Transportation@100% means all our families and county residents get where they need to go.
@100% means all our families and county residents get where they need to go.
Inside The Center
Here’s a quick overview of what you will find below.
What Families Face
Short stories from families facing challenges, illustrating the need to address barriers to vital services.
10 Innovations Await
The sidebar menu takes you to ten innovations areas, each one providing projects action team members are implementing to remove barriers to services.
The Root Causes
We provide an overview of why families struggle to access vital services in what we might call “normal times” and in times of public health or economic crisis.
A Pandemic’s Impact on services
A brief review of how the pandemic impacts each county across the state.
Where on Earth
How solutions exist today.
The Center’s Mission
Transportation for 100%
Welcome to the Center for Transportation@100%, the nation’s first center to provide county and city stakeholders with research, data-driven strategies, insights and support to end transportation disparities on a countywide scale, ensuring all resident’s transport needs are met. Transportation disparities, lack of timely access to secure, safe and affordable public transport, has been with us for as long as we have started inventing transportation on the planet. In the last few decades societies of all sizes have found ways to provide accessible public transportation to all residents.
In modern societies the cause of transportation disparities can often be tracked down to lack of investment in the human capital and resources to secure the right amount of affordable transportation. In the USA, a country with vast amounts of wealth and resources, we have all the technology and know how to make transportation insecurity history.
One quick online search will overwhelm you with solutions to the transport disparities problem. The enormous number of results shows that there are many people searching for answers, interested in understanding the root causes of transportation disparities and how to solve it.
When we begin to “Google it” for results:
How cities can solve public transportation problems: 2,380,000,000
What are innovations in public transportation: 824,000,000
How can cities create ways to live car-free: 295,000,000
What is parent-friendly public transportation: 294,000,000
How does technology impact transportation: 1,980,000,000
“Public transportation insecurity is a man-made problem, not an act of nature, requiring human ingenuity to solve.”
— From the book Transportation@100%: How we ensure all county residents can access to transportation
Within an internet full of valuable research, inspiring insights and distracting clutter, solutions await you here in the Center for Transportation@100%. Your introduction to the issues here in the “Center’s Main Hall” will guide you to what we call our ten “Innovation Areas” where action team projects await your review and engagement.
What the Center for Transportation@100% provides you with are the strategies to ensure, county by county, that systems of public transportation are working effectively to serve all residents. We live in a time of vast knowledge regarding innovations in green, affordable and safe public transportation and regional transport planning where the only reason for a family (or any resident) going without easy access to affordable public transportation in your locality is manmade. The human ingenuity you discover here can ensure that 100% survive and thrive.
Ensuring safe and efficient public transportation is key to creating a secure, stable and healthy community for all. Sudden crises and financial strains associated with lack of transportation often lead to lack of access to vital services, including health care, job training and work.
When we talk about making an easy path to health care, healthy food in real grocery stores, better jobs, and quality child care, that path is often traversed by public transit. So it’s pretty darn important. We know from our 100% New Mexico surveys of parents that one of the main reasons families can’t access vital services is lack of transport.
Can’t everyone just order a ride on their phone?
Getting to vital services and support systems should be easy, and more than ever, it can be. A decade ago, one could only consider living car-free in about ten US cities. Now, with services like Uber and Lyft, carshares, e-scooters and easier deliveries of online purchases, we’re starting to see more options. We need to stretch our imaginations as far as possible in order to solve public transportation disparities, especially in rural America and in those parts of urban cities that get forgotten.
Even with these advances, our fifty unique states make up a pretty car-centric nation. For children, teens, rural folks, or those on limited incomes, that means extreme difficulty going to the grocery store, to work, or to recreational opportunities. While many urban transit systems run like tops, others are very inefficient. In rural communities, public transport services range from minimal to non-existent. We need to be focusing on solutions for urban and rural families, using technology and collaboration to ensure kids and parents get to vital services and programs.
A focus on rural transportation is essential. Previous urban planning policy blocked people who couldn’t afford a car, or were too old to drive, from full membership in society. Those people didn’t actually disappear, meaning some problems can still be solved with good public transit. Meanwhile, other people prefer to read up on work projects to make transit time productive rather than stare at traffic lights, so we have all the more reason to act.
