How To Coordinate
Transportation coordination is a cooperative arrangement between transportation providers and organizations needing transportation services. Coordination is a key factor in providing a comprehensive transportation network.
Although the process of coordination varies depending on the agencies, providers, and circumstances involved, following are some basic steps for getting started.
- First, identify the needs, and unmet needs, in the community. Then identify those organizations in your area that provide or need transportation service and contact them with your ideas for coordination.
- When you’ve found a partner or partners, you’ll need to determine a course of action (and possible alternatives). This will include planning tasks and activities, assigning clear roles and responsibilities, anticipating potential problems, identifying effort needed, and estimating costs.
- Finally, put together a framework for action, including a timetable with key milestones. A signed document contract between both parties is essential for establishing ground rules and costs associated with the partnership.
- Remember that throughout the coordination process, communication among partners is vital.
Some coordination strategies include:
- Contracting between agencies
- Coordinating agency schedules
- Contracting with common carriers
- Coordinating dispatch
- Sharing resources (vehicles, staff, or facilities)
- Hiring a mobility manager
Successful Local Transportation Coordination Case Studies
In the spring of 2011, the Minnesota Council on Transportation Access, with the assistance of the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies, identified and documented successful coordination programs and projects throughout Minnesota. The case studies are grouped into broad coordination strategies.