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The National Center for Senior Transportation is hosting seven teleconferences starting Nov 9 and running into 2011. They are individual one-hour audio conferences with its inaugural group of Senior Demonstration Grantees. The audio conferences will be held throughout the fall and winter, beginning November 9. Registration deadline: One week prior to each event date. The topics examine the best of their 2009-2010 grant winners and include volunteer services, use of carshare cars to provide services, coordination, financing, etc.
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Download the Template and supporting materials
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News from the National Center on Senior Transportation Oct 2010
The Senior Transportation Options Template, developed in partnership with the Beverly Foundation, is a customizable electronic template (“drop in the facts”) used in identifying all of the transportation options available to seniors in a typical community. The template allows you to create a user-friendly booklet filled with local senior transportation options to print and share with older adults and caregivers. It also provides a framework from which to inventory and assess existing transportation options, gaps and needs. Customizable supporting materials are included for providing additional information to the community.
What can the Senior Transportation Options Template do for your community?
Who can use this tool? Community-based programs, including:
Tompkins County does not have an official mobility management strategy. But, the lack of an official document does not mean we do not have a strategy. A Top 10 List of its central elements include:
1. Reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and petroleum fuel use is best accomplished by reducing single occupant vehicle (SOV) trips. Reducing GHG emissions is a vital goal in the I-TCTC 2030 Long Range Transportation Plan and in the County's Comprehensive Plan. With higher education being a prime employer in the county, we take the environmental threat of climate crisis seriously.
2. We are living in a Mobility Revolution, with wireless communications, computing, internet access. Wireless technology integrated with mobility services empowers individuals to create customized solutions. We face rising expectations for high level of customer service, easily accessible information in real time, and meeting individual customer needs.
3. Mobility equity is a very important priority. People without affordable mobility options are often isolated and lack the means to engage in life's activities. The location of affordable housing, mobility services and Internet access are three inter-related conditions undermining sustainable community living.
4. Mobility management strategy includes three basic elements: mobility services and programs; physical infrastructure (e.g. bus stops, parking facilities, accessible sidewalks and pedestrian networks, etc.); and "software" for service integration. Examples of integrated services include: Way2Go (community education and information, Ithaca Carshare, multi-modal payment system, and new business organization models (ITN Everywhere).
5. All ideas go into a mobility tool kit. MM strategy is continuously evolving ideas for services, programs and policies. We do not need to reinvent the wheel, just to borrow them.
6. A high priority is to fill existing empty seats in cars, taxis, paratransit buses and public transit buses and to encourage people to bicycle or walk wherever possible. Efficiency and productivity of mobility services and incentives for changing driving habits are important.
7. Mobility services are provided by multiple operators. Each operator of public transit, taxi, livery, intercity bus, paratransit, vanpool, rideshare, volunteer driver services, car-share, and mobility support services have their strengths and weaknesses. If successful, the strategy will increase the market potential for all services. Cooperation among operators to create convenient, practical and affordable mobility services is most desirable.
8. Ease of use by the public and responsive customer service are absolutely essential for people to move from driving alone to trying another mode or service. Improving convenience and customer service are outcomes of continuous quality improvement processes.
9. Back-up plans, redundant services and exceptional customer service are needed to handle the daily incidents of when problems arise and travel goes awry. This is a 24/7 service.
10. We need to track trends of modal splits for journey to work trips for all people working in Tompkins County, both residents and people commuting from other counties, in order to measure progress. The data is available through the American Communities Survey (US Census Dept).
I borrowed this submission from the National Paratransit Dialogue that is open through Aug 6. - Dwight
Circle of Care Project is an award winning asset-based community development project which provides innovative solutions for Aging in Place and Livable Community Design.
Our social innovation project connects vulnerable seniors and people with disabilites with volunteer drivers who not only provide assisted para-transportation and companion services but both parties receive free access to life enhancing community resources in the area of arts and culture, concerts, theater, film, lifelong learning, recreation, social and civic engagement opportunities & more. Both volunteer and elder receive complimentary event tickets and academic scholarships to provide volunteer and elder enrichment to a meaningful destination. Our LAP Project (Library Access Partners) provides transportation services to insure a lifetime of access to library resources.
Circle of Care Project energizes intergenerational civic engagement and establishes strategic partnerships across systems to provide older adults and volunteers of all ages, incomes and abilities with life-long access to community resources.
Circle of Care has been recognized by AARP, Partners for Livable Community and others as a benchmark program and best practice. We feel strongly that transportation projects need to have a more comprehensive view of what insures a good quality of life. Weaving together community resources with transportation and community building by providing enlivening affordable destinations, has proven highly successful in addressing the needs of an aging populace. Mobilizing the arts, culture, transportation and educational opportunities through social/civic engagement and community partnership, positively impacts and engages an entire community. The ride alone sometimes is just not enough, we are hardwired to need people. Providing a support system to maximize transit programs as we age creates not only mobility but a sense of social belonging and opportuniites to live life with meaning and purpose.
