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Rural and Specialized Passenger Transportation - Description and Review of Alternative Policies for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation - Wisconsin TransLinks 21




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MISSION STATEMENT
TRANSLINKS 21--
Wisconsin's 21st century transportation plan- will
outline a comprehensive transportation system that
moves people and goods efficiently, strengthens our 
economy, protects our environment, and supports
our quality of life.  Working with DOT, the public
will identify Wisconsin's transportation needs --
and help to make tomorrow's transportation choices.





RURAL AND SPECIALIZED
PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION


Prepared by the
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Rural and Specialized
Passenger Transportation Work Group


June 1994


This document will be made available in alternative format upon
request




 
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This report was prepared through the collaborative effort of the
interdepartmental Rural and Specialized Transportation Work Group
consisting of Toya Nelson, Director of the Bureau of Transit and
Local Transportation Aids; Ron Morse, Chief of the Specialized
Transportation Programs Section; Linda Lovejoy, Chief of the Public
Transit Section; @ Kieck, Beth Trautsch, And Abou Bakarr Amara of
the Specialized Transportation Section, Don Chatfield of the Public
Transit Section, Greg Stelmacher of the Division of Highways
District 4 Office; and Mark Mansfield of the Division of Planning
and Budget; Transportation Services Section.  Significant input was
provided by Donald Wamke, Director of the Bureau of Fiscal
Services, Department of Health and Social Services; Shirley Holman,
U Crosse County Board of Supervisors; Mike Scott, Director of the
Fond du Lac County Senior Services; Don Kush of the West Central
Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission; Jan Scalpone of the East
Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission; Bob Fisher of the
Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission; and the
participants from the region TRANSLINKS forums held in the fall of
1993 and the Rural Transportation Thematic Forum held on December
8, 1993.

 



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction                                                       1
Chapter One: Existing Resources and Services                       3
S.85.21 Specialized Transportation Assistance Program for Counties
Section 16/s.85.22 Capital Grant Program
Federal Section 18 Small Urban & Rural/Intercity Public
Transportation Program
s.85.20 State Urban Transit Operating Assistance Program
Department of Health and Social Services Programs
Other Transportation Related Programs

Chapter Two: Gaps                                                 10

Unmet Mobility Needs
Service Gaps
Other Gaps

Chapter Three: Better Utilization of Existing Resources and
Services                                                          11

Passenger Transportation Planning
Coordination
Transportation Coordinating Committees
Regional Passenger Transportation Planning
Planning Resources

Chapter Four: Funding and Policy Alternatives                     13

Maintain Current Policies and Programs
Increased Funding to Meet Mobility Needs
Substantial Increase to Meet Mobility Needs
Meeting Most Local Transportation Needs

Summary                                                           19


Appendix A: Allocations of s.85.21 Aid (1994)

Appendix B: Specialized Transportation Services Provided By
Agencies Funded Under Programs Administered By the DH&SS




 
RURAL AND SPECIALIZED
PASSENGER TRANSPORTATION

INTRODUCTION

TRANSLINKS 21 gives us an opportunity to examine a portion of the
total transportation picture in Wisconsin which sounds rather
simple but, in fact is very complex and personal.  Rural passenger
transportation involves not only service provided to the elderly
and disabled but also affects persons looking for jobs, medical
services, and others with priority mobility needs who are transit
dependent because they can't afford an automobile, are unable to
drive, or don't have relatives, friends, or neighbors willing or
able to give them a ride.

For the purpose of this issue paper, the focus is twofold: rural
areas with populations of 5,000 or less and specialized
transportation for the elderly and persons with disabilities. 
However, this paper will also examine shared-ride taxi systems as
an alternative for meeting mobility needs of citizens within and
around small urban areas with populations between 2,500-50,000.

Transportation programs in Wisconsin are not consistent when it
comes to availability and eligibility.  A public demand responsive
transit service is available to everyone within the service
area for whatever purpose.  Where a fixed route bus service is
provided, the proximity to the route determines service
availability.

Specialized transportation programs which are administered by
WisDOT limit eligibility to the elderly and persons with
disabilities, with the general public carried on a space available
basis.

The counties to whom these funds are allocated may establish
criteria which limit the person's ability to utilize the service. 
Such criteria may include trip purpose priorities.  The need for
transportation is influenced by such factors as the person's
ability to drive, financial capacity to purchase and operate a
vehicle, availability of their existing vehicle, etc.  The program,
in turn, is structured around the target group which is identified
by the county and the service levels based upon the available funds
and revenues collected.





 Other non-DOT funded transportation services may be available to
certain groups or individuals as part of a particular social
service program.  Eligibility may be based upon income level, trip
purpose or other such qualifications.  Again, the target group
influences how the program is shaped.

