Chapter 3.8: Examples of Regional Approaches

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Wisconsin

The core group of stakeholders for the Wisconsin transportation planning approach included senior staff from the following organizations:

  • Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD)
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Public Transit Section (Wis/DOT)
  • The Wisconsin Urban Transit Association (WUTA)
  • Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Wisconsin Works, (or W-2), is Wisconsin's employment-based assistance program for low-income families with dependent children that replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) is the State agency that manages the W-2 Program and was a major participant in job access planning. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, (Wis/DOT), Public Transit Section, provides funding and support for a variety of public transportation services throughout the State. Wis/DOT was also a major contributor to the transportation planning effort by providing funding and staff assistance throughout. A third major stakeholder involved in Wisconsin's transportation planning process was the Wisconsin Urban Transit Association, (WUTA), Wisconsin's statewide transit association. FHWA and FTA provided funding for the transportation study. While WUTA, Wis/DOT and the FHWA had a long-standing working relationship, little interaction existed between DWD and Wis/DOT, FHWA or WUTA.

With a core group of stakeholders committed to the process, stakeholders from the Milwaukee area were invited to participate in job access planning, including the following agencies:

Public Transit:

  • Sheboygan Transit
  • Milwaukee County Transit System
  • City of Racine Transit

Regional Planning:

  • Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

Local Government:

  • Waukesha County
  • City of Waukesha
  • Milwaukee County Public Works
  • City of Kenosha

This group of stakeholders served as a steering committee for job access planning and selected a consulting firm for assistance. The steering committee met on a regular basis with the consultants and provided guidance and assistance as planning progressed.

This approach was used for the transportation planning in other counties. The core group of stakeholders remained and stakeholders from each additional county were enlisted to participate in the transportation planning for their respective counties.

Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia took the lead in job access planning and involved the following core group of stakeholders:

  • City of Philadelphia
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
  • Private Industry Council (PIC) of Philadelphia
  • Transportation Management Associations (TMAs)
  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC)

The DVRPC, an interstate, inter-county and inter-city agency, provides continuing, comprehensive and coordinated planning for the Delaware Valley region. DVRPC's responsibilities include transportation and land use planning for the greater Philadelphia area. The organization has completed a number of projects, many of them utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS), to analyze regional employment centers and transportation corridors.

The DVRPC is also responsible for developing a list of prioritized projects for Fiscal Year 1999 funding through the FTA Job Access and Reverse Commute Competitive Grant program. The list of projects was developed in conjunction with DVRPC's member governments and operating agencies, and the Pennsylvania and New Jersey DOTs.

Funding for the programs is provided by the U.S. Department of Labor and managed by the Private Industry Council (PIC).

New Jersey

State organizations were responsible for developing the initial partnerships designed to address mobility needs of the target population in New Jersey. Stakeholders in this group included:

  • New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT)
  • New Jersey Department of Human Services (NJDHS)
  • New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL)
  • NJ Transit
  • State Employment and Training Commission (SETC)

Although the overall structure was created at the state level, much of the work is being done at the county-level. Each county is responsible for developing a Community Transportation Plan in addition to creating a steering committee to assist in the development of the plan.

New Jersey created a statewide transportation planning and coordination process to address access-to-jobs issues. This process involves stakeholders from three state-level agencies: NJDHS, NJDOT and NJT. These organizations initiated the County Transportation Coordination Process in which counties are responsible for developing a Community Transportation Plan. In addition, each county was asked to create a steering committee made up of members from the following organizations to assist in plan development:

  • Workforce Investment Boards (equivalent of PICs)
  • County Planners
  • County Welfare Agencies
  • Unified Childcare Agencies
  • Local Transportation Providers
  • Other local stakeholders

DVRPC participated on some of the counties' committees and a consultant was hired by the State to assist in producing the plan.

Detroit

The State's Family Independence Agency (FIA - formerly the Department of Social Services) is working with State and local departments of transportation and the Michigan Jobs Commission (MJC) to overcome barriers to employment.

The stakeholders in job access planning included the two major transit operators in the Detroit area (the Suburban Mobility Authority on Regional Transit - SMART and the Detroit Department of Transportation -DDOT). SMART provides primarily suburb to suburb transit services, while DDOT provides transit services primarily in Detroit. In addition to the transit agencies, the metropolitan planning organization, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), helped form a consortium of non-profit organizations, public agencies, human service agencies and employers.

Another agency playing an innovative role is the Metropolitan Affairs Coalition (MAC), a regional coalition of business, labor and government formed in 1958 to address public policy issues affecting the economic vitality of the region. MAC is a private non-profit civic organization co-located with SEMCOG, the Detroit area MPO.

San Luis Obispo County

The San Luis Obispo Council of Governments (SLOCOG) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for San Luis Obispo County. SLOCOG is responsible for initiating the Welfare Mobility Plan for the County.

The key stakeholders in job access planning included the following:

  • Department of Social Services
  • Human Resource Agencies
  • Training Institutions
  • Employers
  • Transit Providers
  • Rideshare Service Providers
  • Job Developers
  • CalWORKs Participants

Minnesota

Welfare to work transportation planning efforts in Minnesota focus primarily on the seven-county metropolitan area of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Each county has formed planning committees and developed transportation initiatives as a separate entity. Stakeholders are similar organizations in each county; these organizations include:

  • Employment and Training
  • Financial Assistance and Social Services
  • Human Service Departments
  • Transportation Management Organizations
  • Transit Agencies
  • Job Training Organizations
  • Non-Profit Agencies
  • Faith-Based Community Representatives
  • The Metropolitan Council - the seven county MPO

Transportation program decisions for welfare to work transportation are made by county boards. The McKnight Foundation, a major financial contributor to welfare to work activities, has played a significant role.

The Metropolitan Council and county staff are responsible for policy implementation, oversight, and distribution of welfare to work transportation funds authorized by the State legislature.

Kentucky

The Office of Transportation Delivery, under the Transportation Cabinet, works with transportation brokers to ensure participation of all willing and able transit providers. The brokers monitor safety requirements for vehicles and aid in developing target population satisfaction.

Stakeholders involved in the planning process include:

  • Transportation Cabinet
  • Office of Transportation Delivery
  • Human service organization
  • Transportation brokers

Final Report
May 2001

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