In the Center for Transportation@100% we take on a very complicated system that involves city, county, regional and state transport planning with numerous challenges. Get ready to be overwhelmed and also inspired. We will guide you through all the steps to put these ideas for increasing access to services into action.
What Families Face
*These are fictionalized profiles based on real New Mexican residents.
Jen and Marie's Story
It’s Time For Heroic Acts
You are about to review approximately twenty projects within 10 innovation areas that can, if done successfully, improve the quality and accessibility of current services. The long-term goal of these innovations and projects is to ensure that 100% of county residents have access to this vital service. Your task is to review all projects, individually and as part of an action team, to identify which one you wish to implement. In the time it takes to enjoy a latte, you can give our menu of innovations a quick read, starting with Innovation #1: Tracking Supply and Demand and ending with Innovation #10: Developing the City Dept. of Transportation. These include projects initiated by action teams focused on a county and all the communities within its borders.
Transportation insecurity has a very long history
Transportation insecurity is impacting our most vulnerable children, students and families with consequences for timely access of healthcare, education, job readiness and public trust of government.
Why No Ride?
Transportation Disparities Face Us All
TRANSPORTATION SECURITY HAS EVERYTHING to do with our quality of life. If we can access safe, affordable public transportation, we function better and we are healthier. If our access to stable and safe transportation is threatened, we are in serious trouble.
Every county has residents experiencing transportation insecurity and some have segments of the population reporting extreme difficulty accessing public transportation to get to vital services. In times of crisis like a pandemic, access to stable public transport becomes even more critical.
In the Center for Transportation@100% we seek to get to real-world solutions. Get ready to be inspired. We will guide you through all the steps needed to put ideas for addressing health care security into action.
Why is public transport such a challenge?
It’s pretty simple: money and the design of cities and towns have made our world car-centric–as in our own cars. For much of the entirety of human history, people have considered a half hour to be an acceptable maximum commute time. This is why a lot of old European cities are packed tightly together. Not because they were somehow more enlightened than the people who built Phoenix, but because they didn’t want to walk more than about a half hour in the course of doing whatever they needed to do. Cities started to sprawl not with the invention of the car, but with the invention of the bicycle. Suddenly, a half hour’s effort could get you a lot farther, and so people lived further from the city center.
Eventually, though, the car came along and supercharged that sprawl dynamic. Suddenly, entire cities and neighborhoods were developing with the idea that no errand, from seeing a movie to buying a stick of gum, would be accomplished without getting into a car.
This created two big problems. The first is that car-centric cities work best when a minimal number of people actually drive, which is why I-405 in Los Angeles looks the way it does at 5 p.m. every weekday. Second, even though cars were cheap enough to cause huge challenges with congestion, they were still pretty expensive. Before, the price of doing your business around town was two legs or maybe a bicycle. These days, it’s a machine that costs many thousands of dollars to buy and maintain.
Fast forward to your reality today: With data from the 100% New Mexico Survey and other sources, you have a good idea about where the need for transport may exist in your county, and that’s why it’s difficult to access for both parents and youth. While global, national and state data on transport are very interesting and instructive, the real data that informs your work are generated by your 100% New Mexico initiative work diving deep into local neighborhoods. That said, you may be surprised by your survey results and learn that a challenge is far bigger or smaller or more localized than you originally thought.
But wait, google says there are answers!
With literally millions of people reading articles on ending transportation disparities and thousands of foundations, governmental and non-governmental organizations focusing for decades on ending innovations in travel and transport in the United States, why is access to affordable public transportation still so prevalent across fifty states? Why do students miss out on experiences because they have no ride to events? Why do parents working full time not have enough money for a safe car, repairs, insurance, and gas? Why do cities that do offer public transport somehow miss designing routes that take folks to vital services? In a pandemic, can we afford to have anyone without a way to get to medical care?
We don’t mean to question our good-hearted leaders in political, academic and philanthropic circles, but there appears to be a complete disconnect between those who claim to have answers and the actual implementation of solutions to ensure 100% of our residents are able to access well-thought out public transport that is safe and helpful.. What are our morals, ethics and values that allow lack of public transportation to exist amid so much abundance?
What kind of society would allow a policy of benign neglect to doom entire zip codes to lack of public transport? Why should our most vulnerable children and families ever endure anxiety about getting safely to school, job training or work? If we ever needed a public and private sector solution to public transportation insecurity, this is the moment.
