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Welcome to the first edition of News on the Move.
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News on the Move...

The Move Together project’s primary goal is to improve intercounty transportation connections and transportation choices, leading to increased access to medical appointments and employment across a large region in Upstate NY. 

The Move Together NY Project utilizes a mobility management approach to problem solving.  Mobility management is about more than just running an efficient transit service, it is about creating a transportation system that revolves around, and meets the needs of individual customers.  The concept of mobility management is to coordinate with transportation providers (all modes), human service agencies, and decision makers to provide a better, more comprehensive, cost effective, and customer focused transportation experience.  Built into this approach is a reciprocal learning process, where unmet needs are identified and incorporated into new and innovative efforts to improve services.  
 
2016 Summary
 


Move Together NY began in 2016 without a name and a small group of the willing who were interested in improving intercounty transportation.  Funding was made possible through NY Department of Transportation 5311 formula funding, inspired by recommendations of a transportation study originating in Tompkins County that was completed in 2013 and soon a survey was developed to help guide the initial ideas. The survey results were gathered and utilized as a tool to determine projects and their priority.  Megan Pulver was hired in May, 2016 to be the full time project manager and the information gathered was compiled and became what is now known as the Move Together NY project.

Soon after, project communication became a priority.  Updates are posted on a project management program called Base Camp.  While useful, it does not easily communicate updates to everyone interested in the project.  Therefore, the MoveTogetherNY.org website was developed and is now the home of all of the information developed for the program. 

When talking about intercounty transportation there are both perceived and real barriers.  Barriers such as funding source rules, regulations, territory issues and a multitude of other hurdles defeat efficiency, cooperation and logic. Mobility Management focuses on the individual person and their transportation needs.  People do not live their life based on the invisible dashed lines that form our county borders and yet this is precisely where transportation ends.  With very few exceptions, traveling across county borders efficiently is almost non-existent. If you are a person with a disability, it is non-existent unless you have the funds to pay for private, accessible transportation.

Early on, the Move Together team discussed how to easily demonstrate both the issues and possible solutions and interactive maps seemed like a viable possibility.  With visuals that demonstrate commuter patterns, large employers, medical centers and the vast area not covered by public transit, we could collectively begin to analyze where opportunities exist to make connections and where there will need to be new service or innovation to address other areas of need.

This tool did not currently exist and was determined to be a high priority by the Move Together NY Advisory Committee.  When seeking solutions, the case needs to be made that it’s both necessary and feasible.  This requires data.  The data is embedded into the interactive map and becomes an easy, “clickable” tool to demonstrate and calculate distance between transit services and connection points.  The distance between employers and health care in relation to existing public transportation options.  It’s the data and the case for the connections.

Thanks to Hector Chang, from the Way2Go Tompkins team, he made the concept of this map a reality.  The initial focus was the data for the counties involved in the original 2013 transportation study.  Once this data is reviewed, there is the potential to add additional counties’ information.

This interactive map is now available on the MoveTogetherNY.org website.

County Fact Sheets: Another component of the project was a uniform way to communicate the same type of information.  Vast amounts of information is available from each county regarding services, transportation, employment, medical facilities, etc.  However this is not a uniform place or way to communicate this information, making it difficult to find information as it relates to cross county travel and services.  These County Fact sheets compile information in the same format for each county to easily compare data.  They are currently being reviewed by our area stakeholders and will be posted on the website once finalized.

 

2017 Outreach and Education

It really doesn’t matter how useful something is, if no one knows it’s there and doesn’t use it.  In 2017 the Move Together NY project will focus on outreach and education of the tools that have been created and the tools in the pipeline to be created.  We will share already developed regional map and county fact sheets with partners and ask for help to share with their audiences. 


It really doesn’t matter how useful something is, if no one knows it’s there and doesn’t use it.  In 2017 the Move Together NY project will focus on outreach and education of the tools that have been created and the tools in the pipeline to be created.  We will share already developed regional map and county fact sheets with partners and ask for help to share with their audiences. 

The concept is to drive people to the website, provide additional updates on Basecamp, communicate with partners through email newsletters, provide regional presentations/events, attend county coordinated transportation and planning meetings and attend conferences.  The goal of this outreach is to increase awareness of existing transportation options, particularly those more viable in rural areas (vanpool, park and ride, rideshare, others if applicable).

We will create a page on the Move Together NY website that highlights existing services, and share relevant resources and best practices on creating/expanding these types of services in rural areas.

Move Together NY hopes to engage Workforce NY and other employment services to help engage the area employers and identify any transportation barriers they see and or help them realize the existing options within their employee catchment area.  This will include ridesharing options as well as transit and other potential transportation possibilities.

 
 

Partners: a call to action

As we move forward in 2017, we need your help to engage your local communities.  We would like to continue to involve our partners as well as invite new, interested individuals and organizations into the discussion.  Therefore we will be on the move to attend your meetings, but we need to know when and where they are.
 
