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In Brief: Coordinated Transportation Systems

This In Brief summarizes the findings and implications of the AARP Public Policy Institute Report, Coordinated Transportation Systems. The report is part of AARP's continuing efforts to explore and share information about public policies that can improve the quality of life for persons as they grow older. One of the key components of quality independent living is maintaining a connection with goods, services, and opportunities for social engagement. Transportation is the physical means by which persons connect to the communities in which these things are available.

To meet the needs of individuals who do not or cannot drive, and therefore need other ways to remain mobile, a broad array of publicly funded transportation programs and services has grown up over many years. This report identifies and analyzes examples from communities or states where some or all of these transportation resources are coordinated to provide transportation services to a wide range of riders. For this report, coordination means pooling transportation resources and activities of several human service agencies with each other or with mass transit operations. The report describes different approaches that are being used in a variety of settings, allowing readers to find ideas and examples that can be tailored for use in their own communities.

Key Findings

Findings from the study include the following:

  • Coordination can mean improvement in community transportation and more efficient use of resources. Benefits realized at the various sites included:

    • lowered trip costs for older persons and for human services agencies
    • extended service hours
    • services to new areas and to more people
    • more trips made by older persons
    • services responsive to schedules, points of origin, and destinations of customers
    • greater emphasis on safety and customer service
    • door-to-door service
    • flexible payment and service options.
  • Some service limitations persisted, such as requiring riders to pre-schedule trips, or to meet income or disability qualifications.
  • Public policies at the federal, state, and local public policies could foster coordination by providing adequate funding, requiring transportation providers to demonstrate strategies and efforts to coordinate resources, and offering incentives for improvements in coordination.

Footnote

  1. AARP Public Policy Institute Report #2000-16

Prepared by Jon Burkhardt, Westat
Audrey Straight, Project Manager, AARP Public Policy Institute
August 2000
©2000 AARP
May be copied only for noncommercial purposes and with attribution; permission required for all other purposes.
Public Policy Institute, AARP, 601 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20049

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