We are pleased to announce that Botetourt County has been selected as one of four communities by the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), to develop and test ways to address the particular mobility challenges experienced by low-income community members for whom a lack of transportation is an obstacle to the pursuit of economic, health, and social well-being. NCMM is a technical assistance center operated by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and funded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
A vibrant community is one where all residents are empowered to pursue economic, health, and social well-being. NCMM recognizes the vital role transportation plays in all activities that support resident empowerment across the board. Yet often community transportation systems lack the resources and/or strategies to provide the level of mobility to residents that they would like to.
For the Community Mobility Design Challenge 2020, four planning grants totaling $71,651 have been awarded to four communities, chosen in a competitive process. The complete list of awardees, and their focus areas, are given below:
Health and Well-Being
1. Botetourt County, VA (Lead agency: Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission)
2. Perry County, MO (Lead agency: Perry County Economic Development Authority)
3. Ware County, GA (Lead agency: Action Pact)
Access to Healthy Foods
4. North Charleston, SC (Lead agency: Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments)
Before applying for the grant, our community researched the extent of the identified transportation challenge through interviews and other types of primary and secondary research. Later this month, NCMM staff will lead our team in developing insights from our “deep dive” into the specific transportation needs of low-income community members, which will then inform our solutions. During the grant period, our team will develop and propose solutions, test key assumptions about the concepts with potential users, and modify the solutions to ensure they closely respond to the identified challenge. We will also plan how to operationalize the solution, paying close attention to the financial viability and sustainability of the solution.
Our project is bringing together partners from the Eagle Rock Ruritan Club, Botetourt County, transportation, and other community agencies, some of whom have never collaborated together before. We will also create performance measures to show the projected impact of our project, among other key indicators.