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Human Services Transportation Coordination

Coordination is about shared responsibility, management, power, and funding. Successful coordination takes time and work, and it involves building relationships with individuals who sometimes are unfamiliar with the missions, objectives, terminology and regulations of agencies other than their own. Differing opinions and perspectives, however, bring depth to decision making and coordination plans.

In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) created a new place at the transportation planning and coordination table for people with disabilities. Requirements in the Act increased cooperation and coordination among various constituencies associated with accessible transportation, such as transit agencies, aging organizations, social services, land-use planning organizations, and the disability community.

Today, many transit systems are working together to increase residents’ mobility options. Although coalition building is not always easy, it yields news ideas and solutions and increases teamwork and the understanding of shared goals. Most importantly, coordination usually results in its intended goal: increased access to transportation options for people with disabilities, older adults and people with limited income.

ESPA Publications:

Expanding Mobility Options for Persons with Disabilities - A Practitioner’s Guide to Community-Based Transportation Planning: A guide that provides a model approach for community-based transportation planning based on a review of common elements in the experiences of 13 communities across the United States.

Including People with Disabilities In Coordinated Transportation Plan: A resource that provides ideas and suggestions for increased involvement by people with disabilities in communities' coordination efforts toward accessible transportation. 

Stories of Changed Lives – The Personal Impact of Transportation Access
: Ten Americans with disabilities describe how transportation contributes to success in their lives. Illustrated, 12 pages.

The New Freedom Program: An Introduction: This four-page guide explains the basics of SAFETEA-LU’s New Freedom Program.

Transit Customer Rights and Responsibilities Bookmark: An easy-to-carry reference guide, this laminated bookmark details the rights guaranteed to transit customers under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the responsibilities passengers have when using community transportation.

You Can Really Go Places: A booklet that introduces people with disabilities to public transportation, basic ADA provisions and the resources of Project ACTION. 

Non-ESPA Publications:

Building Mobility Partnerships for People with Disabilities:
Opportunities for Federal Funding: With its comprehensive list of federal funding opportunities for accessible transportation projects, this reference guide places special emphasis on building partnerships across communities. 

Framework for ACTION: Building the Fully Coordinated Transportation System. Department of Transportation, Coordinating Council on Access & Mobility, Federal Transit Administration, Washington, D.C. (2003) Available at no cost through the ESPA Resource Library.

Report 101: Toolkit for Rural Community Coordinated Transportation Services. Transit Cooperative Research Program (2004) Jon Burkhardt, Charles Nelson, Gail Murray, and David Koffman (1993). *Available for purchase through

Helpful Links:
Federal Transit Administration - FTA administers federal funding to support a variety of locally planned, constructed, and operated public transportation systems throughout the U.S., including buses, subways, light rail, commuter rail, streetcars, monorail, passenger ferry boats, inclined railways, and people movers.

United We Ride- UWR is a federal interagency initiative that supports states and their localities in developing coordinated human service delivery systems. In addition to state coordination grants, UWR provides the Framework for Action transportation coordination and planning self-assessment tool technical assistance.

Federal Coordination Council on Access and Mobility - Established to increase coordinated transportation, CCAM provides regional ambassadors that offer states and territories hands-on technical assistance in the development and implementation of coordinated human service transportation plans. The ambassadors also work to build awareness among decision-makers, service providers, and consumers on key issues related to human service transportation and coordination, including those requirements and opportunities created by SAFETEA-LU.

Community Transportation Association of America Information Station- Through various federally funded national programs, CTAA offers technical assistance and training to help communities increase their transportation options. One of those programs, the National Resource Center for Human Service Transportation Coordination, also sponsors The National Consortium on the Coordination of Human Services Transportation.  The consortium is an alliance of national non-profit organizations and associations dedicated to promoting mobility and the delivery of coordinated human services transportation to all individuals with disabilities, people with low incomes, older adults, and youth.

The Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations - AMPO is a nonprofit, membership organization established in 1994 to serve the needs and interests of metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) nationwide. Federal highway and transit statutes require, as a condition for spending federal highway or transit funds in urbanized areas, the designation of MPOs, which have responsibility for planning, programming, and coordination of federal highway and transit investments.


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