This project included an in-depth analysis of the Wake County Transportation Services program which provides human service transportation throughout the county and general public transportation in rural areas. Program funding includes a variety of sources from NCDOT as well as Medicaid. The program has been significantly modified through the creation of a contracted mobility management function and software for scheduling and operations has been upgraded as part of a Veterans Transportation Community Living Initiative grant. Wake County management requested an independent review of the service and funding processes as well as a phased implementation plan for any modifications or improvements.
The work plan included meetings with the management project committee, and coordinating with the technical staff and staff plus a myriad of internal and external partnering, contracted and affected agencies. In addition, all relevant planning, operating and financial documents and information was reviewed. Also, a separate analysis of the software and ITS infrastructure was completed. Three reports were developed, the first outlining the baseline conditions findings, the second a detailed review of the main and supporting system functions and the third which combined final report and action plan recommendations.
Our review determined that the basic foundation concepts for the program were well positioned, but a number of modifications were recommended with respect to operations, better integrating county and contract staff, capital, working towards a five-year plan cycle considering alternative funding scenarios, ITS, fully implementing the software system and using it to transition to paperless reporting for internal and external agencies, and supervision and governance, restructuring the Transportation Advisory Board to include more participation from local municipalities.
Other recommendations included the potential to expand the program to coordinate all community based transportation in the County, including building on the existing relationship with the City of Raleigh to better share functions, activities and resources.