THE MILEPOST
 June 2017
 
 An update from   

 
Mobility Management of South Central New York serves five counties in SCNY and is a program of the Rural Health Network of South Central NY.          

In This Edition 
 
MMSCNY Welcomes Anne Marie Sanford
MMSCNY is Hiring
Partner Spotlight (Delaware Opportunities, Inc.)
About Delaware County
County News and Notes
MMSCNY Announcements
Data! Data! Data! (a FOIL request to MAS)
What is FOIL?
What About MAS?
MMSCNY Metrics
Did You Know? (National Center for Mobility Management)
Transportation Camp Ithaca
Of Potential Interest
Binghamton Bridge Pedal
Ways You Can Help
Upcoming Events, Conferences, Workshops
 
 
MMSCNY Welcomes Anne Marie Sanford
 
Anne Marie Sanford joins the team at MMSCNY as a Mobility Management Transportation Advocate this week. Her formal training is in Child and Family Studies, and she has worked for Achieve as a Residence Aide and as a Vocational Services Professional. More recently, Anne Marie was a Background Check Investigator for Evolution Consulting. She has been a resident of Binghamton since 2010 and is acutely aware of the problems that a lack of viable transportation options can create for people. Many of you will have an opportunity to meet her soon, and we'll share more about Anne in the next Milepost.

 
MMSCNY is Hiring
 
Mobility Management of S.C.N.Y. announces a current position opening for a Mobility Management Transportation Advocate. This is a c hallenging position with the GetThere Call Center, a one-stop transportation assistance center located in Vestal, N.Y. GetThere provides transportation information and referral, case management, and educational services. The Mobility Management Transportation Advocate will serve with the MMSCNY team to improve access to employment, health care, and other essential services. Required: Associate in Human Services, health, planning, or a relevant field; supervisory experience; strong written, verbal, and problem solving skills; valid N.Y.S. Driver's License and use of a private vehicle for work-related purposes. Full-time with benefits. Send cover letter and resume to Dee Lambert   or mail to: Search Committee, Rural Health Network of S.C.N.Y, P.O. Box 416, Whitney Point, N.Y. 13862-0416, by June 15, 2017.

 
Partner Spotlight
Delaware Opportunities, Inc.
 
Established in 1965, Delaware Opportunities Inc., a not-for-profit, private corporation, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2015. Their mission is to help people achieve self-sufficiency and attain a better quality of life. They offer a host of programs and services that respond to the needs of the citizens of Delaware County, New York. Programs and services are annually assessed to ensure alignment with their goals and corresponding priority initiatives. 
 
Delaware Opportunities is a community action agency governed by a Board of Directors. Their responsibilities include identifying problems and opportunities residents of Delaware County face, and planning and implementing programs which address these problems, and give lower income families and individuals access to the opportunities.
 
Initially, the agency was funded almost exclusively through the federal government.  Today, funds come from private donations, United Way, contracts with local governments and government agencies, foundations, and federal and state sources.
During the early years, Delaware Opportunities served approximately six hundred persons during a year.  The agency currently employs approximately 220 individuals. Last year they served over 9500 people, representing over 20% of the population of Delaware County. They were assisted by approximately 400 volunteers and several local organizations.
 
Our colleague, Demetra Alberti, has been with Delaware Opportunities since 2003 in various capacities and is currently the agency's Community Services/Personnel Director. Demetra indicates that Delaware Opportunities first came to know of MMSCNY because of their familiarity and association with the Rural Health Network of SCNY as administrators of the AmeriCorps program in our area. An AmeriCorps member hosted by Farm Catskills had managed Delaware Opportunities' community gardens for a number of years. Delaware Opportunities is now the host agency for this AmeriCorps position as Community Nutrition Coordinator. As the RHN delved into transportation issues and established MMSCNY, Delaware Opportunities learned of it through the RHN.
 
The association between Delaware Opportunities and MMSCNY developed logically and continues to grow. It is no surprise that transportation challenges face residents of Delaware County. MMSCNY's concern and advocacy regarding transportation and related needs, especially on behalf of rural residents, is particularly applicable to Delaware County. Transportation gaps are as much a reality for Delaware County as others in SCNY, if not more so. The county is very rural, very large, and transportation gaps are a reality.
 
