Monday, October 13, 2014

Making Transportation More Accessible to Those With Special Needs

Most of us don't usually put much thought into how we're going to get where we're going each day. It's not so easy though for those who are elderly, disabled, too young to drive or just choose not to drive. There are many challenges they face, including:

  • Lack of public transit services in rural areas
  • Lack of transportation services to medical services
  • Broken or missing sections of sidewalk
  • Snowy and Icy sidewalks
  • Lack of transportation options outside of Spokane Transit's service area
  • Limited service hours for Spokane Transit buses
  • Many others

Every couple years SRTC updates the Spokane County Coordinated Public Transit – Human Services Transportation Plan (HSTP), a plan to improve transportation services for people with disabilities, youth, older adults, and individuals with lower incomes. The plan provides guidance to aid communities, agencies and service providers in coordinating transportation resources provided through federal and state programs.

The HSTP includes an inventory of services that provide transportation, common origins and destinations for persons with special transportation needs, an assessment of transportation issues and “gaps” in the system, and implementation strategies for addressing those gaps.

Now what's needed is input on the HSTP. Did we accurately assess all the issues and challenges "vulnerable" folks are coming up against in regards to transportation? Are the strategies to address these issues realistic and appropriate to the situation? Are there possible solutions we overlooked?

We would appreciate it if you could attend a public open house and let us know on Tuesday, Oct. 14 from 4-6 p.m. You can stop by anytime between those hours and stay as long or as short as you'd like. The open house will be in the SRTC office at 221 W. 1st Ave. Suite 310.

If you'd like to check out the Spokane County Coordinated Public Transit- Human Services Transportation Plan 2014 Update in advance, use this link.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.