Table of Contents Regional Transportation Coordination Strategy 2



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Issues and Opportunities

New developments in micro technology will eventually make it possible for patients to use portable dialysis machines in their own homes, reducing the need for three-days-a-week transport to dialysis centers: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-02/osu-pkd020204.php. In the meantime, more dialysis centers made possible by newer technology are opening all the time, with two expected in Hillsboro by October 2005 and two in Fairfield in the near future. These new facilities will reduce the distance patients will need to travel for treatment.


Some of the problems in coordinating transportation services involve government rules that cannot be overcome without regulatory changes or government assistance as in the following examples:

  • Private service-providers may not meet the minimum requirements for insurance coverage and drug/alcohol screening.

  • The Contract for Title 19 Medical Transportation dictates the schedule for doctor appointments, and all other transportation must work around that schedule. Appointments are made at remote call centers by persons unfamiliar with local conditions.

Following are questions asked of transportation directors and other knowledgeable persons in the Heart of Texas area during July 2005 along with their responses:



  1. What do you see as the biggest issue facing public transportation?




    • Fuel costs running 65% over budget and propane fueled vehicles give poor mileage.

    • Coordination across jurisdictional boundaries is difficult—some providers will not cooperate unless they receive the Medicaid payment.

    • Coordination is dictated by Medicaid causing too many rescheduled trips and long waiting periods of up to 3 weeks for some clients.

    • Boundary lines should not dictate who picks someone up—service should be based on client needs.

    • Dispatch is too scattered and needs to be under one roof. Need a neutral party to handle dispatch and coordination of trips for best efficiency.

    • The provider makes two trips to drop and pick up a Medicaid patient at a transfer location, but only gets paid for one trip.

    • Lack of public awareness—need for more publicity.

    • Some providers give free rides while others don’t, causing confusion for riders. Rules of the different funding sources confuse the public.

    • Issue of insurance coverage and driver training.

    • Low driver pay makes it difficult to recruit new drivers.

    • Accessing transportation is difficult in rural areas.

    • Lack of availability for persons with disabilities.




  1. What are the strengths of the current public transportation system?




  • Contractors know their own area and are able to cater to those most in need.

  • Contractors have experienced, dependable personnel who are concerned with the needs of the riders and will bend over backwards to get them to their destinations.

  • Contractors have excellent vehicle maintenance.

  • Very good coordination among the providers in the area.

  • Providers receive good support from counties and the Council of Governments.

  • Flexibility to transport family members and caregivers when patients need help.

  • Provides a good service to the elderly to keep them involved in the community.

  • The current system is dependable.




  1. What are the weaknesses of the current transportation system?




  • Difficult to reach remote areas, creating long wait times for riders who need to get to Waco or Temple.

  • Budgets are maxed out, making it impossible to expand routes or purchase the types of vehicles needed.

  • Need more flexibility to get rid of worn-out vehicles—have to get estimates and show reimbursement when vehicles are disposed of.

  • Client addresses in the Medicaid system are very difficult to correct, causing wasted trips and problems with reimbursement. Medicaid needs to verify correct addresses instead of relying on clients to do it.

  • Conflicts between the rules for different funding sources makes coordination very difficult.

  • Medicaid constraints—seriously ill customers cannot withstand long waits for transportation.

  • Long advance notice time to schedule a ride for other riders.

  • Client has to travel to the provider to obtain passes.




  1. What one thing could be done that would have the greatest positive impact on public transportation?




  • Improve awareness of services through advertising and public relations.

  • Create a Networking Reference Guide for coordinating transportation services throughout the state. The Guide would provide information on who to contact and how to transition across jurisdictional boundary lines.

  • Put all transportation providers on an equal basis, forming a statewide as well as a local network accessible on the internet to facilitate scheduling and transfers across boundaries.

  • Expand hours of operation.

  • Increase funds—rural operations are inherently more expensive than urban because of the greater distance between clients.


