Program Management and Reporting
How is the use of government funds tracked?
The TRIP Program in Riverside has received State, Federal and County government funding since the service was first started in 1993. Many volunteer services have similar requirements.
Working from the idea that complete accountability of government funds is an absolute necessity, TripTrakTM software was designed to facilitate detailed use and accurate tracking of mileage reimbursement payments, with a single or multiple funding sources.
When coupled with professional
standard procedures for payroll and other non-payroll expenses
accounting, complete and detailed reports of expenses by line item
and funding source can be compiled for management, reporting, and audit
Is there a way to establish service use limits for passengers?
TripTrakTM software allows a service to set monthly allowances on an individual basis, or for all passengers, or for all passengers in a particular group. TRIP in Riverside reviews the actual needs of each passenger and sets individual allowances that range from a low of about $16 per month, up to $150 per month. I would guess that the majority now fall in the $64 to $96 range.
Is it possible to limit travel in terms of places or trip purposes, such as, medical only?
TripTrakTM allows service staff to define and establish separate allowances/restrictions for an individual travel purpose or for a set of permitted travel purposes.
For example, you may want to set-up an authorization for "medical only" travel, or for “medical out-of-area travel only", or “for any purpose” on "weekdays only", or "for religious purposes only", etc. Authorizations of destinations and purposes can be fully managed by service staff.
What kind of reports can we produce using the software?
TripTrakTM allows each software user to produce reports that meet their specific reporting requirements. The TRIP program in Riverside currently runs periodic reports of the number of users, one-way trips and miles of service provided, mileage reimbursement payments and volunteer hours contributed - all by service area and by funding source, as well as program totals for the month, quarter and year.
Reports can also be generated on any set of variables determined by a program to be useful and important. For example, a program might want to know how many medical trips were provided for residents of a specific city, or perhaps how many people receiving service are sight impaired, or a break-down of program users by other controllable variables.
We plan to use driver hours as in-kind match for program funding. Do you have any rules of thumb to estimate the amount of match generated by counting the volunteer hours?
First of all, it is important that a "Request for Mileage Reimbursement" form is used to gather total volunteer time provided by the escort-driver to assist the passenger with each trip. The experience of the TRIP program in Riverside is that, on average, 65 minutes of volunteer driver time has been contributed for each one-way trip provided. This is obviously a variable that will fluctuate from trip to trip and from program to program, dependent on trip distance, the stamina or other mobility characteristics of the passenger, the wait time at doctor’s offices, the line at supermarkets, traffic and weather conditions and probably on other circumstances as well.
The in-kind contribution of volunteer time can be a significant match for service funding. The TRIP Program in Riverside values volunteer driver time at the minimum wage rate. Last program year, the in-kind match of volunteer driver time amounted to $12,688 for a small service funded by a single city. For the full county-wide service, the in-kind match for last year, valued at the California minimum wage rate per hour, was $865,304.
The data gathered for each trip for each passenger can be entered in TripTrakTM. Volunteer hours can be reported for individual passengers, for individual volunteers, for all passengers supported by a single funding source, or for all funding sources by period, as determined by the software user.
Does the TRIP Program in Riverside have any wordage stating that the driver cannot ask for money from the customer?
No we do not. However, the pure TRIP model requires that passengers recruit their own driver(s) and these tend to be friends and neighbors who agree to be a volunteer driver to support someone they know fairly well who has a huge need for transportation assistance. The friends and neighbor volunteers are generally not in it for the money.
As part of the information we provide to passengers, we advise them that paying for a ride implicitly makes them their driver's employer and subject to a whole host of possible problems. If a driver is asking for and receiving payment for providing rides, this makes them, in effect, a livery service which can increase their insurance rates and also jeopardize any entitlement status they have. In cases where the “volunteer” asks for more money in addition to the mileage reimbursement, we suggest to the passenger that they get another volunteer.
What is a one-way trip and why should one-way trips be tracked?
The national standard transportation data base standard definition is "a one way trip is counted as complete each time a passenger leaves a vehicle". Cost per one-way trip is a standard transportation performance measure that provides the basis for the comparison of services. Per trip subsidy is another important comparative measure.
Because the TRIP model program is very inexpensive to operate, a comparison of one-way performance measures with other service models will place your TRIP program in a very competitive position when competing for limited transportation funding.
TripTrakTM software makes tracking and reporting one-way trip data easy.
The Beverly Foundation has rated TRIP as ........"the nation's best volunteer driver model"