Most transportation programs are statewide, countywide, or local in
nature.  Consequently, aspects of any particular program may impact
on services to urban areas as well as rural areas and a separation
between rural and urban may not be possible.  The paper will also
touch upon other related issues within the TRANSLINKS 21 process
which provide additional mobility opportunities for persons in
rural areas.  These issues include connectivity with intercity bus
service, urban transit, rail and air passenger service.

Passenger transportation in rural areas is a very complex issue,
primarily because of the number of federal, state and local
programs which provide for specific client services.  In many
cases, transportation is only a portion of the program services
provided by an agency.  Distance to services is another factor
which adds to the complexity of providing efficient transportation
in rural areas.

This paper will examine the existing rural and specialized
transportation resources and services.  Its focus will be on the
federal and state programs which the department administers but
will also discuss those programs which we are aware of that are
administered by other state and local governmental agencies.  It
will identify some of the known gaps in existing resources and
services, identify ways to better utilize existing resources and
services, and provide a look at passenger transportation system
alternatives based upon various funding strategies.

                                  2




 
CHAPTER ONE
Existing Resources & Services

WisDOT is only one of the governmental agencies through which state
and federal funds affecting rural passenger transportation are
administered.  Most of the funds are passed through to counties and
other local levels of government to provide services for the
general public, the elderly and persons with disabilities or
specific client groups.  DOT is one of the few agencies whose
programs are specifically for transportation purposes.

In addition, the Department of Health & Social Services administers
a myriad of programs for some general groups such as the elderly
and some very specific client based groups.  Transportation is an
allowable expenditure in some of these programs.  There are other
state and local programs which are neither readily identifiable nor
generally advertised which makes it difficult to portray an
accurate picture of the existing resources and services available.

This chapter will give a detailed description of DOT's
transportation resources and services and give a general
perspective of the other agency transportation programs.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation:

s. 85.21 Specialized Transportation Assistance Program for Counties

The Specialized Transportation Assistance Program for Counties (s.
85.21, Wis.  Stats.) was created by the legislature in 1978.  It
annually provides allocations to each Wisconsin county to assist
them in their provision of passenger transportation services to the
general elderly and disabled populations.  The counties are
required to provide a 20% match to their state allocation.  In a
number of counties with large cities, approximately 75% of the
services available to the elderly and disabled are provided within
the urban areas.

The amount of money allocated to a particular county is based on
its estimated proportion of the state's total elderly and disabled
population.  Since 1982, a minimum of 1/2% of the total
appropriation has been guaranteed to the smaller counties in order
to provide them with a reasonable amount with which to provide
specialized transportation services.  APPENDIX A shows the most
recent distribution of program funds.  Twenty-two of the state's 72
counties received the minimum allocation.


                                  3





Each county provides the department with an annual plan which
specifies how it intends to spend it's allocation during the
project year. The counties may use their allocation to directly
provide services, to purchase services from another source, fund
volunteer organizations which provide driver escort services or
establish a fare reduction program known as a User-side Subsidy
(USS).

FIGURE 1 Shows the types of services provided during 1994. The
specialized category includes services provided with vans or
minibuses whether they are operated directly or purchased from
another operator.

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The growth in the program funding can be seen in FIGURE 2. In the
17 years that the s. 85.21 program has been in existence, the
annual appropriation has grown from $1 M to $5.06 M. Similarly,
one-way trips have grown from 2,138,000 in 1984 to 2,688,600 in
1992 as shown in FIGURE 3.

                                  4





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              Section 126/s 85.22 Capital Grant Program

The federally funded Section 16 and the state funded s. 85.22
Capital Grant Program provide capital funding for specialized
transit for the general elderly and disabled community. The Section
16 program began in 1975, and the companion s. 85.22 program was
started in 1978. The grants awarded through this program cover 80%
of the purchase price of various types of vehicles used to provide
transportation services for these two subgroups of the general
public.

It is a competitive annual grant program which is open to eligible
applicants from all parts of the state. In order to be eligible, an
applicant must be one of the following:

     A)   A private, non-profit organization

     B)   A local public body that has certified that there are no
     private, non-profit organizations available to provide
     transportation services in its proposed service area.

                                  5





     C)   A local public body that has been approved by WisDOT as
     the coordinator of services for the elderly and disabled in
     its proposed service area.

The eligibility of local public bodies as described in B) and C)
above is the result of new legislation passed in the most recent
Budget Adjustment Bill. Administrative rule changes to implement
this new legislation are being developed.

Once determined to be eligible, an applicant may submit an
application for consideration. It is scored against fixed criteria
and ranked among all of the others submitted that project year.
Coordination with other agencies and maximum utilization of the
vehicle are important criteria in the evaluation process. Those who
score a minimum of 100 points out of a possible 270 points are
eligible to receive a grant for vehicles provided there are
sufficient funds. Grants are awarded according to rank order of the
scored applications until the appropriation is exhausted. Thus, it
is possible to write a grant which deserves funding but is unable
to receive any because of limited funding.

