handshake…. <ul><li>Value of relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trust, integrity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Most powerful at local level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-traditional partners </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand each other’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding pressures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consequences of doing otherwise </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Transit may not be most effective lead agency </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone does what they do best </li></ul>
  26. 26. Elements for Success <ul><li>Legislative / political support </li></ul><ul><li>Funds that can be leveraged </li></ul><ul><li>Firm commitment to provide funds </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility, creativity, engagement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Of users and providers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ease of use, service quality </li></ul><ul><li>Local leadership by example </li></ul><ul><li>Technology to support infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Pricing structure </li></ul><ul><li>Right system design and manager </li></ul>
  27. 27. Sharing the ride and our resources
  28. 28. ACCESS… A community working together

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