The Albion-Marshall Connector

Community: City of Marshall
Population: 2,500-9,999

mimThe City of Marshall is located approximately 12 miles west from the City of Albion. Albion has been experiencing multiple challenges in the last few years with the closing of their hospital, the closing of their high school, and a challenging economy. As neighboring cities, collaboration has made sense, including the transfer of many Albion High School students to Marshall High School.

In October 2014, seeing a need for transportation, especially for health care services located in Marshall, the City of Marshall launched the “Albion-Marshall Connector”, an on-demand bus service providing very low-cost transportation between Albion and Marshall. With finances provided through the New Freedom Grant and many local agencies, the service has been successfully providing transportation to people with disabilities, elderly, and residents for health care, employment, shopping and school.


Replicability:

The New Freedom Grant is a competitive federal grant. The grant is specifically meant to help overcome existing transportation barriers for individuals with disabilities. Every community can look “next door” and see services that could increase the quality of life for their residents. Many times the barrier to using these services is transportation. The City of Marshall happened to have an active Dial-a-Ride service that was expanded to aid a community that did not have this type of service.

Creativity and Originality:

The partnership between all agencies located in Albion, Marshall, and Battle Creek continues to be the backbone of this program. We have formed a committee consisting of a representative from all sponsors and staff from both communities. As the service grows and the communities become aware of this option, the door to health care and reliable, low-cost transportation has opened.

Community Impact:

Both communities benefit from this service. The Connector has bridged a 12-mile gap between our communities that was a challenge to any resident in either community that had transportation barriers. The program has also allowed us to develop cooperation with our nonprofit agencies in the County.

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Project Multimedia:

Project PowerPoint - The Albion-Marshall Connector