ACL collaborates with FTA/DOT by serving on the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM). One of the goals of the council is to promote interagency cooperation and the establishment of appropriate mechanisms to minimize duplication and overlap of federal programs and services so that transportation disadvantage persons have access to more transportation services. In reference to transportation in rural areas, CCAM is looking at ways to improve transportation through cost sharing which would lead to increased availability, enhanced efficiency, and improved accessibility. CCAM has drafted recommendations for federal Agencies and Congress to take action as part of the FAST Act requirements. Visit CCAM here.
The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) is a program of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) administered by Easterseals and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) with guidance from the Administration for Community Living. NADTC goal is to promote the availability and accessibility of transportation options for older adults, people with disabilities and caregivers.
The National Transportation Accessibility Center (NTAC)
In October 2022, ACL announced a new grant award to develop a National Transportation Accessibility Center (NTAC). The grant of $485,000 over a one-year period has been awarded to the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), which will be partnering with the UMass Boston Institute for Community Inclusion, USAging, and DJB Consulting. NTAC also will work closely with people who need or use transportation services, the transportation sector, and an array of national, state and local organizations throughout the country. This award seeks to expand access to transportation for people with disabilities and older adults by increasing awareness and adoption of transportation accessibility strategies, inclusive planning, and mobility on demand transportation systems.
The NTAC will engage in key activities to develop and promote strategies that make transportation services more accessible for people with disabilities, older adults, family caregivers and others in their support network, including:
- identifying and disseminating successful accessibility strategies;
- developing the National Accessible Transportation Accelerator Network (NATAN);
- identifying and disseminating materials through an ACL-hosted NTAC website; facilitating five communities of practice to increase accessible transportation options for historically marginalized and underserved communities; and
- coordinating with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and ACL transportation-related centers to leverage resources and expand dissemination of effective practices.
NTAC will serve as a national resource and technical assistance center that advances greater awareness, adoption, and use of assistive technology and other strategies that make transportation systems, services, program enrollment locations, websites, and apps accessible and responsive to the needs of people with disabilities and older adults. This project is part of the longstanding ACL and FTA partnership and builds on the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM)’s vision of coordinating the activities of transportation technical assistance resource centers.
Transit Planning 4 All Initiative
Through Transit Planning 4 All, ACL supports the development of convenient, affordable, and accessible transportation options that enable people with disabilities, older adults and caregivers to travel to work, volunteer, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy entertainment, recreational and religious activities. As the nation’s aging population continues to rise, the provision of safe and accessible transportation options remains a top concern of people with disabilities, older adults, caregivers and the communities where they live.
In 2012, ACL in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) launched a "Research and Demonstration Program to Improve Coordinated Transportation Systems for People with Disabilities and Older Adults". The purpose of this program was to identify proven models and approaches that can be used by states and communities across the country to empower people with disabilities and older adults to be actively involved in the design and implementation of coordinated transportation systems that successfully make those systems responsive to the needs of these populations.
- Objectives of the Program
ACL, in collaboration with the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) of Washington, DC, along with the National Association of Area Agencies for Aging, the Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts – Boston, and DJB Evaluations, work to meet the following objectives:
- Establish expanded partnerships with key national organizations and individuals with expertise in planning and developing coordinated transportation systems and with demonstrated experience empowering people with disabilities and older adults to improve systems;
- Maximized consumer input and engagement with people with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers. Those who do not drive and are dependent on transportation systems and programs to engage in community living including working, attending school/college, shopping, participating in social engagements, keeping health care appointments, and other activities;
- Develop a national knowledge sharing network of local/regional/state model projects and national experts to serve as a resource for communities interested in replicating best practices and testing new approaches to achieve the goals of this project;
- Design and commence implementation of a “small grants” demonstration program to community organizations. The purpose is to test the replication of proven best practices as well as new models and approaches to successfully empower people with disabilities and older adults to be actively involved in the planning and implementation of coordinated transportation systems;
- Develop a detailed evaluation program to track and measure the progress and success of demonstration projects; and
- Complete a review of the demonstration projects and disseminate information about best practices.
- Inclusive Mobility on Demand Program (2020)
- The Transit Planning 4 All Project has selected three awardees for its Inclusive Mobility on Demand Grant. The purpose of this funding opportunity is to weave together inclusive transportation planning, development, and implementation with grassroots-driven mobility on demand (MOD) solutions.
- The selected applicants and their planned work are:
- Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (NAIPTA). NAIPTA will be developing a project in an underserved area of Flagstaff to create an on-demand service that will utilize para-transit vehicles, TNCs, and taxis.
- Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). ARC will organize and implement a community-led Mobility on Demand system and transactional data exchange in Clarkston, GA, a small suburb of northeast Atlanta.
- Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). SDOT will implement an inclusively designed Mobility on Demand service providing rides to transit connections throughout the city of Seattle, as well as King County and the broader Puget Sound region./li>
The selected applicants will work to fully engage people with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers in partnership with transportation, planning, and human services organizations to identify, develop, and implement mobility on demand solutions that respond to local transportation barriers and issues and test a standard way of sharing trip data to support coordination and mobility on demand. View the Pathway to Inclusion Tool.
- Previous Projects and Products
The mission of the Transit Planning 4 All is to demonstrate the value that inclusive processes can bring to transportation efforts. This project is developing, testing and demonstrating ways to empower people with disabilities and older adults to be actively involved in designing and implementing coordinated transportation systems.
The project's goal is to support communities nationwide in adopting proven, sustainable, and replicable models that include participation of people with disabilities and older adults in the design and implementation of coordinated transportation systems that are responsive to their needs.
To learn more about previous projects and their outcomes, check out the resources available at the Transit Planning for All website.
The project has developed a guide to inclusive planning. This guide is built from the knowledge and experience gained from the local projects sponsored by the ACL-funded Transit Planning 4 All program. This is a brief step-by-step introduction to the inclusive planning process. It is our belief that thoughtful and sincere inclusive planning leads to better programs.
In addition the project has developed the “Pathway to Inclusion,” a graphic tool that organizations can use to distinguish between the types of active and meaningful inclusive activities in their programs and their communities. Through inclusive discussions with program participants, partners, and stakeholders using the Pathway, organizations can conduct balanced, well-informed, consistent reviews to determine a projects overall placement on the Pathway at specific time intervals. The purpose of inclusive activities is to lead to improvements in program planning, operations and services, as shown at the top of the Pathway.
ACL Transportation Listening Session Summary Report
ACL partners with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Transit Agency, states, community organizations, technical assistance centers, national organizations, and others to ensure that the needs of older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers are explicitly understood and addressed as it relates to transportation services and systems. To that end, ACL conducted a virtual one-hour listening session on December 14, 2021. The session sought input on the transportation needs, experiences, and barriers of people with disabilities, older adults, and their caregivers. The session also explored the most impactful solutions and strategies ACL can use to improve transportation services over the next 5 years as well as how to reach and serve historically marginalized communities and underserved populations.