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Rural Transportation Needs Assessment and Options Analysis

July 2017


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6 First Ave, Montpelier, VT 05602
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Rural Mobility Study Final Report

This report presents the results of the Rural Transportation Needs Assessment
and Options Analysis . The first task consisted of an inventory of transportation
resources in the rural area in Washington, Warren and northern Saratoga
counties surrounding the Glens Falls metropolitan area. The second task
identified the transportation challenges facing resid ents of this area and
quantified the mobility needs based on demographic analysis of the region. The
third task produced a set of alternatives for addressing those needs and the
fourth task consisted of public outreach and a survey to gather input on the
findings of the study.
While social service agency clients and other transportation -disadvantaged
individuals (older adults, people with disabilities, low -income families) constitute
much of the population that faces m obility challenges in the study region, the
study is not restricted to them. It also includes consideration of working-age
people with no disabilities and moderate income who may, nonetheless, face
mobility challenges or be one unlucky break away from facing serious hardship.
While it is far b eyond the scope of this study to solve the economic challenges
facing rural upstate New York, identifying the relationship between trends in the
employment landscape and mobility is crucial to understanding the feasibility of
potential improvements in transportation access in rural areas.
Inventory of Existing Services
The study was intended to assess gaps in rural transportation for the entire
population. Some of the transportation services listed below are available only to
certain segments of the populat ion. Since non- driving populations are by default
most vulnerable to the need for transportation, this inventory attempts to catalog
the existing services. Hence, the limitations of the systems are listed in terms of
trip purpose, trip length, timing, etc. By showing which services are provided,
this plan attempts to highlight the gaps in services that are missing.
The first step in building the inventory of existing services was assembling the list
of agencies to contact. A/GFTC provided lists of agencies that had been involved
with the Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan (latest update 2014)
and requests for funding from the federal section 5310 (Elders and Persons with
Disabilities) program. The consultant team augmented this list with a few ot her
organizations that were found through Internet searches and recommendations
from other agencies .
The next step was to develop a series of questions to ask the agencies during
telephone interviews. The questions covered details about transportation serv ices

that the agencies operated or contracted for, as well as information about
transportation needs among their client populations. In this way, the interview
served as both a means to assemble the inventory as well as stakeholder outreach
regarding unmet needs.
The following sections present the results of the inventory. Greater Glens Falls
Transit is included for the sake of completeness, even though the urban area
where its service operates is not the focus of the study.
Greater Glens Falls Transit
GGFT began operation in 1984 through a collaborative agreement among 11
contiguous municipalities . Today it operates a fleet of 18 transit vehicles and
carries over 350,000 riders a year primarily in the census defined Glens Falls
urban area which stretch es across portions of Warren, Washington and northern
Saratoga counties from Lake George ( and Bolton Landing in the summer) south
to the Towns of Moreau and Fort Edward . Its sole mission is transportation and
has an annual operating budget of $1.8 million . Year -round service operates from
6:30am through 10:00pm Monday through Friday with a somewhat more limited
schedule on Saturdays. GGFT also operates a significant summer season trolley
bus s ervice between the Bolton Landing/Lake George area and Glens Falls seven
days a week from 8:00am through 10:45pm from late June through Labor Day
( and on weekends in spring and Fall). See Figure 1 for a map of GGFT bus routes.
The service level varies by route, with headways 30 minutes along a principal
main north-south travel corridor that includes US Rte 4 in Fort Edward north
along Rt 32 and US Rt 9 to Queensbury. Less frequent hourly and feeder routes
extend this corridor to Lake George and additional point s west and south to
Moreau. Summer trolley service operates along Rt 9 and 9N at 15 -30 minute
intervals. GGFT also operates ADA complementary paratransit service, called
Over the years in general, GGFT has periodically studied and considered various
types of scheduled transit services in more rural portions of the area but has
consistently found insufficient demand to justify the local financial support to
make them feasible. The only exception to this has been its summer service along
the west shore of Lake George to Bolton La nding. This summer operation to
Bolton Landing runs every two hours and carries approximately 2,500 riders per
season. In 2014 GGFT did try extending the Bolton Landing operating season in
the spring and fall but found very limited passenger demand and dis continued
the service. Other rural service attempts include: a shuttle connection between
Lake George and Warrensburg/Thurman to connect to a scenic train in 2015 but
here also found very limited passenger demand and subsequent ly could not
justify necessar y local funding to support continued operation; and many years
ago (1990’s) GGFT ran a local shuttle in and around the Village of Whitehall but
here again found the passenger demand to be very limited and the service was

Figure 1

Non-profit and Social Service Agencies
Of the 24 non -profit organizations on the contact list, the consultant team was
able to conduct interviews with and obtain information from 15. The other
organizations were non -responsive in spite of multiple attempts via telephone
and email. The results of the interviews are presented below and summarized in
Table 1.
The largest transportation resource among the non -profit and social service
agencies belongs to CWI (Community, Work and Independence). This agency
owns five large buses and 16 cutaway vans based on a Ford F450 chassis. These
vehicles transport individuals to CWI’s many facilities for its day programs
covering a wide range of services. It also owns a fleet of sedans and minivans for
its resident program . W hile much of its service is operated in the urban area,
CWI’s reach does cover the rural portions of the A/GFTC region as well. Its
vehicles operate primarily between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. and then between
1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to transport clients to and from the day programs. CWI
employs 23 full -time drivers and resident employees drive the smaller vehicles as
needed. Annual funding, consisting of state and federal funds, amounts to about
$1 million. The transit vehicles carry an average of 486 rider s per day, with
annual ridership of 107,000. CWI serves all ages, from youth to elderly , as well as
low -income individuals.
The next largest operation surveyed is the Fort Hudson Nursing Center . It
owns seven wheelchair -accessible vans, which operate primarily between 7:00
a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and then between 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. These are
operated by 6 part -time drivers. Half of the funding comes from the federal
section 5310 program administered by NYSDOT and the other half comes from
internal sources. Total annual funding is roughly $150,000, serving an annual
ridership of about 20,000 passengers. The vehicles can operate within a 15 -mile
radius of the facility , meaning that much of the service occurs within the urban
area. The passengers are mostly Medicaid -eligible and fit within the guidelines of
the 5310 program . Riders are carried to and from adult day programs at the
facility, and residents are transported to medical appointments, to grocery stores,
and to social activities.
The third largest operation interviewed is the Liberty House Foundation ,
which primarily serves mentally ill and developmentally disabled people. It owns
five vans, four with a capacity of 12 passengers and one with a capacity of 8
passengers. A total of e ight drivers are employed. Funding is derived from a
variety of sources, including the Office for Persons with Developmental
Disabilities, Office of Mental Health, ACCES -VR, and Counties (Warren &
Washington) . The vehicles carry about 40 passengers per day for an annual total
of about 8,000 trips. These trips include going to and from the facility, as well as
medical appointments, grocery shopping and social activities. The geographic
area served includes Warren and Washington counties, specifically Warrensburg,
Bolton Landing, Lake George, Fort Edward, Hudson Falls, Queensbury, Glens
Falls, South G lens Falls and part of Fort Ann. Much of the transportation service
occurs in the urban area.

