Tennessee Vans: A User-Based and Financially-Sustainable Approach to Develop Community Mobility Resources

Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 14, Issue 2 (2011) by Theodore J. Newsom, Danielle F. Meyers

Abstract

Although substantial resources have been devoted to the provision of the transportation infrastructure needed to support the movement of people, there still exist “mobility gaps,” especially among transportation disadvantaged groups of persons. An approach to fill these community mobility gaps is based on the experimental and evolving development and operations of Tennessee Vans over the past 20 years. The Tennessee Vans fleet has grown to 845 vehicles assigned to more than 300 community groups and organizations as part of its vehicle lease and purchase programs. Program participants include community and economic development agencies, faith-based organizations, commuter vanpools, youth-based organizations, workforce development groups, and public/private transit agencies. A financial analysis indicated that in model year 2007 Tennessee Vans had achieved its major goal of becoming financially self-sufficient through its revenue generation capabilities and recycling of program revenue to procure additional vehicles and finance program operations. View the full article or the entire Journal issue.