The annual combined state and federal appropriation for this
program has grown from $623,000 in 1975 to over $1.8 M in 1994 as
shown in FIGURE 4. The appropriations measured on a constant dollar
basis show that up until 1987, the program enjoyed a substantial
positive cushion beyond the rate of inflation. However, this
cushion diminished quickly from 1987 to 1991 where it remained
constant until the present. Most of this decline is a result of a
leveling and sometimes decline in the federal contribution.
Currently, there are over 600 active vehicles statewide providing
mobility to the elderly and disabled.


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                                  6




          Federal Section 18 Small Urban & Rural/Intercity
                    Public Transportation Program

The Section 18 Program is a federally funded program which is
available to non-urbanized areal (populations under 5,000). Local
public bodies and federally recognized tribal governing bodies are
eligible for operating assistance (maximum 50% of operating losses)
and capital assistance, up to 80% of the cost of vehicles,
facilities and other transit related items.

Each state is allocated a proportionate share of a national
appropriation based upon the number of persons in non-urbanized
areas. FIGURE 5 shows Wisconsin's annual allocations since the
program began in 1979.

When the program began, only a few of the specialized
transportation systems in Wisconsin restructured their systems and
opened the service to the public, becoming eligible for this new
source of funding. Consequently, recipients of Section 18 funds in
this state have enjoyed a level of funding not enjoyed by many
Section 18 recipients in other states where the conversion from
specialized to public transit did take place.


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                                  7





Wisconsin currently has five rural bus transit systems. They are:
      Bay Area Rural Transit System near Ashland
      Menominee Tribal Transit in Menominee County
      Oneida Transit System near Green Bay
      Rusk County Transit System
      Wisconsin Winnebago Transit System near Black River Falls.

For the most part, these systems provide demand responsive and
commuter type transportation. They serve to tie small communities
and residential areas to each other and to larger populated areas.
Currently, these rural bus systems receive the maximum federal
operating assistance (50% of operating losses) and most are not
eligible for any state transit funding. The portion not covered by
Section 18 funding must come from other sources such as local tax
base or other unrestricted state and federal funds.

     s. 85.20 State Urban Transit Operating Assistance Program 

Local public bodies are eligible to receive 42% of their operating
expenses to provide mass transit services in urban areas of 2,500
populations or more. There are 35 shared-ride taxi systems in urban
areas between 2,500 and 50,000 populations receiving both state and
federal Section 18 funds described above to a maximum combined
total of 70% of expenses. The remaining unfunded portion of the
expenses are covered by fares and/or local tax revenues and
unrestricted state aids. Although the emphasis is on service in the
urban area, the state program allows up to 1/3 of the total system
miles to be operated outside the urban boundaries.

FIGURE 6 shows the growth in shared-ride taxi programs since 1978.
Like the growth in participants, shared-ride taxi ridership has
experienced continued growth as shown in FIGURE 7 to a 1992 level
of almost 900,000 passenger. Estimates for 1993 are in the vicinity
of 1,000,000 rides. The average size of communities starting
shared-ride taxi service is under 10,000 with 9 out of 16 in the
last four years with populations under 5,000. Approximately 80% of
the rides on participating shared-ride taxi systems are taken by
elderly persons or persons with disabilities.


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                                  8





Department of Health & Social Services:

The programs administered through the Department of Health & Social
Services (DH&SS) respond to specialized transportation needs in a
different fashion.  In addition to programs for the elderly and
persons with disabilities, transportation is provided for
specialized client groups such as Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Family
Planning and Migrant Health Services.  In most cases, programs
allow transportation as an element of a more comprehensive program
of client services.  Consequently, data specific to transportation
is not normally broken out by program.  Further confusion arises
from the fact that funds tend to be blended from a variety of
sources into a block grant concept to provide services to a
specific target group.

For example, DH&SS has reported that $832 million was expended in
1992 on program services for the following target groups:

Developmentally Disabled
     Mental Health
     Alcohol & Drug
     Physically Disabled
     Delinquent
     Child Abuse/Neglect
     Children/Family
     Adults & Elderly

Out of $832 million total, $5.8 million is spent on specialized
transportation service to program clients.  However, because of the
way programs report and funds are blended, there is no way to
determine how much is spent by an individual program nor its
identity as state or federal aids.

Separate from the previously mentioned DH&SS programs is the
Medical Assistance Program which provides medicaid transportation
to eligible individuals.  This program directly tracks
transportation expenditures and is therefore able to give a
reliable categorical accounting.  In FY 1993, $12.15 M in state GPR
funds and $17.35 M of federal medicaid funds (Title 19) were used
to provide medically related transportation service.