If you are hosting a meeting that may have a group interested in how people get across our vast Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Upstate NY region, please let us know.  We are also interested in hosting Bi-annual partner/provider meetings sometime in the second and fourth quarter of this year.  The goals of these meetings as well as outreach with our providers are to:
  • Meet with transit providers – discuss benefits, interest, and logistical/social/political barriers to connected transit systems.
  • Work with partners to think beyond county barriers, discuss/brainstorm ways to dissolve these barriers
  • Identify and demonstrate suggested minor transit schedule/route adjustments to transit providers
  • Maintain awareness of ongoing transportation efforts in the community, such as those at Tompkins County Way2Go, Way 2 Go Cortland, Mobility Management of South Central NY, Steuben Coordinated Transportation, C TRAN’s Tioga county connection, Schuyler County’s Transportation Link-Line, Seneca County’s South County Volunteer Corps, and others throughout our region. 
  • Educate Partners about various transportation related networking events like Transportation Camp, APA Spring Planner’s Day, Annual NYPTA Conference, CTAA etc.

Healthcare & cross county transportation

The Move Together NY project seeks to understand the structure and coverage areas of the various healthcare organizations in our region.  In order to better understand the needs from the perspective of the healthcare industry, the Move Together NY team seeks to engage members of the rural health networks or equivalent organizations across the region.  There has been significant progress made in the area by the Mobility Management of South Central NY.  This team has been housed and directed by the rural health network of South Central NY and has made good connections and progress with the United Health Care and Lourdes systems.  The Move Together NY team is on the Healthcare and Transportation Toolkit development committee and will seek opportunities to collaborate and share useful ideas as they develop.
 


The Move Together NY project seeks to understand the structure and coverage areas of the various healthcare organizations in our region.  In order to better understand the needs from the perspective of the healthcare industry, the Move Together NY team seeks to engage members of the rural health networks or equivalent organizations across the region.  There has been significant progress made in the area by the Mobility Management of South Central NY.  This team has been housed and directed by the rural health network of South Central NY and has made good connections and progress with the United Health Care and Lourdes systems.  The Move Together NY team is on the Healthcare and Transportation Toolkit development committee and will seek opportunities to collaborate and share useful ideas as they develop.
 
DSRIP (Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment) program seeks to help redesign how Medicaid enrollees receive the delivery of care and essentially reduce unnecessary ED use and readmissions.  The State has carved our several DSRIP districts of which the two main regions that have an impact on the Move Together NY region are FLPPS (Finger Lakes Performing Provider System) and Care Compass Network –serving parts of the southern Finger Lakes and Southern Tier.  The Move Together team has engaged the FLPPS transportation committee, which regularly attends the Advisory committee meetings and has had limited success with Care Compass Network. 
 
The concept to engage these organizations is to identify the most pertinent data needs and explore strategies to collect new data that is not currently available.  Partners who can identify opportunities to engage the healthcare systems in your area, please contact Megan Pulver or Amber Simmons and discuss how we might be able to share information about this project with the organizations.

MOBILITY MANAGEMENT IN UPSTATE NY:

There are many great projects happening in Upstate NY that are taking a mobility management approach to solving the complex transportation issues of our communities.  This section of our newsletter is dedicated to sharing these projects!  If you have a project you'd like to share, please contact us at: MoveTogetherNY@gmail.com



Southern Tier: Mobility Management of South Central NY: Transportation & Healthcare Toolkit.  Last fall, there was a transportation and healthcare one day workshop to help primarily healthcare providers to understand the intricacies of transportation and how mobility management can assist them in getting patients to appointments.  A unique piece of this workshop was that in addition to transportation providers, mobility managers and healthcare providers, there were attendees from the philanthropic community.  The funding for transportation is a patchwork of sources and there are many gaps.  This workshop demonstrated some of gaps and provided some better practices and potential ideas to help fund these gaps.  One of the outcomes of the workshop was to create a web based toolkit.  “This toolkit will provide healthcare providers and human service agencies with a resource to get their clients and patients to/from their appointments.    We’re very excited to be able to create this collaborative project.  Mobility Management of South Central NY continues to connect riders with transportation through the Get There call center and it is expected that the toolkit will be yet another way to assist our community in getting to their destinations.” Bill Wagner, Director of Mobility Management of South Central NY explained.  The tool kit is scheduled to be complete late summer, early fall of 2017.  The Move Together NY team will share information as it becomes available.
 
Rideshare expands in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier: 511 NY Southern Tier Rideshare is a program maintained by NY Department of Transportation and has been successfully operating in the downstate area for many years.  In 2014 Chemung and Steuben counties were chosen to pilot a rural rideshare program.  A campaign was designed to create an upstate brand that reflected the rural nature of our area and encourage people to try rideshare.  The 511NY Southern Tier Rideshare brand was created and is now expanding into additional rural counties.  The rideshare program has a focus on the daily commuter and is designed to allow people to sign up, and seek a ride match from either a radius base or an along your route match.  Users can sign up to be riders, drivers or both. 
“The key to developing the numbers to populate the database is employer participation and we are pleased that there are currently 9 employers who have committed to creating their own portals to the Southern Tier Rideshare site.”  Tina Hager, Chemung County Transit Specialist explained.

