News and Notes

Travel Training: The Way to Get There

posted Nov 20, 2017, 5:43 AM by Josie Maroney   [ updated Nov 20, 2017, 6:11 AM ]


Travel Training: The Way to Get There


Child Passenger Safety Course Coming to Otsego County

posted Mar 8, 2017, 12:47 PM by Nick C.

The New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and the Otsego County Public Health Department in partnership with AAA Northeast are bringing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training Course” to Cooperstown.  The course will be held at the Meadows Office Complex at 140 County Highway 33W, Cooperstown, NY 13326 from April 18 – 21, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  There is an $85 fee to register.

According to AAA Northeast, the "course is intended to provide students with a basic level of understanding in the challenging field of child passenger safety (CPS). The curriculum is based on the guiding principles of “Learn, Practice, Explain” so that upon successful completion, the Technician Candidate will be able to explain installation procedures to parents and caregivers and help them to safely transport their child based on the child’s age, weight, height, physical development, and needs."

For more information about the training, follow this link.  You can also learn more about the National Child Safety Passenger Board by going to its website

Mobility Management Through the Eyes of an AmeriCorps Member

posted Feb 23, 2017, 2:26 PM by Nick C.

By Kayla Jack

“Why Mobility Management?”  you ask. “Let me tell you…”

I am currently a senior at Binghamton University and actively involved in the Caribbean Students Association, where I have served as both Secretary and, currently, Treasurer. I have also been a mentor for JUMP Nation.  JUMP stands for Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program and takes at-risk youth in the 8th grade from the NYC area and brings them to Binghamton University for four days. While here, they are engaged in seminars, workshops, and fun activities designed to inspire them to go to college. An affiliation with JUMP Nation entails a four year commitment, during which members teach and encourage their mentees, showing them that they can succeed and become something. This is a fulfilling experience because many of the JUMP mentors have similar backgrounds as the mentees—these shared experiences create a connection that makes for an easier transition. I currently have three mentees, and I am happy to say that they are in high school trying their very best. 

After my involvement with programs like these in school, I decided it was time for me to branch out and find some similar ones in my community. It is great having an impact on youth in The City through JUMP Nation, but it is even better being able to do something impactful right here in Binghamton. After some research and job hunting, I was able to find Mobility Management of South Central New York (MMSCNY). Being a Mobility and Transportation Advocate for Mobility Management of SCNY is my first concrete “paid job”- (I am not technically an employee.) 

A challenge is helping people understand that Mobility Management is not ‘just setting up a ride’ for someone. It is so much more. Mobility Management is connecting people from all walks of life with the transportation resources that are available to them, many of which they do not know about. It also involves informing and educating people on how they can utilize the transportation systems that are available.
 
Doing outreach to various community members, including disabled individuals, the elderly, and nursing home residents, among others, can involve teaching them how to take the bus, ask for a transfer, board and exit safely, cross the street safely, etc., all while making it a fun experience--that too is Mobility Management.
 
I have always enjoyed learning new things. Being foreign to the Southern Tier, I had a lot to learn. Growing up in suburbs where every form of transportation is readily available, it was a revelation to see what transportation is like in rural New York. I had to tailor my mindset differently. 
There is nothing more rewarding than being a voice of assistance for those that really need it, and I am happy to be able to help individuals and the community. Having great colleagues makes my experience even more worthwhile. I admire the work done by MMSCNY, both individually and collectively. It feels even greater when we exceed certain goals, such as the amount of calls received and respond to by the GetThere Call Center in a single year. 

I thank the Rural Health Service Corp, which is the AmeriCorps program administered by the Rural Health Network of SCNY. Through this program I found Mobility Management of South Central New York. AmeriCorps has provided me with community service experience that I have been able to utilize in all aspects of my life. Networking events, trainings, and special projects have all given me important insight.

Before joining AmeriCorps, I thought I had my future plans all figured out but during the process something changed. That is alright because change is good! I knew I wanted to do law, social work, and be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t quite know how to bridge the gap between all three. This experience has given me clarity and I am truly grateful for all of it. From working with the elderly population, I have decided that after graduating from Binghamton, I want to continue my education and pursue a dual master’s degree in both social work and business administration. Then it’s on to law school for my Juris Doctor degree.
   
I am dedicated to my goals and I try not to let obstacles get in my way as I keep working towards my dreams. I am confident that one day I will become a lawyer specializing in elder-care law, and possibly start a non-profit organization. I feel my future is bright as long as I remember what is truly important in life.

