Our vision for accessible transportation in the Alamo Area is to insure that all seniors and people with disabilities have safe, least restrictive and barrier free access to affordable transportation to meet personal needs
Alamo Area Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative (AAATCI)
Welcome to the May edition of the Alamo Area Accessible Transportation & Mobility Newsletter, a forum to inform our community about accessible transportation and discuss opportunities for improvements.
This month's topics:
We encourage your feedback and contributions each month!
Isa Fernández, MPA
Bexar Area Agency on Aging
Alamo Area Council of Governments
(210) 362-5227 email@example.com
Take the Public Transit Choices
By People With Disabilities Survey
People with disabilities make up one of the United States' largest minority groups. More than 25% live in poverty and approximately 20% have gone to college. Seventy-five percent are unemployed. "Such economic and social disenfranchisement is not an inevitable consequence of the physical and mental limitations imposed by disability; it is the result of society's historic response to those limitations: lack of accessibility in the built environment and policies that encourage or even require exclusion, segregation, and institutionalization," notes the Disability Rights and Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), a leading national civil rights law and policy center founded in 1979 and directed by individuals with disabilities and their families.
In an effort to promote improvements, DREDF is conducting research on Public Transit Choices By People With Disabilities. Responses will help create an understanding of factors most important to riders with disabilities when deciding which transit mode to use. The study will focus on promoting accessibility of transit systems, including pedestrian infrastructure used to access systems; optional travel training; providing fare incentive programs; and exploring improved methods of paratransit eligibility determination.
The project will explore a variety of ways to encourage and enable people with disabilities who are at least part time ("conditionally") eligible for ADA paratransit to increase their use of the fixed route public transit bus and/or train service. The disability community's participation is a key factor in this research. Through interviews (already conducted) and this survey, the project aims to gain a greater understanding of factors that affect the choices people with disabilities make about which mode of transportation they will use for particular trips.
The confidential results will be part of a national study called "Transit Cooperative Research Project B-40: Strategy Guide to Enable and Promote the Use of Fixed-Route Transit by People with Disabilities." The goal is to develop strategies to improve transit systems for people with disabilities. DREDF's research partners are TranSystems Corporation, The Collaborative, and KFH Group.
Organizations: Please post the survey on your website, send this notice to your members, and include it in your e-newsletters.
Please take the survey, and encourage others to do so! Take Survey
Presa Community Center
Elderly Transportation Program
The Presa Community Center Elderly Transportation Program began in 1974 "with a station wagon and a $91 fuel bill. The office manager worried about how we would pay the bill! We now have 11 small buses & vans in our fleet!" says Presa Vice President Franki Martin. Presa's transportation service has become widely used and recognized by older adults and people with disabilities needing low-cost rides to essential services such as doctor's appointments, physical therapy, chemotherapy, and grocery shopping.
For those who have no family or care network in San Antonio, it is a life-saving service. Ms. Martin notes that while people are riding, they often share stories with drivers about their circumstances; thus providing an opportunity for staff to refer individuals to other community partners who can assist with additional support services or programs, as well as to social services staff at Presa.
Presa also provides intergenerational services, including after school and summer programs for children ages 5-13, family self-sufficiency and crisis information, and GED and ESL classes. Services for seniors include daily arts and crafts, exercise, dance and computer classes, monthly birthday celebrations, and holiday dances MC'd by a deejay. Daily lunches are provided at Presa's meal site. For homebound seniors, Presa delivers meals to the home.
Adults 60 and over who reside within a 3-mile radius can receive transportation to and from the center through the Presa Community Center Elderly Transportation Program. Satisfaction surveys are conducted annually and feedback consistently states how crucial services are, with clients noting that they "don't know what they would do without it," and that their reliable service helps them maintain their independence.
By meeting the needs of seniors and people with disabilities through the Presa Community Center Elderly Transportation Program and the array of social services offered to the community of all ages, the center helps reduce isolation and assists individuals in remaining active and independent.
Alamo Area Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative (AAATCI)
April 19th marked the second quarterly meeting for the Alamo Area Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative (AAATCI). Subcommittee presented summaries of their work to date and discussed future goals of the coalition subcommittee endeavors:
Infrastructure Subcommittee -- Ongoing efforts to promote accessible, life-long communities was detailed. The subcommittee is researching the ADA Legal Landscape, Title III Requirements, Public Right of Way measures, Aging in Place, Complete Streets, Smart Growth, and Universal Design measures in order to form the basis for future outreach projects. The next Infrastructure Subcommittee meeting will be held June 11 at AACOG (7th floor) from 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Dialysis Transportation Study Subcommittee -- Conversations with two prominent physicians, which provided insight into the network of dialysis providers, were reviewed. Plans to create a map of providers overlayed with patient travel patterns to spotlight potential inefficiencies were discussed. The next Dialysis Transportation Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 22nd at AACOG (7th floor) from 2:30-4:30.
