San Antonio, TX

     Alamo Area Accessible Transportation

& Mobility News

November 2012

Our vision for accessible transportation in the Alamo Area is to ensure that all seniors and people with disabilities have safe, least restrictive and barrier free access to affordable transportation to meet personal needs


Vision Statement,
 Alamo Area
Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative (AAATCI)


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Mobility Guide cover
For an All-Text Version Please Call: 
 (210) 362-5227













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  Quick Links 






ADA Access Texas 








Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG)










Alamo Area Agency on Aging (AAAA) 








Alamo Council of the Blind (ACB) 








Alamo Regional Transit (ART)








City of San Antonio Public Works Disability Access Office    








San Antonio-Bexar County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) 









City of San Antonio Supportive Services for the Elderly Project (SSEP) 









Presa Transportation 
















Greater Randolph Area Services Program (GRASP)











Selected Best Practices








Access Now:

 A Guide to Help Your Community 









Citizens for Progressive Transit  

















Urban Habitat: Transportation Justice







Welcome to the November edition of the Alamo Area Accessible Transportation & Mobility Newsletter, a forum to inform our community about accessible transportation and mobility issues and discuss opportunities for improvements 


This month's topics:  


We encourage your contributions and feedback each month! Please forward any information you would like to share.


Happy Thanksgiving,


Isa Fernández, MPA
Mobility Specialist
Bexar Area Agency on Aging
Alamo Area Council of Governments
(210) 362-5227




VIA Providing Free Rides to Seniors to Thanksgiving Dinner




Older adults who ride the bus to this year's Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner will get an added treat: a free ride.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, VIA will allow people 55 years of age and older to ride free if they are going to or coming from the Raul Jimenez Dinner in the Convention Center. The free rides are good for both regular line service and VIAtrans service for registered patrons. When boarding, riders will need to inform the bus or van operator that they are attending the dinner, and they will need to present identification with proof of age.


Seniors who want more information regarding routes and scheduling on Thanksgiving Day can call 362-2020


For more information on the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving, please visit or email 



AAATCI Forms Quality of Life Transportation Subcommittee


As part of the Fourth Quarter Milestone meeting of the Alamo Area Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative (AAATCI), the issue of social trips for seniors and people with disabilities was discussed. From this conversation, AAATCI members have decided to form a Quality of Life Transportation Subcommittee to focus on opportunities to help increase available alternative transportation to social activities. Whether it be to a meeting open to the public (like AAATCI), dinner with friends, a visit with family, a shopping trip, an excursion to the park, or an appointment with your hairdresser (the list goes on!), these types of trips are important to the well-being and quality of life of older adults and people with disabilities.



The opportunity to stay engaged in the community and live a "spontaneous" life is good for everyone - it helps to empower people to stay active and involved in social issues that pertain to them (such as accessible transportation), it helps prevent isolation, depression, and the debilitating byproducts of poor health and an decrease in limited mobility.


Forming a subcommittee tasked to research possible coordination efforts and grant opportunities will help send a message that AAATCI is a proactive and progressive coalition, willing to explore new ideas and form new partnerships to benefit the community.


If you are interested in sharing your concerns and ideas with the subcommittee , and/or would like more information about the Alamo Area Accessible Transportation Coalition Initiative (AAATCI), please contact Isa Fernandez at (210) 362-5227 or email


'What's Your Connection?' Initiative 


To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the website,  the "What's Your Connection?" initiative has been launched to  emphasize that disability is a natural part of the human experience. The initiative focuses on the integral role people with disabilities play in society.



People nationwide are invited to participate in the campaign by submitting a captioned photograph or video that answers the question "What's your connection to disability?" The campaign uses social media and grassroots tactics to spark conversations and build support for inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace and in their communities.  Submissions will be accepted through July 31, 2013. More information, including rules and requirements, is available at    


The website is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy in collaboration with 21 federal agency partners. The website is the federal governments website offering comprehensive information on disability programs and services in communities nationwide. Individuals with disabilities, their families, caregivers and others are able to connect to thousands of resources from federal, state and local government agencies; academic institutions; and nonprofit organizations. Information is added daily across 10 main subject areas: benefits, civil rights, community life, education, employment, health, housing, emergency preparedness,  technology and transportation.


"There are nearly 57 million individuals with disabilities in the United States, and they are all connected to those around them - their family members, co-workers, neighbors and friends," said Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. "By sharing how disability touches us all, we can reinforce and encourage the inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of daily life, in our homes, communities and workplaces."                       