City Population


Table A: Heart of Texas City Population

City

County

2000

7/1/2003

1/1/2004

Waco

McLennan

113,726

116,813

117,464

Hewitt

McLennan

11,085

12,021

12,172

Bellmead

McLennan

9,214

9,341

9,341

Hillsboro

Hill

8,232

8,651

8,650

Woodway

McLennan

8,733

8,621

8,562

Robinson

McLennan

7,845

8,146

7,999

Mexia

Limestone

6,563

6,722

6,712

Marlin

Falls

6,628

6,638

6,613

Lacy Lakeview

McLennan

5,764

5,860

5,885

Teague

Freestone

4,557

4,823

4,885

McGregor

McLennan

4,727

4,761

4,778

Groesbeck

Limestone

4,291

4,455

4,490

Clifton

Bosque

3,542

3,651

3,652

Fairfield

Freestone

3,094

3,272

3,306

West

McLennan

2,692

2,713

2,714

Mart

McLennan

2,273

2,268

2,264

Beverly Hills

McLennan

2,113

2,095

2,087

Whitney

Hill

1,833

1,897

1,889

Hubbard

Hill

1,586

1,625

1,622

Bruceville-Eddy

McLennan

1,490

1,535

1,549

Itasca

Hill

1,503

1,549

1,546

Meridian

Bosque

1,491

1,518

1,522

Lorena

McLennan

1,433

1,500

1,512

Rosebud

Falls

1,493

1,444

1,426

Moody

McLennan

1,400

1,410

1,411

Valley Mills

Bosque

1,123

1,175

1,171

Wortham

Freestone

1,082

1,133

1,148

Riesel

McLennan

973

990

992

Gholson

McLennan

922

958

979

Coolidge

Limestone

848

868

865

Walnut Springs

Bosque

755

776

775

Crawford

McLennan

705

738

745

Lott

Falls

724

703

697

Thornton

Limestone

525

537

540

Hallsburg

McLennan

518

530

533

Morgan

Bosque

485

508

511

Kosse

Limestone

497

508

510

Golinda

Falls

423

452

454

Blum

Hill

399

413

412

Iredell

Bosque

360

363

363

Cranfills Gap

Bosque

335

342

340

Leroy

McLennan

335

338

339

Mount Calm

Hill

310

331

334

Abbott

Hill

300

314

316

Tehuacana

Limestone

307

315

312

Covington

Hill

282

302

305

Table A: Heart of Texas City Population (cont.)

City

County

2000

7/1/2003

1/1/2004

Malone

Hill

278

290

291

Bynum

Hill

225

242

244

Ross

McLennan

228

234

238

Penelope

Hill

211

218

214

Streetman

Freestone

203

206

207

Mertens

Hill

146

150

149

Carl's Corner

Hill

134

142

143

Aquilla

Hill

136

139

139

Kirvin

Freestone

122

132

133

Laguna Park*

Bosque

550







Kopperl*

Bosque

225







China Spring*

McLennan

214







Elm Mott*

McLennan

190







Irene*

Hill

160







Axtell*

McLennan

105







Brandon*

Hill

80







Birome*

Hill

31






















Census 2000 and Texas State Data Center




Population Estimates Program







* Texas Almanac












Traffic Accidents





Table B: Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents

Calendar year 2001




Acc's

Killed

Injured

Bosque

163

13

141

Falls

178

7

174

Freestone

287

23

267

Hill

630

19

634

Limestone

286

13

238

McLennan

3214

34

3081













Source: Texas Dept of Public Safety.



Transportation Web Sites



http://www.fta.dot.gov/library/policy/guide/toc.html

http://www.aoa.gov/prof/transportation/transportation.asp

http://www.apta.com/links/state_local/tx.cfm#A23

http://www.ntoctalks.com/

http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/opssecurity/

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/ptn/documents/DraftExecSummary.pdf

http://www.co.pitt.nc.us/depts/planning/transportation/rpo.shtml

http://www.kerrtarcog.org/rpo/documents/FINALPWP04-05withFSTABLE.pdf

http://www.tarpo.org/overview.htm

http://www.landofsky.org/planning/p_ruraltrans.html

http://www.kerrtarcog.org/rpo/advisorycommittee.php

http://www.ruraltransportation.org/consultation/parole.pdf

http://www.ruraltransportation.org/consultation/pabylaws.pdf


Heart of Texas Regional Transit District


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