Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - June 6, 2017
REVISED June 6, 2017 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #30

Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) Trip & Equipment Grant Agreement and Program Changes for State Fiscal Year 2017/18


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
  • Adopt Resolution R-17-061 authorizing the Chairperson to execute the State Fiscal Year 2017/18 Trip & Equipment Grant Application Form and the Transportation Disadvantaged Trip & Equipment  Grant Standard Assurances with the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (FCTD) for the period July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, in the amount of $805,000; and
  • Authorize staff to implement a Low-Income Household Eligibility Process and a Discount Bus Pass Program as part of the County's Transportation Disadvantaged service program.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
Florida Statutes Chapter 341; Chapter 427, Florida Statues; Rule 41-2, Florida Administrative Code, 2017 Transportation Disadvantaged Service Plan.

Background Discussion

The Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund is administered by the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD), 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 CTD in carrying out its legislative responsibilities. Funding from the CTD is provided to local agencies to provide transportation services for TD eligible persons.

  • In its role as the Community Transportation Coordinator (CTC) for Manatee County, Manatee County Government coordinates TD trips to qualified sponsored and non-sponsored persons and provides TD door-to-door transportation service through the Transit Division/Handy Bus Program.

Transportation Disadvantaged Trip & Equipment Grant

  • The annual Trip & Equipment Grant makes available $724,418 in funds for the provision of transportation services for the Transportation Disadvantaged (TD) and also makes available $82 in voluntary dollar contributions for a total of $724,500 provided through State/FCTD funding.
  • The Trip & Equipment Grant requires a 10% local match of $80,500 which will be funded through the Para Transit (i.e. Handy Bus) operating budget and co-pays from bus pass sales.
  • Once executed, the agreement provides for the availability for State funds to help support the cost of providing passenger trips to non-sponsored TD eligible clients in accordance with Chapter 427, Florida Statutes; Rule 41-2, Florida Administrative Code; and the most current Commission policies and the Program Manual of the Trip & Equipment Grant for non-sponsored trips, as revised on April 22, 2016.
  • The TD Rate Model for State Fiscal Year 2017/18 authorizes a per trip reimbursement of $17.71 for each ambulatory trip and $30.37 for each non-ambulatory/wheelchair trip, and total cumulative FCTD reimbursement for the one-year contract period that cannot exceed the State contribution of $724,500.
  • The State Fiscal Year 2017/18 per trip reimbursement rates were approved by the Local Coordinating Board (LCB) on May 10, 2017, and have been  incorporated into the TD Trip & Equipment Grant Agreement as Attachment 2.

Low-Income Eligibility Process and Discounted Monthly Bus Pass Program

  • Based on CTD rules, eligibility for TD services involves two tiers, or screening steps. The first is based on annual household income and the second tier is base on age and/or disability. Currently, Handy Bus program eligibility for TD program participants is based on age and disability only. Transit Division staff proposes to introduce income-based eligibility into the TD eligibility process in State FY 2017/18. Beginning August 1, 2017, all new TD program eligibility determinations will be based on annual household income, where an eligible client's annual household income is at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level. Customers who qualify for the TD program based on income and who are not able to use the fixed-route service due to their age/disability will be eligible to use the Handy Bus door-to-door service.
  • In addition to introducing TD income-based eligibility, a discounted monthly bus pass is proposed to be offered to those TD eligible clients who are able to use the fixed-route service. The new discounted bus pass will work in concert with the new income-based eligibility process and may assist in transitioning Handy Bus applicants and some existing users to the fixed-route service. It also affords an opportunity to receive assistance for those currently on the waiting list for TD Handy Bus service and, thereby, reduce the growing demand for limited door-to-door service.
  • Eligible clients will be able to purchase monthly bus passes at a reduced cost of a $20 co-pay. The current cost for a regular monthly pass is $40. Manatee County can request reimbursement from the CTD for the difference in cost (i.e. $20/bus pass), resulting in no net loss of revenue for the sale of discounted TD monthly bus passes.
  • In order to implement the TD Bus Pass Program, an allowance for the Program for the overall grant budget is included in the  State FY 2017/18 Trip and Equipment Grant application. This process (i.e., to include allowances for the Bus Pass Program) will continue in future CTD Trip and Equipment Grant applications.
  • Travel training will be provided to facilitate the transition for new and existing TD clients to the fixed-route service. The travel trainer can provide one-on-one, group, and train-the-trainer training services to benefit individuals and the social service organizations who support TD-eligible clients. Travel training efforts will further assist the voluntary transition of Handy Bus users to the fixed-route service.
  • The current coordination with area medical providers will continue so that Medical Bus Pass Program participants effectively transition to the monthly TD bus pass (i.e., $20 co-pay/bus pass).

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please return two (2) copies of the signed Resolution; two (2) signed copies of the Transportation Disadvantaged Trip & Equipment Grant Application Form; and two (2) signed copies of the Transportation Disadvantaged Trip & Equipment  Grant Standard Assurances to Edrick Sweeting, Grants Administrator, Edrick.Sweeting@mymanatee.org, X 7354, to be forwarded to the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged (CTD) for signature. A fully executed, signed agreement will be forwarded to Board Records upon return.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
435-00121 Para Transit Operating $80,500 County Matching Funds; Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged $724,500.

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  MCAT Trip & Equipment Grant Application Forms SFY17.pdf
Attachment:  TD Resolution R-17-061.pdf