We look forward to sharing our program model through replication and education, scaling best practices to provide affordable, effective solutions for municipalities, social service agencies, senior markets, nonprofit organizations and others through a transfer of knowledge and hands on technical assistance.
Circle of Care Project
PO Box 4204
Boulder CO, 80306
Joan Raderman, Founder & Community Developer
Ashoka Affiliate Fellow
Welcome to the National Center on Senior Transportation's online newsletter.
The news today:
Georgia’s Older Driver Safety Coalition featured on NCST site
The Georgia Older Driver Task Force is one of six teams selected to participate in an National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-funded older driver safety project. An overview, along with copies of assessment and evaluation materials, is now included on the NCST Web site. Georgia’s team focused on the following areas: organizing an Alternative Transportation Coordinating Council, drafting a legislative proposal, creation of a law enforcement evaluation form and a Physician Awareness Packet. Additional project resources are also available from other states.
Love of Car: Transportation as We Age available both on-line and DVD
The Minnesota Gerontological Society brought together community and national partners (including the National Center on Senior Transportation) to produce a one-hour public television documentary. This project, co-produced with Twin Cities Public Television, is entitled, Love of Car: Transportation as We Age. The documentary focuses on solutions such as driving safety, identifying strategies for driving safer longer, along with finding and using alternative transportation options. Single copies of the Love of Car DVD and related discussion guide are available through the NCST on-line Library.
NCST distance learning events available as audio recordings
Have you missed an NCST training event? NCST has transcripts, supplemental materials and audio recordings for many past distance learning events on our website. For example, you can watch the video recording of our Planning Complete Streets for and Aging America event to learn about how communities can make their streets safe and accessible for all. A complete listing of all events with links to valuable resources is also available.
New AARP guide highlights transportation options
AARP has just released its new 16-page brochure, The Getting Around Guide: An AARP Guide to Walking, Bicycling and Public Transportation. The guide is designed to help consumers take advantage of fun and healthy options for getting around without a car, such as walking, bicycling, and taking public transportation. In addition, the publication highlights benefits of different transportation options, how to find options in your community, and advocacy ideas for small towns, suburban neighborhoods or major metropolitan areas. Copies of the guide are available through AARP by calling 1 (888) 687-2277 or by ordering online through AARP’s Housing and Mobility publications page.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Releases Report on Older Drivers
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a report on older drivers in their June 19, 2010 issue of Status Report. A link to the report can be found on the IIHS homepage. IIHS research finds that, "Contrary to expectations, senior drivers aren’t causing more crashes than they used to. Nor are they dying more often in crashes, even though they hold onto their licenses longer. In fact, the rate of fatal crashes per licensed driver 70 and older declined from 1997 to 2008." For a copy of "Recent Trends in Older Driver Crashes" by I. Cheung and A.T. McCartt, email email@example.com.
NCST Today set for July mailing
Check your mailbox in July for the latest issue of NCST’s quarterly print newsletter NCST Today. Rural senior transportation is the focus of this quarter’s newsletter. Oklahoma and North Dakota programs are featured. Readers will learn about resources offered through the National Rural Transportation Assistance Program and also will be introduced to new members of the NCST National Steering Committee. NCST Today is published quarterly and is available in print or as a downloadable document from the New & Events page of the NSCT Web site.
Easter Seals Project ACTION is hosting an online conference on accessible transportation
Easter Seals Project ACTION and the Transportation Research Board are co-hosting an online conference August 2-5, 2010. The course consists of three 1.5 hour webinars drawn from accessible transportation presentations delivered at the Transportation Research Board’s 89th Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C. in January 2010. Topics to be covered during the course include: accessible taxis, transit technology, public right-of-way accessibility, and transit-oriented development and livable communities. All of the sessions will require Internet access and a telephone connection to fully participate. Registration deadline: July 28.
Sustainable Communities grant funding available for community livability plans
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development and US Department of Transportation have released Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) for two Sustainable Communities competitive grants. HUD and the USDOT are awarding up to $75 million as part of Community Challenge Planning Grants for developing plans, strategies or revision of codes to promote livability. HUD also released notice of a Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant. $100 million in funding is available for two funding categories: Regional Plans for Sustainable Development and Detailed Execution Plans and Programs. Complete NOFAs, application deadlines, eligibility, and local match requirements can be found at the HUD Web site.
Paratransit Dialogue starts July 26—Join the conversation!
