DOT Innovation in Michigan

This report is one of several created as part of our DOT Innovation work in the state of Michigan. See the full series ››

Mobility Management and Coordination Strategies in Traverse City, MI

The Michigan Sense of Place Council, representing numerous state agencies under the direction of Governor Snyder, engaged in a partnership with Smart Growth America to provide technical advisory services to six communities of Michigan pursuing livable communities initiatives. The six communities were the City of Marquette, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), ReImagine Washtenaw (Washtenaw County), the Tri-County Council of Governments, the City of Grand Rapids, and the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. As part of the Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities program, the program seeks to coordinate federal funding directed to housing, transportation, and other infrastructure in communities to create more livable places where people can access jobs while reducing pollution and also saving time and money. The assistance was in two primary areas – community mobility management and strategic transportation demand management (TDM). The focus of the effort for the Grand Traverse livability effort was on mobility management.

Mobility management is the state of the practice for planning and implementing effective and coordinated transit services for a variety of populations. Traditionally various programs targeted transportation services only to specific groups such as seniors, people with disabilities, veterans or low income households. Mobility management crafts a coordinated system that increases efficiency financially and operationally while providing individual customers with a range of options to meet their needs. Mobility management assists in integrating regional transit services as well, which can expand the reach, efficiency and level of service across regions both large and small. The full range of mobility management services may include customer relations, marketing, planning, land use development, system integration, finance, administration, legal, compliance, human resources, multimodal operations, information technology, engineering, construction, and varied non-operating functions. (Crain & Associates, Inc.,, 1997)

Regional coordination is the primary theme throughout the implementation recommendations developed for the Grand Traverse area. Coordination between transportation providers and a wide range of other stakeholders will improve and expand convenient and cost effective inter-county transportation options for commuters, tourists, human service clients and the general public. Coordination is also essential for creating and marketing high quality web-based and hard copy resources to make it easier for residents and visitors to navigate the region’s entire suite of transportation service options. Finally, coordination can tie together regional land-use, transportation and other types of planning in the short and long-term to ensure a holistic approach is taken to connecting transportation with community development. In combination, these recommendations should help the region and its communities become more vibrant, livable and sustainable, bringing about economic development and increased support for transportation services.

The project progressed in three distinct stages: 1) review of national leading practices and assessment of existing local resources and opportunities, 2) discussion of alternative approaches and strategies, and finally 3) development of an action strategy for implementation. This report is the culmination of these three phases and their associated findings.