THE MILEPOST
August 2016
 
A monthly update from   

This newsletter is an ongoing communication to Mobility Management of South Central New York (MMSCNY) key constituents, community organizations, and other interested individuals in or near our five-county service area. Produced and
distributed by MMSCNY, it will include periodic updates on mobility and transportation related issues and initiatives. We encourage partners and
participants to add to its value by suggesting and/or
contributing content. MMSCNY is a program of the Rural Health Network of South Central New York. 

What is Mobility Management?
 
Mobility management, as defined by the
"... the good use of a great variety of existing transportation resources, the use of less expensive alternatives, and the creation of inter-agency partnerships, all with the primary goal of providing customized service to residents and communities."  

Rural Transportation, Transportation Need, and Mobility Management 
MMSCNY's Director Offers His Perspective
My thoughts can be summarized by The American Public Transportation Association's definition of Mobility Management (above). Transportation is a universal need. Accessing the services and opportunities that make possible a healthy and productive lifestyle is a critical component of healthy living. Some people can accomplish this easily, others hardly at all. Mobility management, as a field of practice, exists because traditional transportation solutions fall short in their goal to ensure that critical access for all members of the community. 
 
One of my earliest recollections of Mobility Management was a blue Schwinn I received as an early birthday gift. The bike allowed me to manage my mobility needs for social, entertainment and educational purposes. Soon after, I would experience my first taste of "ride sharing", like many, on a big yellow bus. Later on, as I lived my version of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles," I found myself benefiting and surviving by the principles and practices of Multi-Modal Transportation, that is planning that considers various modes: walking, cycling, automobile, public transit, etc. Some time spent working in Manhattan taught me the necessity of this practice.
 
I am very grateful that I have always been one of those fortunate enough to have either the ability, the capacity, and/or the access to resources necessary to meet most of my transportation needs. Having said that, after nearly twenty years in Human Services, experience has taught me that many are not as fortunate. For many, transportation is often the barrier to access to health care, employment, food, social opportunities or access to many of the determinants that lead to a healthy and a productive lifestyle. Such a lifestyle should be a right of everyone, regardless of ability or health, financial status, geographic location or any other inequitable factor. The more people living productive, healthy and contributing lifestyles, the stronger and healthier our communities become.
 
In the first issue of The Milepost, Rural Health Network Executive Director, Jack Salo, stated, "Not much has changed", regarding transportation needs. Although in principle I agree, I've always liked to suggest to Jack (and others) an alternative way to view things. According to the US Census, the US population in 1970 was just over 205 million; today it surpasses 309 million. Slightly over 7 million people in 1970 were 60 years of age or older; today almost 17 million are in that category. In 1970 the average cost of a gallon of gas was $.36; in 2010 it was $3.80. The average cost of a new car to put that gallon of gas in was $3,450 in 1970, and over $31,000 in 2010. Looking at these numbers, one might conclude that the number of individuals needing assistance with transportation may be far greater, and that the cost of that transportation is most likely significantly higher.
 
The increased need and cost over the last 30 or 40 years has led to some innovated strategies and exciting developments in public transportation solutions. Strategies such as Vanpooling, Car sharing, and Volunteer Transportation Providers have moved from thought-provoking concepts to efficient and effective practices for meeting some transportation and mobility needs. 
 
I am excited to be part of Mobility Management of South Central New York (MMSCNY). I look forward to participation in this important collaboration, both locally with partners from the MMSCNY advisory committee, as well as regionally with other Mobility Management teams. Together, we are a part of national and global efforts to develop strategies to assist more members of our communities to meet their transportation needs, allowing them to live healthy, productive lifestyles, and to participate more fully in their communities. Working together to develop more efficient ways to provide cost-effective transportation solutions will lead to more innovations. These efforts will result in stronger, more vibrant communities.
 
Stay tuned for more issues of The Milepost. We hope to keep you informed of our efforts and also those of our partners. We will keep you in tune with what is happening in transportation, both in theory and reality. Please join us for a ride in future issues as we turn the keys to the ignition with our Rural Mobility Project. Feel free to contact me with your thoughts and questions. Have something exciting you would like to share? Please let us know; we can help you.

William Wagner, Director, MMSCNY  
MMSCNY Welcomes Emily Blakeslee
     
As part of continuing expansion of MMSCNY services, we are happy to announce the addition of Emily Blakeslee to our staff as Seniors and Disabilities Specialist.   
A new face at MMSCNY
 
Emily  grew up in a military family, moving all over the country. She was raised in Halsey Valley, a small farming community located within Spencer, New York for the majority of her youth. On her family farm Emily's chores included, but were not limited to, tending the chickens and weeding. Emily moved to Binghamton to attend Binghamton University and graduated in the fall of 2013 with her Bachelors of Science degree in Human Development.
 
