Regional Coordination Plans
The FTA requires agencies participating in the Section 5310 program to be included in a human services transportation coordination plan, be it a statewide, regional or local plan. Arizona has chosen to support regional coordination plans. The regional coordination plans are managed individually by the state's COGs and MPOs with oversight by ADOT. The COGs and MPOs must certify to ADOT that the projects selected for regional funding are derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan that was developed through a process that includes representatives of public, private and nonprofit transportation and human service transportation providers; participation by the public; and representatives addressing the needs of older adults and individuals with disabilities.
The coordination plan identifies the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities, older adults and people with low incomes; provides strategies for meeting those local needs; and prioritizes transportation services for funding and implementation. The coordination plan should maximize the program's collective coverage by minimizing the duplication of services. The FTA's minimum requirements for a coordination plan are
- an assessment of available services that identify current transportation providers (public, private and nonprofit).
- an assessment of transportation needs for individuals with disabilities, older adults and people with low incomes. This assessment can be based on the experiences and perceptions of the planning partners or on more sophisticated data collection efforts and gaps in service.
- strategies, activities and/or projects to address the identified gaps between current services and needs, as well as opportunities to achieve efficiencies in service delivery.
- priorities for implementation based on resources (from multiple program sources), time and feasibility for implementing specific strategies and/or activities that have been identified.
In addition, ADOT must certify to the FTA that the regional coordination plan was developed through a process that included representatives of public, private and nonprofit transportation and human services providers, and members of the public. ADOT must also document the plan from which each project listed is derived, including the lead agency, the date of adoption of the plan or other appropriate information.
In rural areas, the recipients of the FTA Section 5311 program assistance are the "public transit" in the public transit-human services transportation plan, and their participation is expected to comply in accordance with FTA coordination requirements. In urbanized areas, larger transit systems and dial-a-ride programs may represent the public transit component.