Easter Seals Project ACTION will host a two-week, online event during which transportation providers, aging services providers, and human services professionals from across the country will have the opportunity to discuss ADA complementary paratransit, human services paratransit, aging services paratransit, accessible taxi, and volunteer driver programs. Many transportation providers are experiencing challenges and seeking flexible ways to accommodate customers in a time of tight budgets and service cuts. The dialogue takes place July 26 - August 6. Join us this July to share your experiences, paratransit practices, challenges, and recommendations!
EPA Releases Draft FY 2011-2015 Strategic Plan for Public Comment
The Draft FY 2011-2015 EPA Strategic Plan is now available for public review and comment. The Agency's Strategic Plan identifies the measurable environmental and human health outcomes the public can expect over the next five years and describes how the EPA intends to achieve those results.
EPA welcomes comments from all stakeholders. To read and comment on the Draft Strategic Plan, go to http://www.regulations.gov/ (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OA-2010-0486). EPA will use stakeholder feedback to prepare the final FY 2011-2015 EPA Strategic Plan, which will be released by September 30, 2010. Comments must be received on or before July 30, 2010 for consideration.
EPA has also established a Discussion Forum, available at https://blog.epa.gov/strategicplan, to engage with the public on the cross-cutting fundamental strategies and actions the Agency can take to tangibly change the way we work.
I have attached a recently published report, "Transportation: the Silent Need," giving the results of a recent national survey of staff at Area Agencies on Aging. You may want to read the cover letter that I also have attached before looking at the survey. The survey confirms the need for travel training and driver transition as available services.
David Stoyell, Aging Services Specialist Tompkins County Office for the Aging 320 N. Tioga St. Ithaca, NY 14850 phone: 607-274-5492
I also received an email from Katherine Freund from ITN America on June 16, 2010:
Katherine Freund here, from ITNAmerica. I just saw your very nice comment about ITNAmerica (April 2009) on Robin Chase’s blog. Thanks so much. How are you folks doing with ITN development? We have two kinds of matching grants available for New York State. We are actually about to announce them. We have two $50,000 matching grants to start ITN for senior transportation (we’re calling that ITNClassic) and four $25,000 matching grants for a development project, ITNEverywhere, that is suited to rural and small communities that lack the population density for traditional ITN (200,000) or more in a 15 miles radius.
We need to craft an action plan for Senior Transportation.
Volunteer driver programs come in many flavors. GADABOUT has provided demand response service for seniors and people with disabilities since 1978. GADABOUT recruits volunteer drivers to drive paratransit buses. GADABOUT's volunteer drivers receive the same level of training and have the same qualifications as their paid drivers. They both have commercial driver licenses (CDL) and are qualified under NYS regulations (19-A regulations).
Other programs use volunteers who drive their personal car to deliver service. Drivers may receive some reimbursement for mileage. FISH uses this approach to provide rides to Medical appointments in Tompkins County.
RED is a new volunteer driver program to assist families with limited transportation choices in the Ithaca school district get to parent-teacher conferences. RED (stands for Retired Educators Drive) is looking to recruit drivers from the broader educational community (school district plus colleges) who are free to set their level of participation.
RSVP provides an organizational home for FISH and RED. Newly retired people are the prime market for volunteer recruitment. They can link up with volunteer driver programs through RSVP.
ITN-America provides a well developed model for a community volunteer driver program. Their main targets are elderly seniors and persons with disabilities who are no longer able to drive. Their business model includes a car donation program, time banking of volunteer hours, volunteers driving their own cars, 24/7 service availability and a sliding scale for paying for rides.
While volunteer programs require a high maintenance of effort to recruit and maintian a volunteer pool, they offer a way to leverage volunteer time to provide community mobility services. We can invest in tools to help volunteer driver programs operate better, but the real effort comes from dedicated volunteers who deliver valuable community transportation services.
HealthDay published a story on seniors' transition away from driving. The American Medical Association released its "Physician's Guide to Assessing and Counseling Older Drivers".
"For the older population, alternatives to driving are often less than ideal or nonexistent. When faced with the choice of driving unsafely or losing mobility, many risk their safety by continuing to drive."
"Existing forms of transportation clearly need to be optimized for use by older persons. In a telephone survey of 2,422 people 50 and older, ride-sharing was the second most common mode of transportation (after driving); however, nearly a quarter of the survey participants cited feelings of dependency and concerns about imposing as a barrier to use. Public transportation was the usual mode of transportation for fewer than 5 percent of survey participants, with many citing unavailable destinations, problems with accessibility, and fear of crime as barriers to use. Fewer than 5 percent used taxis as their usual mode of transportation due to their high cost.317 Until these barriers are addressed, these forms of transportation will remain inaccessible to many older persons."
Alternatives for senior drivers are needed. Check out ITNAmerica.
Dwight Mengel works in the Tompkins County Department of Social Services as its Chief Transportation Planner.