What is the RAM Program?
Wisconsin's Rest Area Maintenance (RAM) Program has been in existence since 1987. The Program consists of 126 roadside sites in 39 counties in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) owns these sites and acts as the program administrator. WisDOT contracts with Rehabilitation for Wisconsin, Inc. (RFW) to provide program management services. WisDOT also contracts with 23 Community Rehabilitation Programs (CRPs) to provide the custodial care and landscape maintenance services at these roadside sites.
All of the year-round rest areas and approximately one-half of the seasonal waysides with rustic toilets are maintained through the program. The remaining half of the seasonal waysides are maintained by the Wisconsin County Highway Departments. The program goals are
- to provide the best-maintained roadside facilities in the nation and
- to provide maximum employment opportunities to citizens with disabilities.
Feedback received from visitors to Wisconsin's rest areas indicate that they among the best-maintained in the country. In FY 2015, visitors who resided in 35 different states and 3 countries rated the rest area maintenance services on average at 1.48 with a scale of one (best) to four (worst).
- Employed 375 individuals with a disability.
- 2 individuals were promoted to a supervisory position.
- 33 individuals moved to other jobs in their community due to the work experience and training they received by working at RAM Program sites.
- These employment opportunities have allowed people to achieve greater independence and self-sufficiency within their communities.
- Over 19 million people stop at Wisconsin Rest Areas.
- The busiest rest area is located eastbound on I-90/94/39 in Columbia County with an estimated Average Daily Traffic of 1,541 visitors.
- RFW obtained public feedback through the collection of comment cards and via electronic resources such as the RFW RAM website. The overall rating for FY 2016 is 1.15 based on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being best.