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Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook (2014)

Chapter: Chapter 4 - How to Information

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 4 - How to Information." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2014. Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/22299.
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23 “How to” Information This chapter provides answers to some fundamental and frequently asked questions about travel training. These questions should be useful to most travel training programs whether they are just starting or have been under way for some time: • Why get involved with travel training? • What travel skills will you teach? • What is an effective travel training program? • How do you set up an effective travel training program in your community? • What are the resources needed for an effective and sustain- able travel training program? • How do you get those resources? • How can you establish and implement programs to train and support travel trainers? • What’s needed to account for your expenses? • How do you measure the benefits of travel training? • How do you set up an effective outreach, education, and marketing program? • What tools and techniques are useful? • What are some obstacles that your travel training program might encounter? How can you deal with them? • How can you integrate travel training with mobility man- agement efforts? Why Get Involved with Travel Training? The short answer is because travel training for older adults creates many benefits for individuals and organizations, and these benefits are significantly greater than the costs. In fact, as previously mentioned, the list of benefits is long and exten- sive. Individual travelers can realize increased mobility and independence and less social isolation, and public transpor- tation providers can expect financial benefits. The numerous benefits travel training provides for indi- vidual travelers include the following: • Increased tripmaking, short term and long term, leading to enhanced mobility. • Improved travel attributes, such as greater flexibility with times of travel, no need to make advance reservations, and less dependence on family and friends for rides. • Quality of life improvements, such as aging in place, get- ting out more often, and freedom to travel spontaneously, according to individual needs or desires. • Personal development, such as increased confidence in travel abilities and more control over one’s own activities and schedule. • Economic benefits like lower cost for riders and avoiding the costs of nursing homes. The benefits to the transit providers can be quite substantial: • There can be substantial cost savings to the transit agency if travel training can encourage paratransit riders to use fixed route services instead of the paratransit services. • Travel training can benefit transit agencies by increasing the use of public transit and contributing to a mobility options philosophy (providing people with more options). • A travel training program can also result in more space on paratransit vehicles for riders who have no other transit options. Benefits like these are likely to have even more relevance in the future. As discussed in Chapter 2, the number of older adults (age 65 and older) is expected to grow from about 40 mil- lion in 2011 (13 percent of the population) to about 87 million in 2050 (about 21 percent of the population). This growth will be even more dramatic for people age 85 and older. The growth of the older population is likely to increase the numbers of people who have some difficulty in providing C H A P T E R 4

24 their own transportation. Certain age-related health condi- tions can make safe driving more difficult. Many older adults are not familiar with the benefits of traveling by public trans- portation or with the procedures and requirements for using fixed route public transit services. Training older people to use transit services has the potential to help older adults who cannot or choose not to drive maintain mobility and quality of life. What Travel Skills Will You Try to Promote? There are numerous skills that an individual needs to suc- cessfully travel using public transportation. The following lists include some necessary individual characteristics; if an individual does not have these skills before travel train- ing begins, he/she should certainly have them by the end of training. A successful trainee should be able to demonstrate competence in at least these areas at the end of the training process: • Crosses streets safely. • Identifies and boards the correct vehicle in his or her chosen mode of transportation • Problem-solves: – Demonstrates decision-making skills. – Handles unexpected situations or problems. • Follows directions. • Independently initiates action. • Maintains appropriate behavior: – Interacts appropriately with strangers. • Recognizes and avoids dangerous situations and obstacles. • Handles unexpected situations or problems. • Asks for assistance and requests help from appropriate sources. A successful travel training program for older adults should teach the participant how to plan a trip and use public transportation. • Plan a trip: – Identify transportation options. – Understand route maps, stops, schedules, and landmarks. • Use public transportation: – Get to and from bus stops safely. – Buy and use fare media. – Get on and off the bus safely. – Pay fares and purchase passes. – Ride a specific route. – If necessary, ask for help from the driver or other passengers. – Transfer to other buses. What Makes an Effective Travel Training Program? Effective travel training programs for older adults can be complex to design and deliver, but they should be simple and understandable to older travel trainees. To be effective, pro- grams should contain the following elements: 1. Philosophy, vision, and mission: First focus on customer service. 2. Focus on individual abilities and learning patterns. 3. Professional, well-trained staff. 4. Well-developed travel training curricula. 5. Strong program partners—including public transit systems. 6. Community outreach and education. 7. A budget and a program for tracking expenses incurred. 8. A program for tracking the results of travel training completed. 9. Outcome measures for individuals and the program as a whole. 10. Stable and sustainable funding. Philosophy, Vision, and Mission Focused on Customer Service First Travel training programs should be designed to serve older adults, with savings in public transportation costs being a result, but not the primary objective of the training program. A central element should be a social services model of ser- vice delivery, meaning a central focus on meeting the needs of older adults and the skills they require to remain active, mobile, and independent, and to age in place. Transportation cost savings will result, but should not be the primary goal of a travel training program. So, take time at the beginning or when re-assessing a program to develop a vision for the pro- gram and determine how the mission will fulfill the vision. Individual Abilities and Learning Patterns Effective travel training has a strong individual focus, mean- ing that training programs should be closely tailored to the needs and abilities of those people being trained. The Kennedy Center created a list of the 15 keys to effective travel training: 1. Always keep safety as the foremost concern. 2. Be sensitive to learning needs, styles, and patterns. 3. Involve the consumer in his or her own travel training program. 4. Structure the lesson plan sequence so that each succeed- ing task is built on previous successes. 5. Keep the training steps short and simple.

