Partnerships and Coordination with Stakeholders
Resources are scarce in rural communities with multiple programs competing for similar funding.
Forging partnerships and coordinating services among stakeholders with similar goals can be an
important strategy to successfully implement and sustain a transportation program. Coordinating
transportation programs in a community can reduce duplication of
services and improve efficiency. It can also ensure that there is an adequate supply of
transportation staff and resources to operate the program if stakeholders pool resources. Since rural
communities are often spread far apart and transportation programs may span many miles of land,
partnerships could cross county and state lines.
Examples of types of stakeholders that could be considered for coordinated efforts in rural
Public and private transportation agencies
Local and state health departments and departments of health and human services
Agencies focused on aging, employment, education, and housing
Local businesses and national businesses with chapters located in the community
Community-based and nonprofit organizations
Rural and national philanthropic organizations and foundations
Some examples of implementation steps for building rural transportation partnerships and/or
Identify relevant stakeholders and partners
Plan meetings and start the process for formalizing the partnership
Identify the transportation needs of the community and population being served
Strategic planning surrounding the shared goals of the partnership, anticipated outcomes, and
allocation of resources. Develop the process and strategies for moving forward
Implement the coordinated services and build partnerships
Plan for evaluation and sustainability efforts
Implementing policy change can be an effective means for integrating planning efforts and maintaining
transportation projects. Transportation for America has identified several principles
for reforming federal policy to address the transportation challenges facing many rural
Involving rural communities in planning efforts
Repairing existing infrastructure
Improving transportation safety
Investing in public transportation and paratransit services
Improving intercity and multimodal transportation connectivity
Resources to Learn More
Connecting the DOTS: A
guide for connecting with your Department of Transportation
This report describes strategies to collaborate with state level Departments of Transportation in
order to collectively achieve project goals.
Author(s): Cole, D.
Organization(s): National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation
This website outlines key resources on coordinating transportation services at the federal, state,
and local levels. Also included is a comprehensive description of coordinated transportation
Organization(s): National Center for Mobility Management
Coordinating Rural Transit
Requires Thinking Outside the Box
This article provides guidelines on building transit systems that cross state boundaries. This can be
beneficial in many communities that border other states, as healthcare facilities in neighboring
states may be more accessible than ones located within the state.
Author(s): Elias, J.
Organization(s): The University of Kansas Transportation Center for Rural Transit Providers
National Center for Mobility
This organization serves to improve mobility options by assisting communities to overcome their
transportation barriers. They carry out many of their activities through certified mobility managers.
Toolkit for Rural Community Coordinated
This toolkit includes detailed information about the benefits of coordinating transportation services
in rural areas to maximize efficiency and quality of services. Although developed several years ago,
the toolkit provides examples of real programs and implementation challenges for coordinating
Author(s): Burkhardt, J.E., Nelson, C.A., Murray, G., & Koffman, D.
Organization(s): Transportation Research Board