Transportation Team

Purpose

To develop and create transportation options for individuals to access work and day programs in the community in a safe, effective, and efficient manner.

Goals

Assess agency’s current transportation services, look at additional transportation resources within the community, and improve and even expand the current options.

  • Restructure the current transportation system and transform it into a demand-response “dispatch” system
  • Assess number of individuals that need to be transported on a daily basis
  • Look at the number of drivers needed and the number of vehicles each required for each desired geographic area
  • Research GPS and Dispatch systems
  • Look at all current residential and day/work locations to determine the needs for vehicles (type) and number of drivers needed
  • Decide on geographical service area
  • Develop procedural guide for travel training and access public transportation
  • Meet with local and statewide transportation providers and discuss and review DOT requirements
  • Determine need for full-time drivers and create new job descriptions

Relationship to Mission of Closing a Sheltered Workshop

In order to effectively close the sheltered workshop, the transportation needs of all those who currently attend one location for work or day programs but will now be working at or participating in varying locations for work, recreational, and volunteer opportunities in their communities must be considered. The critical job of transporting the individuals must be looked at to determine the resources needed to accomplish this huge task. The geographic location of all work and recreational locations must be determined so that a systematic and coordinated GPS system needs to be in place to effectively and efficiently transport these individuals safety.

Timeframe

The group meets every two weeks for approximately a year to work on given tasks.

Types of Members

  • Clinical Support
  • Transportation Manager (if applicable to agency)
  • External Transportation Business Partner (if applicable to agency)
  • Direct Care Staff
  • Residential Manager
  • Day or Employment Manager
  • Finance Representative
  • IT Representative
  • Training and Education Representative

Process

  • Identify a team leader, and stakeholders to be on group
  • Determine meeting time, frequency and goals
  • Identify where and when all agency vehicles are being used each business day. Spreadsheet to visually see usage
  • Look at the number of individuals that need to be transported on a daily basis.
  • Determine the need for drivers (full-time or part-time) and create job descriptions as necessary.
  • Develop Travel Training programs or refer to other agency’s that offer them
  • Look at your Residential vehicles to see if they are being used during the day. If there is downtime this could be a resource to day services.
  • Identify the staffing patterns of residential staff in group homes program all day could staff be used. This was reviewed with all management involved to review staffing patterns across agency
  • Looked at utilizing residential staff to support the increase in individuals being in community day programs.
Get a baseline:
  • Track usage and scheduling of all vehicles to get a baseline. (GPS tracking and maintenance software can be purchased to do this more easily).
  • Look at all needs (consumers: medical appointments, ambulation, professional support appointments, other schedules, etc.) at every location and see overlap and non-use.


Investigate what’s already out there:

  • Does your community already have a formal Public Transportation System? If so, ask to meet with them, explore their thoughts on increasing runs or establishing your ‘hub’ location as a formal stop on their route. What is your population’s current knowledge base on this system? What additional education do they need? Invite the Public Transportation System to give an overview to the people you serve.
  • Do you or any other local providers offer a Travel Training Program for people with disabilities? If not, establish one.
  • Research if families are able to do any additional drop off or pick-up. Locate volunteer or senior centers in community willing to assist with your transportation needs.
  • Do the individuals you serve have any established natural supports who can assist with transportation? Neighbors, friends?
  • Is carpooling an option? Create carpools between families
  • Research best communication devices for drivers and central office (cell phones with hands free or Bluetooth connectivity)


Will you have a hub (a central drop off and pick up location)?

  • If so, establish Public Transportation Access and Education on using it. Develop time frames for use- need for security and bathroom facilities. Who locks it up and opens it each day?
  • Getting to and from the hub should be a part of the Travel Training Program for staff and individuals
  • Can you use a part of your existing day program (not all of it is necessary) for your hub?
  • If you will not have a formal hub, can you stagger your start and end times of your Day Habilitation to prevent crowding?
  • Can you use community locations (established work sites) as a drop off and pickup locations rather than having one central hub? If so, determine where you can keep the vehicle overnight and weekends. Thinking about security of vehicles. Where are they kept overnight? Safety?


Other things to Consider

  • As an idea, Ability Beyond created new positions called Medical Support Assistants (MSA). These positions coordinate medical appointments with numerous (3-4) residential locations, (whenever possible) to try to schedule the appointments together rather than house by house. It allows for much more efficiency with staff and the individual’s time. For example: not having 3 vehicles sitting outside the same medical office while 3 staff and individuals are inside medical offices getting blood work.
  • Will staff be asked to use their personal vehicles? What is the agency policy on insurance coverage and holding any endorsements PPEC (Public Passenger Endorsement Certification)?
  • Research State and Federal Grants that exist towards supporting Transportation Providers. For example, the 5310 Grant (New Freedom Grant) available to secure additional funding for purchasing vehicles.
  • Make sure you know what your current funder requirements are for transporting people with disabilities…first aid kits, location of lunch boxes, what you are responsible to track,
  • Research GPS and Scheduling/tracking systems: These systems can:
  • Track mileage, gas, and service needed for each vehicle
  • Track staff usage (idle time)
  • See where all vehicles are at any given time and maximize their use or downtime
  • Enhance how many runs you can do on any given day/week
  • Use of “Geo-fencing” for efficiency


Some examples of systems to research are:

 

tip
Tip

As a suggestion, you should research safe driving call-in lines that exist to help you monitor your fleet! These not only help you determine what is occurring with your fleet but also can help reduce your Insurance Rates! Some examples are; Safety First and Drivers Alert.