In addition to these targeted or categorical aids, there are a
number of federally funded social service programs which allow
transportation as an eligible expense.  A list of programs funded
primarily through the federal Department of Health & Human Services
and administered by the Wisconsin Department of Health & Social
Services is found in APPENDIX B of this report.  It is the same
list which was contained in WisDOT's "3052 Report" on The Status of
Transportation Programs and Services for the Elderly and Disabled
in Wisconsin.
Other Transportation Related Programs:

There are other federally funded programs which do not pass through
WisDOT nor DH&SS.  One such program is the Veterans Services
Program which is directly administered at the county level.  In
most counties, client related transportation expenditures and
ridership data are not kept separate from other client service
expenditures.

There are likely other locally funded (county/city) programs which
provide mobility for people which do not receive state or federal
funding or oversight.  Since there is no central focal point in
which to identify these programs and collect relevant data, it is
impossible to identify them on a statewide basis.


                                  9




 
                    CHAPTER TWO
                       Gaps

Unmet Mobility Needs.  Demand for transportation services is
generated from the activities which individuals choose to
undertake.  The basic transportation needs which are categorized as
medical, nutrition and job-related are difficult to project, let
alone the social and other transportation needs which are even
harder to measure.  Even if people have transportation choices such
as an automobile or bus service, there are variables which
influence a person's choice such as time of day, frequency of
service and length of trip.  All of this results in very fluid and
uncertain demand levels.

An attempt to project transportation demand on a statewide level
would not be reliable under existing circumstances.  Not only is
the basic data to substantiate even the existing ridership and
expenditures not available, each county or area within the state
has unique geographic and demographic characteristics.  A far more
logical and appropriate universe to be examined is the county.  A
good planning process at this level should be able to provide a
more reliable estimate of transportation needs and compare them to
the existing services to arrive at the "unmet needs.  An aggregate
of the counties would produce a statewide picture.

Service Gaps

We are able to identify some service gaps which have been
identified on a general basis through our involvement with various
projects involving counties, regional planning commissions, rural
transit associations and other resources.  The more prevalent gaps
which have been identified are:

* Short-notice service which includes transportation to a medical
facility not requiring an emergency medical vehicle (ambulance).

* Job-related transportation.  Existing service, whether public or
specialized transportation, normally does not provide an
opportunity to seek work or to work anything but a daytime shift. 
Even then, some programs only allow limited number of rides per
week.  This is particularly true for the low-income and disabled.

* Lack of service on holidays, weekends and evenings.  Just as in
most urban transit systems, transportation in rural areas is not
normally available on holidays, weekends and evenings.  The most
prevalent reason cited is the lack of funds.  This type of service
is usually under-utilized and does not justify the high cost to
provide it.

* Regional services and facilities are sometimes many miles from an
origin of a trip and in a number of cases require the crossing of
jurisdictional boundaries.  These normally involve medically
related services and are very expensive to provide.  Some
specialized treatment requires numerous trips within short periods
of time.  This usually limits the other types of trips which can be
offered.

                                 10





* Intercity bus service.  In recent years, intercity bus service in
Wisconsin has substantially declined.  This is particularly evident
in the rural areas.  While this is a rural passenger transportation
issue and concern, intercity bus is being considered as a separate
issue under the general subject of intercity passenger
transportation.  Connectivity of rural services with available
intercity bus service is not common in our rural communities.

As with any service, the amount provided is normally based on the
availability of funds.  The specialized transportation community
treats medical services as the top priority for its elderly and
disabled.  This is followed by nutrition, jobs and social
transportation.  While public transit is not allowed to prioritize
trips, the fixed routes in rural areas are normally structured to
serve medical, nutrition and job related facilities.

Other Gaps

* Types of vehicles.  Because of the construction standards
required for vehicles which are registered as "Human Services
Vehicles"(HSV), some newer style vehicles which are on the market
can't be purchased.  These newer style vehicles which do not meet
the current HSV standards but do meet federal safety standards,
give a more comfortable ride than the school bus type vehicles. 
This is particularly important to those in the rural areas who must
travel long distances over rough roads.  Administrative rule
changes are being proposed which allow these newer styles of
vehicles to be purchased.

* Awareness.  It is difficult for persons who need transportation
to find out what is available and how to access it.  This is
particularly true of the elderly and low-income.  Since some
programs are so poorly funded, their availability is not well
publicized.


CHAPTER THREE

Better Utilization of Existing Resources and Services

Passenger Transportation Planning

One of the key ingredients to providing effective and efficient
transportation is short-term and long-term planning.  With the
exception of a few counties and a couple of regional planning
commissions, little or no countywide passenger transportation
planning is performed.  Transportation planning for those urbanized
areas which have public transit systems is required.  Virtually, no
regional passenger transportation planning which involves crossing
jurisdictional boundaries is being done.  The primary reason for
this lack of planning is that most counties have not given
passenger transportation planning a priority even though it has
been identified in a number of surveys as one of the top concerns,
particularly of the elderly and disabled.

