Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 031973
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File Number: 031973 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-934-03 Control: County Commission
File Name: STS APPLICATIONS Introduced: 6/30/2003
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/9/2003
Agenda Date: 9/9/2003 Agenda Item Number: 7J2A
Notes: JAM Title: RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COUNTY MANAGER TO ASSIGN MIAMI-DADE TRANSIT STAFF TO COUNTY FACILITIES LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY IN ORDER TO BETTER ASSIST SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE (STS) APPLICANTS WITH THE COMPLETION OF STS APPLICATIONS AND FACILITATE OTHER TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN A COMMUNITY OUTREACH CAPACITY; AND DIRECTING COUNTY MANAGER TO MODIFY STS APPLICATION TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR PROSPECTIVE STS APPLICANTS AND THEIR MEDICAL PROVIDERS TO COMPLETE
Indexes: COUNTY MANAGER
  STS APPLICATIONS
Sponsors: Sally A. Heyman, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 9/9/2003 7J2A Adopted P

Transportation Committee 7/17/2003 2A Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: In response to Commissioner Morales' inquiry regarding certification for Special Transportation Services (STS), Mr. Roosevelt Bradley, Director, Miami-Dade Transit (MDT), noted the issues were with at-home certifications due to having only one center for STS certification. He indicated staff along with Commissioner Heyman recommended four locations throughout Miami-Dade County. Mr. Bradley noted there were four MDT Outreach Centers before the passage of the Charter County Transit Systems Sales Surtax. He provided an overview of the intent of the proposed resolution sponsored by Commissioner Heyman. Assistant County Manager Bill Johnson stated the issue of outreach would be addressed as part of the organizational study. He pointed out a collaborative relationship between MDT and Team Metro to conduct cross training to offer an array of services including STS applications, passports, and other services. Mr. Johnson concluded by stating all efforts would be made to address these issues.

County Attorney 7/2/2003 Assigned Gerald K. Sanchez 7/2/2003

County Manager 6/30/2003 Assigned Transportation Committee 7/17/2003

County Manager 6/30/2003 Assigned County Attorney 9/9/2003
REPORT: MDTA (TRANS COMTE 7/17/2003)

County Manager 6/30/2003 Assigned Bill Johnson 6/30/2003

Legislative Text


TITLE
RESOLUTION DIRECTING THE COUNTY MANAGER TO ASSIGN MIAMI-DADE TRANSIT STAFF TO COUNTY FACILITIES LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY IN ORDER TO BETTER ASSIST SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION SERVICE (STS) APPLICANTS WITH THE COMPLETION OF STS APPLICATIONS AND FACILITATE OTHER TRANSPORTATION SERVICES IN A COMMUNITY OUTREACH CAPACITY; AND DIRECTING COUNTY MANAGER TO MODIFY STS APPLICATION TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR PROSPECTIVE STS APPLICANTS AND THEIR MEDICAL PROVIDERS TO COMPLETE

BODY
WHEREAS, individuals who cannot use Metrobus, Metrorail or Metromover because of a disability may be eligible for Miami-Dade County's Special Transportation Service (STS) that provides door-to-door travel in accessible vehicles throughout most of Miami-Dade County and in some parts of Broward and Monroe Counties; and

WHEREAS, STS users rely upon STS for trips to medical appointments, school, work, businesses or recreational locations; and

WHEREAS, some individuals who wish to apply for STS are unable to travel to the Miami-Dade Transit STS Certification Office to make application for STS; and

WHEREAS, Miami-Dade Transit currently travels to the place of residence of STS applicants under certain circumstances to assist in the completion of STS applications; and

WHEREAS, the Board believes it to be in the best interest of the citizens of Miami-Dade County to require the County Manager to assign transit staff to County facilities located throughout the county in order to better assist STS applicants, and facilitate other transportation services in a community outreach capacity.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA, that the County Manager is directed to assign Miami-Dade transit staff to County facilities located throughout the County in order to better assist STS applicants with the completion of STS applications and facilitate other transportation services in a community outreach capacity. The County Manager is also directed to modify the STS application to make it easier for prospective STS applicants and their medical providers to complete.