Eight of the respondents had small fleets of three or fewer vehicles .


mile) for the service, but some do not. The total outlay for volunteer
reimbursement in 2016 was $18,985, resulting in a cost per mile of just 44 cents.
There is significant unmet demand for service, as RSVP cannot find enough
drivers to meet all of the requests for rides. As a result, trips are limited to
medical appointments and clients are limited to 4 rides per month. RSVP tries
not to carry Medicaid- eligible individuals, as they are supposed to use the
Medical Answering Service network. There is no cost to the rider for these trips,
but donations are accepted. RSVP provides an umbrella insurance policy for the
The final two respondents, Hudson Headwaters Health Network and Glens Falls
Housing Authority, provi de no transportation service. The information gained
from these agencies is incorporated into the section on needs, below.

Table 1: Summary of Non -profit Organization Transportation Resources
Agency Vehicle Type Num­
Number of
Funding Annual
Population Served
L arge bus es;
21 23 for day
State &
Federal $1M
AGFTC area Youth to elder; low
Fort Hudson Nursing
Center, Inc.
7 6 part -time
50% from
5310; rest
$150K 20K within 15
miles E&D, mostly
Medicaid eligible
Liberty House
Vans: 12
and 8­
5 8 Various govt
agencies N/A
18-80 with mental
health or
disability; 80%
below poverty level
Cornell Cooperative
Extension Warren
Minivans 3 10 Fundraising $30K N/A Warren
County Program
Conkling Center Minivans 2 4
$120K 350 in
Within 25
miles of
Glens Falls
55 and older,
Greenwich Interfaith
Fellowship, Inc. 10-
van ; small
van 2 5-
7 PT plus
volunteers in own vehicles
United Fund
Council of
N/A 450
year Southern
County Seniors for medical
appts and
Warren Hamilton
Counties Community
15- passenger
van s 2 Staff
Towns (from
Office for
60 and older; all trip

Glens Falls Hospital
Behavioral Health
Glens Falls Senior
Lake Luzerne Senior
Moreau Community
Tri County United Way
Vehicle Type Num­
12- pass enger
van 1
12- passenger
van 1
12- passenger
van 1
16- pass bus 1
Van 1
Personal cars 27
Number of
N/A 27
Funding Annual
cannot use
Medicaid N/A
grants $3,300
Office of
Aging and
Town of LL
5310 to buy;
30% Town,
50% from
( for
reim ­
burse ­
Population Served
20 of
the 30
in Day
Glens Falls
and Hudson
Falls 18 and up; psych
mi radius
of Glens
Falls Senior Center
members –
ambulatory with
low income
N/A Shopping
trips to
Glens Falls 60+
N/A Within
district 55+, disabled
Ft. Edward
Senior center
92 per
in 2016 Warren and
55+ and disabled
for medical trips

Washington County Agencies
On December 1, the consultant team met with a group of officials representing
Washington County agencies and non- profits that work closely with the County.
Among these were the United Way and the Greenwich Interfaith Fellowship
which have already been discussed above . Information about transportation
resources available at these agencies is presented below.
The Washington County Economic Opportunity Council, Inc. is a non­
profit organization, but works closely with County agencies. It has three cars that
it operates with $38,000 provided by the Office of Aging. These cars are used to
provide medical trips and also social and shopping trips to a lesser extent for
older adults in Washington Count y. They can also serve younger people with low
incomes thanks to community services block grant funds. The agency also works
with Granville and uses two days per week on Granville’s van for network
transport. EOC is also involved in the Headstart program f or young children to
provide transportation to medical appointments when Medicaid is not available,
using seven or eight vans. This program serves 420 children younger than five
years old.
The County’s Department of Social Services does not own vehicles to
provide transportation to clients, but its workers will occasionally do so. The
agency uses taxis for the homeless population and will buy bus tokens for its
employment unit to distribute to low -income individuals needing transportation
to jobs.
Likewise the Department of Public Health does not provide transportation,
but does contract for transportation for preschool programs to serve children age
3 to 5. This program is paid for with 50% County funds.
The Aging and Disability Resource Center (part of the Department of Social
Services and the Office of Aging) provides home care and adult protective
services for people 18 and older. Staff members transport clients to shopping and
medical appointments using their cars, and also transport them to the agency
o ffice for meetings. The agency provides meals on wheels to over 300 seniors.
Finally, Veterans Affairs serves about 5,000 veterans in Washington County.
In a given year, the agency provides transportation to about 900 veterans, taking
them to the Albany Veterans Administration Hospital using either a van or a bus.
The agency employs one full -time driver. The vehicle carries up to 10 riders per
day, but it has a limited schedule due to inadequate funding. The agency is trying
to develop a connection to a community health clinic in Glens Falls to provide
more convenient healthcare access to its clients.
Warre n County Agencies
Agencies in Warren County were contacted by email and telephone. Information
collected during these interviews is presented below.
The County’s Department of Social Services, which includes the Youth
Bureau, has a fleet of eight vehicles including seven cars and one van. These were

purchased with County funds, and the County has an additional van available
that can be signed out when needed. The vehicles are used by case workers to
reach clients and also to transport clients for visitation s, to attend counseling
sessions, school meetings, etc. For clients with great needs, the caseworkers will
take them to grocery stores for shopping and other essential errands. DSS
encourages people living in Glens Falls to use the bus system and distribut es
tokens to those who cannot afford the bus fare. The agency will also pay for taxis
to take homeless people back to their temporary lodgings. The greatest need seen
by DSS is for transportation in the northern reaches of Warren County where
there is no bus service and to which it is difficult to find volunteer drivers to
The Office of Aging provides home care and adult protective services for people
18 and older. The agency has no vehicles but refers people to RSVP and the
Conkling Center when they need transportation. The Office will help fund
transportation for social events in various towns (while the towns provide the
Veterans Affairs operates trips from two pick-up points to the Albany VA
medical center every weekday, accommodating appointments from 9:30 a.m. to
1:00 p.m. It owns two vans, one of which is wheelchair accessible, and transports
70 riders per month on average. The agency has three part -time drivers to
operate the vans. The vans are also used for occasional other purposes, such as
taking veterans to 4
th of July and Memorial Day celebrations, and four trips per
year to Albany airport. The vans will carry veterans who live in other counties
whenever space is available (as long as those veterans are willing and able to
make i t to one of the pick -up points) . In the past, volunteer groups named Ricky
Rides and Thank s for Your Service had provided local transportation to veterans,
but these have a very limited scale. The agency does not coordinate or schedule
rides for the volunteers, but just provides contact information to any veterans
who need such transportation.
Medicaid Transportation
In New York State, non- emergency medical transportation (NEMT) funded by
the federal Medicaid program is provided through the Medical An swering
Ser vice, or MAS. This is a private -sector brokerage that accepts trip requests from
Medicaid -eligible individuals and schedules trips through the “most medically
appropriate and cost -effective ” means. The great majority of trips, particularly in
ru ral areas, are completed by taxi companies. MAS has been working with GGFT
to provide some NEMT trips within the Glens Falls urban area . MAS has had the
statewide contract only since 2014, but it has been operating in New York since
2003. Prior to MAS, NEM T was offered through public transit agencies and other
non- profit organizations, though in the rural areas of Washington and Warren
counties, taxi companies have always provided most if not all of the NEMT

