In 2019, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission conducted prevention and response planning to mitigate program losses and reductions in services for a variety of mobility programs. Over the course of eight-teen months of community/partner meetings, the commission identified specific mitigation strategies and began applying for a variety of funding opportunities. Ultimately, the commission secured funding from the PATH Foundation to help initiate the RTC in the FY21/FY22 year.
The RTC model serves as an 'umbrella structure' or over-arching entity to provide the foundation necessary to support significant changes in the provision of mobility services/solutions including planning to account for state-wide/national programs , federal allocation changes, implementation of paid transportation models, integration of private provider supports and public transit services.
Through the RTC members/partners are able to access:
Resource Leveraging & Allocation
Strategic & Long-Term Planning
Service & Project Operations
Funding Sourcing & Grant Writing
Data Collection & Analysis
The collaborative structure allows for partners to leverage and share resources; essentially giving into and taking from the collaborative as needs arise and change. This design allows for programs to participate at the level they are able at any given time; allowing for a flexible partnership process. This flexibility increases the ability for non-traditional stakeholders to participate.
Ideally, over the next few years, RTC will evolve into providing more long-term strategic planning support, including fund sourcing for several community programs; overall helping to streamline mobility supports in the region.
Regional Transportation Collaborative
The Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission (RRRC) acts as coordinator for the Regional Transportation Collaborative (RTC) Model introduced in the area in late 2019. The RTC concept was created through a multi-agency mitigation process tasked with responding to reductions in funding and losses in mobility services.
The new collaborative builds off the existing networking largely information exchange partnership, Foothills Area Mobility System (FAMS) that served as the area's mobility model for several years. The FAMS program traditionally worked with existing transit agencies, volunteer transportation organizations, and human services transportation providers to address critical transportation needs for the elderly and disabled populations in the Rappahannock-Rapidan region. The RTC has expanded the previous partnerships, solidified exchanges of funding and information, as well as introduced new and non-traditional partners into the mobility model.
Mobility management activities also include education and outreach, stakeholder collaboration, leveraging of resources, and coordination of services between providers. Additionally, the RTC provides fund sourcing, grant writing, fund management, resource leveraging, program and service implementation/operation, strategic/mitigation planning, and data collection/analysis - this provision of support is focused on supporting programs providing mobility supports to aging adults in the region.
The key mobility management factor in service provision and coordination is the FAMS One-Call Center. The call center is the first in the state of Virginia and provides a one-stop central point of access to all available public, private, and volunteer transportation services in the region. Through the utilization of a cloud-based data software, staff collect a wide range of demographic, health, and circumstantial data on transportation needs across the region. In addition to information and referral, the call center staff use the software to coordinate, process, and analyze ride requests and rides given multiple volunteer ride programs.