Coordinating Cooperation in Rural Ohio


The mobility management program at Maumee Valley Planning Organization began in 2020, and led to the development of  a coordinated transportation plan. Prior to this, the 4 counties (Defiance, Fulton, Henry, and Williams)  had discussed creating a regional transportation service, but those discussions soon collapsed.

Of the 4 counties, only Henry County had public transportation. The other 3 counties were hesitant to dismantle the transportation services they already successfully operated (senior center transportation) to transition to a public transportation system that would be operated by another county entirely. The mobility management program worked diligently to meet each county where they were, using a continuum of coordination strategies  (networking, cooperation, coordination, collaboration, and consolidation). In the end, the counties felt that it was best to strive towards cooperation with the hopes of growing coordination in the future.

In October, 2021, all counties signed on to the multi-county coordinated plan.  Since that time the expansion of cooperation has led to additional service agreements across county lines as well as counties partnering to apply for both FTA’s Section 5310 and 5311 funding.

80% of the mobility management funding is through the Section 5310  program. The remaining 20% match is funded through Maumee Valley Planning Organization and donations for multiple United Ways.


  1. Increased marketing of transportation- higher traffic on website and social media.
  2. Coordination through Ohio Department of Transportation Rides to Community Immunity (COVID-19) program- awarded transportation funding for the four counties even though not all have public transit. The one county with public transit received the funding and  offered assistance to COVID related appointments.
  3. Defiance and Fulton Counties have jointly submitted a letter of intent for Section 5310 funding.
  4. Henry and Williams Counties have jointly submitted a letter of intent for Section 5311 funding.
  5. Service agreements signed with all County Boards of Developmental Disabilities.

Partnership Highlights


Defiance, Fulton, Henry and Williams Counties: Committed to identifying ways to partner and coordinate resources to provide transportation

Maumee Valley Planning Organization: 1) Sponsored the mobility manager who was key to implementing the coordination; 2) Provide part of local match to FTA funds

Ohio Dept. of Transportation Rides to Community Immunity: Provided funding for pandemic-related rides

Local United Ways: Provided part of local match to FTA funds

Learn more

Program contact:  Kim Lammers,


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