Urban-Rural Link Subcommittee -- A possible pilot program was discussed that would provide transportation to areas outside 1604 in order to help fill transportation gaps and meet the fixed-route response needs of the community. The next Urban-Rural Link meeting is June 11th at AACOG (7th floor) from 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Sensitivity Training Subcommittee -- The creation of a database of best practices that will be available online to inform forthcoming "train the trainer" campaigns. The next Sensitivity Training Subcommittee meeting will be held at AACOG (7th floor) on June 13th from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Grant Research Subcommittee -- A presentation reviewing the coalition's goals for the Veteran's Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI) grant to create a One-Call, One-Click Transportation Information Center called AlamoRides which would be available to help Veterans, older adults, people with disabilities, and others with accessing public transportation. View presentation here.
Read Subcommittee Meeting Packet
Read Quarterly Meeting Minutes
For more information or to become a subcommittee member, please contact Isa Fernández, MPA (210) 362-5227 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Online Dialogue on
Join the conversation regarding the issue of access to transportation for work, school, medical care, other health services and recreation or leisure activities for veterans.
Over the past six months, the Obama Administration has committed over $60 million for innovative projects and partnerships around the U.S. that will enhance access to reliable, affordable, and accessible local transportation services that meet the needs of returning service members, including Wounded Warriors, Veterans, and their families. This vitally important effort will help these men and women connect with essential services such as job training centers, schools, hospitals, day care centers, and recreation.
In an effort to tailor services, U.S.Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood invites the public to participate in a National Online Dialogue on Veterans Transportation "Strengthening Transportation Choices So We Can Serve Those Who Have Served Their Country" in order to discuss best ways to address transportation challenges. Military members returning to civilian life, pursuing jobs and education, and settling children in school-and wounded warriors are specifically encouraged to join the conversation, but all are welcome, including those that serve them
Visit www.projectaction.org to join the dialogue.
Be Inspired: National ATCI Successes
Easter Seals Project Action (ESPA), AAATCI grantee and support team has assembled a list of success stories from ATCI groups from around the nation. The accounts from the 2010 teams are meant to inspire, help share ideas, and serve as a reminder that our work will be spotlighted nationally. Review select practices below:
Coastal Bend (Corpus Christi Region), Texas:
- Served as the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for a two-year Mobility Options Project - a Texas Department of Transportation JARC-funded project awarded to the Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living (CBCIL). CBCIL partners with Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend and the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitation Services to increase mobility options for people with disabilities seeking employment-related opportunities.
- Advocated for the Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority's successful application for funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI), which supports the development of a regional call center that will provide a single point of access for regional transportation.
- Co-hosted the regional M2 (Mobility Management) Summit: Defining Mobility Management in the Coastal Bend, bringing national and state speakers to the Corpus Christi area for the summit. Participants identified possible approaches to creating a united mobility management system by looking at the positive and negative aspects of three models of mobility management based on human services/independent living, workforce development, and the public transit system.
Middlesex County/So. Brunswick Township, New Jersey:
- Secured three buses from the local county government to establish a new feeder service linking senior communities with the County's fixed-route service, creating new connections to shopping and medical services.
- Working to develop a volunteer driver program utilizing shared vehicles equipped with electronic tracking systems to serve senior populations.
- Formed a Local Coordinating Council for Human Services Transportation (LCC) which developed by-laws, Participation Agreements and an Action and Sustainability Plan.
Jefferson County, Colorado:
- Developed a White Paper on transportation to educate policy makers and the general population on the projected growing need for accessible transportation.
- Working with the Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council (a regional coordinating council) to develop a web-based one-call center to coordinate transportation resources in the Denver metropolitan region, drawing on best practice examples from around the country.
King County, Washington:
- Gathered information from focus groups comprised of 100 individuals from the local Burmese, Bhutanese, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Somali, Ukrainian, and Russian immigrant communities to help improve the mobility of underserved groups and individuals with limited incomes, refugees, people with limited English proficiency, and older adults.
- Brought together 66 agency representatives for a Transportation Forum which helped develop an action plan that will address the unique needs of these multiple groups developing three multi-lingual instructional videos which will be shared with refugee and immigrant community groups on topics such as how to pay for transit, how to ride the bus and other community transportation options.
Allen County, OH:
- Developed a community-wide database of transportation providers and services that has helped a newly developed one-stop transportation call center educate local citizens about transportation options they might otherwise not utilize.
- Created joint Customer Care Standards as a step toward a planned joint dispatch system, and is working toward establishing a shared driver education program.
- Developed an MOU with the local emergency management agency through which the group's vehicles and other resources would be used to serve emergency-related transportation needs
- Working to provide a transportation mode of last resort to people with disabilities under sixty years of age.
Permission to reproduce or reprint: Please feel free to forward this newsletter. However, if you wish to use any information marked "original" please contact
the owner of that information, or Isa Fernández.
Contact Us: to submit "Profile of the Month" stories, current events, article suggestions, data to share, best practices and/or with any comments or questions: email@example.com or call (210)-362-5227.