Deploy ITS transit technologies including computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and automated vehicle location (AVL) to coordinate human transportation services across agencies, reduce costs, eliminate duplication, and increase quality of service.

Experience delivering coordinated transportation services from the USDOT Mobility Services for All Americans research initiative.

June 2003
Nationwide,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The Federal government created the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility in 2004 to improve the efficiency and quality of service for the range of transportation services for the millions of transportation disadvantaged clients of human and social service programs in the United States. The council identified useful practices in coordinating transportation service, created incentives for coordination, and recommended the deployment of ITS technologies to improve coordination. A GAO review in 2004 of these transportation services (GAO-04-420R) found that federal agencies had taken effective steps to assist states and local agencies in coordinating transportation services. A major step undertaken to improve mobility and coordination by the U.S. DOT was the Mobility Services for All Americans initiative, launched in 2004, and included the deployment of ITS transit technologies to integrate transportation services among the providers. The ITS-based solutions improved service quality and reduced costs. The lessons learned from this experience include the following steps.
    • Use a suite of ITS transit technologies to streamline administrative processes and procedures across agencies. Mobility Services for All Americans and the Coordinating Council implemented a technology strategy for increasing the efficiency of the reserving, scheduling, and dispatching rides, and reporting and billing for services. ITS transit technologies supporting these tasks are those that integrate vehicle dispatching, tracking and scheduling, including geographic information systems (GIS), automatic vehicle location (AVL) and communications systems. These technologies improved service delivery, provided a "one-stop" service, eliminating the need for clients to make multiple phone calls across different agencies.
    • Automate payment and billing systems with ITS technologies. Electronic payment systems (such as fare cards) and financial tracking and billing systems simplify payment transactions and streamline billing procedures, resulting in easier negotiation for customers when paying for services and reducing provider workload.
    • Hold workshops with stakeholders to exchange information and ideas and develop coordinating plans between entities. Mobility Services for All Americans and the Coordinating Council conducted Planning Strategies to improve coordination and planning at the administrative and organizational level among the dozens of involved agencies, organizations, and stakeholders. By directly involving the entities that provide the services for the transportation disadvantaged in the planning stages, the implementation plans were based on the day-to-day realities and experiences of the clients and service providers and more likely to be successful. In addition, this type of exchange strengthened partnerships, increased situation awareness of the limitations and needs of the different organizations, enabled information sharing between entities and improved coordination between private and public transportation providers.

Coordinating human service transportation programs across agencies has produced a more efficient use of limited resources, lowered costs by eliminating duplication of services, and created a higher quality of service for clients. ITS transit technologies have a proven record for increasing efficiency and can support efforts to improve mobility for the transportation disadvantaged within a community while also reducing the operating costs (per trip). In these ways, the Mobility Services for All Americans program supports efficiency, mobility and customer satisfaction goals of the U.S. DOT.

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Transportation Disadvantaged Populations: Some Coordination Efforts Among Programs Providing Transportation Services, but Obstacles Persist

Published By: GAO Report to Congressional Requesters

Source Date: June 2003

Other Reference Number: Report No.GAO-03-697

URL: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03697.pdf

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Lesson ID: 2011-00563