The impetus for starting the Door County Transportation Consortium came when the Door County Community Foundation instituted its Community Impact Grant program. The Foundation sent out requests for applications from community nonprofits, seeking projects which would have a significant and positive impact on those who live in and visit Door County. The projects were to be beyond the usual scope of the applying nonprofit, collaborative with other community organizations, be creative, and cross disciplinary. The Door County Community Foundation provides the initial funding for these projects.
The United Way of Door County answered the call. Their needs assessments of 1998 and 2005, and focus groups formed in 2006 all indicated that lack of transportation services was the most significant need for Door County. A transportation steering committee made up of nonprofits, for-profits, and government agencies was formed. That committee determined that there are plenty of vehicles and drivers available. However, they are not coordinated and are not capable of adequately communicating with each other.
Under the direction of the steering committee, the Door County Transportation Consortium was formed in 2007 and continues with over 40 members who have signed on. The initial task was to form a communication and coordination center. Transportation needs were filled if the current available services were able to provide them. Those needs not filled, were recorded and evaluated along with a resident survey completed by UW-Green Bay students.
Once enough information was gathered, a transportation public transit system was designed and implemented along with additional programs by Door-Tran. These systems were based on the needs of the community based on availability, accessibility and affordability.
Since our research began in 2007, we have been able to make strides towards our mission to make transportation more affordable, available, and accessible as follows:
- Implemented and maintain a half-price travel voucher program to cut the costs in half to residents of Door County who use a private taxi, Washington Island Community Van, or Ferry. This program has subsidized over 30,000 rides since implementation Nov. 2008.
- Dor-Tran, Inc. D.B.A. Door-Tran became a 501(c)3 in November of 2009 with the assistance of the Door County Community Foundation.
- Collaborated with the County of Door to begin a public shared ride taxi, Door 2 Door Rides, which is averaging more than 3,400 rides per month. We continue to work with the County on service expansions.
- Implemented and maintain a Veteran Volunteer Transportation Program to assist Veterans in getting to their medical appointments at out of county Veterans Health Administration medical facilities. This program has served more than 120 Veterans and provided over 1,000 rides since it began in February 2011.
- Implemented and maintain a County Wide Volunteer Transportation Program that serves individuals who have no other options to get where they need to go. Since this program began in July 2012, it has already served more than 100 people and has provided over 1,200 trips.
- Began a Vehicle Purchase/Repair Loan Program in 2014 to serve hard working, low-income families with 0% interest vehicle loans to get to and from work. Within the first year and half of the program, we have already provided 13 loans.
- In 2015 Door-Tran implemented and maintains a Half-Price Gas Voucher Program to assist with fuel costs for employment or job search trips.
- Door-Tran continues to provide transportation information and referral by phone, in person, on-line and through our Transportation Resource Guides produced annually. In addition, staff provide monthly workshops and present to groups throughout the County.