History & Facts
SHORE TRANSIT: COORDINATION WITHIN THE TRI-COUNTY AREA
(Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties)
In October of 2002 representatives of Somerset Commuter, Wicomico Transit, and Worcester County Ride approached Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland (TCC) with the concept of merging the three public transit systems.The benefits of merging the systems allowed for the sharing of vehicles, reallocating staff into more duty specific positions, and pooling of funding sources to implement changes for a more cost efficient transit operation. The concept was approved and in July 2003 the restructured Shore Transit became a reality with the merger of Wicomico Transit with Somerset Commuter. With the addition of the Worcester County Ride operation in July 2004, the merger was complete.
The following are several examples of coordination between Shore Transit and other local agencies benefiting from a more cost efficient transit operation.
AREA HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
Area health departments recognized the benefits of coordinating with public transit and in July 2003 two local health departments entered into agreements with TCC to utilize Shore Transit as their major source for Medicaid transportation services. Later, the remaining health department also entered into an agreement for Shore Transit to provide long distance transportation for Medicaid customers.
- Reduction of dependency of taxi services
- Reduction in costs
- Availability of funds to purchase transportation services
- Reduction in the overall transit costs by utilizing one transit provider (Shore Transit) versus paying several different transit providers
In 2004, Go-Getters expressed a desire to terminate their in-house transportation and rely on Shore Transit public transportation services. In July Shore Transit incorporated Go-Getters’ vehicles and Bus Operators into their operation.
- Utilization of Go-Getters’ vehicles for Fixed Routes and Demand Response transportation services
- Reduced the need for replacement vehicles
- Provided Shore Transit with spare vehicles
Salisbury University and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore work closely with Shore Transit. Shore Transit incorporated shuttle runs between the two (2) universities into the fixed route service. Additionally, the universities would lease their buses to Shore Transit. Salisbury University and University of Maryland Eastern Shore Students ride for free with Student ID.
- Increased passenger numbers
- Utilization of the Salisbury University’s large bus on higher demand fixed routes
- Changed the demographics of the population utilizing public transportation
The Lower Shore Workforce Alliance (LSWA) was incorporated as a division of TCC. LSWA is located at the One Stop Job Market in Salisbury, Maryland. Also, LSWA coordinates with Wor-Wic Community College and other State agencies to provide training to dislocated workers. The One Stop Job Market and Wor-Wic Community College are both Shore Transit fixed route bus stops.
The following is a ‘trickle down affect’ resulting from the TCC in-house coordination:
- LSWA is located within the One-Stop Job Market and partners with co-located agencies (i.e. Wicomico Department of Social Services; Telamon; Maryland Job Services; Department of Rehabilitation, MAC Inc., etc.).
- Shore Transit transports passengers to the One Stop Job Market; who are then able to access one or all of the aforementioned agencies
- TCC fosters the physical, economical and social development of the region
- An available, trained workforce is a strategic marketing tool to promote businesses to invest in economic development on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.
- Transportation is a necessity for individuals to access employment. An employed community utilizes local businesses for their needs.
IN CONCLUSION, TCC supports the continued expansion of Shore Transit’s mobility management plan based upon coordination and partnerships in the utilization of all available resources to ensure the economic development of the future.