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At the Arc Mercer, we strive to help our individuals realize their goals by pursuing enriching recreation, community integration, The Innovative Star Program Creates Pride, Camaraderie, and Team Building through Competition and meaningful employment.  In order to achieve this mission, we must connect people and places across the county.We undertook a five-year project to tackle the persistent issue of transportation and the result is gaining attention across the state. 

Through a concept we call Total Agency Transportation, we’ve reduced the amount of time that consumers are on vehicles allowing for more time in their programs or at work, all the while reducing our own costs and improving safety.

How it works

While initially expensive, an upfront investment in our fleet and a commitment to regular maintenance and vehicle rotation has reduced costs in the long term.

In order to maximize route efficiency, we explored different models like hub & spoke designs and combining routes.  We leaned into technology and partnered with a Princeton Professor to design our own routing software

that allows us to customize travel plans, communicate with families, and reduce time on vehicles. 

Finally, and most importantly, we undertook a culture change where every employee is a driver and every vehicle is an asset.  This required cross-departmental buy-in and ownership of transportation by the entire agency.  From the executives to the direct support staff, all Arc Mercer employees serve all of our consumers.

By integrating our transportation performance and maintenance metrics into the agency’s On-board Training and Quality Assurance processes, we’ve ensured that it is top-of-mind for everyone involved.

Looking Forward

This dedication to quality of life has led to stunning improvements.  In recognition of this success, the New Jersey Legislature has created a $6 million fund to allow Arc Mercer to share the concept of Total Agency Transportation with other provider agencies across the state. 

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