Taxi Companies
Taxis are used for a wide variety of purposes. For those lacking an automobile
and access to any government -funded transportation program, a taxi may be the
only source of mobility available. The MAS website lists 46 taxi companies
serving Warren County and 50 taxi companies serv ing Washington County.
Accounting for overlap, there are 54 distinct taxi companies listed for the two
counties. It should be noted that not all of the taxi companies listed provide
service to the general public; many are Medicaid -funded services that prov ide
transportation to medical appointments only.
A survey of citizens of the Adirondack Gateway Region, commissioned by the
Adirondack Gateway Council, found that about 20% of respondents stated that
they used taxis on a weekly basis. The main purposes for these trips were
medical, shopping, and work, with a few students taking taxis to school. About
75% of taxi users said that they paid less than $10 per trip. The typical fare for
trips within Glens Falls is likely about $5, but trips in rural areas can cost
substantially more. Some taxi companies offer small discounts (50 cents or a
dollar) for frequent riders who use taxis to get to work. However, taxis are not
typically seen as a long -term and sustainable transportation option for any given
individual be cause of the cost and inconvenience of having to schedule every ride.
On June 29, 2017, it became legal to operate ridehailing services in upstate New
York. These services, such as Uber or Lyft, rely on individual contractors driving
their own vehicles, dispatched through a smartphone app. Since there is no
centralized fleet, this type of service could theoretically allow for increased taxi-
style service to rural areas. However, it remains to be seen whether the cost of
rides and low population density will make ridehailing a feasible transportation
option in rural areas.
Demographic Analysis
A n analysis of demographics in the study region was conducted to provide an
objective basis for evaluating the feasibility of potential mobility improvements.
The viability of traditional transit services depend s heavily on population density
and the prevalence of people who rely on transit for mobility , typically older
adults, people with low incomes, and especially people without access to an
automobile. Demand response service and recent innovative solutions may
depend somewhat less on these traditional measures for their success, but
nonetheless, it is important t o quantify potential demand and the location of
vulnerable populations to the extent it is possible.
The following sections provide an overview of the study region in terms of its
development pattern, distribution of household density and key demographic
c haracteristics. The data source for household density is the 2010 Census, since it
provides information at the Census block level —the most fine -grained level of
geography. The other maps are based on the American Community Survey (ACS),

representing an average of data from 2010 to 2014. These are presented at the
Census block group level. In general, the maps presented here are an update of
those contained in A/GFTC’s 2014 Coordinated Human Service Transportation
Description of Regional Development Pa ttern
The core of the region is the Glens Falls urbanized area, including the city of
Glens Falls, and portions of four surrounding towns: Queensbury, Kingsbury,
Fort Edward and Moreau. The portions of these towns that are in the urbanized
area include West Glens Falls, Glens Falls North, Hudson Falls, Fort Edward, and
South Glens Falls. These neighborhoods include suburban residential areas,
village centers, industrial zones, and strip retail development. Beyond this
urbanized area lies the majority of the region, in the rural portions of Warren and
Washington counties, plus the rest of the Town of Moreau.
The development and population of Warren County is concentrated in the
Queensbury area. Moving north and west from there, the rest of the county has
extr emely low population density and much of it lies in wilderness areas, with the
exception of a few hamlets such as Warrensburg, Chestertown and Lake George.
Washington County is different, in that it has a larger number of villages and
hamlets spread out t hrough its long north -south expanse. The far northern
portion of the county is largely devoid of development, but the US 4, NY 40 and
NY 22 corridors (among others) connect numerous small towns and villages.
Many farms fill in the areas in between the vill ages, to a much greater extent than
in Warren County. The northern portion of the county is closely tied to the
economy of Glens Falls (with some linkage to Rutland, VT) , but the southern
portion is more closely tied to the Albany -Troy metropolitan area and Saratoga.
Household Density
Figure 2 shows the density of households per acre for the study region in the year
2010 by Census block. It is immediately obvious that the great majority of the
region is very rural, with a density of less than one household per acre. The
various villages and ham lets have blocks with densities of one to three
households per acre, with perhaps a block or two with higher densities. According
to the Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual (a TCRP report),
traditional fixed- route transit requires a density of a t least 3 households per acre,
which is roughly equivalent to quarter -acre zoning ( after the land used by roads
and sidewalks is accounted for). It is clear that only the Glens Falls urban area
has enough blocks with a density at least that high to support regular bus routes.
As described above, almost all of Warren County , outside of the southeast corner,
falls in to the lowest category of density. The hamlet of Warrensburg contains a
small cluster of moderate density blocks, with a sprinkling of density farther
north in Chestertown along US 9 and in North Creek where NY 28 joins the
Hudson River. In Washington County, there are several larger villages such as
Whitehall, Granville, S alem, Greenwich and Cambridge, plus other smaller

villages that are not labeled on the map. Unfortunately, from a transit
perspective, these villages are separated by long distances, making any sort of
scheduled service linking them together an expensive p roposition.
Figure 3 shows close -ups of the Glens Falls area and several of the other larger
villages in the study region. The Glens Falls map shows that the GGFT bus system
(superimposed in orange lines) is closely aligned to the areas with the highest
ho usehold density. All of the blocks with densities of at least 3 households per
acre are within walking distance of a route, and indeed there are deviations from
the main roadways that are clearly intended to serve specific housing
developments. This is esp ecially clear in Glens Falls North. Hudson Falls, which
has the most extensive area of high density housing outside of Glens Falls, is
served by GGFT’s Route 4, which has the highest level of service of any of the
routes in the GGFT system.