                                 11





 Counties are the primary recipient of most program funds of which
transportation is a component part and it is the county that makes
most of the decisions on 1) how the funds are distributed, 2) who
is eligible to receive the services and 3) how the services are
provided.  Often these decisions are made in isolation and
coordination opportunities are missed.  In addition, public
involvement is not always a part of the decision making process.

Coordination

Transportation planning at the county level is important because it
is the basis on which coordination and improved utilization of
resources and services can be achieved.  Another benefit of a
planning process is the ability to identify all resources, not only
funding resources but also service provider and equipment
availability.  It is also a mechanism to determine mobility need of
its public or targeted groups.  Public input is a key ingredient of
a good plan.  Statewide projections of mobility needs have been
attempted but with little success because the necessary data is not
kept.  A planning process should be able to identify existing
resources, needs and services.  From the identification of this key
information, coordinated service plans can be implemented which
provide a more effective and efficient use of available resources. 
An added benefit of a planning process is the improved reliability
of support for additional resources.

Transportation Coordinating Committees

A number of counties have established "transportation coordinating
committees" but most have very little authority and minimal
responsibilities.  There is no consistency in either the membership
of the committees or the duties performed.  A properly empowered
transportation coordinating committee with defined minimum
responsibilities would provide counties with a mechanism to carry
out effective and efficient service delivery.

Regional Passenger Transportation Planning

Regional Passenger Transportation Planning is a more difficult
process because, in most cases, it deals with multiple
jurisdictions and the need to cross jurisdictional boundaries. 
Regional planning commissions are the logical organizations to
undertake this long- range (20-30 years) planning.  Part of the
long-term workplan should involve the feasibility of a regional
public transit system which would provide service to meet the
mobility needs for travel within the region while connecting with
other modes, such as intercity bus, for longer distance trips. 
Client based transportation could be contracted for with the
regional service provider or broker.  This concept may require
legislation to create an appropriate entity to effectively
implement the service.

Planning Resources

There are existing rural passenger transportation planning funding
resources from which to draw.  Planning is an eligible expense
under the s. 85.21 County Aid Program.  Also, the Section 18
Program can be used to fund special studies involving public
transportation.  In addition, regional planning commissions can use
federal Section 8/26 (a) (2) (A) funds provided through WisDOT if
such planning is part of its annual workplan.


                                 12




 
CHAPTER FOUR
Alternatives

Chapter Four takes a look at four alternatives which produce
different levels of transportation services based upon different
funding strategies and policies to achieve specific benefits at
each level.  Each level assumes a constant dollar level for
existing non-DOT programs adjusted for inflation, and that any
increased funding for WisDOT programs would not displace existing
nonDOT program funds.

Alternative One - Maintain Current Policies and Programs

Under this scenario, WisDOT would maintain its current commitment
to programs affecting rural public and specialized programs. 
Existing levels of transportation service would continue and
additional discretionary rides would be available through
coordination efforts.  In most cases, trip priorities would
continue to be established because of the shortage of resources at
all levels.

Funding Strategies:

Possible strategies include the following:

         Provide the current level of funding for the Elderly &
     Disabled County Aid Program (s.85.21), adjusted for inflation.

         Provide the current level of funding for the Elderly &
     Disabled Capital Grant Program (s.85.22), adjusted for
     inflation.

         Maintain the current level of funding for the rural
     public transit systems which is 50% of deficit (expenses minus
     revenues) for areas under 2,500 populations and 70% of
     expenses for small communities 2,500 - 50,000 population.

Policy Strategies:

Possible strategies include the following:

         Encourage coordination of existing funding sources and
     services.
         Provide technical assistance to transportation providers
     and agencies.
         Encourage the expansion of shared-ride taxi systems for
     communities with populations of 2,500 - 50,000.


                                 13





 Discussion:

This alternative would result in specialized transportation
continuing to be the primary means for transit dependent persons to
meet their mobility needs where public transit is not available. 
With a growing elderly population, a maintenance of current funding
would likely leave mobility "gaps" in many areas, falling short of
providing optimal service levels.

Alternative One would do little to improve the connectivity with
whatever long distance modes, such as intercity bus service, exist
in the rural areas.

Alternative Two- Increased Funding to Meet Mobility Needs

Under Alternative Two, incremental increases in specialized
transportation programs would provide gradual improvements meeting
the priority needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities. 
Better connections with improved intercity bus services would be
accomplished by countywide and regional passenger transportation
planning efforts.  The quality of life (independence) in the rural
areas would be strengthened without the need for substantial
increased transportation revenues or trade-offs with other
transportation programs.

Funding Strategies.

Possible strategies include the following:

         Incremental increases in the Elderly & Disabled County
     Aid Program, adjusted for inflation.

         Incremental increases in the Elderly & Disabled Capital
     Grant Program, adjusted for inflation.

         Provide current level of funding for the rural public
     transit systems and small urban shared-ride taxi systems.

         Provide targeted increases for low-income transit
     dependents.