25 6. Check to see that the trainee has understood the explana- tions by asking for restatement or demonstration. 7. Take cues from the trainee as to the speed and conditions of training. 8. Use the natural helping network to reinforce skill attain- ment and provide encouragement. 9. Turn what may be negative occurrences in public transit travel into positive travel training learning experiences. 10. Make proper use of psychological motivators to travel independently. 11. Communicate a positive acceptance of the consumer, regardless of success or failure during the travel training lessons. 12. Foster independence, but remain an advocate. 13. Be patient. 14. Keep a sense of humor. 15. Make the learning process fun. Professional, Well-Trained Staff The travel training program should be staffed with profes- sionals who understand a social services model of program delivery and the travel needs of older adults. They should have the ability to evaluate travel training candidates and be able to recommend appropriate training, whether that train- ing is for fixed route or paratransit service. The travel training program should provide regular learning updates and perfor- mance evaluations. Well-Developed Travel Training Curricula Travel training curricula should be developed and organized to serve the diversity of travel training needs present among older adults. Curricula need to encompass individual, group, and follow-up or refresher training. While group training may be sufficient for some people, other older adults will require individualized training, tailored to their capabilities, experience, environment, and the trip destinations they need to reach. Some travel trainees may require periodic retraining. Such training is essential for older adults to continue to benefit from the use of fixed route or paratransit service, as services or senior capabili- ties may change. Many of the travel training programs reviewed for this study have travel training curricula available. Strong Program Partners—Including Public Transit Systems The first program partner should be the organization that sponsors the travel training program. Program partners are essential to success. Partners include public transit systems if the travel training program is set up outside the public transit sys- tem. Whether inside or outside a public transit system, program partners should include human services agencies that provide services to older adults, organizations that advocate for older adults, and places where older adults gather. Community Outreach and Education Broad community support matters, from local governments that serve and care about older adults in their community to the general citizenry who take pride in their community. Out- reach and education begins with program partners, so they fully understand the program, how it operates, and how older adults and the community may benefit. Outreach is important to other community organizations that may help older adults become aware of the travel training opportunities. Outreach also builds support within the business community. Planning for and Tracking Expenses The most effective programs do the following: • Plan for the coming year’s expenses. • Record all expenses related to travel training. • Record the immediate results of their training efforts: – Numbers of training sessions held and persons trained should be recorded. – Results should be tracked separately by mode of training (orientation, group training, and one-on-one training). • Record and report the long-term results of travel training efforts, such as changes (if any) for older adults in these areas: – Numbers of trips taken. – Patterns of use of fixed route transit and ADA paratransit services. – Travel costs. – Satisfaction with travel services. – Social connectedness. • Record and report the long-term results of their training efforts, such as changes (if any) for each travel mode for transportation providers: – Overall numbers of trips taken. – Overall costs. – Rates of growth in expenses. These topics are discussed in detail in subsequent sections. Tracking the Results of Travel Training Completed with Older Adults Measuring results is important for a number of reasons, including documenting the benefits that older adults achieve. Benefits can be measured in a number of ways. Surveys of travel trainees can measure benefits of training immediately upon completion of training and at 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month

26 intervals. Equally important are program results, including benefits reported by trainees who are older adults. In addi- tion, program results should report the costs of providing travel training services and the resulting transportation costs that are saved as a result of increased use of fixed route transit services by older adults. Individual and Program Outcome Measures Outcome measures should focus on measuring individual results and overall program results. Measuring individual results shows the direct benefits to trainees. Measuring pro- gram results shows aggregate benefits to older adult train- ees and mea sures the effectiveness of the program overall, including cost savings for public transportation and other providers. Demonstrated cost savings are likely to be critical to obtaining sustained funding for the travel training pro- gram, and documentation of savings will help to obtain this funding. Detailed documentation of program results will be vital to obtaining continuing funding. Stable and Sustainable Funding Sustainable funding is critical to support a successful travel training program, which will incur expenses for staffing, sup- porting materials, equipment and services, facilities, and gen- eral operating support. (See the section titled “What’s Needed to Account for Your Expenses?” for a list of the components in a detailed financial chart of accounts for expenses.) A strong travel training program will achieve savings in paratransit service costs by shifting paratransit rides to fixed route ser- vices. Additional farebox revenues can accrue to public tran- sit systems from older adults who never used transit before but now ride fixed route service. With such results, sustain- able travel training programs generate financial benefits that exceed the costs of travel training. How Do You Set Up an Effective Travel Training Program in Your Community? Setting up a travel training program for older adults requires a sequence of steps that help establish the details of the pro- gram and confirm the support and participation of key com- munity stakeholders. A series of seven steps, described in the following paragraphs, should lead to a viable program. Establish a Mission Statement and Set Goals When setting up a travel training program, it is important to develop a mission statement of what you are trying to accom- plish and to set goals. Be sure that your goals are achievable and measurable. Contact other travel training programs and ask what they did to get started, what funding was needed to get started, and how many hours were needed to start and run a program. Keep asking: you’ll find that travel training pro- fessionals are eager to share their experiences and advice. It is important to reach out to programs in communities that have similar characteristics to your community and that could face similar challenges. Reaching out to experts who have been working in travel training is a great way to help determine what will work for your community. Several travel training pro- grams offer consulting services on how to start a travel train- ing program. Learning from peers will give you new ideas and new perspectives of what goes into a travel training program. Gather Stakeholders After establishing your mission statement and goals, it is important to gather stakeholders in your community. This could be done by establishing a working group or some other administrative structure that meets the needs of your com- munity. The stakeholders in your community could include the transit organization or organizations, senior living facili- ties, and other senior-oriented organizations. At this point, it is important to set measurable objectives and a realistic timeline for program implementation and possibly modify the mission statement that was initially created. Design the Travel Training Program Analyze existing and potential local conditions, including demographics, spatial distributions, transportation services and areas they serve, potential program partners, and how the pri- vate sector can support and contribute to your program. Design alternative options; assess them and find the best option or options. When designing a program, ask other program opera- tors what types of forms they prefer to use, what they would do if they could do something differently, and how they involved their community with the travel training program. There are many successful travel training programs and models, and understanding what difficulties and successes your peers have had can help you create a successful travel training program in your community. Using these resources and your own experi- ence, develop a written travel training procedures manual that customizes travel training for your community. (Information about in-depth travel training manuals is provided in Appendi- ces A and B.) It is important to create a program that is flexible and scalable based on need and budget restraints. Confirm Funding Create a budget that suites your community’s resources and needs. Identify funding sources and obtain funding for your travel training program. It is important to determine how

