Valley Catch-A-Ride

Click here to apply for services under the Valley Catch-A-Ride Program.

A Brief Overview of Valley Catch-A-Ride

SAFETEA-LU (The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users) provided funding authorization for the Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) Program. The purpose of JARC is to improve access to transportation services to employment and employment-related activities for seniors, individuals with disabilities, welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals. Mobility Management Partners (MMP) applied for and received a grant under this program to develop and implement Mobility Management Services in the San Fernando Valley. The so-called JARC-SFV program will establish a pilot transportation brokerage service for the San Fernando Valley by establishing a centralized database of available transportation resources throughout the region, and then acting as a middle-man or “broker” for these service, matching individual transportation needs with the most appropriate and cost-effective means of getting to and from their employment and/or employment-related activities.

Key Goals and Objectives of the Project

The initial phase of the project involves establishing a database of available transportation resources and a system for identifying the employment-related transportation needs of individuals within the target populations. This has resulted in the initial focus being to identify individuals with disabilities who are served by the North Los Angeles County Regional Center (NLACRC) system, and who are currently receiving transportation services to and from job-related activities, to assess whether they can be transitioned to more cost-effective modes of transportation. Many of these consumers are transported via specialized “door-to-door” transportation services, which tend to be more expensive than other available modes. The key goals and objectives of the first phase of the project include identifying an estimated 800 jobs that can be accessed as a result of the JARC project during the first year, measuring the actual or estimated number of rides provided as a result of the JARC project, and performing a quantitative analysis of the average cost per trip provided under the program as compared to the average cost of transporting consumers on the NLACRC specialized transportation services.

A key factor contributing to the success of this project is the travel training component. Included in the key goal of assessing 800 job-related transportation services is a goal to provide travel training services to 100 of these individuals. Travel training focuses on educating the individual on how to use generic public transit services to meet their everyday transportation needs. Key benefits to this training include not only the ability to get to and from work-related activities, but also the expanded benefit of using that same generic transit service for recreational activities, thereby improving the overall quality of life for the individual.

Program Progress and Key Performance Measures

MMP’s JARC-SFV Project has been very successful in meeting the first year’s performance measures. As evidence of the success of the program, LA Metro has recently informed MMP of the award of a subsequent grant under the JARC program to extend the pilot project for another three years, and to expand its geographical base beyond the San Fernando Valley and into the Santa Clarita and Antelope Valley regions of Los Angeles County.

Key components of the extended and expanded programs will be to broaden the project scope beyond the NLACRC disabled population and begin reaching out to the senior and low-income segments of the population. This will be accomplished by tapping into additional employment-related resources such as the Employment Development Department offices, Work Source, Veteran’s Administration, and also reaching out to various senior communities and centers throughout the area. In addition, outreach is being targeted toward the educational community through adult transition programs at various local high schools with the intent to travel train these individuals in order to provide them access to job-related activities. Finally, the team will be doing outreach to local employers who typically hire members of the target population, such as large department stores and manufacturing firms, to help provide better transportation options to their existing employee bases.

 

The Coordinated Public Transit–Human Services Transportation Plan

One of the requirements under the JARC program is that projects must be in harmony with Coordinated Public Transit-Human Plan for the area. Los Angeles County’s so-called “Coordinated Plan” was formally adopted by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (LA Metro) Board of Directors in January 2008. This plan, which complies with the requirements of SAFETA-LU and will be updated every three to four years, establishes the overall goals for providing transportation services to disadvantaged and disabled groups, including the target populations of the JARC programs. It was developed in consultation with stakeholder groups, including management and staff of human and social service organizations and their clients, public transit agencies, and local and regional agencies. The plan includes four elements:

  1. An assessment of available transportation service providers, both private and public
  2. An assessment of the transportation needs of disadvantaged individuals who may be elderly, disabled, and/or low-income
  3. A listing of strategies to address assessed transportation needs and gaps in service
  4. A priority listing of projects to be implemented based on available resources and feasibility for implementing specific strategies identified.

For the complete text of the coordinated plan click here.

To apply for services under the MMP JARC grant click here.

 


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