What is Catch-A-Ride?
MMP’s Catch-A-Ride system provides transportation coordination services to individuals who face challenges in having their daily transportation needs met. Through innovative mobility management strategies, MMP can develop a tailored Catch-A-Ride system for any community that meets the specific needs of its residents as well as assists local human service and transportation agencies to make better use of their transportation funding.
Transportation Needs Assessment
At the heart of the Catch-A-Ride program is the individualized Transportation Needs Evaluation (TNE). The TNE looks at an individual’s desired origin, destination, and time of travel, as well any physical or environmental barriers they may face is accessing transportation services, and then provides a list of options that will meet the requested transportation need. These options may include generic public transportation resources, including schedules and fare information, available alternative services such as ride-sharing or shuttle services, local taxi information, or any combination of services that will meet the stated need.
Comparative Database of Rider Needs
The strength of the Catch-A-Ride system is that it not only looks at the immediate need and provides viable solutions, but also establishes and maintains a database of the assessed needs, providing the ability to compare past assessment information with current requests. This innovative approach allows new participants’ assessments to be made while looking at global solutions that may benefit previous participants as well. For example, an assessment done today may only result in public transportation options. However, if several assessments are performed over a period of time with similar origin and destination requirements, there may be the ability to combine several of these requests on to a common shuttle service in the future. The Catch-A-Ride system provides the ability to perform this analysis as new participants are assessed, and to evaluate the comparative costs to determine the most cost effective global solution that meets all participants’ needs.
Another strong component of the program is travel training, which provides additional assistance to individuals who have barriers, either physical or otherwise, that may prevent them from successfully using available transportation resources. These individuals are evaluated, and if appropriate are referred to travel training where they receive a personalized curriculum focused on safety, skills, success and sustainability. MMP’s success and retention rate for travel training is over 80%, meaning that most participants learn and retain the necessary skills to successfully navigate the public transit system on their own after their initial training is completed. For those who still need additional assistance, extended and refresher training is also available.