Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation, a TCRP toolkit and report, goes into the nitty-gritty details of accounting for transportation costs with the simple theme that assessing cost is an important step toward talking concretely about partnerships, coordination, price of service, and making decisions about transportation.
Among the topics covered in the toolkit are:
* Performance measurement options and reasons to measure performance.
* Types of transportation and costs associated with them. For example, administration of eligibility is part of the cost of paratransit service.
* Coordination of accounting practices among programs and services to determine cost of transportation and facilitate coordination of service.
* Price versus cost.
* Employing cost information to make decisions about transportation providers, price of service and assessing benefits of coordination.
The report, Volume II, discusses the history, and whys and wherefores of unaligned accounting for transportation across different types of programs.
Another major problem is that human service programs that treat transportation as a supportive rather than a primary service often combine transportation costs with the accounts of other services, precluding transportation costs from being reported as a discrete cost category within the agency. Such approaches make it impossible for any organization to directly identify total transportation costs. Any potential solution must recognize transportation as a discrete program or functional activity.The report not only recommends simple accounting practices, but specifically discusses the tools to make them possible, even supplying a:
simple spreadsheet software provided as a companion to this report in CRP-CD-86, “Cost Sharing Model for TCRP Report 144,” can convert the results of the reporting methodology into contract rates (prices) that can be used by both transportation providers and purchasers to have confidence in the fairness of transportation charges.The software is available at http://188.8.131.52/Publications/Blurbs/Sharing_the_Costs_of_Human_Services_Transportation_165015.aspx.
State Coordination Page
Check out the Massachusetts Human Service Transportation Coordination webpage. It includes resources from the National Resource Center (NRC) as well as information about various state models that exist.