Recovery and Job Access Rides (Human Services Coordination Research Grant)
Updated (November 29, 2022)
Background - On March 22, 2018 Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) was invited to the monthly meeting of the Recovery Strategies Committee of the Governor’s Opioid Coordination Council (OCC) to discuss transportation services for those struggling with substance use disorders. While we provided an overview of the standard route and demand-response services, the discussion quickly moved to the type of critical needs not accessible through the current system. Trips to essential services such as support group and meetings, Recovery Centers, drug testing sites, job training and access, etc. were highlighted and we were asked to form a Recovery Transportation Working Group with several members of the OCC.
Service Needs - Through surveys, discussions, and data received, the working group identified the following needs not covered by current programs (including but not limiting to):
- Group Meetings and Therapy sessions
- Access to Recovery Centers
- Access to Drug Testing sites
- Medical Appointments
- Job Access (training, interviews, and initial commutes for up to 30 days)
- VTrans received a competitive grant award for $170,000 Federal with $160,000 Federal slated for operating costs to cover gaps in services not covered by Medicaid and/or Elders and Persons with Disabilities program funds. The pilot grant includes $160,000 State Match for a total of $320,000 in eligible funding. The $160,000 State Match is split evenly in partnership with the Agency of Human Services (AHS) under a Memorandum of Understanding.
- Remaining $10,000 Federal will assist with data collection, analysis and statewide pilot implementation assistance.
- Based on the success of the initial statewide pilot, VTrans has committed an additional $200,000 in Federal funding to sustain the Recovery and Job Access transportation initiative. VTrans and AHS are once again partnering to split the required 50% $200,000 State match for a total of $400,000 in additional funding.
- Since inception of the initial statewide pilot all the $320,000 in Federal and State dollars have been committed to Vermont transit providers to help assist recovery centers and others with transportation trips. The transit providers include Green Mountain Community Network (GMCN), Green Mountain Transit (GMT Rural division), Marble Valley Regional District (MVRTD), Rural Community Transportation (RCT), Southeast Vermont Transit (SEVT) the MOOver and Tri-Valley Transit (TVT).
- Federal dollars require a 50% local match and VTrans is working with recovery centers, local businesses, state government and other stakeholders to generate local contributions.
- Planning groups met, and kick-off meetings were conducted in all the regions mentioned explaining eligibility criteria (Roadmap). Only currently non-eligible trips will be provided through these funds – it is critical existing programs are used first to correctly identify the true need (or gaps) in service
- Based on data analysis of trip volume additional unobligated funds may be awarded to individual transit providers to increase statewide regional accessibility in all Vermont rural service areas.
- VTrans developed a survey for the initial pilot grant to collect trip data and analysis to report to the Federal Transit Administration. Below is a link to a Google Form, and we encourage users of this funding to please take a few minutes to complete the survey providing your valuable feedback.
- The survey is available for download HERE and through the QR code below:
For more information, please contact Tim Bradshaw at 802-461-5310, email@example.com , Ross MacDonald at 802-522-7120, firstname.lastname@example.org or Dan Currier at 802-279-5236, email@example.com.