Figure 2


Figure 3


The age profile of the study region is displayed in a series of maps, shown in
figures 4 through 10. Each map shows the percentage of the population in each
Census block group that belongs to a specific age cohort. The maps also show the
absolute number of people in that age group, since the block groups vary greatly
in their geographic area. These maps are based on ACS data from 2010 to 2014.
Figure 4 shows the location and concentration of young children, age 14 and
under. Since children of this age rarely move about independently, they are
important more for showing where young families are located. These families
may have need for child care services, and for those families who cannot afford a
car (or a second car if the primary breadwinner takes a car to work every day),
transportation can be a major challenge. The southern portion of Washington
County has relatively high percentages of children, perhaps representing families
with commuters to Saratoga and Albany, though the low densit y of many of these
block groups means that the absolute numbers of children are not very high. The
highest absolute figures are in the suburban areas around Glens Falls.
The next map (Figure 5 ) focuses on the teenage population which is beginning to
enter the labor force and may have mobility needs independent of their parents.
Most of the higher percentages and absolute numbers are in the block groups
surrounding Glens Falls, though the large block group at the northern edge of
Warren County has a relative ly high percentage and over 200 individuals in this
age group. The GGFT bus system reaches some of the higher -percentage block
groups near Glens Falls, but not all of them.
Figure 6 shows young adults of college age. The highest incidence of this age
group is a swath through the middle of Washington County from Granville
through Fort Ann, as well as some sections of Glens Falls. There are very few
people in this age group in southern Washington County and in most of Warren
County. The departure of people in this age group from rural areas to major
metro areas is a concern for much of the country.
Figure 7 covers a 15-year segment of the population, including the younger half of
people of “working age ” from 25 to 39. For most of the rural portions of Warren
a nd Washington counties, this group represents between 10 and 19% of the
population. In the central portion of the area, from the western section of Moreau
through some of Glens Falls and then heading northeast to Whitehall, the
percentage rises to over 20%. The absolute number of people in that age cohort in
many of those block groups is over 500. It is safe to say that much of the
workforce in Glens Falls lives in these block groups along US 4 to the north and
east and along US 9 to the south and west.

Figure 4


Figure 5

Figure 6


Figure 7


Figure 8 represents the largest age cohort of any of the maps in this series. As a
result, the percentages and absolute figures are higher than on any of the other
maps. The US 4 corridor does not show up as clearly on this map, other than the
block group south of Whitehall with over 1,100 people age 40 -59. Central
Washington County appears more prominently than on Figure 6. The south and
west sides of Glens Falls, includ ing most of Moreau, has more than 40% of its
residents in this age group, and the absolute numbers are large as well. As with
the previous map, many of the people in this age group in close proximity to
Glens Falls are likely working in the urbanized core of the region.
Younger seniors, those age 60 -69, are concentrated along Lake George and, to a
lesser extent, in the western portion of Washington County, as shown in Figure 9.
The highest absolute figures are in some of the block groups surrounding Glens
F alls, plus a block group between Whitehall and Granville, but there is a clear
pattern of younger retirees settling around Lake George. These block groups are
sparsely populated, so the absolute figures are not high. Presumably, the vast
majority of these retirees are able to afford an automobile and are not yet so old
as to be unable to drive.
The final map in the series (Figure 10) shows the concentration of seniors 70
years of age and older. There is again a clear concentration near Lake George,
though m ore on the western shore. There are also large numbers and a high
concentration of older seniors in block groups on the north side of Glens Falls.
Many of these residents live in assisted living or other housing oriented toward
seniors. The village of Granville also appears to host similar facilities. A
significant number of older seniors live in the northwest corner of Warren
County, with many of them likely in the hamlet of North Creek.

Figure 8

Figure 9


Figure 10


There are many definitions of low income used in different studies. For the
purpose of this study, “very low income” is defined by the HUD threshold for a
three- person family in the A/GFTC area. For the 2010 -2014 period, this
threshold was $29,200. Among all households in the A/ GFTC area, 26% qualify
as very low income according to this definition.
Figure 11 shows the concentration of very low income households by block group.
Outside of Glens Falls, the highest concentrations are in four block groups
scattered across the area: Granville, Whitehall, the area south and west of
Warrensburg, and the far northwest corner of Warren County, including such
hamlets as Bakers Mills and North Creek. As with other maps, some of the
highest absolute figures are in the block groups in and aro und Glens Falls. The
block group containing much of Hudson Falls has nearly 500 very low income
households as well as a high percentage. Three other block groups in the urban
area also fall into the top percentage category. Most of the block groups in the
south western portion of Washington County and the eastern portion of Warren
County , as well as the suburban areas around Glens Falls, have relatively few very
low income households.
Automobile Availability
There are several reasons a household may not own an automobile. The most
common reasons in a generally rural area revolve around the inability to drive or
to afford a car. These reasons would be correlated with age (older seniors),
disability status, or very low income. Within cities or dense villages, some people
may choose to live without a car if they are able to walk or take transit to their
jobs and to take care of other personal business and shopping. No matter the
reason, the lack of an automobile is the clearest marker of dependency on public
tran sportation.
As shown in Figure 1 2, there are relatively few households overall that own zero
vehicles. Many block groups have 20 or fewer such households, and several block
groups have zero. Several block groups in Washington County have higher figures
and moderate percentages of zero -vehicle households, most of which are in the
larger villages such as Whitehall, Granville, Greenwich and Cambridge. The far
northwest corner of Warren County again shows up as a moderate percentage
and a not -insignificant numb er of households.
By far the highest numbers and highest percentages of zero -vehicle households
are in the downtown area of Glens Falls and Hudson Falls. Several of these block
groups have more than 100 households with no vehicles, and two of them have
mor e than 200 such households, representing over 30% of the population.
Fortunately, these areas are among the best served by the GGFT fixed route
system and have excellent walking access to businesses in downtown Glens Falls
or Hudson Falls.

Trip Generators
Figure 1 3 shows important trip destinations in the rural portion of the study area
( destinations in the Glens Falls urban area are excluded to make the map easier
to read). Large employers (more than 50 employees), government offices, grocery
stores, and p ost offices are mapped to show places where people need to go on a
regular basis.
In Washington County, the map shows five grocery stores outside of the urban
area: three in the Greenwich/Cambridge area, one in Granville and one in
Whitehall. For people living outside of these towns and villages, shopping is a
time- consuming chore, and for those without ready access to an automobile, it
can be nearly impossible. Most of the large employers are located along or near
NY 40 in Argyle and Greenwich. Many towns have no large employers.
In Warren County, most of the grocery stores are located either along US 9 or NY
9N, covering Warrensburg, Lake Luzerne, Bolton and Chestertown. There is also
a market in North Creek. Although it is very sparsely populated, the southwestern
portion of the county has poor access to grocery stores. There are few large
employers outside of Warrensburg.
External Trip Generators
Figure 14 shows the study area in a broader context and highlights the influence
of some of the more import ant activity centers outside of the A/GFTC region.
Rutland, Saratoga Springs, Troy, Bennington, and Ticonderoga all have hospitals
and significant employment and retail bases. Of course, the center of the Albany
metropolitan area is not much further to the southwest from Troy.
A 20 -mile radius around each of these activity centers is shown, to indicate which
parts of the study region may have stronger linkages to these external generators,
for the purposes of commuting, shopping, medical or entertainment t rips rathern
than Glens Falls. It can be seen that southern Washington County experiences
the strongest pull to generators outside of the region, and that most of Warren
County and the central portion of Washington County are beyond these 20 -mile
rings and thus are less likely to generate frequent trips to these external areas.
In terms of the potential for transit connections to the external job centers, CDTA
already operates the Northway Express along I -87 (with one trip per day
originating in South Glens Falls) which connects to downtown Albany. It is very
unlikely that any of the other external job centers have enough demand coming
from a compact area to be able to support a scheduled bus service. Ridesharing
and vanpools would be appropriate means of pr oviding alternatives to driving to
reach these locations.
1 Locations of pharmacies and libraries were also examined. In all cases, pharmacies were located
in close proximity to grocery stores and in almost every case, libraries were located in close
proximity to government offices. Thus, for the sake of map clarity, pharmacies and libraries are
not shown separately.