2017 Meeting Schedule Announced

posted Jan 3, 2017, 9:59 AM by Nick C.

MMSCNY has announced its Advisory Committee meeting times for the 2017 calendar year.  Quarterly meetings will continue to be held immediately prior to BMTS' Coordinated Transportation Committee meetings.  The meetings for will be held as follows:

 
Thursday, February 16, 2017
        MMSCNY Advisory Committee - 12:00 Noon
BMTS Coordinated Transportation Committee - 1:30 PM

Thursday, April 20, 2017
  MMSCNY Advisory Committee only - 12:00 Noon

Thursday, June 15, 2017
        MMSCNY Advisory Committee - 12:00 Noon
BMTS Coordinated Transportation Committee - 1:30 PM

Thursday, August 17, 2017
        MMSCNY Advisory Committee only - 12:00 Noon
 
Thursday, October 19, 2017
        MMSCNY Advisory Committee - 12:00 Noon
BMTS Coordinated Transportation Committee - 1:30 PM

Thursday, December 14, 2017
        MMSCNY Advisory Committee - 12:00 Noon
BMTS Coordinated Transportation Committee - 1:30 PM

Those interested in attending or learning more about MMSCNY Advisory Committee meetings should email Program Director Bill Wagner at wwagner@rhnscny.org.

Care Compass Network Announces Innovation Fund Awards

posted Nov 29, 2016, 7:07 AM by Nick C.   [ updated Nov 29, 2016, 8:09 AM ]

RHNSCNY and MMSCNY extend thanks to Care Compass Network (CCN) for its recent Innovation Fund award. 
 
CCN is a not-for-profit community organization created to champion new models of Medicaid service delivery, as part of New York's Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program. The ultimate goal is that these models will both provide beneficiaries with higher quality care, and at the same time reduce expenditures. The Innovation Fund was created to supplement the 11 primary DSRIP projects being overseen by CCN. It is a unique way for CCN to help its partners identify alternative ways to support the improvement of healthcare access for Medicaid members. 
  
On October 18, CCN announced the Fund's inaugural awardees. Of the 23 proposals submitted by 15 organizations and valued at $7.1 million, eight were selected to receive awards.  RHNSCNY, and its MMSCNY program were selected to do the following: 
 
   a.  Develop a transportation and health toolkit for healthcare providers      
        to assist patients with transportation needs.
 
   b.  Implement a transportation voucher program that will allow Medicaid recipients 
  to better access destinations and services ineligible for Medicaid funding. 

   c.  Extend GetThere Call Center hours to better serve Broome,
        Chenango, Delaware, and Tioga counties. 

The list of recipients is comprised of both large healthcare systems and smaller community-based organizations, reflecting the inclusive and collaborative nature of CCN.  Award categories range from Behavioral Health and Disease Management to Mobile Outreach, Nutrition, and Tele-Medicine.
 
While the $2 million from this first round of funding is significant, there still remains a tremendous unmet need.  Care Compass Network has already begun additional Innovation Fund work through a second application window, which opened on November 1, and has made available another $2 million.

Community Mobility Professionals Come Together in Albany

posted Nov 21, 2016, 9:45 AM by Nick C.

From October 18 through 20, the New York Public Transit Association (NYPTA) held its annual conference and expo, titled Transit, Technology, and Smarter Communities.  In recent years, NYPTA has made strides to expand the conference’s scope, encouraging attendance by mobility managers and offering a broad array of educational sessions.  The organization can be lauded for these efforts; the transportation world itself is changing, widening, and it's important for entities like NYPTA to remain ahead of the curve.  In lieu of these changes, mobility managers and transportation professionals gathered at a special meeting, hosted by NYSDOT, to discuss the formation of a formal entity, fashioned after NYPTA itself, that would work to advocate on behalf of a broad mobility agenda across New York State.

The meeting was attended by roughly 20 individuals, each with their own background and perspective. The content of the meeting was by and large informational- what would this group do? Who would be counted among its members?  What would be the nature of the organization’s relationship to NYPTA?   
The group, tentatively called New York State Community Mobility Professionals (CMP), will be comprised of mobility managers, planners, advocates, entrepreneurs, app developers- people from diverse backgrounds that reflect the rapidly expanding transportation space.  The group would like to have a formal relationship with NYPTA, a strong supporter of transportation in the state since 1983.  What exactly this arrangement would entail is currently being considered; early discussions suggest there is support from certain NYPTA members, at least conceptually.

