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Leveraging Partnerships for Sustainability

Some health plans and healthcare providers may provide some reimbursement for transportation to and from medical appointments, pharmacies, or appointments to obtain durable medical goods. Program planners should consider identifying these partners in their community and determining if there are opportunities for collaboration.

For non-medical transportation needs, rural programs can leverage partnerships with local non-profit organizations, ride-hailing services, and for-profit transportation businesses like taxicab companies. For example, a funding organization may be willing to subsidize taxi vouchers for qualifying participants, or a community collaborative could support a vanpool to assist seniors with basic errands. Other organizations may be interested in supporting transportation systems that meet a particular need like increasing access to employment. Partner organizations can also contribute funding, time, staff or volunteers, or space for meetings and classes.

Resources to Learn More

Guidebook for Rural Demand-Response Transportation: Measuring, Assessing, and Improving Performance
Document
Chapter 7 of this report outlines policies, procedures, practices, and strategies to sustain and improve service, written for demand-response transit agencies in rural areas. Covers categories including scheduling and dispatch, service design, funding, marketing or public relations, and vehicle maintenance.
Author(s): Ellis, E. & McCollom, B.
Organization(s): Transportation Research Board
Date: 2009

Principles for Improving Transportation Options in Rural and Small Town Communities
Document
Discusses challenges, opportunities, and best practices for providing transportation services in rural areas. Includes a wide range of case studies that demonstrate the business case for public transit investment, as well as strategies to overcome barriers for a variety of transit systems.
Author(s): Shoup, L. & Homa, B.
Organization(s): Transportation for America
Date: 3/2010

Rural and Small Community Planning
Website
Provides a variety of resources for transportation planners in rural communities. Includes reports, key issues to consider, links to legislation and guidelines, events, peer-to-peer sharing opportunities, and connections to other related organizations.
Organization(s): Transportation Planning Capacity Building, U.S. Department of Transportation