Figure 11

Figure 12


Figure 13


Figure 14


Unmet Needs and Underlying Causes
A critical portion of this study was to identify transportation needs in the rural
study region. The RFP for this project posed four questions to be answered:

For people living in small towns, villages and hamlets, cars have also become
almost indispensible. Sweeping trends such as globalization, market
consolidation, automation, and technological innovation have drastically affected
employment and retail in small communities. Gone are the days when every
small town has a sustainable employment base, as well as a grocery store, and
other shops to take care of residents’ needs. Economies of scale have largely
driven small employers and shops out of busi ness, replaced by supermarkets and
superstores , not to mention online retailers. While in the past, people living in
small towns may have been able to get to work and acco mplish most or all of their
shopping and personal business on foot, now it is rare to find such cases.
As shown in the previous section, there are people living in rural areas and small
towns who have no cars available, and many more people with low income or of
advanced age who may find it difficult to afford or drive a car. Even if they would
like to move to a city or transit -accessible location, they may not be able to for a
variety of reasons.
In spite of the mobility needs in rural areas and small town s/villages, traditional
transit services are not well suited to meet these needs. Bus services require a
minimum level of population density to be viable (see Household Density section
above) , and rural areas, by definition, do not have this level of density. Demand
response service can meet some of these needs, but as will be discussed below,
tends to be restricted to specific populations by existing funding sources, is very
expensive to provide on a per -passenger basis, and for the rider has traditionally
required advance planning and reservations, which makes it far inferior to the
mobility provided by a car.
Other than relocation, new solutions are needed to increase mobility in rural
areas. The next section considers mobility needs for various demograph ic groups.
Needs by Demographic Group
Each segment of the resident population has its own distinct need for mobility.
These needs differ by the type of trips taken (trip purpose), time of day, and
accessibility, both in terms of physical accessibility for a person in a wheelchair,
and the feasible walking distance between the vehicle and the origin and
destination locations on either end of the trip.
For the purposes of this study, the Youth population segment is defined as people
from age 15 to age 19. These are people who are beginning to have mobility needs
separate from their family, perhaps because of after -school jobs, entertainment,
sports, and other activities. While some of them may be fortunate enough to have
access to a car for most or all o f their needs, many of them do not. The most likely
means of transport for this age group is getting a ride, either with a family
member or with a friend. Other possible means of transport include walking or
bicycling for short -to medium -range trips or taking transit for those located in
Glens Falls and the immediately -surrounding areas .

Youths with after -school jobs would likely need transport from their high school
to wherever their job is (a village center or a shopping mall, etc.) between 2:30
p.m. and 3:30 p.m., and then transport to a location near their home between
5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. These trips would occur every day school is in session.
Trips for social activities would be more likely to occur on Friday and Saturday
evenings. Sports activities could happen almost any time, from the hours before
to school starts, to the after school period and on weekends.
With respect to accessibility, teenagers are more likely than other demographic
groups to be able to walk some distance between where the vehicle picks them up
or drops them off and their origin and destination locations. In terms of the
“severity” of the mobility need, it may be that teenagers’ mobility needs are not
quite as critical as those for other groups, in that they are unlikely to go hungry or
lack medical treatment without independent mobility. That is not to say that
independent mobility would not be a significant benefit to some teens, whose
families could desperately use the extra income, or whose quality of life would be
greatly enhanced by being able to participate in more activities than their current
mobility situation allows.
Working Age
Referring back to the series of age maps in the prior section, the working age
population covers people age 20 -24, 25 -39, and 40- 59. There are certainly plenty
of people in their sixties working as well, but for the purpose of this study, we will
consider people 60 -69 as “young retirees.” People with disabilities in the working
age group are considered separately below.
The primary concern of p eople in this age cohort is being able to get to work. As
one stakeholder plainly put it during an interview, if you live in a rural area, “no
car, no job.” As described above, even in villages and small towns, the job
opportunities are limited —more limite d than in the past —so that people need to
be able to commute to an urban area or industrial park.
Many of these commuting trips take place at “normal” weekday rush hours, such
as 7:00 to 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., but many workers at industrial parks
or health care facilities work second or third shift and may need to work on
weekends. For new entrants to these jobs, the mobility need may be short -lived,
since holding down the job could allow them to purchase an automobile, solving
their mobility chal lenge.
However, until they can start a job, low -income people in rural areas are “stuck”
in a situation that is difficult to emerge from, because any of the solutions require
money. This situation may affect their health as well, especially if they are not
eligible for or enrolled in Medicaid.
Working age people, of course, need to make other trips as well, for shopping,
personal business, medical, child care, and social and recreational activities. But,
as just stated, if they have a job, then they can lik ely afford a car. Thus, providing
some form of mobility, at least on a temporary basis, to people in rural areas, can
help solve their general mobility problem for the longer term.

Older Adults
Most programs design ed to aid senior citizens begin at age 60, though there are
some available to anyone 55 or older. It is difficult to treat all people 60 or older
as a single group regarding transportation needs, because the needs of someone
who is 62 may be very different from someone who is 87. Setting aside for the
moment the younger seniors (who are more similar to working age adults, and
likely do not have significant mobility needs unless they have a very low income
or a disability ), as people move toward the upper end of this age range, their
needs have less to do with getting to jobs and more to do with medical
appointments and basic needs such as meals and shopping.
Most programs geared toward older adults make medical transportation the
highest priority, with weekly or biweekly shopping trips also provided when
funding allows. Seniors who are enrolled in adult day programs usually are
eligible for transportation to those programs. Some of these programs also
provide transportation for occasional excursions and social activities. Please refer
to the earlier section in this report about transportation resources available from
non- profit agencies in the region.
Many older adults, when they can no longer drive, choose to relocate to housing
that includes services for them, such as assisted living, or tha t is in an area where
they can walk to take care of their basic needs. Seniors in rural areas who decide
not to , or cannot afford to relocate, can have the greatest mobility needs and pose
the greatest challenge to agencies that serve this population becau se of the costs
involved in transporting them between their far -removed homes and the medical
and other facilities that they need to reach. These challenges grow as their health
declines. For instance, those with kidney disease need transportation three times
per week for dialysis, but most programs only have enough resources to offer one
or two trips per week. The patients must then rely on family and friends to
provide the other rides.
While older adults are perhaps the group with the greatest transportation needs ,
they are also the group that benefits most from existing programs. It is generally
recognized that the existing programs do not have sufficient funding to meet all
of the needs of this population . Innovative solutions may help address the unmet
needs of this population, but more funding in existing programs may be the
simplest solution.
People with Disabilities
As was true of older adults, “people with disabilities” is a broad category covering
people facing a wide range of challenges, from phys ical disabilities to sensory,
mental or cognitive disabilities. They can be of any age or income level, and live
independently or with families. For many , but not all, people with disabilities,
driving a car is not a feasible option.
The primary funding pr ogram from the Federal Transit Administration for older
adults (section 5310) also covers people with disabilities. Thus, what was true
about seniors benefitting from existing programs (and suffering from inadequate
funding of those programs) is also true of people with disabilities.

