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CommuteCon I

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Show me the money! Obtaining grants, paid membership, and other funding strategies

Kent Epperson
Director, Traffic Solutions
Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

Session Description

Kent Epperson is the Director of Traffic Solutions, a division of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. Traffic Solutions is a rideshare organization that encourages alternatives to driving alone. Its goal is to reduce traffic congestion, air pollution and vehicle miles driven as well as to improve the quality of life for employees, visitors, and residents of Santa Barbara County. Traffic Solutions recently adopted SmartRide, a new commuter web platform with the help of RideAmigos. Kent analogizes his personal experiences with scrambling to pull together funding for the program to Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire. In the movie, sports agent Jerry Maguire has an epiphany that he isn’t living up to his morals, gets fired from his job, and starts his own agency. He encounters many of the same obstacles that TDM organizations face, but overcomes them with the help of his mentor Dicky Fox’s tips.

Dicky Fox’s Guide to Success:

Leave no stone unturned.
You’ve got to love what you sell.
Just make the call, fear and procrastination is not your friend.
Get out of your scarcity mentality.
local sales tax
construction mitigation
state, local, and federal transit funding
planning grants
ITS funding
earmark funds
corporate sponsors
general funds
cap and trade
active transportation
health and wellness (which is relatively unturned)
employer fees
Don’t sell yourself short.
The key to business is personal relationships.
You don’t have to go it alone.
Create partnerships
Improve programs
Ask for help
Kent notes that “Upgrading to the new platform, there were some great opportunities and as we did that, there were more tools available. We invited employers to be part of the process and we were able to tailor the system to meet their needs.” Kent highlights the benefits that he experienced from step 5, to not sell yourself short. Because Kent did not sell himself short, he was able to incur the multitude of advantages that the RideAmigos platform offers.

“Remember: multimodal is your friend.”