After initial formation of Regional Coordinating Councils (RCC) on Cape Cod and in Berkshire County in December 2013, the months of March and April have seen a flurry of activities with three more RCCs fully established as of April 15 (Worcester, Greater North Shore, and Merrimack Valley) and four more forming (Cross Town Connect in the Acton area, Pioneer Valley, Greater Attleboro – Taunton, and Brockton) by the end of April. Altogether Massachusetts has nine RCCs and we are laying the groundwork for more Councils with stakeholders in Franklin County, North Central MA, Metro West and Boston Core. We expect that all RCCs will have had at least one meeting after formation by the end of August, 2014. While setting up each RCC’s leadership and organizational structure is a key first step towards improving coordinated transportation options in the Commonwealth’s communities, our stakeholders understand that coordination will be a long-term and dynamic process requiring patience, perseverance, dedication, open communication and flexibility.
We already have lessons to share from the early RCC process:
- Planning group represents key and diverse segments of the community
- Planning group develops organically and usually includes organizations that have had experience with coordination activities in the past
- Initial planning meeting identifies more stakeholders to reach out to and invite to be Council members
- Planning group may meet once or multiple times before an RCC is established
- Ongoing leadership is key to organize an initial meeting and move the group forward
- Planning group is spearheaded by an early champion that may or may not stay as a leader going forward
- A member of the Statewide Coordinating Council on Community Transportation (SCCCT) participates in the first and subsequent meetings. Some groups choose the SCCCT member as lead
RCCs that formed have the following activities in common:
- Discussed the purpose of the RCC
- Discussed overall community unmet needs via survey, stakeholders roundtable discussion, or other means
- Identified priority projects for the RCC
- Discussed outreach and assigned members to contact others
- Established time and place for regular meetings.