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Thank you for participating in the paratransit dialogue!

On behalf of Easter Seals Project ACTION, thank you for participating in the 2010 ESPA Talks Paratransit Online Dialogue. Although the dialogue is now closed for comment, the Web site will remain active so that you can visit, read through comments, and investigate ideas you may wish to pursue in your own community.

A summary report on topics shared by participants, participant feedback, and statistics from the dialogue is available from ESPA.

If you would like to be notified of future ESPA dialogues, we encourage you to subscribe to our monthly EXTRA email newsletter.

Dialogue Summary
An ESPA Talks Paratransit Online Dialogue was held July 26 - August 6 to mark the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The virtual town hall forum was open to public and private transportation providers, paratransit providers, federal, state, and local transportation professionals, disability services organizations, human services agencies, aging services agencies, volunteer transportation program coordinators, planners, advocates, and policymakers. During the dialogue, participants were asked to submit, comment on, and rate ideas related to paratransit service provision.

Summary Statistics from the Paratransit Dialogue
The paratransit online dialogue had 1163 unique visitors with 287 registered users (a 25% conversion rate) who generated 65 ideas (4.4/participant), providing 187 comments (2.9/idea) and 371 votes (5.7 votes on average per idea). The voting resulted in the following major themes associated with paratransit services:

Theme 1: Improve coordination of services
Theme 2: Promote alternative transportation programs
Theme 3: Bridge the older adult and disability communities.
Theme 4: Improve efficiencies of transportation operations and services
Theme 5: Foster the development of accessible, livable communities
Theme 6: Provide training for riders and require credentialing for instructors
Theme 7: Develop long-term plans and secure adequate funding for transit
Theme 8: Expand paratransit services with partnerships
Theme 9: Enhance transportation services in rural areas
Theme 10: Increase Transportation Options for Older Adults
Theme 11: Support person-directed mobility management
Resources

For more information on transportation resources and technical assistance on all public transportation services, including paratransit, visit our resources page.

Background
Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA) provides training, technical assistance, applied research, and outreach on accessible transportation. ESPA’s mission is to promote universal access to transportation for people with disabilities under federal law and beyond by partnering with transportation providers and the disability community. Social media technology is now allowing us to take these core activities a step farther by hosting dynamic online discussions where participants from across the country can post ideas and practices, share their experiences, and learn from each other in a supportive environment. Easter Seals Project ACTION and the National Academy of Public Administration co-hosted a dialogue on coordinated transportation services in November 2009, and ESPA’s plan is to follow the path set by that successful dialogue by continuing to hold online dialogues on topics of interest to the communities we serve. Members of a project advisory committee provided support and guidance in the development of the paratransit dialogue, and to each of the individuals who served in that capacity, we give our sincere thanks and appreciation!

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