The OnHand project adhered to the federally required coordinated planning process and included a combination of technical analysis with a robust effort to include the perspectives and priorities of stakeholders and riders. The combination of these analyses, inputs and findings led to the development of the coordinated plan strategies. These steps included:
- Technical Analysis: As part of the OnHand project, the study team prepared a market analysis, service inventory, and funding analysis. These analyses provided the quantitative data to understand the current state and trends in the region’s demographics, transportation services and quality (service span, geographic coverage, etc.), and funding sources and uses. Technical work also included a review of previous coordinated plans conducted for individual counties and subregions within the OnHand region.
- OnHand Technical Working Group: The OnHand project was guided by a Technical Working Group comprised of stakeholders from each transit agency within the OnHand’s four-county region, as well as regional governments (the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), WATS, RTA), and other organizations. The TWG met eight times over the course of this project to guide the research process and ground truth the project team’s findings.
- Stakeholders: In the early phase of this project (Fall 2019), the OnHand project team conducted in-person and phone interviews with representatives from fixed route transit agencies, local and community transit providers, non-profit agencies, and other social service organizations. The study team also made a series of presentations to the Detroit Local Advisory Council (LAC) and Washtenaw Technical Coordinating Council(TCC). Stakeholders shared valuable insights rooted in first-hand experience about what is needed to improve human services transportation.
- OnHand User Survey: In Winter 2019-2020, the OnHand project team launched a survey to understand transportation patterns, needs, challenges and barriers, especially related to ADA paratransit and demand response services. TWG members and other human and social service industry stakeholders helped distribute the survey to collect over 1,100 responses, including over 700 responses from people representing OnHand target populations (e.g. older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals).
SECTION 5310 PROGRAM MANAGEMENT PLAN
The Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program (Section 5310), administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), supports transportation services planned, designed, and carried out to address the specific needs of older adults and people with disabilities. The RTA is the designated recipient of Section 5310 funds apportioned by FTA to the Detroit and Ann Arbor urbanized areas (UZAs). As the designated recipient, the RTA is responsible for administering Section 5310 funds in those areas, which make up part of the RTA region of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw counties. The Program Management Plan directs the implementation of RTA’s administrative responsibilities.