People with disabilities who are working age may have little need to get to
medical appointments but a significant need to get to a job. They may have other
sources of income because of their disability, but still desire to ha ve a job and be a
productive member of society. If they can live independently, then they can
choose to live in a place that offers access to their job via public transportation,
but if not, then they may struggle with the choice between living with family
members or in a facility that provides the support they need and being able to
work outside of the home.
Transportation for people with disabilities obviously needs to account for
accessibility for people using wheelchairs or other mobility devices, as well as
visual and other impairments. As was found in the inventory of non- profit
agencies, many of the vehicles being used in the region are not wheelchair
accessible, but agencies make an effort to coordinate with others that have this
resource (such as th e Conkling Center) when the need arises.
Needs by Specific Geographic Area
The following list summarizes the results of the demographic analysis and
highlights areas with high degrees of transportation needs.



All of the ratings are summarized for easy comparison in a table at the end of the
ITN Country
• Needs addressed: S eniors, visually -impaired adults
Independent Transportation Network of America is developing a new initiative
called ITN Country, targeted at rural areas. ITNCountry is intended to be a
program within an existing organization, which would have a large say in its
service parameters , such as hours of operation, limitations on eligibility, fares,
etc. To facilitate the spread of ITN Country, ITN is building a large on-line
learning community where all of ITN’s innovative programs are taught and
The features of ITNCountry include personal transportation accounts in which
members can accumulate and spend ride credits. S eniors can trade in their
vehicles for ride credits or earn credits as volunteer drivers themselves, banking
them to pl an for their own future needs. Relatives in other areas with ITN can
also earn credits for a senior who needs rides.
The ITN Country program is still in development, with national rollout at least
three years away. Communities interested in early adoption c an pay a $15,000
fee to be part of the research phase. In the longer term, ITN is hoping to charge
only $2,500 annually year for this service.
A/GFTC would need to work with existing service agencies, including those
involved in the Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan, to identify
possible organizations under which ITN Country could operate. The options


Telephone Call Center/Online Trans portation Coordination
• Needs addressed: A wareness of available services among all vulnerable
F or transit services to be used effectively, the riding public must be aware of their
existence in order to to take advantage of them. A centralized call center paired
with online resources that gather and provide information about all options
available to the public make it much simpler to find out about and use these
services. Two counties in New York have made significant efforts to establish
these information clearinghouses.
The Schuyler County Transportation Call Center (Schuyler County, NY) connects
riders with a network of providers, incl uding Schuyler County Transit, Schuyler
County Office for the Aging, RSVP, The Arc of Schuyler, and Veterans Services
volunteer drivers. Options include public transit, door -to -door, rideshare,
carpool, vanpool and voucher programs. Reservations must be ma de two days in
advance, and payment varies by transportation providers; trip types (medical,
shopping, etc.) vary by transportation provider. Funding comes from the
Veterans Community Living Initiative, NYS DOT (Mobility Management from
FTA 5311 funds) , and Schuyler County Office for the Aging. It operates Monday-
Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The staff consists of one part -time person and
a full -time supervisor (who mainly performs other activities). The training for
this work, which includes the use o f RouteMatch scheduling software, takes one
to two months. The call center receives 200 to 250 calls per month.
Way2GO -Tompkins County (Tompkins County, NY) is an online resource and a
2-1- 1 service that connects riders with medical transportation providers,
carsharing, taxis, vanpool service s, Zimride, and TDM employer services .
Reservations and payment vary by transportation provider; trip types (medical,
shopping, etc.) vary by transportation provid er. Funding comes from Tompkins
County Department of Social Services .
GGFT already provides informal call center services for the region, in that its staff
often provides information on transportation options well beyond what GGFT
itself operates. To upgra de this capacity to a formalized call center would mainly
involve establishing the regular transfer of information from all service providers
to GGFT so that it has up -to -date information on all transportation options, as
well as an upgrade to the website to provide this information online. This would
also likely involve additional staffing, either part -or full -time, to deal with
additional call volume and to act as a liaison between the call center and the
transportation providers. GGFT or A/GFTC may want to partner with Cornell
Cooperative Extension Offices in Hudson Falls and Warrensburg on this effort;
Way2Go is a project of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, in
partnership with the Tompkins County Department of Social Services.



Seasonal/Tourism Workforce
Ten of the largest employers outside of the Glens Falls urbanized area are in the
tourism industry, with a cluster of smaller employers centered around Lake
George .
2 A/GFTC, in partnership with the Adirondack Regional Chamber of
Commerce, could work with r egional resorts, camps, and conference facilities to
coordinate with ZimRide to develop a “Lake George Trusted Network” to help
facilitate rides for seasonal employees. ZimRide offers an online sign -up site for
organizations, but the seasonal employers would need to work with their own HR
departments to promote the program within their work places (this could also be
facilitated in part by a local Chamber of Commerce, or similar organization).
Employers in Saratoga Springs may also be a potential ZimRide ne twork.
Year-round Employers
As with seasonal employers, there are a number of large year -round industries in
the region, mostly located in the urban area. One exception is the Fort Miller
Group , the largest employer in the A/GFTC rural area, with over 250 employees.
Creating an independent vanpool or carpool program would be costly and time –
consuming, but A/G FTC could encourage large employers to create and promote
a trusted ZimRide network for their employees, similar to the seasonal example
above. It shou ld be noted that ZimRide would be equally valuable for large
employers in the urban part of the Glens Falls area, since many of the employees
of those firms live in the rural areas and could benefit from ridesharing. The
formation of carpools and vanpools from the rural areas into Glens Falls would
open up employment opportunities for people who currently cannot drive.


previously merged with A/GFTC's iPoolNorth; the consolidation was intended as
a cost -sharing initiative, as well as to link the systems to reflect commutation
patterns. However, now that the program is hosted by the 511NY system (rather
than a standalone database), there may be benefit to reverting to separate online
portals. This would allow for local promotion and an online presence customized
to the A/GFTC area, while still allowing for ridematching to occur throughout the
greater Capital District. It would also b e possible to set up a vanpool service,
similar to the one currently administered by CDTA through iPool2.


deduction and VFC's financial return. All proceeds go toward preparing more
vehicles for deserving families.
A third component of VFC is an automotive repair training program . VFC’s Full
Circle Service Center in Halethorpe, MD has a program for ex -offenders who
have been released from the corrections system . These trainees receive
certification and can obtain jobs at auto repair shops. VFC has developed a
partnership with the Maryland Transit Administration so that trainees can
qualify to work as bus mechanic s at MTA.
The greatest challenge for VFC is acquiring enough cars. They are able to award
only about one out of five cars donated. In a northern climate with greater use of
road salt and therefore more issues with rust, the award ratio may drop to one
out of six or one out of seven. VFC partners with schools, charities, and car
d ealerships to increase vehicle donations. However, there are also many other
charitable organizations competing for donated cars, including public radio
stations, Kars for Kids, and other non -profits. None of these has the vehicle
award component of VFC, w hich is its primary benefit to rural mobility. In
Vermont and elsewhere in northern New England, Good News Garage, part of
Ascentria Care Alliance, has a program very similar to VFC, but it has no current
plans to expand into upstate New York.
VFC is begin ning to expand its programs outside the Maryland -Virginia –
Washington D.C. region; in 2015, it opened a second location in Detroit,
Michigan. An expansion of VFC’s program to the A/GFTC region could be set up
as a franchise, with VFC providing knowledge, accounting and management
support. VFC also suggest s building partnerships with auto dealerships, which
helps with car donations and repairs.


a list of grant -writing resources (websites, online courses, etc .) for transportation
service providers.


