Transportation@100%: Innovation 9
Strengthening Local Services
The projects presented in the ten innovations areas are all designed to address barriers to vital services. Action teams should review all projects and prioritize those that have the best chance of addressing the barriers identified in the 100% New Mexico countywide survey. Your collaborative and result-focused local work is nothing less than heroic.
Project 1: The “know your state and federal options” project
Rare is the urban or rural transit agency that gets by without a lot of help and guidance from the state or federal government (or both). Knowing a bit about those relationships will be great background and possibly aid you with your own relationship to the local agency. Yes, this is quite a research project, but it is an invaluable one. Starting points include your state department of transportation, as many federal projects go through them.
Project 2: The “we need a state coalition to make great things happen” project
Through collaboration of the players and the strategic use of data and technology, we can find a way to ensure that no child or parent lacks access to transport for vital services, learning programs, and work. We are not trying to simplify one of our nation’s and states’ most complex challenges in a sentence. We are advocating for the start of a long-term, local dialogue about how we end transport disparities. This is a decades-old problem involving the public and private sector. This particular project is about joining or creating a countywide and statewide network of transport advocates who believe that public transport is not a luxury, just something civilized governments ensure. A coalition will allow you to have a strong voice in your community as well as your city, county and state government. You may find that local lawmakers, while sympathetic to issues, do not see addressing transport disparities as the role of county or city government. For this reason, coalitions matter and they can be a force for awareness.
Your county and state network can educate local lawmakers about a new role for government: ensuring no child, student or parent is kept from educational and work opportunities because of lack of public transport. This coalition can work to elect officials who will prioritize access to transport. Also, technology can connect everyone in the network with a shared vision, goals, activities, use of data, use of communication and messaging, and evaluation processes. Your action team starts with identifying who is in the lead with public transport reform.