27 many travel trainers your agency can afford and how much demand there is for travel training in your community. After the program begins, you will probably need to create outreach and promotion activities for the travel training program in order to maintain or increase an appropriate level of fund- ing, obtain the continued support of established supporters of your program, and develop new supporters and funders. Establish Administrative and Other Procedures Establish data collection systems and administrative proto- cols and develop forms to capture key program data. You will need information about the participants who use the program and what happened to them as a result of their training. You will need to record items such as the hours needed to train individuals and all of the expenses associated with your pro- gram. Care should be taken to record all benefits associated with your program for all individuals and groups who ben- efited. To the extent possible, information should be recorded in quantitative terms. It is important for data to be collected in similar formats to capture key information; this will help to measure your success in future years. To determine program benefits and to provide information for improving the pro- gram, it is equally important to establish procedures for how these data will be summarized on a regular basis. Conduct a Pilot Test Before implementing the program that was developed by the stakeholders, pilot test the program by offering it to older adults and collecting information on expenses and outcomes. After the pilot test is completed, evaluate the outcomes of the pilot test and make necessary modifications, if any. Evaluate the Outcomes and Modify Goals and Activities as Needed Establish formal methods for obtaining data on the inputs and outputs of your travel training program. Create feedback loops from the stakeholders and from the customers and use them to assess your initial goals and plans. Create continuous improvement cycles to refine and improve your program. What Resources Are Needed for an Effective and Sustainable Travel Training Program? What Does It Cost to Provide Travel Training for an Older Adult? Cost per person trained in travel training programs would certainly be a useful measure for comparing and contrasting travel training programs, but cost information is not currently available for specific individual components of travel training programs such as one-on-one training (very expensive), group training (relatively low cost), or orientations (very low cost). In addition, training costs are not currently separated between persons with disabilities and older adults. Also, not all travel training programs are recording the same expenses in a con- sistent fashion, making all currently available cost per person comparisons considerably less precise than would be desired. Currently reported travel training costs, which are averages including all types of training and all types of persons, range from a little more than $300 to more than $1,500 per person. Funding for Travel Training Travel training funding has historically come from a lim- ited number of sources. The most common source is local funding, but the federal Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) legislation has provided the bulk of funding in most commu- nities through five FTA programs: • Urbanized Area Formula Grants (S. 5307). • Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas (S. 5311). • Transportation for Elderly Persons and Persons with Dis- abilities (S. 5310). • Job Access and Reverse Commute Program (JARC) (S. 5316), and • New Freedom Program (S. 5317). The funds for SAFETEA-LU continue for 3 years after their authorization; because the last year of SAFETEA-LU was 2012, these funds will remain available until 2015. With the passage of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) the funding sources changed dramatically. While travel train- ing is still an eligible expense, the categorical programs were consolidated: • The JARC program (S. 5316) was eliminated and JARC fund- ing is now available under Urbanized Area Formula Grants (S. 5307) and Rural Area Formula Grants (S. 5311). • The 5317 New Freedom funds were eliminated, but New Freedom terminology was added to the S. 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities pro- gram. Thus, 55 percent of the program funding is available for traditional S. 5310 programs; 45 percent is available for projects that would have formerly been funded by S. 5317. • Funds for the S. 5310 program increased, but there is increased demand on the S. 5310 funds with the addition of New Freedom eligibility, the requirement that 55 percent of the funds be used for capital purposes, and the change from a state-administered program to include locally administered programs in urbanized places of 200,000 persons or more.

28 Travel training still remains an eligible project expense for S. 5310 funds. As a result of these changes, the FTA resources now avail- able for Travel Training are as follows: • SAFETEA-LU 2012 funds that will be eligible until 2015. • MAP-21 funds, available starting in 2013: – S. 5310—Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities. – S. 5307—Urbanized Area Formula Grants. – S. 5311—Formula Grants for Rural Areas. Transit Authorities, nonprofit agencies, and public agencies can also consider the following options for their travel training programs: 1. Local funding. 2. State funding—since every state is different, the agencies should check with their own state contacts. 3. Community Development Block Grants may be another potential resource, although they are not currently used for travel training very often. Financial and Staff Resources The 20 case studies conducted to develop this Handbook demonstrate the variety of financial and staff resources devoted to travel training in different communities. Most of the case study programs serve both individuals with disabilities and seniors with disabilities, and often serve older adults who may not have a disability. As such the programs may have found it difficult to identify the portion of their budget dedicated to senior travel training. As noted earlier, because both record- ing and reporting procedures differ substantially from site to site, the information reported by the sites may not be directly comparable, and some caution is required in interpreting the various reports. • The Kennedy Center (Connecticut) and NJTIP (New Jer- sey), operating very similar program models serving large geographic areas within their states, spend about 13 to 15 percent of their budgets ($434,000 and $823,000, respec- tively) on senior travel training. Both programs have one travel trainer who specializes in training seniors. Neither program uses volunteers. Both programs get grants from statewide entities to offer senior travel training in specific areas of the state. • Ride Connection’s RideWise program in Portland, Oregon, spends $480,000 per year on its travel training program. In addition, RideWise uses 40 volunteers who contrib- ute almost 1,300 hours per year leading group trips, co- presenting senior training, serving as transit advocates, or participating as work group members. • In Chicago, Illinois, the Regional Transportation Author- ity (RTA) travel training program has the largest reported training budget and the largest reported number of per- sons trained. This program’s expenses of about $855,000 include services to both individuals with disabilities and senior adults. Its report of expenses is comprehensive. The RTA travel training program staff includes a manager, the travel training coordinator, five travel trainers, and con- tracted travel trainers. Until early 2013, all trainees were ADA eligible. The RTA now reaches out to all seniors and people with disabilities who are interested in travel training. As with other programs, the state is a major funding source. Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind helps train individuals with visual impairments. • Paratransit, Inc. in Sacramento, California, has a budget of about $535,000, and supplements its budget with rev- enue from providing travel training program management and consulting services to other communities. Revenue for the program comes from vendor agreements with the ACRC and the California State DOR, which both pay an hourly rate for training their clients. Additional funding comes from a New Freedom grant, a JARC grant, and from the South Area TMA. • Via Mobility Services, a Colorado nonprofit community organization, provides travel training services with funding from Boulder County, the City of Boulder, the DRMAC, the RTD, the United Way, and the Rose Foundation. Many of these latter sources provide funding to the overall Via Mobility Services, which then allocates them among its many programs. Via Mobility Services has received con- tracts with the Colorado DOT for travel training. It reports spending $145,000 a year on salaries, fringes, supplies, out- reach, and other expenses. • Riverside, California’s Freedom to Go travel training pro- gram has three full-time travel trainers, one of whom is the travel training supervisor. Each of the travel trainers focuses on different segments of the population, with one of the three trainers focused on older adults. The annual budget for the entire program (including services to non-senior populations) is about $212,000. Funding for the Freedom to Go program is provided from federal JARC and New Freedom funds, and local and state matching funds. Only three of the programs are in traditional transit agencies, and the Chicago RTA is not an operating agency. The private nonprofit nature of the other agencies shows the social services aspects of the programs. There is a strong reliance on partnerships and working with other social ser- vices agencies to promote and market the travel training services.