         Provide financial incentives for countywide and regional
     passenger transportation planning efforts.

Policy Strategies:

         Possible strategies include the following:
Encourage development of improved mobility, focusing on priority
trip purposes.

         Develop passenger transportation planning on countywide
     and regional basis.


                                 14




 
         Examine the feasibility of regional public transit
     systems.
         Provide linkage to improved intercity bus service and
     other passenger modes.
         Actively encourage the expansion of shared-ride taxi
     systems for communities of 2,500 - 50,000 population.

Discussion

This alternative would gradually meet the priority needs of the
elderly and disabled on a long term basis.  It would also provide
long distance travel options for citizens by connecting the public
and specialized services with other transportation modes,
particularly intercity bus.  The concept of regional,rural public
transit would be explored which looks at travel between cities.

In the short term, Alternative Two would be relatively easy to
implement because it does not deviate from the current program
concepts and the increased services it produces would be
implemented in an orderly fashion.  The long term implication would
be examined through planning on a countywide and regional basis and
coordination with other funding sources and services would be
heightened.

Alternative Three- Substantial Increases to Meet Mobility Needs

While this alternative does not differ substantially from
Alternative Two in structure, the amount of funds devoted to the
various transit programs increases mobility at a much faster rate. 
Priority needs would be met much faster than Alternatives One or
Two and service gaps such as weekend or evening service could begin
to be addressed.  Connectivity with long distance travel modes such
as intercity bus and rail service would offer a much higher level
of mobility for the rural citizens.

Funding Strategies:

Possible strategies include the following:

         Substantial periodic increases in the Elderly and
     Disabled County Aid Program.
         Substantial periodic increases in the Elderly & Disabled
     Capital Grant Program.
         Allow rural public transit systems in areas under 2,500
     population to participate in the state operating assistance
     program.
         Provide the current level of funding for the rural public
     transit systems and small urban shared-ride taxi systems.


                                 15




         Provide targeted increases for low-income transit
     dependents.
         Provide financial incentives for countywide and regional
     passenger planning efforts.

Policy Strategies:

Possible strategies include the following:

         Encourage development of improved mobility, focusing on
     improvements to priority trips and service gaps such as
     evening and weekend service.
         Examine the feasibility of regional public transit
     systems.
         Provide linkage to improved intercity bus service and
     other passenger modes.
         Actively encourage the expansion of shared-ride taxi
     systems for communities of under 50,000 population.
         Encourage the establishment of regional approach to
     meeting mobility needs focusing on a central point of contact.

Discussion

This alternative greatly enhances the mobility of persons in the
long term.  From an administrative perspective, this alternative
would be identical to what is presently in place.  However, the
substantial increase in funding may only happen if transportation
revenues are increased or there is a redistribution of existing
funds.

This alternative also brings us closer toward a regional concept of
passenger transportation. @ transportation needs would be largely
met with shared-ride taxi systems and specialized transportation
services.  Long distance travel opportunities are increased with
substantial improvements in intercity bus service to rural
communities and the coordination of the increased rural services
with these modes.

Alternative Four- Meeting Most Local Transportation Needs

Alternative Four develops a passenger transportation system over
the long term which provides for most of the needs of all citizens. 
Local mobility is met through connections by a state wide network
of expanded shared-ride taxi systems serving all communities of
2,500 - 50,000 population in Wisconsin.  Travel needs between
communities in the rural areas would be met through a regional
public transit system.  Specialized transportation services is
still provided in areas where public transit cannot meet the needs. 
However, all services would be coordinated from one central source. 
Intercity long distance travel would be substantially improved with
expansion of intercity bus and rail passenger service and
intermodal transfer facilities.


                                 16




Funding Strategies:

Possible strategies include the following:

         Substantial increases in the Elderly and Disabled
     Transportation programs during the short term to cover
     priority needs and service gaps.
         Substantial increases in public transportation funding in
     the later years to meet the increase in regional public
     transit systems.

Policy Strategies:

Possible strategies include the following:

         Develop regional public transit systems to meet the
     travel needs between cities.
         Develop a system of shared-ride taxi systems in
     communities for meeting local mobility.
         Local and countywide passenger transportation planning is
     developed.
         High tech initiatives such as Intelligent Vehicle Highway
     System (IVHS) and Global Positioning is used to provide
     connectivity with intercity bus and efficiency of improving
     the local transit system operations.
         Regional passenger transportation planning required.

Discussion

This alternative attempts to meet most, if not all, of the mobility
needs primarily through establishing regional public transit
systems which include a network of shared-ride taxis, regional
transit service between communities and interconnectivity of these
services with greatly improved intercity bus, rail, urban bus and
air services and intermodal facilities.

The administrative function of the present specialized
transportation programs would change dramatically, particularly in
the latter years of the TransLinks 21 period.  The emphasis would
be on public transportation service.  This alternative would also
require substantial investment in both operation assistance and
capital (vehicles, maintenance facilities, etc.) which could result
in the need for increased transportation revenues or a major shift
in transportation priorities.


