To produce the “transportation assistance service”, the 4C’s formed agreements with volunteer drivers and various minibus owning organisations. Funding was provided for a period of 2 years through the NSW State Governments Community Solutions and Crime Prevention (CSCP) Program.
While in operation the 4C’s:
More than 70 local service providers had requested the assistance of the 4C’s; many of which had provided letters to the MMTB Project setting out the problems and consequences faced by their clients in accessing mainstream transport services (or lack thereof) and the difference the 4C’s had made to the life of many of those clients.
Both the demand and the supply of assistance were trending noticeably upwards.
The organisations that participated in the project through sharing their minibus vehicles were:
It was known that other owners would have joined the scheme had the service grown to require additional vehicles.
The real success of the MMTB Project was found in the willingness of individuals who could see the problems and were prepared to get involved in a new community wide, grass roots approach. Managers of businesses and services that owned vehicles were happy and proud to make them available. Volunteer drivers were surprisingly easy to locate and became the truce face of the 4C’s Transport Brokerage.
Late in 2004, the 4C’s Transport Brokerage was asked to partner with local service providers including the Gosford City Family Support Service (GCFSS); the Peninsula Alternative Learning Centre and the TAFE Outreach program, by providing transport to young parents who had disengaged early from the secondary education system. The course became known as SOS – Supporting Our Selves. Funding for the course was provided through the Ministry of Transport to the GCFSS with the 4C’s invoicing GCFSS for services provided to their clients.
Whilst a second course was commenced at Blue Haven, the MMTB ceased operation at the end of 2005 and the GCFSS had to find alternative transport arrangements for SOS classes in the first half of 2006. The example of partnerships between local community groups; along with some relatively low cost support from government, demonstrated how the MMTB Project model could reduce transport disadvantage and produce real and measurable outcomes for groups of people that would otherwise not have been possible.
The project demonstrated that it had met all intended outcomes bar 1 – sustainability. Despite the knowledge that ‘transport disadvantage’ was a very real issue for the Central Coast, the Ministry of Transport declined the opportunity to include the 4C’s Transport Brokerage within its ‘innovative services’ approach to bus reform and the project was unable to continue.
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