While attending school Emily worked with people having developmental disabilities and following graduation, accepted a full-time position as a prevocational counselor for those with special needs. Emily has experience working directly and indirectly with individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as with seniors. Emily recognizes the transportation need within rural communities. She believes that having grown up in the country, in combination with her previous experience supporting those with special needs, will allow her to serve SCNY well as the current Mobility Management Seniors and Disabilities Specialist.
 
When not working, she enjoys reading, knitting, hiking and anything green. She resides in Endicott with her husband, dog, and two kitties (three 'furbabies'). Emily believes in living life colorfully and is excited to bring her energy to the team at MMSCNY. The team is excited to have her! In her position, Emily will oversee operation of the GetThere Call Center, working with the team to deliver transportation assistance (case management, information and referral services, trip planning, travel training, and transportation education services); and to improve access to employment, health care and other essential services for transportation disadvantaged, with a primary focus on the elderly and people with disabilities. We hope you will have a chance to meet her soon.   

Partner Spotlight
 
Community Care Network of Nichols

Community Care Network of Nichols (CCNN), a volunteer community service organization out of Nichols, NY, is a long- term partner of MMSCNY. CCNN, established in 1999 to serve the town and village of Nichols, expanded into Southside Owego in 2011, and in 2013 into the Towns of Barton and Tioga.
They match resources with needs--needs such as: friendly visits, reassuring phone calls, transportation services, problem solving and information and referral services. Dorothy ('Dot') Richter, executive director of CCNN, offers the following about their work and its relationship to transportation.

It has always been about bridging the gaps to provide access to services. The result is neighbors helping neighbors. Transportation is a huge community need and hugely important -- especially in rural areas like our own. We rely on it for everything -- health care needs, entertainment, employment, school, etc. Without it, life is challenging at best and can be nearly impossible.
Transportation has grown in significance to CCNN's efforts during the past eight years I've been involved. I've seen the need double in just the most recent two. At this point, its full speed ahead. The availability of public transportation is not the only influence. It's not
Dot Richter, Exec. Dir., CCNN
all about the bus system, though changes in Tioga County's bus system in 2014 had a huge impact on our neighbors and their needs. Not everyone can take advantage of a bus system. Those who are disabled and or elderly often must look to other solutions. A Taxi is not always the answer.

CCNN is only able to offer our services because of dedicated volunteers. They sustain us-they are how and why we can continue our work. We appreciate them beyond words and wish we could do more to recognize them, but it isn't recognition that they seek. Possibly that feeling of being able to assist those in need is what sustains them. They come to us. Word of mouth is how the overwhelming majority of our volunteers, and also our clients, hear about us. Trust is also what brings our clients to us and keeps them coming back. Building the trust of the people we serve is a big issue. Our motto is that we are always available. Our phones are answered 95 % of the time, often by our client services coordinator, Makayla Bean.
Makayla Bean, CCNN Client Services Coordinator  
She joined us this spring, and has been great at building relationships with our callers. Her availability also addresses the related issue of continuity. People are getting to know the voice on the other end of the phone.

The feeling of togetherness within our organization is important too -- by working together we can accomplish something good for the community and our neighbors. But our work depends on working with other organizations across the community as well. It increases our ability to share information and resources and to advocate more effectively for the needs we seek to meet.

When asked about her hopes for the future of CCNN, Dot indicates that she'd like to see more satellites, meaning that more areas and more people could be served. Transportation is just one component. A satellite could choose an area of need they'd like to address and design an array to services to meet the need. We'd like to see other groups step up and take on or share ownership responsibilities, but we realize it is a difficult, time-consuming commitment to make, even for a group and especially in smaller, rural communities. Ownership includes issues such as administration and board management among other demanding concerns.

You will see more information about CCNN in upcoming issues.
Reach them by phone at (607) 414 - 1018 or (607) 731 - 3100,
 or by e-mail.  

MMSCNY's Metrics Quick View

Calling GetThere 2014 to 2016--
Who and Why?

     
                                 
   
 
 
 
 
If you'd like to help fund assistance to residents in our area who may need help from MMSCNY, use this online link, or send a check to us c/o the RHNSCNY. 
Reminder--Request for Proposals

The RHNSCNY is now accepting proposals for Support and Development of Rural Transportation and Mobility Services from not-for-profit organizations or local government service providers to serve each of the following counties: Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Tioga. One grant award is anticipated for each county. Services to include county-level outreach and public education, conducting an inventory of transportation services and needs, and development of increased transportation capacity and coordination.
For more information and/or to receive a copy of the RFP e-mail Cindy Martin, or call
607-692-7669. Direct questions to William Wagner , Director, MMSCNY, no later than August 19, 2016, at 4:30 PM.
 
Proposal deadline is 4:30 pm on August 31, 2016.  
Did You Know?  
 
