Across the United States, state and local governments operate a number of transportation services for specific populations and purposes: beyond general-use public transit, these include non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT), transportation for the disabled, and transportation for seniors. At the federal level, 11 separate federal agencies may fund transportation through 130 separate programs, with many states operating additional transportation programs.
The unfortunate result is a lack of coordination between overlapping transportation programs, resulting in duplication of resources and confusion for riders. To help address this issue and encourage interagency coordination of transportation, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides funding through the Innovative Coordinated Access & Mobility (ICAM) program.
On November 15, 2023 FTA announced $4.7M in grant funding for the latest round of ICAM. These grants will support innovative projects to improve coordination between NEMT services and other forms of transportation, such as statewide mobility management projects, coordination technology, or one-click/one-call centers. Eligible applicants include all eligible recipients of 5310 funding, such as state departments of transportation and local governments operating transit services. Applicants must represent a regional or statewide coalition of stakeholders across healthcare, transportation, human services, or other sectors.
The federal cost share is 80% for this program and grants average around $100,000 to $300,000. ICAM grants will only fund capital expenses, including vehicles, software, and other technology development. Projects will be awarded as pilots for up to 24 months; in the first year, projects must demonstrate progress towards improved interagency transportation.
ICAM projects typically focus on testing out software platforms that can improve transit access and quality of service for seniors and disadvantaged populations by, for example, allowing riders to access several different transportation services through a single app or phone number or commingling fleets and operations for separate programs. This year, FTA is particularly interested in statewide or regional mobility management projects which improve access for underserved groups. FTA also encourages applications to work with their state Medicaid office to integrate Medicaid NEMT within their projects.
Via has worked with a number of partners on innovative NEMT and paratransit programs which align with the goals of the ICAM program. In Bakersfield, Via provides Golden Empire Transit (GET) with an integrated solution for managing its microtransit, paratransit, and NEMT services in one single platform . Prior to partnering with Via, GET leveraged multiple software systems to power its paratransit and microtransit services and did not offer any NEMT service. Further, paratransit riders could only reserve rides over the phone and at least one day in advance. Now with Via, riders have the ability to book same-day or pre-scheduled paratransit, NEMT, and microtransit trips using one consolidated app.
If you’re interested in exploring Via’s on-demand technology as part of your ICAM grant application, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org . We’d love to help you through the application process and on the project itself. Applications are due on February 14th, 2024.
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