Truly, why are we all not asking in loud public forums, “What is the root cause of public transportation insecurity impacting our urban and rural communities in the US?”
Transportation is a survival issue for children and adults. In our 100% New Mexico initiative, we label transportation as one of our survival services. Simply put, problems related to transportation insecurity can generally stand in the way of a good life for kids, students, parents and all those seeking jobs and getting to work.
Our best bet for addressing a host of challenges related to transportation insecurity is ensuring easy access to a quality, comprehensive public transportation at an affordable price or with subsidies for our most vulnerable residents.
What We Know
Our county survey will tell you why families and all residents may struggle to access affordable housing programs. Reasons include lack of programs, cost, no transport to programs, unaware of programs and unfriendly hours.
Who Lacks a Ride?
Transportation insecurity has many causes
With state-of-the-art technology designing green, sustainable and app-orders rides and ride sharing, it seems inconceivable that kids or adults in our country should suffer from lack of affordable public transportation to vital services.
In fact, the reality on the ground has been, up to now, difficult to gauge when it comes to specifically measuring transportation insecurities in communities. Are lots of people missing medical and mental health care appointments, due to lack of public transport? This is an important question, but the real question is, “What does transportation insecurity look like?” A mom with an infant in a stroller waiting at a bus stop may not conjure up images of transportation insecurity. However, we don’t know how safe the bus or bus stop area is. We don’t know how long she has been waiting or how long her busride will be. We don’t know if she has to spend half a day with various systems to get to a vital service. We don’t know if that mom was just laid off and is trying to find a new way to pay the bill, including car repairs.
What percentage of people lacking access to public transportation is acceptable to you and your elected leaders? How does a pandemic impact the question of how difficult access to affordable transportation may be in both rural and urban communities? Would you be okay being told your bus ride to get to a medical clinic is going to be hours with long wait times in between different busses? Should any parent, anywhere in your county, face barriers to secure transportation?
We ask: what are the root causes of Transportation insecurity?
“Can’t people just get their own darn car?”
You might be asking, “I get around just fine, what can’t others?” Lots of reasons.
- Financial catastrophe: People lose their jobs for a variety of reasons all the time, often due to circumstances outside of their control. A sudden illness, either physical or mental, can also catastrophically knock out an income stream, forcing hard choices at the end of the month.
- Relationship catastrophe: Breakups and divorce throw entire families into an unstable situation, especially if one partner was dependent on the other’s income for transportation.
- Low wages: Employers don’t have to pay wages that would allow a full time worker to afford car ownership, gas and expenses throughout the month. And maybe they do make enough to pay for a car in a normal month, but unexpected bills or taxes often mean there’s no money at the end of some months for gas or repairs.
- Job availability: There are not enough well-paying jobs for everyone who wants one, hence no money for a car and all the expenses that come with it.
- Chronic mental health issues: Folks with mental health challenges can’t always hold down full time jobs in order to pay for a car.
- Teens in insecure situations: Teens having to leave unsafe home environments often find themselves without the resources to be self-sufficient. In such cases, car ownership is impossible.
Data Guide Us
Fast forward to your reality today: With data from the 100% New Mexico Survey and other sources, you have a good idea about where the need for transport may exist in your county (along with regional connections), and that’s why it’s difficult to access for both parents and youth. While global, national and state data on transport are very interesting and instructive, the real data that informs your work are generated by your 100% New Mexico initiative work diving deep into local neighborhoods. That said, you may be surprised by your survey results and learn that a challenge is far bigger or smaller or more localized than you originally thought.
Ensuring Services: A Local Challenge
People face different levels of hardship and risk during a pandemic directly related to their level of access to the 10 vital services for surviving and thriving. Inaccessible medical care, a lack of housing and food programs, and greatly increased joblessness during the associated economic downturn take a tremendous toll on families. It doesn’t have to be this way.
A Pandemic’s Impact on Services
Vital Questions Require Answers
In so-called “normal” times before the COVID-19 pandemic, health disparities were a fixture of our society. The pandemic has only increased the stresses on the health care systems as well as created more urgency for people to have timely access to prevention and treatment. The most pressing questions for your city, county and state elected leaders and stakeholders include:
- How do we collect, analyze and publish the most timely data to guide prevention strategies?
- How do we ensure enough COVID-19 tests and testing sites?