GetThere offers travel training for individuals and organizations. A typical session demonstrates such things as how to read bus
schedules, how to plan trips, how to board and disembark safely.
Contact  GetThere at 1-855-373-4040 for more information.
 
Binghamton Bridge Pedal
 
The 10th Annual Binghamton Bridge Pedal will take place this Saturday, August 20th at 9:00 am, followed by the Bytes and Backyard Bites event.
 
Join the family-friendly fun with a police-escorted bike tour around downtown Binghamton and the river corridor areas, exploring parks, significant sites, and multiple bridges.  The 2016 Binghamton Bridge Pedal features two route choices - an 8 mile leisurely ride, and a 3 mile Bridge Pedal Junior ride.  Both routes start at 9 am and finish at TechWorks! at 321 Water St. in Binghamton.
 
Following the bike ride (approximately 11:00AM - 1:00PM), stick around for Backyard Bites! Sample local food including ice cream, pesto,  pizza, fruits and veggies, and more from Taste NY, Chobani, CHOW, Inside Scoop,  NY Pizzeria, VINES,  Whole in the Wall, and others. Take a tour of TechWorks! - punch & sort cards at the Vintage IBM Computing Center,  Link Apollo Lunar Module Simulator, Link Nickelodeon, Giant Pinhole Camera, & more.  
 
Online Registration is accessible here , which also has updated 2016 event information, as well as photos and materials from past Binghamton Bridge Pedal events. Click here to download a printable Binghamton Bridge Pedal flyer that contains event details and registration information.
 
Spread the word!  
 
Hope to see everyone at the Binghamton Bridge Pedal.
 

Scott Reigle, Senior Transportation Planner, on behalf of
Binghamton Metropolitan Transportation Study (BMTS)
 
NY Invests in Pedestrian Safety
 
New York State is getting its first comprehensive pedestrian safety plan. The $110 million initiative will target communities outside of New York City over the next five years for engineering improvements, education efforts and an enforcement campaign.
The initiative will include consideration of a number of low-cost interventions to boost safety, such as retiming traffic signals, improving crosswalk visibility, restricting parking near intersections, and adding more pedestrian refuge islands and curb extensions.
The state is also considering banning right turns on red at some intersections or putting up signs reminding drivers that they are required to yield to pedestrians when making a right on red. For the full article by Kelsey E. Thomas (nextcity.org), see pedestrian safety.
Upcoming
Events, Conferences, Workshops, Save-the-Date
 
Aug. 18, MMSCNY Advisory Committee Meeting, STIC, Binghamton, noon
 
Sept. 2, Tioga Transportation Group Meeting (quarterly), Health & Human Services Building, Owego

Sept. 13-14, Walk-Bike New York Symposium,   
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Syracuse (For Information )

 Sept. 22 - Oct. 6, Car Free Challenge, (For Information)

Oct.18-20, NYPTA Conference & Expo, Transit Technology and Smarter CommunitiesDesmond Hotel & Conference Center, Albany (For Information)

Oct. 22, Tioga County Medical Mission, Owego Free Academy, Owego

Oct. 26, Transportation & Health Forum , Binghamton Doubletree
 
 
MMSCNY Thanks Our Funding Partners
 
MMSCNY acknowledges the generous support of its funders, both past and present. If you would like to more information on making an investment or donation to support mobility and transportation needs throughout South Central New York, please contact Cindy Martin, Director of Development at the Rural Health Network of South Central New York @ (607) 692-7669.
 
Current Funding Partners:
  • Federal Transit Administration, Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program
  • Federal Transit Administration, Section 5311 Formula Grants for Rural Areas program (Tioga County is the applicant)
  • New York State Department of Transportation
  • New York State Office of Rural Health
  • Robert C. Smith Foundation
  • Tioga County
  • United Health Services Hospitals, Inc.
  • United Way of Delaware and Otsego Counties

Past Funding Partners: 

  •  Ascension Health Partners in Ministry grant program
  • Community Foundation of South Central New York, Harriet Ford Dickenson Fund
  • Excellus BlueCross BlueShield 
  • Federal Transit Administration, Section 5316 Job Access Reverse Commute program
  • Federal Transit Administration, Section 5317 New Freedom program

 

 

How You Can Help
 
Join in promoting our cause. You can help spread the word and gather feedback. Share this communication with others who may be interested or let us know who to add to the distribution list. Share your ideas and those you hear from others with us.  

 

To make a donation to MMSCNY online, please use this online link, or send a check to us c/o the RHNSCNY, PO Box 416, Whitney Point, NY 13862. To earmark your gift to CTC and/or GetThere, please note your designation(s) in the memo section.

Contact information:

Mobility Management of South Central New York (MMSCNY)

phone: 607-240-2033 

William Wagner, Director, e-mail: wwagner@rhnscny.org

Nick Cecconi, Assistant Director, e-mail: mmscny@rhnscny.org

 

GetThere Call Center phone: 1-855-373-4040

 

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