East Central Minnesota Regional Transportation Coordinating Council

The East Central Minnesota RTCC includes the counties of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine.map of counties

Contact: Karen Amundson
East Cental Regional Development Commission
100 South Park Street, Mora, MN 55051
320.679.4065
karen.amundson@ecrdc.org

Mission statement

To coordinate the provision of multimodal transportation services to assure that transportation is convenient and affordable and will benefit those residents facing transportation barriers throughout the East Central Minnesota Region 7E.

Organizational Structure

Overarching Commitment:

The East Central Regional Development Commission (ECRDC) will rely on the technical and real-life experiences of the East Central Regional Transportation Coordinating Countil (ECRTCC) Advisory Board members who will be those who study the issues, realize the encumbrances, understand through involvement and are the expert representatives for transportation needs in the region.

Process:

In order to formalize an organizational structure for the East Central Regional Transportation Coordinating Council (ECRTCC), we considered the fact that we currently have a strong and paralleling structure in place that could become the ECRTCC. It was decided that the East Central Regional Development Commission (ECRDC) would become the ECRTCC. Reading further will explain what the ECRDC is, which will lead you to our thoughtful conclusion.

The East Central Regional Development Commission (ECRDC) will serve as the Regional Transportation Coordinating Council (RTCC) for the five counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec, and Mille Lacs in East Central Minnesota commencing on July 1, 2019. The ECRDC is a public agency organized under the authority of MN Statutes 462.381 to 462.398 - aka the “Regional Development Act”. The ECRDC’s governing board consists of county commissioners, mayors/councilmembers, township supervisors, school board members, and various public interest representative of all five counties. The governing board meets six times each year and may call additional special meetings when necessary. The ECRDC’s mission statement is as follows:

“The mission is to provide leadership and direction through creative problem solving. We do this by initiating projects and programs that lead to creative solutions to regional problems, providing technical assistance and identifying and developing available resources. We serve in a leadership role to bring about positive change.”

The Regional Development Act authorizes the ECRDC to levy property taxes for its operations. Also, as an established “special purpose” unit of government, the ECRDC may accept gifts, apply for and use grants or loans of money or other property from the federal government, the State of Minnesota, or any person, local or governmental body for any commission purpose and may enter into agreements. The ECRDC may also appoint advisory committees to assist in the review of plans, programs, and other matters. The ECRDC has in place the fiscal, administrative, and technical infrastructure along with the necessary building/facilities to take on regional level programming and has done it successfully for over 45 years. Examples have included the federal Economic Development District funded by U.S. Economic Development Administration; the Transportation Planning Program funded by the MN Department of Transportation; the East Central Area Agency on Aging funded by the MN Board on Aging; and the East Central Arts Council funded by the MN State Arts Board. All programs of the ECRDC rely on the use of advisory committees comprised of subject matter professionals to make recommendations on funding decisions and other matters of policy.

Similarly, in its role as the RTCC, the ECRDC will rely on the use of an appointed advisory board consisting of professionals from county human service agencies, the Area Agency on Aging, workforce development groups, transportation providers, and others. Additionally, the advisory board will include a representative from the ECRDC Board acting as a liaison to ensure good communication through the decision-making process.

Advisory Board Composition

  • Area Agency on Aging
  • Workforce Development
  • Transportation Providers
  • Human Service Agencies
  • Community Action & Habilitation Advocates
  • Veteran Service Organizations
  • Continuum of Care
  • Health Care Systems
  • Centers for Independent Living
  • Public/Private Funders of Transp. Svcs.
  • County Commissioners
  • City Administration
  • Political Involvement
  • Home Health Aids
  • Tribal Involvement

Objectives

Based on the information gleaned from the public, ECRTCC discussions, RTCC discussions and Advisory Board meetings, we have selected to address these Primary Objectives for Implementation, with the reservation to change the order of these choices after our Public Meetings have been completed:

Develop the Office of Mobility Management (Transportation Management Coordination Center)

  • One stop-shop for rider to call or click
  • Information gathered by utilizing coordination from all transportation providers
  • Computer software and training to organize data
  • Knowledgeable management to implement data, continually update and transmit information.

Reduce the barriers constraining the development of Volunteer Driver Programs
(Used for short distances and for filling gaps in public transportation)

  • Pursue legislation to update the Charitable Reimbursement Rate in order to entice and retain volunteers,
  • Pursue legislation on the reimbursement limits for Volunteer Drivers triggering the need for an IRS Form 1099.
  • Coordinate (an) Insurance Pool(s) covering Volunteer Drivers instead of raising personal insurance rates.

Address and resolve the need for more bus drivers

  • Promote commercial driving job/training opportunities to interested military veterans.
  • Explore/develop scholarships opportunities for bus driver training,
  • Identify a possible centralized location/facility for a bus driver training course.

Intermodal Transportation Center Hubs

  • Continue to work with the Regional Library System, coordinating with service providers to utilize all regional libraries along routes as potential intermodal transit stops.