We had the pleasure to interview Chase Harper, Business Development Manager, with the TMA Group recently to learn more about their efforts to help alleviate current and potential transportation issues in Franklin and Williamson County. Read below to discover how you can get out, try something new and do your part to mitigate traffic congestion in the region.
What is your organization and how did your organization get its start?
The TMA Group (Transportation Management Association) was established in 1988 as a 501(c)3 organization. It was the first TMA formed in the Southeast and 35th in the nation. TMA is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of key area business leaders and government officials, including Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson and City of Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore. TMA Executive Director is Debbie Henry.
Tell us about the events that led up to where your organization is now.
During the past 30 years TMA, a regional leader, has provided programs of work that share the vision of supporting an ever expanding regional transportation system that provides a variety of accessible, affordable, reliable, and interconnected transportation choices for all.
What is unique about your organization (what sets you apart from the rest)?
Currently, TMA operates and manages the following: VanStar, the regional commuter vanpool program in partnership with Williamson County and RTA; Franklin Transit Authority, Franklin’s small urban transit service; the Clean Air Partnership program; and Transportation Demand Management.
Speaking to Transportation, what is your organization doing to alleviate the transportation issues we see in Williamson County?
TMA is committed to customizing environmentally friendly, multimodal transportation solutions for our employers, employees and commuters. TMA’s VanStar program moves regional commuters in and out of our county daily who live and/or work here. 60% of Franklin Transit’s ridership is riding the service to and from work within the City of Franklin, with the remaining 40% trips comprised of school trips, medical and social services trips, and leisure.
How has being a part of the overall business community in Williamson County helped you?
For me, the best part about being in the business community in Williamson County has been the willingness to help. Whether it has been through sharing best business practices to sharing contact information. The business community has really taken me in and made me fill like part of the family, I am sure this is just one of the reasons businesses are moving headquarters to Williamson County.
Why did you choose to become a member of Williamson, Inc.?
My first week on the job with TMA, I ran into Bryan Doleshel at a meeting. Seeing that I was new, he set up some time to learn about me personally, what my business goals would be, and guided me to important chamber events that would help me accomplish my goals. From the first experience I had with Williamson Inc. I knew it was truly an organization that cared about the community and its members.
Given your expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice (general or specific) can you offer to the readers?
My advice for Middle Tennesseans would be to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to your commute and try something different. Whether you walk, bike, carpool, vanpool, or use transit. We will have to do a lot of work just to keep traffic like it is right now. If nothing changes in the way you choose to get around things will continue to get worse. I challenge you all to try something different just for one day.
How can readers take advantage of your services? How can they get involved?
If you are looking to change your commute habits, you can take advantage of Franklin Transit, route maps are online at franklintransit.org. We also offer a carpool/vanpool ride matching software through VanStar were you can find people in your area that would like to commute with you. You can register for ride-sharing online at Vanstar.com
Do you have any upcoming events that community members can take advantage of?
We will be attending Williamson, Inc.’s Transportation Summit on June 19th. Stop by our exhibitor booth, say hi and ask questions. We would love to see you!
Business contact information:
Address: 708 Columbia Avenue, Franklin TN 37064
You can also contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We love to answer any and all questions that you have!