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PRISM Express Program Evaluation.

Toburen, Matt

Transportation is a necessity that many people take for granted. We live in a mobile society that requires the ability to travel long distances within cities to meet our daily needs. However, there is a portion of the population who are unable to travel because they lack private transportation, and public transportation does not adequately cover their area or they are physically unable to use transportation due to disabilities and health reasons. The elderly who are no longer able to drive or people with low incomes that cannot afford personal transportation have a difficult time getting to jobs, doctor and health appointments and GED and adult education classes. This lack of transportation can keep the poor in a cycle of poverty that they are unable to break. PRISM, People Responding in Social Ministry, is a community-funded social service agency that provides families in need with food, financial assistance, transportation and other services in times of financial hardship. PRISM Express provides area residents with convenient, curb-to-curb transportation. In 2006 there were a total of 40,392 rides. This project was the first major step in making coordinated transportation a reality in the metro area. 'Small, community based transportation providers either need to coordinate or consolidate in order to offer efficient service in the western suburbs' (PRISM Transit Funding 2007 Management Plan). This project brings multiple funders and two model agencies together to demonstrate the transportation coordination potential. The goal of this project is to create an efficient coordination model that can be replicated in different regions throughout the state.

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Prepared in partnership with People Responding in Social Ministry. Funded by a Communiversity Personnel Grant from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota.
11 pp.
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