HEADER
TO: Honorable Chairperson and Members DATE:
Board of County Commissioners

FROM: George M. Burgess SUBJECT: STS Applications
County Manager

STAFF RECOMMENDATION
It is recommended that the Board approve the Special Transportation Service (STS) application process as described in the Resolution sponsored by County Commissioner Heyman found elsewhere on today's agenda. This Resolution directs the County Manager to work with Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) staff to assign transit staff to County facilities located throughout the County in order to better assist STS applicants with the completion of STS applications and facilitate other transportation services in a community outreach capacity. Staff is also directed to modify the STS application to make it easier for the prospective STS applicant and their medical provider to complete.

MANAGER'S BACKGROUND
On January 23, 2003, Commissioners Heyman and Sosa brought to the Board a Resolution directing the County Manager to modify the Special Transportation Service (STS) application process to require County personnel to travel to the place of residence of STS applicants to assist them in the completion of STS applications. The item was deferred at that meeting, but was brought forward at the next Board meeting on February 4, 2003. In the interval, staff was able to study the issue and to discuss the issues involved with Commissioner Heyman.

At the February 3, 2003 meeting, Members of the Board expressed concern regarding the staffing needed if County personnel were required to travel to an STS applicant's residence to assist in the completion of an STS application. Commissioner Heyman explained the intent of the proposed resolution, noting it was only required when requested by the applicant under extreme circumstances. Following further discussion, Chairperson Carey-Shuler deferred this item to the next Transportation Committee. Commissioner Moss requested that the Special Transportation Services (STS) Oversight Task Force, chaired by Commissioner Morales, also review this item.
The item was heard at the February 13, 2003 Transportation Committee meeting. Chairperson Moss opened the meeting for public input. Speaking on behalf of the Commission on Disability Issues (CODI), Ms. Barbara Gratzke, CODI Chair, suggested that the proposed Resolution be deferred to the STS Oversight Task Force. Also speaking for CODI, Ms. Elizabeth McNally, Chair of CODI's Transportation Subcommittee, requested that the proposed Resolution be deferred to CODI or the STS Oversight Task Force. The Resolution was then deferred to the STS Oversight Task Force. Both speakers felt that the current, limited, home certification process was acceptable.

On April 21, 2003, the STS Oversight Task Force was briefed on the issue. Staff presented information to clarify the existing application process and to review plans to implement additional locations around the County where applicants can receive staff help in completing the applications. That information was as follows:
* Any STS applicant can request staff to help them complete their applications at home. In the recent past, of about 400 applications processed per month, about 30 applications are completed at the applicants' residence. Of those 30, about half are taken at group homes and nursing homes.
* MDT's Outreach Center staff, based at the Department of Human Services Center at 150 NE 79 Street in Little Haiti, are already taking STS applications. This office opened in the fall of 2002, prior to the transit referendum. MDT staff at that location also disseminates transit information, sells passes and tokens, issues reduced fare permits and processes Golden Passport applications. Staff also takes a pro-active approach and reaches into the community to discuss new service, service improvements and provide transit-related employment and job training information. STS applications are also being taken at 2775 SW 74 Street, MDT's Coral Way Facility.
* MDT and Team Metro have signed a Memorandum of Understanding wherein MDT staff will be stationed at certain Team Metro Offices to help STS applicants, among other duties similar to those performed at the NE 79 Street Outreach Center.
After discussion of the issues, primarily among the users of STS, the Task Force voted unanimously to accept the STS application process as currently in place along with the plans to increase the number of locations where applicants can receive help in completing the application.
At the request of Commissioner Heyman, MDT staff is modifying the STS application to make it easier for the prospective STS applicant and their medical provider to complete.
..FISCAL IMPACT
The ability to interview STS applicants in Team Metro offices fairly close to the applicant's home is expected to minimize home visit requests while accommodating applicants with easy access to government. There will be an approximately $9,000 annual fiscal impact to the County, funded from operating funds, for MDT professional staff to perform STS related duties at each Team Metro office. Only a small percentage of MDT staff time will be spent with STS applicants. Other duties will include disseminating transit information, selling passes and tokens, issuing reduced fare permits, and processing Golden Passport applications. This MDT staff will also take a pro-active approach by reaching into the community to discuss a variety of transit issues including new service and service improvements as well as providing transit-related employment and job training information.






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