                                 17




 
Summary of Alternatives

There are obviously sublevels of the four alternatives described
above.  These four alternatives represent options for determining,
in a general sense, the direction the public wants the department
to take to meet the mobility needs of its citizens when it comes to
rural and specialized transportation passenger services.  In all
alternatives, coordination is a key ingredient in maximizing
funding and services to meet the needs in an efficient and
effective way.  Of course, the larger the financial commitment and
the sooner that commitment may be desired, the more impact it will
have on the need to find additional resources or reallocate
existing resources.

                                 18




 
SUMMARY

Mobility options in the rural areas of the state are limited. 
There are over 150 communities with populations between 2,500 and
50,000 which do not have a public shared-ride taxi system.  In a
number of counties with large urban cities, approximately 75 % of
the services available to the elderly and disabled are provided
within the urban areas.  The elderly aged 65 and older accounted
for nearly half of the total net gain in the state's population
over the last decade.  The group over age 85 has grown most
rapidly.  About 14% of Wisconsin's population is mentally or
physically disabled.  While we know that a large percentage of the
elderly, disabled and low income are located in urban settings,
there is still a sizeable percentage in rural settings which need
access to services if they are to maintain their independence.

The alternatives presented in this issue paper provide an array of
options to close the gaps in rural passenger programs and services. 
Each alternative is also tied to decisions in other modal issues
such as intercity bus because of the opportunity to connect with
these other modes, thus providing more mobility options.

Obviously, the greater the commitment from this department, the
faster the gaps will close.  However, each alternative requires a
trade-off or an increase in user fees.  Even Alternative One which
calls for continuing existing. programs will be difficult to
achieve given the growing state and federal environmental
mitigation requirements within current revenue limits.

There was concern expressed at one of the TRANSLINKS 21 forums
about the department investing "transportation" dollars in "social"
programs such as the s. 85.21 Elderly and Disabled Program.  While
the department believes that this is a legitimate use of the
segregated trust funds, we cannot ignore the importance roads play
in the rural areas and the impact a shortage of funds to maintain
and improve those roads may have on the rural community.

All of the alternatives contain varying degrees of actions which
seek to improve existing programs and services.  Planning and
coordination are the foundation on which major improvements can be
made.  This will require cooperation among all levels of government
and the private sector.  The improvements realized will help fill
the gaps identified by the rural transportation providers and
users. -One additional concern is the commitment of the other
federal, state and local governmental entities.  If the choice is
made to provide an incremental or substantial investment in rural
passenger transportation programs, we would want to insure that the
funds we invest are used to improve services and provide more
mobility, not replace existing commitments.

The next round of forums will provide further opportunity for input
into the alternative decisions which the Secretary will eventually
make.  While we have attempted to lay out four alternatives with
varying strategies and actions based upon the concerns expressed
during the various forums and from the written comments received,
there may be other options which will surface during the next phase
of public participation which we will analyze in greater depth.


                                 19





                       APPENDIX A

                 ALLOCATIONS OF S.85.21 AID 

                          1994

                                 Matching
County            Allocation          Share

   * Adams          $25,000        $5,000
   * Ashland        $25,000        $5,000
     Barron         $52,290        $10,458
   * Bayfield       $25,000        $5,000
     Brown          $162,368       $32,474
   * Buffalo        $25,000        $5,000
   * Burnett        $25,000        $5,000
     Calumet        $30,017        $6,003
     Chippewa       $59,830        $11,966
     Clark          $39,008        $7,802
     Columbia       $52,190        $10,438
   * Crawford       $25,000        $5,000
     Dane           $277,242       $55,448
     Dodge          $89,120        $17,824
     Door           $31,910        $6,382
     Douglas        $48,266        $9,653
     Dunn           $31,919        $6,384
     Eau Claire     $79,770        $15,954
   * Florence       $25,000        $5,000
     Fond du Lac    $94,577        $18,915
   * Forest         $25,000        $5,000
     Grant          $53,960        $10,792
     Green          $33,770        $6,754
     Green Lake     $26,907        $5,381
   * Iowa           $25,000        $5,000
   * Iron           $25,000        $5,000
   *Jackson         $25,000        $5,000
     Jefferson      $67,665        $13,533
     Juneau         $28,963        $5,793
     Kenosha        $120,922       $24,184
   * Kewaunee       $25,000        $5,000
     La Crosse      $93,870        $18,774
   * Lafayette      $25,000        $5,000
     Langlade       $27,406        $5,481
     Lincoln        $32,869        $6,574
     Manitowoc      $92,560        $18,512
     Marathon       $108,446       $21,689
     Marinette      $50,820        $10,164
   * Marquette      $25,000        $5,000
   * Menominee      $25,000        $5,000
     Milwaukee      $969,567       $193,913
     Monroe         $43,232        $8,646
     Oconto         $35,430        $7,086
     Oneida         $42,080        $8,416
     Outagamie      $121,952       $24,390
     Ozaukee        $60,173        $12,035
   * Pepin          $25,000        $5,000
     Pierce         $27,345        $5,469
     Polk           $41,330        $8,266
     Portage        $51,235        $10,247
   * Price          $25,000        $5,000
     Racine         $161,703       $32,341
   * Richland       $25,000        $5,000
     Rock           $133,620       $26,724
   * Rusk           $25,000        $5,000
     St. Croix      $41,115        $8,223
     Sauk           $57,643        $11,529
   * Sawyer         $25,000        $5,000
     Shawano        $48,293        $9,659
     Sheboygan      $112,738       $22,548
   * Taylor         $25,000        $5,000
     Trempealeau    $33,167        $6,633
     Vernon         $34,570        $6,914
     Vilas          $27,928        $5,586
     Walworth       $78,697        $15,739
   * Washburn       $25,000        $5,000
     Washington     $77,445        $15,489
     Waukesha       $242,029       $48,406
     Waupaca        $59,226        $11,845
     Waushara       $27,930        $5,586
     Winnebago      $138,929       $27,786
     Wood           $79,959        $15,992
     