Delaware Opportunities recognizes that a multitude of factors revolve around and influence transportation needs--all of which need to be visible and acknowledged when examining the transportation issues, especially in this rural area. Demetra indicates there is a clear need for increased coordination within the county. "If we continue to offer the same (transportation-related) services the way they are, gaps will remain."
 
An Innovation Grant from MMSCNY has enabled Delaware Opportunities to form a transportation work group, which is conducting an examination of transportation limitations in the county as well as existing resources. The group's goal is to come up with ideas for improvements and possible solutions to some of the transportation gaps. People from different background and with different offerings throughout the community have gotten involved. (OFA, Veterans, ARC, and others, for example.) The group is very informed and well versed. Members are sharing observations about the transportation barriers they see. Demetra said, "We can all attend meetings and talk about barriers. The key factor is that this is our agenda. We are looking at transportation against a backdrop of multiple, significant issues that transportation impacts-employment, education, health and wellness, healthcare, general wellbeing, etc."
 
Demetra hopes to see a lot more coordinated, grassroots type efforts and views them as a way to address the transportation issues they face. Part of the Innovation Grant to Delaware Opportunities will allow more trainings across the county on GetThere and CTC, helping get the word out and getting more parties interested and involved.
 
Demetra Alberti: "Working together increases our ability to share information and resources and to identify and advocate more effectively for the needs we seek to meet. By working together we can accomplish something good for Delaware County and its residents."
 
If you'd like to get involved in their transportation advisory group, contact Demetra.
 
You will see more information about Delaware Opportunities in upcoming issues.
Reach them by phone at 607 746-1600, or e-mail delopp@delawareopportunities.org .
  
 
ABOUT Delaware County
 
For those less familiar with Delaware County, on the eastern border of upstate New York's Southern Tier Region, it is the fourth largest of New York's 62 counties and the fifth most rural. It covers 1447 square miles. The population density is only 32.3 persons per square mile. The size of the county, larger than the state of Rhode Island, is reflected in the fact that it borders seven counties (Broome, Chenango, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster) as well as the State of Pennsylvania. The largest percentage of the county's ages fall within the "65 +" category at approximately 19%; the second largest group consists of those between ages 55-64, or 16%. The county is characterized by a mountainous terrain and winding, twisting roads, making travel difficult and even hazardous during the winter months. There is a lack of public transportation and although a few private transport services have begun to service the area, the costs are exorbitant. The local health care environment in Delaware County is greatly influenced by its environment.
 
COUNTY NEWS and NOTES
 
Broome County:  
Free g rocery shuttle service for North Side Binghamton residents will start 6/12. See the article for more information. (Press & Sun Bulletin, 6/1)


Chenango County and Otsego County:
County transportation committee meetings continue in both Chenango and Otsego counties. 

Mobile Cancer Screening is coming to Chenango and Otsego counties, a well as Schoharie. The number provided for information is 1-888-345-0225.  
   
Delaware County:
Delaware County, in the midst of experiencing the roll-out of the voucher program, reports that the program is enabling them to increase services for individuals needing assistance for such things as  picking up prescriptions or food items. 

Their recently formed  transportation work group continues to grow; they meet quarterly, and again in late June or early July. For more information or to join the group contact Demetra Alberti, Community Services/Personnel Director, Delaware Opportunities, Inc., 607-746-1750. 

Tioga County:  
Tioga DSS Frontline Workers Talk Transportation
 
Twenty-six employees of Tioga County Department of Social Services participated in a "Tioga Transportation Talk" facilitated by Andy Fagan, Executive Director of CCE Tioga. In this workshop, they learned about transportation options and resources available to Tioga County residents, the Getthere Call Center, the "Connection to Care" Assistance Program, Travel Training, and other travel innovations that are underway. The employees also got to share some of their observations and insights from their work with families in Tioga County. All of the employees said that most of the individuals or families they serve have missed appointments or services because of lack of transportation. Additional talks across the county ae being scheduled, including a presentation to the Tioga County Nonprofit Network on June 28th.

 Contact Andy by calling 607-687-4020, ext. 312, or sending him an e-mail

  
 
MMSCNY Announces
 
Mohawk Valley GIS for Website Project
&
 United Way Broome County Award   

MMSCNY received 18 proposals in response to the recent RFP for the Mobility Management website with trip planning capability project. The project objective is to maximize information and access to transportation resources for the Medicaid population and other transportation disadvantaged groups (rural seniors, individuals with disabilities, low-income individuals) in a ten county region of central New York State.

