In this issue:
State Efforts in Community Transportation
Please note: As of July 2009, this Web site is available as an information resource, but is no longer being updated since the program is not currently active.
Many Minnesota seniors unaware of transportation options, survey finds
The 2005 "Survey of Older Citizens" by the Minnesota Board on Aging shows that 31 percent of sampled Minnesotans over the age of 50 were not aware of public transportation in their community, while nearly one out of ten was unable to go somewhere because of a perceived lack of transportation.
First year a success for new transportation brokerage service
Last year, Minnesota changed the way transportation assistance and services are provided to individuals in an eligible Minnesota Health Care program.
The Minnesota Non-emergency Transportation (MNET) program was created to serve as a central broker for these services. MNET, through a private vendor, maintains a call center, checks on callers' eligibility status and covered services, determines the level of transportation needed, handles and resolves complaints, pays and monitors providers, and provides administrative oversight and reporting to the state, among other things.
Minnesota transit conference features national author, speaker
Author and motivational speaker Rachel Simon offered insight into what public transportation means to people with special needs at the Minnesota Public Transit Conference luncheon, held October 26 in Bloomington, Minn.
Prepare for an aging society, state demographer says
Economic trends will affect the users of specialized transportation and the resource base on which it operates, said Tom Gillaspy, state demographer with the Minnesota Department of Administration. Gillaspy spoke at a session titled "Minnesota's Demographic and Economic Outlook" at the Minnesota Public Transit Conference October 26 in the Twin Cities
Governor announces formation of coordination committee
Earlier this summer, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty established a committee to further the coordination of health and human service transportation in the state. The Interagency Committee on Transit Coordination will survey existing transportation alternatives, best practices, and coordination strategies that have worked in Minnesota and other states and develop a series of recommendations for improving the level of transportation coordination.
Report explores transportation needs of diverse populations
To determine how to better provide transportation for racial and ethnic groups, researchers from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota conducted seven focus groups addressing different transportation needs and priorities. The work was part of a larger project, "Using ITS to Better Server Diverse Populations." Participants of the two Spanish-speaking groups, two Hmong groups, and three Somali groups (all from rural or urban Minnesota) were interviewed about their daily activities, trips, computer use, and transportation choices.
Transit Coordination Study
The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Council are funding a study to establish a framework to educate public transit and human service transportation stakeholders at the local level about the benefits of coordinating public transit and human service transportation. The study will also identify transit industry best practices and develop a statewide action plan for improving transportation coordination.
MNET Transportation Broker Services
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has implemented a new medical transportation broker program called MNET. According to federal requirements, states must have a "health care access plan" for their citizens who receive medical assistance. In an effort to reduce the use of special transportation services and thereby reduce costs, the Department of Human Services has opted to contract with a single broker in the seven-county metro area—Medical Transportation Management, Inc. The single-broker model allows for better screening of clients in order to determine the most appropriate level of transportation, ranging from special transportation services to mileage reimbursement for individuals able to get a ride from someone such as a neighbor or relative.
Coordination study gathers input through survey, focus groups
The Minnesota Coordination Action Plan, a study sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) in cooperation with the Metropolitan Council, recently completed its first phase through two significant deliverables. The goals of the study are to help stakeholders develop a coordinated transportation network, provide best practices, and develop an action plan to move community transportation coordination forward.