Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
40 Brief Case Studies Highlights of the Case Study Selection Process Case studies often offer great insights about program oper- ations and outcomes. An extensive search for exemplary travel training programs was conducted using expert opinion, pre- vious literature, and an Internet search. The case study selec- tion methodology is outlined in detail in TCRP Report 168: Travel Training for Older Adults, Part II: Research Report and Case Studies. Information was collected on more than 80 travel training programs. The search found 70 travel training programs that were either targeted for older adults specifically, disabled peo- ple (including older adults), or people of all ages and abilities. Sixty-two of these programs were in the United States; they were located in 26 states. Contents of the training varied among the programs, but most focused on the basics of using fixed route transit: planning routes, purchasing tickets, recognizing bus numbers, proper boarding and departure procedures, landmark identification, transfers, use of lifts, and emergency procedures. Many pro- grams also had training content specific for a trainee. The programs utilized a variety of training methods, including one-on-one or individualized training; group, classroom, or workshop training; ride-along training; and most included some form of written training materials. A majority of the programs utilized more than one training method. The list of prime candidates for further data collection was reduced to 25 agencies that had more detailed information about their travel training programs. This list included pro- grams that had specific references to older adults as target populations as well as programs that might reasonably address the needs of older adults in programs for individuals with dis- abilities. These programs were ranked on the level of infor- mation that they could provide for this project on 13 factors, which included the programâs willingness to provide informa- tion that can be publicly shared, the targeting of the program to an older adult audience, the degree of customization of training, the availability of before and after assessment and follow-up data, the total years of experience in travel training, and measures of success that were specified and applied. Based on the total scores for these factors, seven travel training programs were selected as programs that would most likely yield important information on how to create, implement, sustain, and evaluate travel training programs for older adults. These seven programs received substantially higher scores than any of the other potential case study can- didates. These agencies, listed in alphabetical order by their location, were the following: â¢ Via Mobility Services Boulder, Colorado [formerly Special Transit] â¢ Regional Transportation Chicago, Illinois Authority â¢ NJTIP, Inc. New Brunswick, New Jersey â¢ Ride Connection Portland, Oregon â¢ Riverside Transit Authority Riverside, California â¢ Paratransit, Inc. Sacramento, California â¢ The Kennedy Center, Inc. Trumbull, Connecticut For each of these seven cases, members of the research team visited these sites for multi-day observations and inter- views with program staff and key local stakeholders. Data Limitations A number of problems were encountered in assembling the data for these case studies. Not all case study participants were able to provide detailed information about outcomes, budgets, and spending. In addition, because each program has its own idiosyncratic operational approach and reporting requirements for its funders, the information sought was often located in dif- ferent places within documents and reports, and often only estimates were available. Reporting requirements also differed C H A P T E R 6
41 based on the funding source for the program. A number of the measures reported, such as number of older adults who received training or funding for training older adults, were based on well-informed estimates rather than on auditable results. All of the seven case study programs offer travel training to older adults as a component of, or outgrowth of travel train- ing for individuals with disabilities, including school-aged stu- dents with disabilities near or at the end of high school. Some case study programs reported results for the overall program, but not for the portion of the program targeted at older adults. In several cases, older adults constituted a small portion of the overall training program, sometimes less than 10 percent. Far more detailed reports and outcomes were available for one-on- one training versus group training, but some programs did not report one-on-one training separately for older adults. Some potentially useful information was not available. All of the programs studied offered group orientations or trainings for older adults because group training appeals to persons interested in learning and socializing with others. However, because group trainings are often a brief engage- ment between the travel training program and the older adults who participate, the opportunity to conduct follow-up activities is limited, so information on outcomes and success of group activities was less complete than the information for one-on-one training activities. Case Study Reports The following pages provide summary descriptions of the seven in-depth case studies.