- How do we ensure providers have the protective equipment required to be safe?
- How do we ensure enough contact tracing?
- How do we prevent homelessness and hunger if people in lock down or quarantine lose their job?
- How do we strengthen mask-wearing and social distancing?
- How do we ensure treatment, both hospital beds and providers?
- How do we distribute the vaccine with buy-in from the public?
- How do we address depression and trauma by ensuring access to behavioral health care?
- How are vital family services for surviving and thriving made accessible to 100% of residents?
As you can see, question #10 places access to ten vital services into a comprehensive state and local strategy to prevent the pandemic. The 100% New Mexico initiative’s framework for ending barriers to services is vital and our work is urgently needed in each county. New Mexico State Senator Bill Soules, PhD, wrote in his Op-ed in the Las Cruces Sun News, “100% New Mexico: A model for COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment”:
“…an effective response to the pandemic goes beyond the medical sector. The countywide response required ten accessible services, allowing families to keep stabilized, supported, fed and housed, in order to comply with the state’s public health guidelines and to endure quarantining, isolating, social distancing and mask-wearing.”
We can happily report that many localities across the nation and globe have successfully prevented transportation disparities by ensuring robust housing security programs which may include a public sector solution or a combination of public and private sector solutions.
Where on earth?
Where has this challenge been fixed?
Transportation@100% is looking at tested public transportation solutions, focused on innovations, projects, policies and programs implemented in large and small cities around the world.
If you have come this far, you know that ending transportation disparities in your community starts with knowing the magnitude of the problem, where precisely activities that indicate challenges are experienced and why children, youth and adults can’t access affordable public transportation in safe neighborhoods to address the problems.
We present a challenge to you, your local business people and government leaders: Create a seamless countywide system of housing security program to make transportation insecurity history so every child, student and family member gets the stable, safe and timely transport they need to thrive.
As you will see below, we have offered only a sliver of what’s out there in terms of innovations that have been shown to reduce transportation disparities and to empower individuals of all ages to find a path to secure transport. Some models have been with us for decades and are tried, true and evaluated strategies. Some are quite new and merit experimentation and their own evaluation. We do not lack solutions, just the political will to implement them.
Three important frameworks
As we say in 100% Community, we want to reference the data-driven framework called Continuous Quality Improvement and its four phases: assessment, planning, action and evaluation (100% Community, Chapter 29). This four-step process will guide your development of innovations in the arena of public transportation. And, as a reminder, you will want to use Collective Impact (100% Community, Chapter 31) to organize your project and Adaptive Leadership (100% Community, Chapter 30) to determine if the particular challenge you seek to solve is technical, with established protocols for moving forward, or adaptive, where you are entering new uncharted territory without a clear path.
Designing a Countywide System
The past: How did we get to this point of needing family-friendly transportation security programs? Who exactly needs services to be “family-friendly” anyway? What are the problems the system is supposed to solve? Why don’t people just figure out the systems on their own? Can’t everyone access transportation in a timely manner?
The present (action agenda): Within this subject, we’ve identified ten strategies — called innovation areas — that can be used to tackle the affordable public transportation access problem. Within those we suggest about twenty 100% New Mexico initiative projects that you (yes, you) can take on, thus propelling your community towards accessible transport in its many forms.
The future (goals): With enough work on these innovations/projects, we’ll get to the point where Innovation #10 — the creation of a City/County Department of Transportation — becomes a reality. With a state-of-the-art system of transport in place, 100% of our county’s families could report excellent support and service.
Since we are currently in the present creating the future, your commitment to innovation is most eagerly sought and needed.
Partnerships and teamwork
At the heart of innovation are change agents implementing data-driven projects shown to fix barriers to services.
10 INNOVATIONS TO EXPLORE
CHANGE AGENTS NEEDED NOW
The following innovations represent strategies that have the capacity to increase access to affordable public transportation security programs to ensure our children and families are able to get to vital services in order to be healthy, safe and successful.
As you will see as you explore Innovations #1–#10, a countywide system of transportation programs engages all stakeholders within the county’s borders that include data specialists, the private sector, technology experts, public awareness specialists, public and private transport agencies, city, county and regional transport planners, city mayors, council members and county commissioners. Your work will be groundbreaking as it unites leaders in all sectors to achieve one goal: Transportation Security for 100%.