Case Study - Cattaraugus County
Youth Bureau, Department of Health, Job Training and Placement, Department of Aging, Department of Mental Health, Nursing Homes, Department of Social Services
Coordinated Inter-Department and Inter-Agency Transportation
Point of Contract
Bid Specification Formulation
Electronic Vehicle Routing
VMC’s task for Cattaraugus County was challenging: coordinate and manage all transportation provided by seven county departments and agencies—the Department of Health, Youth Bureau, Job Training and Placement, the Department of Aging, the Department of Mental Health, Nursing Homes, and the Department of Social Services. Each department has its own distinct transportation requirements defined by the population being serviced, and each separate clientele has their own particular needs.
With the exception of the City of Olean on the banks of the Allegheny River in the southeastern portion of the county, the smaller town of Salamanca upriver, and the town of Gowanda at the northwestern border of Erie County, Cattaraugus is primarily rural, with minor population centers scattered throughout the county, with access primarily via local roads. The various departments and agencies transport their clients to needed services both within the County, to locations as distant as Buffalo—80 miles to the north—and south to Bradford, Pennsylvania. Children receiving services through the Early Intervention and Preschool programs travel to specialized programs within the County’s borders, into Springville and further north to Buffalo. The elderly receive care and food services in a more localized manner, as do residents of the county’s two public nursing homes; and the Medicaid recipients frequently travel as far as Buffalo to receive needed services.
To meet Cattaraugus County’s needs, VMC designed an entirely new coordinated system to oversee all specialized transportation services. Beginning with a view of all transportation needs as a single entity, VMC grouped passengers by establishing those individuals whose ages, conditions, needs, and points of residence and destination permit them to be successfully transported together. This is a departure from the traditional method of arranging transportation along departmental lines. In coordination with its Value Management Consultant’s division (brought in to provide efficiency, cost savings and management assessments) VMC’s Transportation Management division establish routing parameters that permitted VMC’s dispatchers to place passengers on a vehicle type dictated by the number of passengers to be transported—considering any specific passenger needs—instead of placing all passengers on the same type of vehicle, and formulated bid specifications to define and secure the needed services.
With the transportation solutions in place, VMC uses both its proprietary dTran adult transportation software and its proprietary preTrans software to coordinate the county’s transportation services, and to maintain all necessary records electronically.
In practice, VMC’s approach eliminates a significant number of unused places on the vehicles being run. For example, if five or ten passengers are to be transported, a van can be dispatched; if there are only one or two passengers making the trip, a less expensive cab ride can be arranged.
Having designed a unified and cost effective county-wide transportation service, Cattaraugus County asked VMC to establish and manage a public transit system for the City of Olean.