29 Staff Qualifications Competent staff members who excel in customer service are key to program success. A common theme voiced by travel training staff was that the personal qualities of trainers are often more important than job experience or background, although several programs have had substantial success employing train- ers with a social services background. As previously mentioned, the travel trainers must enjoy working with people, must be confident in what they do, and must be able to connect with participants. Personal traits of trainers such as empathy, likabil- ity, respect, patience, and kindness are central to this ability. (See “Hiring Travel Trainers with the Right Personal Qualities” in Chapter 3 for more information on this topic.) Volunteers can play a critical role in reaching out to the wider community, especially when resources are scarce. For example, RideWise and its partners also see significant benefits accruing to the volunteers who are involved in the program. Partner agencies report high levels of satisfaction among the volunteers who work with the RideWise program. The peer- to-peer volunteer model was seen as an important component of a successful program. Summary All of the 20 programs that were investigated have resource needs and resources that are very specific to local conditions. Beyond these factors, specific program designs dictate the resources necessary for implementation. How Can You Establish and Implement Programs to Train and Support Travel Trainers? Travel trainers require a range of skills to train older adults to use public transportation service independently and suc- cessfully. Travel training programs should focus on preparing trainers to provide trainees with the knowledge and skills to plan travel and make independent decisions to travel safely. The following standards should underlie the travel training program: 1. The travel training program must have clear goals. 2. Training staff and implementing training should be com- pleted with the end outcomes in mind—giving customers the capabilities they need, promoting self-sufficiency, and facilitating suitable and efficient travel experiences for a particular individual. 3. While group travel training can introduce seniors to pub- lic transportation, successful sustained use of public trans- portation often requires customized, one-on-one training to meet an individual’s needs. • The two key components are (1) design of the travel training program and (2) staffing. 4. Stability and sustainability of funding are critically important. 5. Travel trainers should possess the following: • High level of education and experience—college degree, experience working with target trainees, or combination of education and experience. Experience need not be in travel training alone or working for a public transpor- tation system. Work in a social services setting is highly valuable. It is very important for travel trainers to under- stand and connect with their customers, their life cir- cumstances, and how travel training may improve their quality of life. • Demonstrated knowledge of and ability to travel inde- pendently and safely on the public transportation system themselves. • Good judgment on the preparedness of trainees to learn and travel. • Empathy and patience for trainees, the challenges that trainees face, and the uncertainties that they often feel. • Excellent oral communication skills. It is extremely important that solid, working relationships exist among the local public transportation system and the social services community, especially those agencies provid- ing services to and advocating for older adults. These relation- ships may take time to build, but not building them may well compromise the success level that a travel training program achieves. Travel training programs can be housed effectively in a public transportation agency or outside as a program of one or more social services agencies. The programs developed by Easter Seals Project ACTION and United We Ride represent excellent models from which to establish standards for staff training and for implementing pro- grams to train and support for travel trainers. Other organiza- tions that may have a focus on seniors, such as well-established travel training programs and organizations like the Association of Travel Instruction, will also have valuable models. What’s Needed to Account for Your Expenses? Extensive information is available on budgeting and cost accounting. For example, see TCRP Report 144: Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation, and also Financial Management Guidelines for Rural and Small Urban Public Transportation Providers. The main reason for monitoring the program’s finances and the rest of its operations is to do a better job, which means getting better performance results from existing, often limited, resources. To do that, the program will need to keep track of

30 its expenses, revenues, and the results of its actions. (Program results are discussed in the next section.) All of this informa- tion serves as a basis for informed management decisions about day-to-day operations and longer term issues about modifying policies, procedures, and processes. Working with Budgets This process starts with developing a budget. A budget is a forecast of future revenues and of the costs of the resources necessary to produce these revenues. It can be considered a plan of action for the coming months and years, and can be a useful tool in determining the direction of the organization as well as monitoring and controlling its results. The first main benefit from preparing a budget is that it forces management staff to sit down and formally plan what they want and expect to happen in the future. Various alterna- tives can be considered during the budgeting process, including curtailing or eliminating certain services, extending profitable services, adding new services, raising or lowering the rates being charged, and decreasing certain expenses. Establishing a budget requires completion of the following six steps 1. Analyzing the goals and objectives of the organization and its programs. 2. Estimating revenues and direct expenses for each program. 3. Estimating overhead costs. 4. Estimating general funding revenue. 5. Explicitly listing major assumptions used to prepare the budget. 6. Pulling it all together into a budget form. Revenues and expenses budgeted should be regularly com- pared to actual amounts received and spent; monthly reviews are typically recommended for optimal financial control. Accounting for Costs As described in TCRP Report 144: Sharing the Costs of Human Services Transportation, “the accounting approach recommended and used by successful business operations and transportation systems is called full cost accounting. Using full cost accounting means that all costs of providing transporta- tion services are considered, and that all the different kinds of expenses incurred are recorded. The total costs include any commitment of or use of time, money, physical resources, and other assets of the system used in the accomplishment of program objectives. In full cost accounting, a value is given to these commitments whether or not they result in immedi- ate out-of-pocket expenditures (for example, the value of the time provided by volunteer drivers). . . . The primary reason for using full cost accounting is that all costs must be paid sooner or later by someone.” A detailed financial chart of accounts is one of the most important components of cost accounting. The chart of accounts can track all kinds of expenses related to provid- ing travel training, transportation services, or other program components. A key element of the chart of accounts is the establishment of expenditure classes. For public programs in general, and travel training programs in particular, detailed expense classes should include the following: • Labor. • Fringe benefits. • Purchased transportation. • Contracted services. • Materials and supplies. • General administrative expenses (including indirect orga- nizational costs, if applicable). • Utilities. • Casualty and liability costs. • Taxes. • Miscellaneous expenses. • Leases and rentals. • Capital expenses. • Depreciation and amortization. Each expense category should have detailed subcategories. For example, some transportation operators have separate expense categories for salaries paying for training or overtime. Used together, the 13 categories of expenses fully describe all costs of travel training services. At this point in time, travel training programs employ significantly different charts of accounts; this makes program-to-program cost and outcome comparisons too difficult to confidently conduct. Industry- wide standards for cost accounting are clearly needed. How Do You Measure the Benefits of Travel Training? Measuring the results—the benefits—of a travel train- ing program is essential to support older adults who have been trained, attract others who may need training, achieve sustainable funding, and build broad stakeholder and com- munity support. Benefits of Travel Training As previously mentioned, training older adults to use fixed route service provides a range of benefits: • For older adults: – Increased tripmaking, resulting in better mobility. – Improved travel—greater flexibility on where and when to go; less dependence on paratransit and others; more choices in destinations.

