The State of Wisconsin has been a long time supporter of creative transportation solutions, including funding of transit in both urban and rural areas. Many of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) personnel attended various mobility management functions leading to determination that a good use of New Freedom (5317) monies would be best used to fund and support mobility management in the state. Beginning in January, 2008, the first of Wisconsin’s New Freedom mobility management projects brought the concept to life.
The State sponsored two (2) NTI mobility management classes in 2007 and that same year, called for mobility management projects for 2008 implementation. As soon as new mobility managers started their jobs, WisDOT staff realized they needed to support these managers in their day-to-day activities – not tell them how to do their jobs, but provide them with the tools and resources they needed to perform the functions for which they were funded. A Request for Quote resulted in the selection of a contracted individual to assist with and provide training. The first training session was held in May 2008 with 18 mobility managers in attendance. In 2010, the number grew to more than 55 mobility managers in the State.
Overall information framework:
The first set of trainees in 2008 included 29 mobility managers who were funded locally and were located throughout the state. Sixteen (16) had been hired through the first New Freedom application cycle for projects implemented in 2008, nine (9) were funded by JARC/WETAP (Wisconsin Employment Transportation Assistance Program), and four (4) were funded by STRAP (Supplemental Transportation Rural Assistance Program.
In 2011, programs with local mobility managers include:
- Aging and Disability Resource Centers/Departments and Commissions on Aging
- Cities, Counties/Transit Commissions
- United Way/Women’s Employment Center
- Independent Living Centers
- Community Action Coalitions/Programs/Service Agencies
- Economic Opportunity Councils
- Care management agencies
- Development groups
Mobility management projects include many programs from the mobility management family of services and include:
- regional mobility management projects (one includes 11 counties)
- vehicle loan programs (13)
- new transit service projects (12)
- volunteer driver program (9)
- voucher programs (8)
- vehicle repair programs (5)
- travel training programs (5)
- car pool/rideshare programs (4)
- one-stop call centers (3)
- ITN (1)
Wisconsin’s Mobility Management program is an example of where the State has taken the lead to get the program started, then stepped aside to allow local managers to determine how best to run their programs. While the State provides technical assistance and support, it does not dictate what goes on in the program.
The many partners in this program and all the mobility managers have developed a strong peer networking relationship that facilitates their ability to build on each other. Mobility Management is definitely a part of their mission and in every program, the customer comes first.
Partners include the American Cancer Society, fixed route operators (some of which house the Mobility Manager), Community Care (a Wisconsin MCO covering many Medicaid clients), and Medicaid.
The State is funding the mobility managers using all of their New Freedom money, which for 2011 is approximately $2,562,082 and some apportion of JARC money.
Ingrid Koch, WisDOT New Freedom Program Manager
Interviewed By: James J. McLary
Interview Dates: Over the last two (2) years
Date of This Report: 12/23/2010