The review committee selected three finalist and interviews have been completed. MMSCNY has finalized the contract and agreed to terms with Mohawk Valley GIS  (Utica). They do GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Services, Web Mapping, App Development and Web Design.

MMSCNY has been awarded a grant from  United Way Broome County to provide non-emergency medical transportation through Connection to Care for residents of Broome County. 

You will learn more about both of the above items in upcoming issues.

Data! Data! Data!
 
"Data! Data! Data! I can't make bricks without clay." One of Sherlock Holmes' most famous quotes captures the need to gather as much data as possible when reconstructing facts and making logical deductions. Data have always been and still remain the basis on which objective conclusions are drawn, the basis of the approach for understanding the world.
 
In our inaugural issue of the Milepost, almost a year ago, Jack Salo offered his perspective on 30+ years of health and human service work in the region with these words: "not much has changed," specifically referring to transportation need. While we have some basic data (e.g., the number of car-less households by zip code through the census) we collect little, if any, information on rural transportation need....."
 
MMSCNY set out to change that landscape and has consistently gathered and compiled increasing numbers of data sets related to transportation/mobility issues in our world (SCNY). Our workplan and our performance measures reflect commitment to data collection to better inform our work. This requires an investment of staff time, which is considered time well spent. It is critical to our ability to interpret and understand the breadth of the transportation issues our residents face, and to a dvocate effectively for their needs. We compile data and compose case studies to document and illuminate, and are committed to sharing them with you. We like data; we need data; we share data.
 
In this vein, and pursuant to state open records legislation, MMSCNY submitted a FOIL request to DOH for MAS data (Medical Answering Service) in January. The request was actually a combined effort with PHIP (Population Health Improvement Program). Emily Hotchkiss, formerly with RHNSCNY and now with the Conference of Local Mental Hygiene Directors as the Regional Planning Consortium Project Coordinator (Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions), was a lead. In response, a wealth of raw data was received, without summary or interpretation. For 2015 and 2016, annual and monthly data was provided, much of it by county, including such categories as:
 
Average distance travelled; Origin zip codes, Destination zip codes; Trips by type; Denied trip count by reason; Complaints by type; Cancellations; Group rides............and more.
 
We will clarify some questions, including questions of definitions, and plan to share items of interest with readers, over time. The data is interesting, subject to interpretation, and likely to prompt more questions.   

Here as an example is from a document entitled annual report:
 
Is it what you would expect?
What if anything stands out and/or surprises you about it?
Do you have an interpretation? 

The data indicates that the average distance per trip leg is least for Broome County and greatest for Delaware County, as one might expect. For all except Broome County, trips cancelled by provider went down from 2015 to 2016. What might have influenced trip cancellations by provider to drop? For Broome County the number of trips cancelled was similar from 2015 to 2016 (increased slightly). Is this what you might expect? Would you expect to see the number of user complaints correlate to the number of trip cancellations? Could the number of user complaints be associated with the number of group rides going up (as it did significantly in Broome County)? 
 
As always, we share information w e deem worthy of contemplation; we'd welcome observations. Contact Bill Wagner with yours.  
What is FOIL?
 
The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) is the legislation that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.

What About MAS?  
 
MAS manages non-emergency Medicaid Transportation in 55 New York State counties.
 
MMSCNY's Metrics Quick View 

From the GetThere Call Center:
   
The Getthere Call Center continues to experience record breaking
numbers of calls.


About the recently implemented Transportation Voucher Program:

The voucher program which rolled out on April 1st, experienced utilization by county as depicted above during its first month. The program will allow Medicaid recipients to better access destinations and services ineligible for Medicaid funding.


 



Did You Know? 
National Center for Mobility Management
 
The National Center for Mobility Management is supported through a cooperative agreement with the Federal Transit Administration. It is operated through a consortium of three national organizations-the American Public Transportation Association, the Community Transportation Association of America, and the Easter Seals Transportation Group.
 
The mission of the Center is to facilitate communities to adopt transportation strategies and mobility options that empower people to live independently, and advance health, economic vitality, self-sufficiency, and community.
 
