Who We Are
The role of NWCCOG’s Mobility Manager is in transition in 2023. NWCCOG is applying for the 2024 CDOT 5310 Grant to fund this position in 2024 while the Executive Director serves as Acting MM. Once direction from CDOT is clear about the Transportation Planning Regions (TPR) program and this grant award appears imminent (it has been funded each year for more than a decade, though the 2023 award was not announced until December of 2022), NWCCOG will re-write the Job Description and post the position. Watch for that to be posted here: https://www.nwccog.org/about/people/our-organization/employment-opportunities/ . The below history of the program goes into more detail.
History of the Program to Summer 2023:
The Regional Transportation Coordinating Council (RTCC) was formed in 2010 after a study on the growing older adult population in our region identified the gaps in transportation services as a major regional priority. Transportation across county boundaries to access healthcare facilities and other services was one clear gap. While the initial efforts focused primarily on older adults, filling gaps in transit, transportation, mobility and related services that benefit older adults benefit everyone. The RTCC acknowledges the challenges faced by older adults are also faced by veterans, people with limited income, and individuals with disabilities.
In 2012 the NWCCOG was awarded a 5310 Mobility Management grant and the Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative grant (VTCLI) through the Colorado Department of Transportation. That grant funded the Mobility Manager position in July 2012 to provide administrative support to the RTCC, help identify key organizations and individuals with potential interest in the RTCC, and address the identified regional gaps. Over subsequent years, the Mobility Manager was tasked with meeting a Colorado Health Care Policy & Financing (HCPF) service for Non-Emergent Medical Transportation (NEMT) which is a requirement of county Health & Human Services departments. Few counties could spare the intensive work required of a part-time employee to meet the requirement, leaving an unmet need across the region. Over the next 7 years, the Mobility Manager grew staffing and clientele for the One Call/One Click Center, a regional billing mechanism for NEMT. The Mobility Manager also conducted regular regional transportation services inventories which included both human services agencies and transit providers, conducted a detailed gap analysis of the transit needs across the region, and expanded coordination of, and access to, transportation resources. The services inventory and gap analysis were completed in 2013, 2016, 2018 and 2021. The August 2021 report researched and produced by LSC Consultants can be found at https://www.nwccog.org/programs/member-services/reports/ .
In 2021, HCPF decided to scrap the regional approach to NEMT opting for a state-wide contractor. Subsequently NWCCOG folded the Call Center, reducing the program to only the Mobility Manager position. The Mobility Manager continued bringing transit agencies together to share knowledge in RTCC meetings and completed another transportation gap analysis. Interest in the RTCC has waned in the past two years as the position struggled to find a clear, robust purpose to add value to the region. This region has transit agencies with some of the highest rural service ridership in the nation, and communities have vigorously addressed last mile mobility solutions on their own. A second Transportation Authority was created by the voters in Eagle County in 2022. Innovation in mobility and sustainable practices by each of the individual agencies is driving significant changes in equipment and systems for transit. The addition of Bustang and Pegasus routes from Denver to Grand Junction as well as to Steamboat Springs and Winter Park have met many of the county-to-county gaps identified by earlier analyses.
In the Winter of 2022-2023, NWCCOG’s second Mobility Manager separated from employment to operate a transit agency. Thereafter, NWCCOG conducted a series of conversations during the Spring of 2023 with various leaders involved in transit and transportation efforts across the region, with CDOT, with the Intermountain Transportation Planning Region Group and with the RTCC committee. In those conversations, it became clear that in many other regions the local Council of Governments was the contact point and provided administrative support for the TPR. It was also clear that the support was lacking currently with the Intermountain TPR which could benefit from such support and on-going coordination and liaison work between the region and CDOT. A discussion with the Chair of the Northwest TPR and NWCCOG clarified that that region does not believe it would benefit from additional administrative support from a position at NWCCOG at this time. At the request of CDOT leadership, HB23-1101 was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. The bill expands the current definition of ozone season to allow transit agencies where the ozone levels are highest to apply for funding during different month periods beyond what the law currently allows. The Advisory Committee established by the bill to assess the TPR map, structure, and system, met on June 7th for the first time. The CDOT 5310 Grant to fund the Mobility Manager Position for 2024 was due before any findings were released. Based on conversations, NWCCOG is updating the Mobility Manger job description and has submitted the CDOT grant application for the position to manage the RTCC and provide full-time support to the IMTPR.
As communities experience change in growth, employment patterns, and population aging, transportation needs and travel patterns also change – and transportation services must adjust to meet those needs.