Table 2: Summary of Ratings of Alternatives
S eniors, visually –
impaired adults
Rides to Wellness
Medical and
wellness trips for
anyone with
Transportation Call
Center/ Online
Awareness of
available services
among all
populations Timeline
(Short -Medium -Ability to
Program Regionally
(1 to 5 – low score is Level of Investment
(1 to 5 – low score is Barriers
Institutional or Other
(1 to 5 – low score is Ongoing Personnel
Resources Needed
Long) better) better) better) (1 to 5 – low score is better)
Medium 2 2 2 2
Scalability depends on
promotion, driver
recruitment and rider sign- ups; a non- profit
may need additional
resources to promote
the program. There is a $15,000 fee
to join during Phase 2 .
Ongoing fees may be
as little as $2,500 when national roll- out
occu rs. ITN
Country is still in
development; however, ITNAmerica is a well-
established program. An ITN
Country affiliate in
the A/GFTC region would
receive technical support
from ITNAmerica, but may need A/GFTC resources to promote the program.
Short-Medium 2 2 3 2
Short if local
program run by healthcare
Medium if a
regional or state –
run program. Low if local program
run by healthcare provider or state;
Medium if A /GFTC
plays an active role. Low if local program
run by healthcare provider or state;
Medium if A/GFTC
plays an active role. The program does not
yet exist at a regional level; after
development, Vermont
will provide an example of a Rides to Wellness
program administrative framework. Low if local program run by
healthcare provider or
state; High if A/GFTC plays
an active role.
Short 2 3 1 2
A/GFTC resources to promote new
website/2 -1-1 service. A/GFTC Coordination
with transportation
service providers for updated service
information; website development. GGFT is already doing
this and has indicated willingness to expand
this capability Way2Go has five staffers,
but that includes employer outreach and education
programs. A more limited
onl ine/2 -1-1 program would
require fewer staff.
Potential for shared -staffing
arrangement funded by
more than one agency.

Access to jobs,
other trip purposes
for rural individuals
without personal
A ccess to jobs
Access to jobs
GoGo Grandparent
Senior transportation
(Short -Medium –
Medium -Long
Ability to Scale Level of Investment Barriers -Legal,
Program Regionally Needed Institutional or Other Ongoing Personnel
(1 to 5 – low score is (1 to 5 – low score is (1 to 5 – low score is Resources
better) better) better) (1 to 5 – low score is better)
2 4 5 3
Once the program has Vehicle acquisition; The program does not Fee for use of software
started, expanding it hiring and paying yet exist, nor is there a platform
will make it cheaper drivers (partly offset by pilot program. Bridj
on a per unit basis fare revenue and/or went out of business but
government subsidy software may be
applied to this purchased by another
program) entity.
2 1 1 1
A/GFTC outreach to No direct cost for ZimRide already Little or none required
businesses with a A/GFTC after initial operates in Tompkins
large commuting outreach; companies County as Finger Lakes
workforce. could contact ZimRide Rideshare.
for cost information
2 2 2 2
Promote customized Coordination with Coordination with Promote customized
A/GFTC ridematching 511NY Rideshare to 511NY Rideshare to A/GFTC ridematching
service. create separate online create separate online service.
portals. portals.
1 1 2 1
Could scale as fast as Some marketing and Ridehailing services are Little intervention needed
ridehailing services. promotion would be legal in New York State other than promotion.
needed. as of 6/29/17 but not
yet well established

Service /Need
(Short-Medium –
Ability to Scale
Program Regionally
(1 to 5 – low score is
Level of Investment
(1 to 5 – low score is
Barriers -Legal,
Institutional or Other
(1 to 5 – low score is
Ongoing Personnel
Resources Needed
(1 to 5 – low score is better)
Vehicles for Change
Zero -vehicle
households in rural
areas; access to
jobs and other trip
Medium 4
Requires a high level
of upfront investment
or seed money; would need a local sponsor.
Cost effectiveness of
the program depends
on the number of cars donated, fixed, and
sold; A/GFTC may need
actively promote the
Uncertain of legal
barriers; the program
does not yet exist in the A/GFTC region, and
would require a local advocate, as well as seed money.
“Vehicles for Change” could assist a local franchise, but community champions
wo uld need to develop and
maintain partnerships.
Grant Writing
Technical Assistance
O lder adults,
people with
Short 2
Depends on available
staff time
A/GFTC could contract
with a grant -writing
consultant or develop
its own grant -writing
No barriers
A/GFTC staff hours to
identify grant -writing
resources; annual cost of
grant -writing workshop.

Following the development of the alternatives described above, A/GFTC and the
consultant team sought to obtain input from as many relevant parties as possible.
These included the non -profits and governmental agencies contacted in the early
phases of the st udy, additional social service organizations, and members of the
general public reached through a variety of means.
A/GFTC prepared a brief survey with input from the steering committee that was
made available to all of the key stakeholder groups. These gr oups then
distributed paper surveys to their constituents and/or encouraged them to go
online to fill out the survey there. The survey form is shown in the appendix.
The Study Advisory Committee helped to identify the key stakeholder groups
which included County agencies as well as non -profit organizations. The key
agencies are listed below:

General Questions
The survey covered a wide geographic range with respondents living in a total of
37 different municipalities. Glens Falls had the most respondents with 59
returned surveys . Queensbury was the next with 31 returned surveys, followed by
Hudson Falls with 24 and Granville with 17. Figure 15 shows the self -reported
geographic distribution of survey respondents.
Figure 1 5

16 shows the responses to the first three survey questions.
Figure 1 6
Respondent Characteristics