42 Background Via Mobility Services Travel Training Program is part of Via Mobility Services, a nonprofit community organization in Boulder, Colorado, whose mission is âto promote indepen- dence and self-sufficiency for people with limited mobility by providing caring, customer-focused transportation options.â The travel training program offers individual and group travel training to older adults, people with disabilities, and low- income individuals to give them the skills to safely and confi- dently use the public transportation system in Boulder County. The target audience for Via Mobility Services in Boulder is composed of older adults, people with disabilities, and low- income individuals. Recent efforts have also focused on Latino older adults. Most of the participants in the program no longer drive automobiles. Many continue to use paratransit as well as public transportation depending on the nature of the trip or the circumstances under which it is being taken. According to program staff, individuals within the target audience who participate in the one-on-one training tend to share certain personality traits such as being open to learning new things, adventurous, highly motivated, and in many cases character- ized as âfeistyâ or âspunky.â Program Operations Program Components The Via Mobility Services Travel Training Program contains several components. The Easy Rider Travel Training Program (ERP) provides one-on-one travel training, as well as group travel training (Seniors on the Move), community presenta- tions, the Transit Ambassador program, and community col- laborations. The Get on Board (GOB) program, conducted in partnership with RTD in Denver, was aimed at people who were already using RTDâs complementary paratransit (Access- a-Ride). RTD contracted with Via Mobility to provide travel training to offer more transportation options to individuals with ADA paratransit certification. This program was halted in late 2012 due to lack of funding, but Via recently received a VIA MOBILITY SERVICES VIA MOBILITY SERVICES TRAVEL TRAINING BOULDER, COLORADO Program Name Via Mobility Services Travel Training Sponsoring Organization Via Mobility Services Address 2855 North 63rd Street City, State Boulder, CO Organization Type Private nonprofit corporation Training Program Began 2003 Service Area Boulder County and City of Denver, CO Service Area Population 2,894,071 Service Area Size (sq mi) 9,165 Data for Year Ending 2012 Annual Training Expenses $145,037 (salaries, fringes, supplies, outreach, other expenses) Major Funding Sources Boulder County, City of Boulder, Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council (DRMAC), Regional Transportation District (RTD), Rose Foundation Partnering Agencies DRMAC Key or Unique Factors Comprehensive set of travel training services
43 new 2-year contract to begin providing travel training again. Program components include the following: â¢ One-on-one travel training (ERP, GOB): One-on-one train- ing is customized to the individual being trained. It includes an in-home mobility skills assessment, pre-trip planning, and hands-on travel training. Customization is based on: an initial in-home assessment; completion of a training progress checklist during the training process; and a mobility training summary completed by the trainer upon training comple- tion. Follow-up surveys are also conducted with participants. â¢ Group training (Seniors on the Move): Seniors on the Move is group travel training targeted to older adults. It has two componentsâa classroom presentation on basic public transit orientation followed by an outing on a fixed route bus. The outing is generally to a specific location/ activity (e.g., museum, shopping or eating destination), during which a âhands onâ approach is used to discuss how to use public transit. The program is targeted to both older adults who do not drive as well as those who still drive but may want additional transportation options. â¢ Volunteer Bus Buddy Program (through partnership with DRMAC): The training is designed to assist organizations interested in establishing their own in-house program, who have a pool of volunteers to draw on, and want to assist the people they serve to learn how to use public transit. â¢ Train the Trainer Program (through partnership with DRMAC): This training is designed for organizations who have the staff and financial resources to establish their own in-house travel training program to serve individuals who face significant barriers to using public transit. â¢ Volunteer Transit Ambassador Program: Individual vol- unteers at independent living communities provide peer outreach to older adults by informing them of travel train- ing options and encouraging them to participate in ERP or Seniors on the Move. Transit ambassadors also plan outings known as âstealth travel trainingâ to expose older adults to public transit options. Resources Resources for the program come from a variety of sources including foundations, federal funding, a contract with DRMAC, registration fees, the United Way, the City of Boul- der, and Boulder County. The travel training program had been receiving over $100,000 per year from its contract with RTD, and with its new contract, that will begin again. In addi- tion, Viaâs travel training program recently became a vendor to provide services to the Colorado Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Via has been awarded federal funding (Sec- tion 5310 funds) to create a metro area-wide program in 2014. Staffing resources for the travel training program include the coordinator who represents the travel training program and the larger organization, as well as two travel trainers, one of whom is Spanish speaking, and a grants/finance person for Via who works on program funding. Program Partners, Promotion, and Outreach The Via Mobility Services Travel Training Program partners with DRMAC to offer travel training as well as train the trainer services. Recently, one of Viaâs travel trainers was independently awarded a grant to establish travel training options for Latino older adults in the Denver metro area. The travel trainer will receive a 2-year fellowship through the Colorado Latino Age Wave Initiative (CLAWI) to work with agencies and organi- zations serving older adult Latinos to establish self-sustaining travel training programs. Outreach for the Seniors on the Move program occurs through letters and fliers sent to all senior cen- ters and independent living communities. General outreach activities for Viaâs overall travel training program include bro- chures, newsletters, and