Tight wallets at state agencies is leading to transportation coordination

A statewide study committee has wrapped up its final report identifying mass transit and tranportation by state agencies in South Carolina. The Mass Transit and Human Services Transportation Study Committee was formed by state lawmakers last year.   The committee will send its recommendations to Governor Mark Sanford. That will lead to a similar permanent committee, in part to help coordinate client transportation services among state agencies. Glenneth Johnson is over Mass Transit at the Department of Transportation and chairs the study committee.   “And example would be Health and Human Services providing Medicaid transportation to the doctor, not because they’re a transportation agency, but because they have a responsibility of providing care.” 
One hope is to coordinate services among agencies to reduce waste, as in the case where vans taking DHHS clients to doctors might provide rides for clients of other agencies working the same area.
Diane Lackey, Statewide Transportation Program Director at DOT, says mass transit is being examined as well, to find out how communities and state agencies can better serve those who need it. 
Johnson says there are plenty of ways to save money. DOT is now implementing the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program. But Johnson says that federal program requires a 50 percent match, and that’s a challenge.   “We currently do not have state mass transit funds to match that.  And we have left it up to the local communities to provide the 50 percent match.  But there are opportunities for those programs to be coordinated with the D.S.S. T.A.N.F. program,  technical assistance for needy families.”