Check their website for their key activities, and more. You may be interested in their newsletter, and can subscribe via the site. 
 
Don't Miss Transportation Camp
 
Tompkins County and Cornell University are hosting their second TransportationCamp Ithaca, on Saturday, June 17 on the Cornell campus.

Objectives are:
  • to offer a high quality TransportationCamp experience in Upstate NY;
  • to focus on challenges and solutions to medium & small urban and rural mobility;
  • and to explore how technologies and better practices can be used to transform peoples' mobility choices and community livability.
TransportationCamp fosters open conversation and collaboration between people interested in urban and rural mobility amid radical changes in the near- future. Camp is an opportunity to explore questions, promote new ideas and network with fellow participants.
 
This is an unconference; participants propose the sessions. Check it out.
 
Of Potential Interest
 
1) NYS approves 1st self-driving vehicle demonstration
Here is an interesting article pertaining to self driving vehicles--the future of the automotive industry? (WBNG 5/31/17)  

2) Ride hailing
There have been several recent local news stories (WBNG) about ride hailing. Here is one about attempts to get service here before the July 4th holiday. (5/24/17)

More recently: How new regulations will impact Uber drivers, passengers in Upstate NY (6/6/17)

and
 
Launch date now anticipated to be 6/29 (6/2/17)

  
3) Strategies to reduce the drive alone mode share
Beth McKechnie, with Green Action Centre (Winnipeg), recently solicited input from interested parties for a workshop they were hosting on strategies to reduce the drive alone mode share. They requested suggestions of short videos relevant to the topic, e.g. employer success stories, entertaining takes on workplace commuting, importance of a commuting options program for recruiting and retaining employees, etc.
  
She followed up with a list of those received, which we continue to share with you. You might enjoy:

a) From Way2Go.org  in Tompkins County, Ithaca 

Here is the link to their video submission; and

Way2Go Home page with five videos


b) Try a Google Search for a video from the TV Show - Carpoolers (2007-2008)
This is a pretty good one - and not too long.
 

c) The short video that Green Action Center recently released celebrates employers and their investments in commuter benefits in the City of Seattle. Check it out here
                              

Binghamton Bridge Pedal
 
This year's Binghamton Bridge Pedal will be held on August 26th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, starting and ending at TechWorks! at 123 Water Street in Binghamton. It is a family-friendly and police-escorted, 10-mile bike tour around downtown Binghamton and the river corridor. There will be stops along the way where riders can learn about local history and new development in the area. The cost is $11 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under. After the ride, Bytes and Backyard Bites will take place at TechWorks!. Riders and the public alike can sample local food and learn about technology innovation in the Southern Tier. After event is free to all.
 
More info and registration can be found at: http://bmtsonline.com/bridgepedal.
 
Ways 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. Share mobility related news, events, and images representative of your area.

Funding is critical to MMSCNY's ability to continue to respond to increasing demand for services. If you'd like to make a donation to MMSCNY, visit the RHNSCNY donation page .  

If you'd prefer to send a check, direct it to us c/o the RHNSCNY, PO Box 416, Whitney Point, NY 13862.
 
You can earmark your gift to CTC and/or GetThere by noting your designation(s) in the memo section.
 
Upcoming
Events, Conferences, Workshops, Save-the-Date


MMSCNY Advisory Committee -  Thursday, June 15, at 12:00 Noon
followed by BMTS Coordinated Transportation Committee -  1:30 pm
NOTE LOCATION: Broome County Library
 
Transportation Camp Ithaca - Saturday, June 17, 8 am - 4 pm, on the Cornell University Campus (details above).
 
Tioga's County Transportation Group's monthly meeting - Wednesday, July 12, CCE Tioga

Tioga's County Transportation Group's quarterly meeting - Friday, September 1,  at 1 pm, Tioga DSS

MMSCNY Advisory Committee meetings for the 2017 calendar year, including monthly and quarterly meetings, can be found at meeting schedule. Quarterly meetings will continue to be held immediately prior to BMTS' Coordinated Transportation Committee meetings.
Those interested in attending or learning more about MMSCNY Advisory Committee meetings should email Bill Wagner
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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

GetThere Call Center Hours
now 7:00 am to 6:00 pm weekdays
 

Important--please note that the option below to unsubscribe will remove your name from ALL of the RHNSCNY agency's mailing lists.