County-wide Transportation System Project Summary
- In early 2018, surveys and analyses were sent out by a VISTA worker at the Community Foundation to discover the most pressing needs for seniors and disabled citizens in Carbon County. A near-unanimous conclusion showed transportation was the key piece missing in most of the surveyed individuals’ lives.
- In late 2018, LSC Transportation Consultants helped the Community Foundation form a plan for what a feasible system would look like. It was found through more surveys and analysis that a three-day-a-week, demand-response service with twice-monthly trips to Billings would work best.
- In the spring of 2019, the Carbon County Area Ride and Transit was formed. Through the summer, advisory committee members worked on marketing, advertising, branding, and beginning the application for the 2020 MDT operation and capital requests.
- In March 2020, CART submitted the capital and operating grants and began working on analysis of other like-sized transportation services in the state. Our hope was to better understand the organizational and funding structures.
The Carbon County Area Ride and Transit service will provide a safe, reliable, and affordable means of transportation, from healthcare appointments to everyday errands. A viable transportation system will improve the overall health of residents in our communities.
Operations will serve residents in Red Lodge, Roberts, Joliet, Bridger, Belfry and Fromberg, as well as residents living within a three-mile radius of Highways 212 and 310. Residents along these highways will also have a fixed-route pickup once a month, taking them to the Billings medical campus.
Demand Response: This type of service is one that requires calling 24 hours in advance and being picked up at your door. The service will be free to any Carbon County residents, going anywhere in Carbon County.
Fixed Route: Stops along Highways 212 and 310 will be designated from Red Lodge to Rockvale and Belfry through Joliet. Stops will pick-up at designated times and drop off at designated times, once a month.
In our 2020 grant application through the Montana Department of Transportation, CART asked for an operating budget of $94,137.00, requiring a local match of $34,140.56. CART also requested a capital grant for a 13-passenger, wheelchair accessible van for $64,807.00, resulting in a $12,961.40 local match. We do not anticipate adding another vehicle until Year 4 and anticipate a 3% inflation increase in the following years. Meaning, our Year 2 operating budget would be $96,961.11 and Year 3 being $99,869.94.
Currently, we have $16,800.00 of match cash-in-hand.
CART committee and staff
- The CART staff is governed by the Transportation Advisory Committee. The TAC meets monthly to ensure up to date information about CART, grants, and other necessary details about the project. The TAC is comprised of local volunteers from healthcare facilities, other community groups, business owners, public officials (both county and city), etc.
- The Transportation Coordinator is the main liaison between the TAC and daily, Safety Sensitive individuals. Drivers, dispatcher, mechanics, and coordinators are just a few of the Safety Sensitive individuals who report to the Transportation Coordinator.
- Transportation Dispatcher takes calls and schedules rides, as well as acting as the liaison between drivers and the Transportation Coordinator.
- We’re looking to hire a full-time Transportation Coordinator, a part-time Transportation Dispatcher, and two part-time drivers. All of which would be covered by the MDT operating grant.
- We’ll be working with MDT on getting covered by insurance, either through the state or a local source. That is a topic to be discussed on a future MDT conference call. However, insurance is budgeted into the operating grant.
- Currently, Stephen Kalb-Koenigsfeld is the acting Transportation Coordinator. Once a full-time Coordinator is hired, Stephen will stay on part-time to help assist in training, background information, and as other needs arise.