31 – Independence and quality of life—social connections. – Lower cost of travel compared to paratransit. • For public transit systems: – Reduced use of paratransit service, resulting in cost sav- ings (cost avoidance). – Higher use of fixed route service compared to other modes (increased fixed route ridership; reduced or not increasing ADA paratransit ridership). – More effective use of fixed route services (increased fixed route ridership). It is important to recognize that some of the benefits occur upon completion of training, while others take time to emerge and others yet are of a long-term nature. In the design of a travel training program, it is essential to anticipate what the benefits will be and to build the information base to measure the benefits. Methods for Measuring Benefits To measure benefits, information is needed prior to the start of training, during training, and at intervals after train- ing. In addition to providing information to measure ben- efits, periodic contact with trained seniors enables trainers to periodically assess current travel behavior, uncover issues with travel, and conduct refresher training to enable more frequent travel. Benefits Can Be Measured by the Following Methods • Interviews and assessments before training is started and upon completion of training. • Written surveys at periodic intervals following completion of training—at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and twice a year thereafter. • Tripmaking behavior can be measured with electronic fare media, such as that used in Riverside, California, and Spo- kane, Washington, designed to track the specific trips as they are made. Interviews and Assessments Interview and assessment questions are designed into forms that are filled out before, during, and upon com- pletion of training. Forms for keeping records of training should be designed to support the collection of data that will document results and benefits. To accurately measure the changes that travel training can produce, it is impor- tant to have detailed records of how trainees traveled before their training, such as how many trips they took on which modes, how much those trips cost, and desired trips that they could not take. Surveys Surveys may be completed via a telephone interview or as a mail-back survey. A telephone interview is preferred as it provides an opportunity for a travel trainer to talk to a trainee and form a judgment about the riding behavior of a senior trainee and decide whether or not to offer refresher training. Results of surveys can be reported individually. The data can be aggregated to document overall travel training impacts and results. Follow-up survey forms should be designed to document changes since pre-assessment and completion of training as documented in forms and records. Electronic Fare Media Older adults who have been trained may be issued elec- tronic fare media encoded to create data records for specific seniors as they travel. The electronic media is typically issued to seniors who receive a free pass to ride following comple- tion of training. This [electronic fare media] is a great opportu- nity to quantify benefits and should be encour- aged wherever possible. Annette Williams, San Francisco MTA How the Benefits Are Determined The best programs collect information from program par- ticipants at regular intervals. They also maintain files on indi- vidual participants. The programs typically collect information from participants at least twice a year by directly contacting the participants. Several of the programs contacted participants through four phone calls over the course of the first year at 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months after training was completed. Follow-up calls usually focused on the use of transportation, problems identified, any need for retraining, and additional support needed, if any. Use of transit was usu- ally self-reported; Riverside RTA’s use of electronic tracking was an exception. Mail surveys are used in some circumstances. Ride Connection conducts satisfaction surveys of participants 1 year after they start participating in any of that agency’s programs. The Kennedy Center conducts follow-ups for one-on-one training participants at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months post-completion. • The Kennedy Center Exit Summary Report includes details on services, outcomes expected and achieved, reasons for exit (presumably including completion of program),

32 recommendations for future Kennedy Center Services, and referral to other non-Kennedy Center Services. • The 6-month follow-up collects outcomes of the referral, feedback on services received and how they can be improved, current status pertaining to goals, and a determination of whether further services are needed. • The 12-month travel training follow-up collects infor- mation on whether or not the individuals still use public transportation, whether they need additional training, the cost of their transportation per week, explanations if they are not using public transportation, the biggest difference for them as a result of travel training, the num- ber of round trips they take in an average month, and whether or not they have people in their network that travel with them or assist them with travel. These follow- ups are filed in participant case records, but the program has not summarized outcomes for all individuals in the program. For one-on-one training efforts, each trainee usually has specific goals developed for each training effort and the train- ers monitor progress. Ongoing assessments are common. Travel trainers and the travel training staff often see partici- pants that they have trained using public transportation after they have been trained. Assessing Benefits and Costs Recording and Reporting Costs Most travel training programs that have estimated the ben- efits of travel training find that these benefits substantially outweigh the costs of the programs. A good place to start in the estimation process is to obtain an accurate count of the costs of the program. Program costs should be reported as shown in the “Accounting for Costs” section in this chapter. As noted there, all program costs—labor, benefits, adminis- tration, facilities, and everything else—need to be recorded and reported. Are there additional costs associated with greater use of fixed route transit by older adults? In most instances, no changes are made to fixed route services to accommodate older adults who have been travel trained, so the marginal costs of these addi- tional passengers on the fixed routes is zero. Benefits of Travel Training The majority of the benefits of travel training have not yet been successfully expressed in monetary terms. These include significant benefits such as increased access and mobility that may open up countless opportunities for cost savings and income generation; and aging in place with its potential for cost savings through fewer nursing home placements, reduced isolation, and increased life satisfaction. While additional research will be needed before such ben- efits can be quantified and monetized, they can be described as follows: • Reductions in travel costs for customers who previously used ADA paratransit and now use fixed route services for those trips. • Reductions in costs to transit agencies from a decrease (or a reduction in the rate of increase) in paratransit trips. • Increased income to transit providers from older adults who now make more trips using fixed route services. At the time of submission of this report, many transit agen- cies incurred costs for each paratransit trip from more than $20 to more than $50. Typically, a trip on fixed route transit costs from $3 to $5. The costs of ADA paratransit services are highly sensitive to the numbers of trips taken; the costs of fixed route transit services are not very sensitive to the numbers of trips taken. When a transit agency is able to shift trips from paratransit to fixed route services, they can achieve a substan- tial cost avoidance, often in the realm of $30 or more per trip. To the extent that travel training for older adults can achieve this shift in travel mode, it can result in a substantial financial benefit for the transit agency. The other monetary benefits are small in relation to those achieved by shifting rides from ADA paratransit operations to fixed route services, but they are still significant to those parties realizing those benefits. The diversion of trips from ADA paratransit to fixed route service requires careful accounting. An accurate count, as opposed to an estimate, would require that the number of trips on ADA paratransit and fixed route service be known before and after travel training for those individuals who have completed travel training. As noted earlier, electronic records of tripmaking are attractive because they are not as labor- intensive as other options for obtaining these data. Benefit/Cost Ratios The largest travel training programs contacted for this study spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel train- ing for older adults and persons with disabilities and achieve millions of dollars in benefits. Ride Connection reported that its RideWise program has a 3 to 1 benefit/cost ratio; NJTIP reported a benefit/cost ratio of about 1.2 to 1. The cost avoid- ance in Sacramento for all trainees has been calculated to be more than $20 million over the last 17 years. In Spokane, the STA Mobility Training program has allowed the transit pro- vider to avoid or defer nearly 32,000 ADA paratransit trips per year, resulting in a cost avoidance of $633,989 per year. These programs typically calculate benefits and costs over a 1-year