CMP will primarily be focused on communication and education, delivering its message beyond the scope of traditional transportation advocacy.  More and more, institutions and their actors are coming to understand the degree to which transportation and sectors that have largely been considered distinct, or only mildly related- areas like public health, economic development, and community equity, vitality, and security- are in fact, deeply interrelated.  By uniting this broader spectrum of stakeholders, those that understand the power of quality community mobility and the access it affords, CMP will help address the significant transportation needs of New York State in a comprehensive, strategic, and effective manner.  If you’re interested in learning more about CMP, make sure to keep checking the newsletter and MMSCNY website for updates.

A Seven-Year Perspective on Mobility Management

posted Sep 13, 2016, 7:09 AM by Nick C.   [ updated Sep 30, 2016, 9:16 AM ]

I became a mobility manager in 2009 when Seven Valleys Health Coalition in Cortland, NY took a chance on a handsome, hard-working, bright young man to help run their new transportation program.  When he quit, they reluctantly turned to me.  Since then, I’ve been basically doing the same thing: trying to solve problems that will make it easier for people to get where they need to. I’ve learned a few things over the years, hopefully more than I’ve forgotten. But then, I’ve forgotten a lot since then too, hopefully less than I knew in the first place.  

My ideas about things have changed a lot in seven years.  I took it for granted that mobility management was, at its core, a new and better way to think about transportation; really, it’s a way to think about communities- people, things, their relationship to place.  And it’s also about values.  What does a person value and what do people collectively value?

Solving mobility problems is not easy, especially when the problems relate to something as fundamental as value systems. The work raises a lot of questions, questions I find myself asking repeatedly over a given seven-year stretch.  I still don’t have many answers to these questions, just some thoughts: 

1. People don’t pay enough attention to land-use decisions.  Simply put, these are the rules that regulate where things go in a given place.  Land-use is especially critical in rural areas, where greater distances generally separate people and things from other people and things. Complicating the matter is that in these rural areas, greater distances are not simply a matter of lax land-use decisions but also of individual preferences; this seems well and good, but can lead to real problems.  By not requiring essential goods and services to be sited in specified, accessible, and yes, reasonably localized clusters, the obstacles of rural geography are exacerbated, not mitigated.  Making services (including transportation) available to the public, particularly the vulnerable and disadvantaged, becomes inefficient and in many cases, wholly infeasible. The USDA Economic Research Service notes that of the 353 counties in the United States afflicted by persistent poverty, 301 are classified as non-metro1. Could there be a relationship between insufficient land-use planning and persistent poverty in rural communities? I suspect so.

2. Personal transportation is rarely guaranteed, yet it is almost always assumed.  And to be fair, it used to make sense to assume transportation.  When many communities were created, most people could see the places they were going out their living room window.  Thanks to the automobile, inexpensive gasoline, and the government’s obsession with pavement (not the band Pavement, which we should all be obsessed with2), the long standing principles of community organization that made this possible (human-scaled, walkable, inviting) were done away with in favor of something much less sustainable3.  Think large retailers, expansive parking lots, out parcels, center turning lanes.  And actually, the new way made sense too, kind of; nowhere was out of reach, so long as you had a car.  But the world is changing once again, and our values along with it.  We believe in aging in place, integrated living, reduced emissions, and smaller footprints.  In the new paradigm, the car can no longer be assumed, and if investment in community transportation isn’t adjusted accordingly, personal transportation can’t be assumed either.

Seven years makes me a relative old-timer in mobility management circles, a real lifer.  Think Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven4.  Looking back and reflecting makes me wonder what I’ll think about mobility management seven years from now.  My hope is that I’ll have better insights and maybe even some real answers by then.  But then, even if I don’t, I’ll be happy so long as I’ve solved some problems on the way.




 2. See Cut Your Hair, Summer Babe (Winter Version), Embassy Row, etc.
 3. This article by Sarah Kobos at Strong Towns effectively illustrates some of the differences between traditional walkable places and         what she calls the “suburban model”. 
 4. Think Milton in Office Space.