     TOTAL          $5,084,000     $1,016,800

* = Guaranteed Minimum Allocation 





APPENDIX B

SPECIALIZED TRANSPORTATION SERVICES PROVIDED BY AGENCIES FUNDED
UNDER PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED BY THE DH&SS

The client transportation provided to recipients of the Wisconsin
Department of Health and Social Services programs is funded at a
level greater than any other specialized transportation assistance
program.  The following is a list of programs funded primarily
through the federal Department of Health and Human Services which
will give a detailed illustration of the involvement that social
service programs may have in specialized transportation.

1)  Indian Health Service - provides transportation for patients
and escorts between health facilities or from residence to health
facilities when private transportation is not available.

2)  Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Block Grant -
provides transportation to community mental health center clients
and other beneficiaries of the services funded with the block
grants.

3)  Maternal and Child Health Block Grant - transportation of
mothers in need of prenatal services and infants in need of medical
care.

4)  Community Health Centers - transportation services for those
clients of the centers who have special difficulties in accessing
the center's services.

5)  Family Planning - transportation is an authorized program
expense.

6)  Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant -
transportation is an allowable service.

7)  Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control Grants - transportation
is an allowable service.

8)  Childhood Immunization Grants - transportation is an allowable
grant.

9)  Migrant Health Centers - transportation services for those
clients of the centers who have special difficulties in accessing
the center's services.

10)   Adolescent Family Life/Demonstration Projects -
transportation is an allowable service.

11)   Mental Health Services for Cuban Entrants - transportation is
an allowable service.

12)  Community Support Program - transportation is an allowable
service.

13)  Health Programs for Refugees - transportation is an allowable
service.

14)  Home Health Services and Training Grants and Loans -
transportation is an allowable service.





15)   Tuberculosis Control Programs - transportation is an
allowable service.

16)  AIDS Cooperative Agreements - transportation is an allowable
service

17)  Black Lung Clinics - transportation is an allowable service.

18)  Medicare, Part B - transportation by ambulance only if other
means of transportation would endanger the client's health.

19)  Social Security Administration - reimbursement to persons who
travel to medical examinations, reconsideration interviews and
hearings, under certain circumstances.

20)  Aid to Families with Dependent Children - states choosing to
establish a community work experience program may pay for
transportation of program enrolles.

21)   Office of Human Development Services - currently planning a
national initiative to promote the coordination of transportation
services for its target population (i.e., elderly, children from
low-income families, disabled persons, and native Americans)  .

22)  Administration for Children, Youth, and Families -
transporting children to and from day programs.

23)  Administration on Developmental Disabilities - transportation
of DD individuals from community living situations to employment,
recreation, and medical appointments.

24)  Administration on Aging - transportation is an allowable
service and is funded under Title III of the Older Americans Act.

25)  Social Services Block Grant - funding is used by the states to
provide transportation services which support a variety of social
service programs.

26)  Work Incentive Program - states may be reimbursed for
transportation costs either as -an administrative expense or as an
optional medical service.

27)  Medicaid - transportation services may be provided or
reimbursed.

28)  Community Service Block Grant - transportation is an
authorized expense.

29)  Community Service Employment for Older Americans (Title V-
OAA).

30)  Job Training Partnership Act.



Wisconsin
Translinks 21




FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS TOPIC, CONTACT:

RON MORSE
CHIEF, SPECIALIZED TRANSPORTATION PROGRAMS
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
P.O. BOX 7914
MADISON, WI 53707-7914

FOR ADDITIONAL COPIES CALL:
OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, 608/266/3581




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