33 period at the most; cost savings can logically be expected to accrue for years after travel training, so these estimates are quite conservative. The simple model of the ratio of benefits to costs as a result of travel training is thus Benefits ÷ costs = benefit/cost ratio, where Benefits = Reductions in travel cost for customers who used to use ADA paratransit and now use fixed route services for those trips plus Reductions in costs to transit agencies from the decrease in paratransit trips among persons who were travel trained plus Increased income to transit providers from older adults who were travel trained and now make more trips using fixed route services, and Costs = Cost of the travel training program plus Additional fixed route transit costs (if any) incurred as a result of having former ADA paratransit riders using fixed route transportation. There are many additional factors that could be included in the overall equation if data were available to support their inclusion. If trainees achieve greater independence, less time and direct expense is required from caregivers who then less frequently need to provide transportation or other services. Benefits of increased mobility include these: • Wider ranges of purchasing and income-producing capa- bilities (both of which have secondary benefits to the community). • Increased access to medical facilities, which reduces long- term health care costs. • Increased social interaction and increased ability to age in place, both of which lead to improved quality of life, increased life satisfaction, and reduced nursing home admittance, all leading to reduced care costs for older adults. More attempts are being made these days to monetize such benefits, but overall consensus on exact measurements is cur- rently lacking. For the moment, the above equation repre- sents a quite conservative estimate of the benefits; the true benefits of travel training are likely to be much larger than can be measured at this time. How Do You Set Up an Effective Outreach, Education, and Marketing Program? Outreach, partnership development, and marketing rep- resent the most important ways that communities, agencies, and advocates learn about travel training programs. This is most important in introducing a new program and maintain- ing an existing program as professional staff changes require keeping new leadership and supporters fully informed and committed to the travel training program. All travel training programs should have key program partners. These partners are agencies that are committed to helping older adults be in a position to maintain their inde- pendence and quality of life. They offer strong services to seniors themselves. The stronger the relationship with pro- gram partners, the better: they are the first line of custom- ers. Clarity and focus is very important. Share with program partners your commitment to older adults and your expec- tations and outcomes for travel training marketing that will result in older adults traveling successfully and more often. Build continuing relationships and expectations and out- comes with these: • Agencies providing services to older adults, such as senior living facilities and senior centers. • Agencies that advocate for older adults, such as councils on aging and AARP. • Public transit systems. If your organization is a public transit system, you know the financial benefits that come with using fixed route ser- vices. Identify locations where older adults congregate: senior centers, congregate meal sites, and so forth. Visit these loca- tions just to meet staff and understand the activities that are provided there. Outreach and marketing work best when you know and understand why older adults are there and how travel training may help their lives. Identify key agency staff; develop and maintain relation- ships. Let them know that they can call anytime. Develop programs and supporting materials for group presentations, tailored to the audience at hand. Knowing and understanding a setting helps to personalize presentations, not just the presentation itself, but the content and feelings behind the messages. Especially for in-person and video pre- sentations, those presentations that feature individuals whose characteristics closely resemble those of your intended audi- ence are more likely to capture the audience’s attention and convey the message that you want. Relationship-based contacts (for example, word of mouth reports) are highly effective; travel training programs should regard staff within agencies serving or advocating for older adults as customers. These staff can be significant in affording

34 access to seniors or referrals to other agencies for access to seniors. Work closely with program partners. Program partners are agencies with a strong interest in having seniors receive travel training. Their interest is likely to be narrowly focused on older adults as their clients, but most also recognize that travel training can open doors for seniors to be independent and travel within their communities. Program partners rep- resent opportunities for formal outreach and marketing and effective word of mouth communications. Key partner agencies and other agencies serving and advo- cating for older adults can be more effective in encouraging senior travel training if they have better and deeper knowl- edge of the travel training program. An essential element of outreach and marketing is educating staff partners and other agencies to understand the travel training program and help older adults decide to receive training. What Tools and Techniques Are Useful? Travel Training Components Travel training programs often contain the following components: • Orientation. • Group training. • One-on-one travel training. • Follow-up or refresher training. • Travel companions, “bus buddies,” or travel ambassadors. The core components are orientation, group training, one- on-one training, and follow-up or refresher training. Orientation Orientation sessions are designed to introduce a group of older adults to the concept of travel training and to encour- age them to enter a training program. The Association of Travel Instruction (ATI) defines transit orientation as “group or individual activity conducted for the purpose of explain- ing the transportation systems, options, and services available to address individual transportation needs; use of maps and schedules as resources for trip planning; fare systems; use of mobility devices while boarding, riding, and exiting; vehicu- lar features; and benefits available.” Group Training Group training, also called familiarization by ATI, intro- duces a group of older adults to the use of fixed route ser- vice. Group training typically includes classroom time and one or more practice trips to a nearby location with which the seniors are likely to be familiar. ATI defines this activity as “individual or small group trip activity to facilitate use of transportation systems with a travel trainer accompanying experienced traveler(s) on a new mode of transportation or route to point out/explain features of access and usability.” One-on-One Travel Training In one-on-one travel training, the travel trainer works directly with one older adult, focused on providing the older person with the skills necessary to travel safely and effec- tively. While training may be for a specific trip, training has the potential to provide the knowledge and skills to travel to any location that the public transit system serves. Whether training for a specific individual is focused on the ability to travel throughout the public transit system or on a specific route will depend on the needs and capabilities of the older adult. Most training programs emphasize regularly used fixed routes to reach frequently used destinations. With individu- alized training, the training lasts as long as required and can vary from person to person. The ATI calls this activity travel training and defines it as “one-to-one short-term instruction provided to an individual who has previously traveled inde- pendently and needs additional training or support to use a different mode of travel, a different route, mode of transit, or travel to a new destination; or one-to-one comprehen- sive, specially designed instruction in the skills and behaviors necessary for independent travel on public transportation provided to an individual who does not have independent travel concepts or skills to go from point of origin of trip to destination and back.” Follow-Up/Refresher Training Refresher training is targeted training that is oriented to helping older adults to stay current on their travel skills. Refresher training could also help trained older adults adjust to a new residential location or the environment surround- ing new destinations. It might focus on helping trained older adults learn how to use new assistive devices, such as a wheelchair, walker, cane, or simply dealing with a decline is capacity. Refresher training may teach older adults to substitute an easier trip or to help them transition to para- transit service, should that be the best course of action. Refresher training may also be required if a former trainee wants to learn new routes to go to new destinations because of changes in the individual’s needs that are no longer served by the fixed routes on which they were previously trained.