Disability Task Force on Emergency Management Seeks Government Members

The Disability Task Force on Emergency Management was established in 2011 by the State of Texas Governor's Office to assist state and local governments with improving their preparedness activities for people with disabilities.


Task Force members were chosen for their experience in working with people with disabilities and their willingness to provide guidance, training, and advice to the State and local governments towards these goals. The Task Force formed five subcommittees in order to work to:



  • Provide input to and suggest guidelines for the Texas Emergency Management Advisory Committee (TEMAC) regarding planning for people with disabilities - to include architectural barriers, effective communications, service animals, and website accessibility
  • Enhance emergency management plans to include planning for functional needs
  • Provide the Functional Needs Support Service (FNSS) State Coordinator assistance during emergency response incidents
  • Enlist the disability community in emergency planning, "Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N)" to emphasize personal and community preparedness. 


The Task Force is interested in recruiting local government members to participate. Please contact your Texas Division of Emergency Management District Coordinator if you or someone in your community is interested in participating. Please note that while the meetings are held in Austin, conference calls are available for those members who cannot travel to the meetings. 


If you are interested in participating on a sub-committee for the Disability Task Force, please read the attached description of subcommittees by clicking here. If you would like to apply please forward you name, title, jurisdiction and contact information by December 1, 2012 to and CC


      VIA Public Meeting Scheduled
    for Streetcar Project
VIA Metropolitan Transit will hold a public meeting to share information and gather input on the modern streetcar. The project is said to be a first step towards a comprehensive transportation plan that will incorporate a light rail system, help alleviate traffic, and reinvigorate downtown.


The streetcar project will have two routes that run through downtown. Currently, the alternatives analysis portion of the project is under way, and VIA is seeking public opinion as possible route alignments are evaluated. If you are a public transit user and/or transportation stakeholder, be sure to have your voice heard. 


The meeting will take place Wednesday, November 28th at 6:00 PM and will be held at the Depot in Sunset Station (1174 East Commerce Street). The meeting is accessible by wheelchair.  Individuals with hearing impairments may request an interpreter 48 hours prior to the meeting by calling TDD 362-2019 or the Public Affairs office at 362-2222.


For more information please call (210) 362-2000 or visit



Community Profile:


Since 1981, San Antonio Independent Living Services (SAILS) has worked to help make San Antonio and the surrounding counties a better place to live, work and play for people with disABILITIES.  As a non-profit 501(c) 3 and federally designated Center for Independent Living (CIL), SAILS helps individuals with disabilities and their families by teaching independent living skills, providing information and referrals, and training individuals to be self-advocates. The organizational mission is "to advocate for the rights and empowerment of the people with disABILITIES and to provide needed services to people with disABILITIES in order to increase their self-determination and independence."


The programs and services offered are meant to support people with disABILITIES and promote independence. The programs and services are:


Advocacy: Provide information, assistance, support systems for people with disabilities and their families and promote changes that enhance their full integration to the community.  Provide education on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and information about disability rights.

Information and Referral: Provide up-to-date information about community resources - including individualized social security benefits planning.

Independent Living Skills: Provide workshops to enhance the ability to live independently.

Peer Support: information with peers through recreation and social events.  Offer opportunities to interact and share


Benefits Assistance: Provide individualized social security benefits planning.


Adaptive Support Service, Telecommunications: Provide information, assistance and training for adaptive telecommunication devices for persons who are deaf/hard of hearing and/or blind.


Relocation Services: Provide transition assistance from nursing facilities to the community.


Recreation, Social Events: Provide opportunities for persons with disabilities to participate in various community activities.


By empowering people with disABILITIES to decide what services are needed and the best way to receive those services, SAILS works to promote independence by providing individuals with more control over their lives. SAILS Executive Director Kittie L. Brietzke, J.D. takes pride in the services saying, "there is nothing like the feeling of knowing you have a position in the community to help others live more independently." For more information on the wonderful programs SAILS offers to the community with disABILITIES, please visit

or call (210) 281-1878. 



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.



AAATCI members include representatives from:


ADA Advocates
Community Stakeholders

Disability Access Office, City of San Antonio Public Works

Greater San Antonio Transportation (Yellow Cab)

Social Workers 
Urban and Transportation Planners
Transportation Engineers 
Transit Users 


Contact Us: to submit stories, current events, article suggestions, data to share, best practices and/or with any comments or questions: or call (210)-362-5227.