Mercer County has been selected as one of five communities by the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), to develop and test ways to address the particular mobility challenges experienced by low-income community members for whom a lack of transportation is an obstacle to the pursuit of economic, health, and social well-being. NCMM is a technical assistance center operated by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and funded through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
The project is bringing together partners from transportation organizations and community agencies. Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association (GMTMA) is serving as the lead agency on the project team, and being joined by Mercer County Planning, DVRPC, NJ Transit, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, RISE Community Services, and the East Trenton Collaborative.
For the Community Mobility Design Challenge 2019, grants totaling $108,645 have been awarded to five communities, chosen in a competitive process. The complete list of awardees, and their focus areas, are given below:
Health and Well-Being
- Lee & Ogle Counties, IL (Lead agency: Lee – Ogle Transportation System)
- Allen County, KS (Lead agency: Thrive Allen County)
- Clark and Cowlitz Counties, WA (Lead agency: Human Services Council)
- Mercer County, NJ (Lead agency: Greater Mercer Transportation Management Association, Inc.)
- Washington and Ozaukee Counties, WI (Lead agency: Interfaith Caregivers of Ozaukee County, Inc.)
Before applying for the grant, our community researched the extent of the identified transportation challenge through interviews and other types of primary and secondary research. Later this month, NCMM staff will lead our team in developing insights from our “deep dive” into the specific transportation needs of low-income community members, which will then inform our solutions. During the six-month grant period, our team will develop and propose solutions, test key assumptions about the concepts with potential users, and modify the solutions to ensure they closely respond to the identified challenge.
“GMTMA is excited to be working on this planning design project with so many great partners, “said GMTMA’s Director, Cheryl Kastrenakes. “This project complements GMTMA’s initiatives to improve transportation to jobs, such as the ZLine services to Amazon and the Matrix Business Park as well as administration and routing additions for the Route 130 Connection bus service. Job access cannot be overstated in its ability to improve a person’s social mobility and the overall health of a region. ”