35 Travel Training Curricula Travel training curricula are designed to teach all of the skills that older adults must have to travel safely and confidently. This includes planning a trip, gathering the information nec- essary to make a trip, and developing the skills and knowledge associated with travel generally or for a specific trip. Older adults must be trained to develop the knowledge and skills to plan their trip and the path they should take, details of the route to reach their destination, and how to get back. • Preparing to take a trip: – Knowing where to get information about traveling on the local public transit system. This may be telephone or web site, or other means. Wireless technology should be used advantageously. – Getting to know how to access customer service and the kinds of services and support it can provide. – Deciding where to go and how to get there using fixed route service. – Determining the route to take to get there—bus route or routes to use and the schedule of service for week- days, Saturdays or Sundays—and the route to get back. – Whether or not a transfer between buses is required and the best location to make that transfer. – Location of the bus stop. – Developing familiarity with the bus environment. • Developing the knowledge and skills to make the trip: – Becoming familiar with bus schedules and how long it will take to get to a bus stop in order to limit waiting time at the bus stop. – Allowing time for travel to the bus stop. – Navigating the path to the bus stop, including dealing with barriers. – Identifying which bus to catch and signaling the bus to stop, if not at a bus stop. – Getting on the bus and paying the fare. – Recognizing where to get off the bus and signaling the driver to stop. – Exiting the bus safely. – Understanding riding rules and behavior. – Crossing streets safely. – Securing a wheelchair. – Preparing for unexpected circumstances or being lost. – Knowing what to do in an emergency. – Advocating for oneself. – Knowing that it is okay to ask a bus driver questions. • Getting back, or making the return trip: – Becoming familiar with the surroundings at the bus stop for the return trip. – Getting to the return bus stop. – Recognizing where to get off (it always looks different the first time when returning). Training Techniques In training older adults to travel, programs use some of the following techniques: • Meeting with the senior to discuss and help plan a trip. • Meeting with senior’s support network—family, care pro- vider, guardian. • Accompanying the senior on a trip. • Letting the older adult take a planned trip, with the trainer anonymously shadowing the trainee. • Providing support materials, including a pocket card. • Reviewing refresher information and videos posted on web site. • Conducting assessments of safety skills. • Offering information on how to read a schedule and develop a trip plan. • Teaching how to use an online trip planner. What Are Some Obstacles That Your Travel Training Program Might Encounter? When developing a travel training program, there may be challenges to face or obstacles to overcome. Based on the case studies conducted, the potential challenges of creat- ing a successful travel training program might include the following: Maintaining consistent program funding streams can be the biggest challenge travel training programs face. Funding for travel training is not ensured; a lack of funding may limit the full potential of any travel training program. It is diffi- cult to plan for the future or expand program efforts in the absence of stable and adequate sources of funding. Funding issues can be complicated due to the variety of travel train- ing operating models, differences between states, and changes in the federal program structure. Funding is always subject to the issues associated with local, state, and federal budgets. Staying informed about new or changing sources of funding at all levels of government, but especially the federal level, is crucial. Travel training programs must understand how to create a scalable program that can adjust to the economy. If possible, tracking the cost savings of travel training is impor- tant to understand how much money a program is saving the community, so that arguments can be made for more funding support. At the time of submission of this report, federal funding for transportation programs may face more serious limitations than before. This may make it harder for travel training pro- grams to find appropriate funds; on the other hand, this may make travel training more attractive because of its potential to address rapidly escalating paratransit costs. Living with these uncertainties will be a challenge.