Do you have a Drivers Do you have regular access Are there transportation
License to a vehicle that you can services in your area
Yes No Not Sure
# Responses
As seen in Figure 17, the
majorit y of respondents
Access to Technology
(70%) stated that they have 100access to a smartphone
while under half (4 4%)
Both Neither Computer
have a computer with
Internet access. About 1 6%
of respondents have
neither a smartphone nor
# Responses
Internet access while 31 %
have access to both. The 20
widespread availabili ty of Smartphone
smartphones among the Only

respondents suggests that information dissemination and the arrangement of
transportation through smartphone apps may be more successful than traditional
-based methods.
The survey prompted respondents to identify any government benefits that they
receive. The results are shown in Figure 18.
20 40
# Responses
Services Received
nsportation Specific Questions
The survey questions 5 to 7 inquired about the timing and frequency of
transportation problems people face and the types of trip for which they have
difficulty find ing a ride. Figure 19 shows the frequency of transportation
p roblems for respondents in general. 60 respondents (2 5% of the total survey)
left this question blank, presumably indicating that they do not have
transportation problems. The percentages shown in Figure 19 represent the
percentages of all surveys , but among people who answered this question:

Figure 19
How often do you have transportation
A few times a month About once a week More than once a week
Almost every day No answer
15% 25%
results are consistent with the responses to question 7 (shown below in
Figure 21) that indicate the majority of problems experienced by survey
respondents are for trip purposes that require occasional trips (rather than daily
trips) such as medical appoin tments and shopping.
The survey showed that transportation barriers are spread over a variety of times .
The percentages in Figure 20
reflect the 1 72 respondents
Figure 20
who answered this
question, indicating that
they faced problems at least
on occasion.
Is there a time when it is
harder to find rides?
All the time

• Some responses also noted seasonal difficulties and issues with
transportation on holidays. A few “other” responses indicated problems
only when their car broke down.
The next question asked about what kind of trips (trip purposes) respondents had
difficulty making. There were 1 60 responses to this question, with the other 80
surveys leaving thi s question blank, likely because they feel it did not apply to
them. Figure 21 shows that just under one third of the people who answered this
question (31%) had difficulties finding rides for all types of trips. Medical and
shopping trips were identified as trips that were difficult to accomplish. Work
and school trips figured less prominently into the responses.
Figure 21
What kind of trips are the hardest to find
rides for?
Medical Shopping Work School All
The prominence of medical trips in this result could indicate that many of the
respondents were ineligible for Medicaid transportatio n, possibly because their
household owned a car, or other reasons. The relatively low percentages for work
and school could indicate that few of the respondents currently had jobs or were
in school, or that if they were unable to hold a job because of a la ck of
transportation, they may have answered “All.”
Q uestion 8 on the survey sought to identify specific geographic locations that
respondents had trouble reaching. Many of the responses were more generic in
nature, reflecting tr ip purposes (such as “shopp ing” or “doctor” ) rather than

specific locations.
Among the geographical locations mentioned, the most
common (with at least three responses), in descending order, were as follows :
Which of these do you need to travel?
# Responses
7 5 13
Help Scheduling Car Seat Wheelchair Help in/out of Other
access car

Potential Solutions
The reverse side of the survey form asked respondents to react to the potential
solutions developed during the study. This list of solutions is a simplified version
of the alternatives discussed in detail earlier in this report. It was not possible in
this format to provide detailed
descriptions of how each solution would work,
thus the goal was to gauge a general reaction to a concept rather than determine
the feasibility of an alternative in a robust way. Figure 23 shows the responses to
potential transportation solutions. The percentages shown below represent
responses divided by total surveys collected rather than the percentage of people
who answered the question. For each option, there were between 25 and 37
respondents who did not fill in any choices.
Potential Transportation Solutions
Call Center Donated Cars Website or App Rural Taxi Volunteer Driver
I would use it often I would try it I would never use it

The website/app to facilitate r idesharing and the expanded volunteer
driver program for seniors were somewhat less popular, with 3 5% and
42%, respectively, saying they would never use it. The volunteer driver
program likely scored low because respondents who were not older adults
likely felt that it was not open to them.
Figure 24 summarizes the reactions to the options by combining the first two
choices into a “favorable” response. This graph makes it clear that the rural taxi
was the most favored option, while the volunteer driver program for seniors had
the fewest favorable responses. Again, it is possible that if the volunteer program
had not been restricted to seniors, it may have scored better. In addition, the
existence or lack of favorable response is only one element to take into account
regarding the potential for implementation. It should be noted that the donated
cars program and the volunteer driver program had the highest number of non –
responses (37 each).
Figure 2 4
Summary of Reactions to Options
Call Center Donated Cars Website or App Rural Taxi Volunteer Driver
Favorable Unfavorable
Other Comments
There were 31 other comments received in the survey. Six comments noted the
economic impacts of transportation. These included the expense of driving and
vehicle ownership as well as the inability to earn money because of limited access
to jobs. Eight comments were mode specific —noting lack of bus service and the
unreliability and perceived lack of safety associated with taxi cabs. A few
comments noted communication difficulty with Medicab drivers (due to a
language barrier ) and the ability to schedule more than one appointment at a

Follow -up Communication
According to the survey responses, Facebook is the best way to communicate
information to the public with 70 responses. Newspaper and email were the next
most popular methods of communication followed by websites and public agency
staff. Eight respondents selected the other category. These responses included
phone calls, text message, Instagram, and open door.

Transportation access in rural areas has been a problem for a long time,
exacerbated in recent decades as economic opportunities have shrunk and as the
population in the northeastern US has aged. Globalization of manufacturing and
consolidation of retail by superstores have reduced the viability of locally –
provided jobs and increased the transportation burdens on rural residents who
have had to travel farther than they used to when each town or village had its own
employment base.
Even in a period of relatively inexpensive fuel (Spring 2017), the cost of owning
and operating a car can be prohibitive for many rural resid ents. For older
residents and people with disabilities, driving may not be an option because of
physical limitation. Sprawling development patterns that assume the availability
of automobiles for everyone present major barriers to people who cannot drive.
There are unfortunately many facilities oriented toward people who tend to be
transportation -disadvantaged that are located far from village centers or existing
public transportation services.
This study has attempted to identify transportation barriers an d unmet needs in
the rural region surrounding Glens Falls, and then to list potential options to
address these needs. These options exhibit a wide range of potential effectiveness
and scalability, as well as a range of resources needed for implementation.
The initial survey undertaken through area non -profits and county agencies
shows a receptiveness to several of the options, especially for a call center and
rural taxi service. Proponents of some of the programs, such as ITNCountry and
Vehicles for Change, stand ready to work with the Glens Falls region to create
new rural mobility initiatives.
In all cases, in order for a program to succeed, it needs a local champion and a
source of funding. Fortunately, many of the options do not have high price tags,
a nd with local leadership and cooperation, they do have the potential to make a
difference in the mobility options available to rural residents.
Next Steps/Recommendations
As shown in the analysis of the alternatives, no one course of action will fulfill al l
of the transportation needs in the region. However, several options for
implementation seem to have a greater potential to balance efficacy with
feasibility. In addition, there are other actions that can be taken in the short term
to maintain the momentu m of this project into the future. It is recommended that
the following action items be pursued:

to enable assistance for training and implementation, if needed. RSVP
staff has noted plenty of unmet demand and a lack of sufficient numbers
of volunteers. The boost that would be provided by ITNCountry would
make this very effective program much more widely available and create a
more significant regional impact.