Ithaca Mobility Solutions Summit

posted Jul 25, 2016, 12:17 PM by Josie Maroney   [ updated Aug 11, 2016, 9:45 AM by Nick C. ]

Ithaca Mobility Solutions Summit

 June 2016

As people that live in Ithaca will and, in all likelihood, have already told, the city is a pretty nice place during the summer. No students, Purity Ice Cream, some type of market for farmers, and so on.  Fair.  Ithaca is a nice place during the summer, probably even very nice.  So nice, in fact, one might argue against using it as the backdrop for a three-day Mobility Summit/Transportation Camp.  After all, who would really want to compete with "Ithaca-in-the-summer" and all its glory?  And what if the three days were the first Thursday, Friday, and Saturday(!) of summer?  And what if the event location was a movie theater?  I'd say that the person organizing the event was facing quite a challenge, to say the least.  Not three weeks ago, Chief Transportation Planner at Tompkins County D.S.S Dwight Mengel did this very thing.  

There can be no denying that the conference, or Mobility Solutions Summit as it was officially titled, met all of the crucial criteria.  It was engaging.  It was fresh.  It was fun.  First of all, the sessions were held in two movie theaters at Cinemapolis, an independent non-profit cinema on Ithaca’s Commons- an interesting choice, but one that makes total sense; large screens, terraced seating, and good acoustics are, after all, essential to quality experiences in both arenas.  Second, and most crucial, the sessions were exceptional.  Topics were loosely grouped into two categories, shared-use mobility (bike share, apps, Uber, etc.) and better practices.  The sessions dealing with car-sharing programs around New York State were excellent, albeit slightly foreboding.  In better practices, the conversations about rural mobility and more transit-centric models vs. volunteer-centric models were thought-provoking.  What is transit’s role in rural mobility?  What will it be? Shouldn’t that be something we think about?  Lastly, the first day featured catering from Agava Restaurant, which was on point and definitely worth mentioning.  Other standout features of the Summit included:

  • 5 minute rapid fire talks about various germane topics
  • Enlightening and sobering discussions about vehicle insurance
  • An extra-curricular evening session featuring short films and movie trailers about bicycles and cycling (very cool) 
All of these things happened on Thursday and Friday.  Saturday featured Transportation Camp, an unconference, which means attendees spend 30 minutes at the beginning coming up with ideas for sessions, and the rest of the day leading those sessions.  The idea is to make things less formal, less restrictive, and in doing so, encourage more creative and different ways of thinking.  One of, if not the best session of the entire three-day stretch was the very first of Transportation Camp.  In that session, ten or so people built from the ground up an entirely new, rough, and idealized, but potentially feasible model for rural transportation.  And really, the exercise of creating an entirely new transportation model from scratch can serve as a microcosm for mobility work, in general.  Sometimes, maybe even most of the time (probably most of the time), the problem one confronts is not best-resolved using the tool or strategy that is being used right now, even if that tool is a serviceable one.  The best tool might not even exist right now.  Once that idea is established, it becomes important to say, “wait, why are we doing this again?” It’s important to say, “wouldn’t it be better if we…?” or “maybe we could try…”.  That’s how positive change is effected, after all.  

So yeah, the day was relatively mellow and a bit nontraditional, but still, it was engaging, entertaining, and really, not a bad way to spend a Saturday.  Rumor has it there will be another Mobility Solutions Summit in Ithaca in the near future.  Maybe next year.  If it’s anything like the one held back in June, you’ll be sorry to miss it.  Saturday and all.


Nick Cecconi
Assistant Director, MMSCNY


Mobility Management of SCNY Project Receives National Recognition

posted Aug 19, 2015, 11:19 AM by Josie Maroney   [ updated Aug 19, 2015, 11:20 AM ]

Mobility Management of South Central New York’s Connection to Care program was recently profiled by the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), a collaborative educational and advocacy resource sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, the Community Transportation Association of America, and the Easter Seals Transportation Group.  Promising Practices in Mobility Management, an NCMM series, highlights  programs from across North America that demonstrate innovation and creativity in their attempt to solve transportation problems utilizing fundamental mobility management concepts.

 

Connection to Care was selected for its cost-effective utilization of regional, multi-modal, transportation providers, its use of existing protocol, infrastructure, and resources, and its reliance on data supported decision-making.


To read the full article, click here.


http://nationalcenterformobilitymanagement.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Promising-Practices_Integrating_Services_Across_Transportation_Modes.pdf

Counties, NYSDOT work to save transit in Tioga County

posted Dec 8, 2014, 1:10 PM by Nick C.

Ray Finger | The Star Gazette
12.3.2014

WAVERLY - A partnership between Chemung and Tioga counties and the state Department of Transportation has been able to preserve bus service between Elmira and Owego and points in between.

"Through collaboration, we have saved bus service to the communities that otherwise would have no bus service today," Tina Hager, Chemung County transit specialist, said Wednesday during a news conference in front of the Waverly Free Library.

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