The greater New Bern portion of Craven County NC was designated as an urban area in the 2010 census, which required a restructuring of funding and operations for the three county CARTS transportation system, and provided the impetus for the TDP study, which was awarded to the team led by Marlene Connor Associates. Historically, Craven County had provided the leadership for a three-county rural transportation service, including Jones and Pamlico counties. That service, CARTS, had effectively used a variety of NCDOT and agency funds to offer both connections to needed services, such as medical and nutrition. As well as the only means of rural public transportation in the three-county area. In downtown New Bern, which was the core of activity in the region, a circulator service had developed over the years connecting a number of facilities in a broad area.
The TDP indicated that a number of issues had to be addressed as a result of the urban area designation, but also that this change afforded CARTS the opportunity to update and upgrade a number of internal and external processes and programs. Although CARTS as a sub-recipient of FTA funds was responsible for adhering to FTA standards, that adherence would be significantly affected by becoming a designated recipient and participating in all the programs evaluated by the Triennial Performance Audit. As a result, the MCA team developed a number of suggestions for becoming prepared for that FTA review.
In addition, we reviewed fare and finance activities from several perspectives, including what modifications were likely based on the change to FTA funding and the withdrawal of NCDOT funding in the urban area to the customers, to the partnering agencies and to Craven County. Recommendations specifically addressed the goal of the County to minimize impacts on existing riders during year one before considering additional activities in subsequent years.
The work included interacting with other studies by the City of New Bern and the MPO as well as the use of scheduling software to estimate the impact of fare and service options for those both inside and outside the urban area. The final report included a phased implementation plan to precede with increased interaction with the FTA and options to address the goal of minimizing disruption to existing riders.
Assistant County Manager‐Operaons
Craven County Government
406 Craven Street
New Bern, NC 28560
mhodges [at] cravencountync.gov