Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - October 11, 2016
October 11, 2016 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #48

Community Transportation Coordinator Mobility Enhancement Grant Application


Contact and/or Presenter Information

William Steele, Transit Division Manager, William.Steele@mymanatee.org, (941) 747-8621, x7440

Chad Butzow, Public Works Deputy Director, Chad.Butzow@mymanatee.org, (941) 708-7432

Action Requested
Adoption of Resolution R-16-153 authorizing the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners Chairperson to file and execute a Mobility Enhancement Grant Application with the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
  • Florida Statutes Chapter 341; Florida Statutes 427; Rule 41-2 Florida Administrative Code.
  • 2013 Major Transit Development Plan (TDP)-Manatee Connect.

Background Discussion
  • The Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund is administered by the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (hereinafter "Commission"), pursuant to Section 427.0159, Florida Statutes. The purpose of the Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) Trust Fund is to provide a dedicated funding source for the operational and planning expenses of the Commission to carry out its legislative responsibilities. Funding from the Commission is provided to local agencies to provide transportation services for TD Clients.
  • The 2016 Florida Legislature authorized $1,750,000 of non-recurring funds to be competitively awarded by the Commission to Community Transportation Coordinators (CTCs) to support projects that:
  1. enhance the access of older adults, persons with disabilities, and low income individuals to healthcare, shopping, education, employment, public services, and recreation;
  2. assist in the development, improvement, and use of transportation system in non-urbanized areas;
  3. promote the efficient coordination of services;
  4. support inter-city bus transportation; or
  5. encourage private transportation provider participation.
  • In the first round of competitive grant awards for "Mobility Enhancement Grants" the Commission awarded Grant Project for approximately $600,000; and there is still approximately $1.1 million available for the second round of grant awards.
  • Proposed projects for "round two" must begin providing services on or about January 1, 2017; with continued service through June 30, 2017. 
  • Since 1990, Manatee County Government has served as the Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) for Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) services in Manatee County. Therefore, Manatee County is eligible for CTD funding.
  • In its role as the CTC for Manatee County, Manatee County Government coordinates TD trips to qualified sponsored and non-sponsored persons and provides TD trips through the Transit Division/Handy Bus Program.
  • In May 2016, the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approved a Mobility Enhancement Grant Application to utilize TD Commission funding to purchase fixed route bus passes for medical transportation purposes and facilitate access to area healthcare clinics. The Commission subsequently approved this project application and bus passes are now available for healthcare service providers to serve low-income Transportation Disadvantaged persons whenever an appointment is scheduled, if no other transportation is available. If someone is leaving the hospital and referred to another doctor for follow-up, a pass can be issued. The participating clinics and healthcare services providers validate the low-income status of program users. This program is closely coordinated by Public Works/Transit Division and Neighborhood Services staff.
  • The second "Mobility Enhancement Grant" application proposed by Public Works/Transit Division staff, is to further the implementation program for the adopted 2013 Major Transit Development Plan (TDP); and TEMPORARILY provide 30-minute service frequency along the Cortez Road (i.e. Route 6) corridor from Desoto Station to Coquina Beach.
  • If funded by the Commission, the 30-minute service frequency along the Cortez Road corridor, would be a 6 month pilot project to determine the ridership demand and resultant affects on traffic congestion to the 2017 peak tourist season. Since the enhanced service is temporary, OPS operators would be hired to enhance the service to the improved 30-minute frequency. Following the grant funding period the service level would return to 60-minutes. The data gathered during this time will allow for more informed decisions in the future for funding a similar effort.
  • Another element of this grant application is to offer a 31-day unlimited ride fixed route bus pass to eligible TD clients. These passes would be offered at a discounted rate of $10 in lieu of rides on the handy bus. The grant would then pay the difference in the full pass rate of $40 to the County. The new TD bus pass could also demonstrate the potential for a new program, tailored to TD clients to bolster fixed route ridership and, potentially, reduce ridership demand and dependence on Handy Bus services for TD clientele.
  • The proposed grant match is 10%. Grant funding would provide $184,000 in operating funding and an estimated $33,718 would come from fare box revenue (MCAT averages 18% fare box recovery of operating cost)  and co-pays from TD clients for bus pass sales (i.e. the fare box revenue and bus pass co-pays serve as local matching funds for the proposed Mobility Enhancement Grant). No County funds are therefore required for local match.
  • The continuation of the enhanced Route 6 at the prescribed 30-minute service frequency (using nine OPS Operators, working approximately 27 hours per week) would cost approximately $62,038 for the last quarter of FY 2016/17 (i.e., after the CTD Mobility Enhancement Grant expires); and approximately $248,152 for the following fiscal year (i.e., FY 2017/18). Both of these estimates are net costs, with a modest 10% fare box recovery ratio built-in to the equation.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please have Commissioner Baugh sign the Resolution and application cover page for the grant application including the original. Call Ryan Suarez, Transit Division Planning Manager at ext. 7622 to pick up documents.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
4350012000-Transit Operations

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  CTC Mobility Enhancement Grant Resolution 16-153.pdf
Attachment:  Mobility Enhancement Grant_Cortez Road 10-04-16.pdf