Enhancing Passenger Mobility Services in North Dakota through Increased Coordination

North Dakota’s public and human service transportation services evolved along the same program-specific approaches as did those in many other states. Individual human service agencies funded and/or operated transportation programs to support their basic missions. In addition, in recent years, federal and state funding has led to the inception or expansion of public transit services in many areas of the state Transportation coordination at the state funding level or at the local operations level requires extensive personal interaction and negotiation to work out the best service plan for all organizations funding, using, or providing service. The Small Urban and Rural Transit Center (SURTC) conducted a study on coordination of North Dakota transportation services. The study process included data collection, a literature review and intensive discussion and collaboration between organizations and individuals. The study was guided by an advisory committee that included representatives from state funding and program agencies, local human services, and transportation providers. The study also involved funders, providers, and users of the transportation services by holding focus groups meetings in the eight economic planning regions of the state during the first six months of 2004. Based on results of the regional meetings, data collection, review of the literature, and the survey of state practices, the SURTC team developed a range of alternative policies that could increase transportation coordination. These options were reviewed and refined by the advisory committee; then the SURTC team developed detailed descriptions and assessed the benefits and costs of each option. The following options are presented in order of impact, effectiveness, and implementation cost. 1. Issue a policy directive from Governor to each state agency that funds transportation encouraging the agency and its grantees to coordinate transportation programs locally. 2. Establish a regional ride-matching program and ride brokerage via Internet-based information sharing. 3. Require that all state-funded transit providers be part of a regional coordination organization for management and funding purposes. 4. Establish and fund transportation coordinators in each of the state’s eight regions. 5. Establish and fund eight regional coordinating councils and coordinators. The recommended coordination option (Option 5) calls for active promotion of cooperation among transportation providers and funding agencies with a goal of improving service and reducing costs. To implement this option requires a five-step action implementation process that is described as well as details on the state and regional coordinating bodies.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-28

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