This year 511NY Southern Tier is looking at expanding into additional counties and Schuyler County was pleased to join the effort.  “Rideshare will give people in our community an additional tool to get to work.  With no cost to the user or the County, this project was a logical addition to our transportation resources.” stated Amber Simmons, Mobility Manager for Schuyler County. www.transportationlink-line.org
 
Finger Lakes Rideshare is another option for residents in our area.  This program began as Zimride, a product primarily used by college students.  Zimride was purchased by Enterprise and is working with the Finger Lakes Rideshare coalition to rebrand and expand to other area colleges, business and communities.  The strength of this program is the ability to easily process the one time trip request.  Zimride has previously matched many people from the home area to New York City. 
 
Volunteer Transportation expands in Seneca County:
In July of 2016, the residents of southern Seneca County had a new service to assist them in getting to health-related destinations. Souther County Transportation Corps is a  program with  no age restrictions and serves people who currently do not qualify for riders through RSVP or Medicaid.  The original coverage area were the towns of Lodi, Covert, Ovid and Romulus. 

The program has been successful and David Dresser, who heads the initiative and is also a volunteer dispatcher and driver, announced that the service will expand to the towns of Varick and Fayette in 2017.
The program uses volunteers who drive their own vehicles to provide rides to health-related destinations for people of all ages who are not eligible for transportation provided by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program or Medicaid.

The drivers are reimbursed at the IRS mileage rate for use of their vehicles and the program is funded by a grant from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation and administered by the Cayuga Seneca Community Action Agency.
 
Volunteers provide over a million miles of service in Steuben, Livingston, Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties:
The Institute for Human Services is the home of the IHS Coordinated Transportation Services, an organization that has specialized in providing volunteer transportation in Steuben County and has expanded services to neighboring counties.

In 2016 IHS Coordinated Transportation Services provided over 1.16 million miles of transportation to residents of Steuben, Livingston, Allegany, and Cattaraugus Counties.

These volunteers donated 33,872 hours of service; equivalent to 21.2 full-time drivers with a value of $810,000! IHS also provided 3,805 bus tokens to Catholic Charities of Steuben’s Turning Point clients free of charge, resulting in over 100,000 miles of additional transportation through the public transit system.
The CTS Volunteer Driver Program connects community members with trained volunteer drivers. Trips can include non-emergency medical transportation, including Medicaid recipients, food-related trips (grocery stores or food pantries), and a one-time transportation to human service agencies or appointments to meet critical needs.

“The volunteer driver programs coordinate with public transportation providers to meet the transportation needs of the residents. The accomplishments of the volunteer driver programs exemplify the volunteer’s dedication, loyalty, and compassion for their communities. It is an incredible experience to work with people from public transportation, human service agencies, and volunteer driver programs that work so well together to accomplish a common goal.” Belinda Hoad, Director, Mobility Management at The Institute for Human Services.
 
 
Cortland Transit now has GPS enabled buses and Flexible routes in some rural areas:
Cortland Transit's fixed-routes 1 through 4 and evening Route 6 buses are now GPS-enabled (with SmartTraxx). Riders can track the status of where their bus or connecting bus is on its route, using smart-phone or internet connected PC. Links to download the SmartTraxx app (iOS/Android) or route links for your internet-connected web browser are at http://www.way2gocortland.org/smarttraxx-gps .

“Since its inception, the Smart Traxx app has proven to be very popular with riders.  There were almost 27,000 views on our website in the 4th quarter of 2016 alone.  Cortland County is so pleased with its success, it is looking at ways to expand the service to all of its buses. I am happy to be working with Cortland Transit and Cortland County on improving perceptions and breaking down barriers so that more people will be encouraged to ride the bus. Providing state-of-the art amenities such as this is one way to make this happen.” Mobility Management Coordinator Way2Go Cortland, Ann Hotchkin stated. 

Herkimer/Oneida Working to coordinated transportation for rural seniors:
Recently the City of Sherrill reached out to the Way2Go of Herkimer & Oneida County, which is located at The Parkway Center, to talk about transportation options for a group of seniors living in a rural area, who need to get to the grocery store. To some this task is as easy as jumping in their car and going to the store. For this group of seniors, they don’t have access to a car. We listened to their needs and began advocating by reaching out to the local grocery store to see if they would consider sponsoring a shuttle for seniors; we then reached out to the rural transit provider Birnie Bus to find out if they could assist. We are now working with the City of Sherrill, Tops Grocery store, and Birnie Bus to make this shuttle a reality.

Way2Go of Herkimer & Oneida County works with individuals and organizations in Herkimer and Oneida Counties to provide educational workshops, materials, and trainings. The workshops we provide are: CarFit, Retire from Driving, Transport Options and the Transportation Ambassador program.  For more information on any of Way2Go Herkimer & Oneida’s programs contact www.theparkwaycenter.org or call Nancy Hampel Mobility Manager for Way2Go at (315) 223-3973 ext. 115.
Copyright © 2017 Move Together NY, All rights reserved.


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