Building resiliency, health and economic opportunity in rural NY
Rural transportation programs - whether volunteer driver networks, fixed or on-demand transit, first last mile or rideshare networks - generate millions of miles traveled every year. These networks support critical transportation access to rural communities and must continue scaling to fill gaps in access, especially for medical/social services. This program will electrify these services through carsharing to increase transportation access while decreasing CO2 emissions.
The project will co-locate shared EVs in communities throughout NY's North Country and Southern Tier to encourage Volunteer Transportation Center (VTC) and Rural Health Network of South Central NY (RHNSCNY)'s volunteers to utilize EVs as a lower-cost alternative for many of their 100,000 annual medical/social services trips. In addition to volunteer driver-focused initiatives, Mobility Development will work with VTC, RHNSCNY to develop carsharing hubs available to the public when not used by volunteers. The fleet will also include smaller transit vehicles for ridesharing.
Volunteer driver networks scaling in Northern and Southern Tier NY are arguably one of the most effective forms of rural transit and especially critical transportation services for vulnerable adults in disadvantaged communities. These volunteer drivers are also driving twice to three times the mileage per week in internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles at a growing expense both in fuel costs and CO2 emissions. Building an EV carsharing network tailored to the volunteer networks and surrounding community can begin transitioning to zero emissions trip-making. Volunteers can save money, overcome EV pain points and provide more consistent volunteerism as a result. If operations, are on the right track EV membership uptake will exceed what is usually seen in traditional carsharing systems, members will make weekly reservations and those reservations will be longer than typical carsharing reservations. Adjacent communities in the 11 counties will become station hosts for carsharing and program hosts for Volunteer Transportation Center (VTC) volunteers and Getthere transportation demand management (TDM) programs.
During the three year period, electrification of a major rural transportation network will advance broader investment and adjacent investments outside of transportation. Additional EV charging networks will be installed in this community modeled after the approach in this project. A more equitable dissemination of EV technology will mean younger generations in rural communities will benefit from the resource and leverage the experience. The impact of the project will be deep for key communities of focus.