36 The nature of travel training programs may in itself be challenging. The first issue is that these programs involve equipping individuals to explore, use, and then thrive in environments that they may consider as new, foreign, or even threatening. Many older adults perceive losing their ability to drive as the first step in giving up their independence. Due to lack of experience with fixed route transit, individu- als may have misconceptions about the safety and flexibility of using public transportation. Family members may also have concerns about the idea of their older family member using fixed route transit. These perceptions can be overcome through training, but they may discourage some older adults from even trying a travel training program. Second, by their nature, travel training programs are the types of programs in which costs are incurred first but some of the benefits, including cost savings, accrue months or even years later. This means that tracking the costs and benefits of travel training and documenting public transit cost savings need to be key tasks of the programs. Third, certain weather or topographi- cal conditions can be disincentives for some older adults to travel to training programs or other destinations. On a per- sonal level, many of the functional ability losses that can lead to older adults having to give up driving can also preclude them from using public transit even if it is available, so there are some limitations on who can benefit from travel train- ing. Finally, as a relatively new industry, a lack of standards in training, accounting, and evaluating is hampering the full development of travel training programs. Outreach is critical because bringing older adults into a travel training program can be challenging for a number of reasons, including the following: • The frequently negative media culture surrounding the use of public transit: travel trainers are concerned that public trans- portation often receives negative publicity from local media. For example, transit safety seems to be reported as a much greater problem than it actually is. This negative reporting can restrict participation in travel training programs. • Difficulties in identifying a continuing stream of trainees: many older persons who need transportation do not live in senior housing and they might not be active in senior cen- ter or other human services programs. Targeting program efforts to groups or organizations is economically feasible but may miss many individuals who could benefit from the services; finding potential trainees living in their own homes but unaffiliated with any service agency can be one of the biggest challenges for outreach efforts. • Staying in touch with travel-trained older adults whose tripmaking may be lessening is important but may be time consuming. • A reluctance (reported by several travel trainers) among some older adults to ask for assistance while traveling. • Concerns for individual welfare: some resistance has been seen among older adults and often among their family members regarding the physical challenges and potential risks of riding public bus lines. • Limitations in funding and staffing: these limitations may constrain the amount of outreach that is possible. • The persistence needed to ensure that older adults, once trained, are traveling at stable or increasing rates. Collaboration is key to developing a successful travel training program. It takes time and resources to establish and nurture relationships among transit agencies and with the senior living communities and the agencies that work with older adults, but creating this collaborative working relationship will benefit the travel training program and the community in the long run. Collaboration with transit agencies will help to ensure that their services are sensitive to the needs of the older adult population; that routes provide access to destinations where concentrations of older adults live and socialize; and that the needs of transit agencies are met by providing growth potential for fixed routes, increas- ing ridership, and potential savings from deferred paratran- sit trips. Further, this collaboration with social services and other agencies serving the needs of older adults provides access to potential participants and ensures that transporta- tion needs are addressed simultaneously with other human and social services needs. Problems with the infrastructure of the public transit system in the community (e.g., having buses available, hav- ing bus stops that are accessible, having services at the right times and to many destinations) may limit who can benefit from travel training. Some communities will need coor- dination across political jurisdictions and among transit agencies, particularly in terms of scheduling, route connec- tions, and fare media. Negative media attention concerning public transit may cause some people to believe that pub- lic transit is not a safe mode of travel. In some commu- nities, there may be a lack of a clear path with sidewalks to bus stops and to destinations, particularly in suburban and rural areas; having to cross wide and heavily traveled streets can be daunting in large urban areas. Environmental obstacles can include uneven terrain and poor or lack of curbing at bus stops. How Can You Integrate Travel Training with Mobility Management Efforts? Travel training is part of the mobility management fam- ily of services. Mobility management encompasses a range of activities focused on making effective and efficient use of transportation resources and helping people find a travel

37 alternative or schedule a ride. The focus on treating individu- als as customers is a key component of the practice of mobil- ity management, and this includes attention to the feelings of the customers, which may include attention to concepts of dignity and fears of losing independence. Creating a “one- stop shop” where individuals can find solutions to their trans- portation challenges is another common feature of mobility management programs. The purpose of mobility management, like that of travel training, is to open up a person’s world to a variety of travel options. This person-centered social services model seeks to increase individual independence by offering a high level of individual choice to highly individual travel needs. Mobility management can be as simple as offering a tele- phone referral service or a web-based directory of avail- able transportation services. It can provide education and counseling to older adults about the options available. It can help older adults find the service that is the best match for their travel need. On a broader, regional level, mobility management programs facilitate the coordination of trans- portation services among public transit, human services, and private providers. A service that is emerging more and more is the concept of a call center that schedules rides for people and assigns those rides to participating transporta- tion service providers. Rides can be scheduled by older adults or agencies serving older adults for travel on public transit, human services, and private transportation services. In fact, these services can be web-based, in addition to telephone- based customer service. One benefit of effective mobility management is that it helps people make better use of fixed route services, services that are in place, open to the public, and cheaper than any alternative transportation service. Mobility management programs may be operated by a regional transportation agency, a public transit system, or a not-for-profit agency. Travel training programs are a logi- cal component of a mobility management program. Travel training programs should take responsibility for finding out if there is a mobility management program, sometimes called a coordination program, in their area. If there is, the travel training program has found an important strategic partner. It is important for the travel training program to understand the mobility management program’s range and depth of ser- vices and vice versa. Travel training programs can create mutu- ally supportive benefits from close connections with public transit authorities and mobility managers. How mobility management services are offered will deter- mine how a travel training program can be integrated with it. The integration could be achieved in several ways, each of which can help people, including older adults, meet their mobility needs: • The mobility management program could become a pro- gram partner of the travel training program. • The travel training program could be merged into the mobility management program. • The mobility management program could be started by or merged into an agency’s travel training program. Integrating travel training and mobility management pro- grams depends on the strategic players in the region and the levels of program development already in place. If travel train- ing is a new program, merging into a mobility management program may be a logical approach. If the travel training pro- gram is fully developed with a strong history of service, it might be logical for the travel training program to expand its services to encompass mobility management. Whatever the case, a clear, compatible focus on customer service is essential. Recapping These Questions This chapter addressed these frequently asked questions about travel training: • Why get involved with travel training? • What travel skills will you try to promote? • What makes an effective travel training program? • How do you set up an effective travel training program in your community? • What resources are needed for an effective and sustainable travel training program? How do you get those resources? • How can you establish and implement programs to train and support travel trainers? • What’s needed to account for your expenses? • How do you measure the benefits of travel training? • How do you set up an effective outreach, education, and marketing program? • What tools and techniques are useful? • What are some obstacles that your travel training program might encounter? How can you deal with them? • How can you integrate travel training with mobility man- agement efforts? Additional information on travel training practices can be found in the case studies in Chapter 6. Contact informa- tion for leaders of these travel training programs and other experts is found in Appendix A.

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Travel Training for Older Adults Part I: A Handbook Get This Book
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TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 168: Travel Training for Older Adults, Part I: A Handbook presents a comprehensive roadmap for designing a travel training program to meet the mobility needs of older persons. The Handbook, Part I, addresses the primary components of an effective travel training program and provides an extensive set of guidelines for transit agencies and human services providers on how to build and implement training programs to help older adults who are able to use fixed-route public transit.

The supplemental research report, Part II, reviews the research plan that produced this report as well as the case studies used to formulate the overall strategic program.

An Executive Summary brochure summarizes the highlights of TCRP Report 168, Parts I and II.

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