presentations to agencies that have tra- ditionally referred people. Outreach is also conducted through the Volunteer Transit Ambassador Program. Results The program identifies several benefits to individuals: free- dom to travel spontaneously, ability to travel independently, more transportation options, greater community involvement, increased confidence in travel abilities, and lower transporta- tion costs. Several program staff noted that the most compelling evidence of success comes from individualsâ personal stories about how their quality of life has been enhanced. Paratran- sit is considerably more expensive than public transit, so to the extent that people can use the latter rather than the former, there can be substantial cost savings. Program staff emphasized that the purpose of the training is to increase the number of options available to people rather than to âget them offâ para- transit. At the same time, the training can benefit transit agen- cies by increasing the use of public transit and contributing to a mobility options philosophy (providing people with more options). In 2012, Via Mobility trained 168 seniors, 38 in one- on-one training (with estimated per person costs of $1,500) and 130 in group training (with estimated per person costs of $22). Reasons for Success Via Mobility attributes the success of its programs to the following principles and attributes: personal qualities of the trainers, strong leadership, considering how travel training can succeed in light of local transportation resources, local condi- tions, and individual needs and abilities; recognizing and
44 appreciating volunteers; building and maintaining collaborative relationships; responsiveness to changing community needs and funding sources; and competencies in a full range of travel training services. Challenges Like any lead organization in a major coordination effort, the Via Mobility Services Travel Training Program has faced some challenges. The following issues were identified by program staff: outreach is critical, successful collaboration requires trust, reaching the people who need transportation is often challenging, certain segments of the target audience pose special challenges for training, adequate infrastructure is needed, and continuity of funding is not ensured. Program Replicability Several features of the Via Mobility Services Travel Train- ing Program stand out as noteworthy and should be taken into account in any efforts to replicate the program in other communities. First, the program is comprehensive in nature, offering a broad array of travel training services. At the same time, the program is flexible enough to be able to accommo- date and respond to changes in the needs of the populations it serves. Program staff are highly competent and dedicated to serving individual program participants and carrying out the mission of Via Mobility Services. In addition, they recognize the importance of building and sustaining relationships with stakeholder organizations and agencies in the community, as a critical part of identifying and meeting the needs of their target service populations.
45 RTA TRAVEL TRAINING PROGRAM REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Program Name RTA Travel Training Program Sponsoring Organization Regional Transportation Authority of Northeastern Illinois Address 175 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 1650 City, State Chicago, IL Training Program Began 1990 through community contracts, RTA brought in-house in 2005 Organization Type Public Transportation System, special purpose unit of local government, and a municipal corporation of the State of Illinois Service Area Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties Service Area Population 8,000,000 Service Area Size (sq mi) 2,443 Data for Year Ending 2012 Annual Training Expenses $855,334âall trainees were ADA eligible until 2013 Major Funding Sources RTA Operational Funds Partnering Agencies Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Pace, Metra, and approximately 500 senior centers and social services agencies Key or Unique Factors Emphasis on safety Background The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is an umbrella organization established by the State of Illinois for planning and budget oversight of the CTA, Metra, and Pace transit agencies. The service area is both urban and rural, because it incorporates the city of Chicago and surrounding suburban communities, but also stretches beyond the urban growth area to serve the rural portions of the six counties. The RTA created its travel training program in 1990 by establishing contracts with the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind, three Centers for Independent Living, and a Commu- nity Action Agency. Program start-up occurred in this fash- ion because the RTA valued the community connection in the creation of these services. However, in 2004, the decision was made to bring the travel training program in-house, and in 2005, the transition was completed. The Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind remained under contract and still does travel training for visually impaired clients. In 2013, the RTA decided to expand the travel training pro- gram to include non-ADA complementary paratransit appli- cants. Travel training had been a part of the ADA paratransit application process; many people misunderstood and felt they had to participate in travel training, even if they werenât inter- ested, in being approved for ADA paratransit services. This led to much unproductive staff time and effort. The current strat- egy is to still offer training to those interested in ADA paratran- sit service, but focus more on community outreach to seniors who are not ADA eligible but could benefit from travel training. Program Operations Previously, the target audience for RTAâs travel training pro- gram was exclusively applicants for complementary ADA para- transit services. The RTA has shifted this approach to include identifying perspective participants through community out- reach. This new emphasis started in January 2013 and will probably increase the number of seniors being travel trained. The entire process is paperless, which is beneficial but can also be challenging. About 2,074 individuals are trained per year; no separate records are kept of the number of seniors trained. Program Components RTAâs travel training program includes one-on-one train- ing and group training. â¢ One-on-one travel training: In 2012, 150 customers received one-on-one travel training. The least amount of time to train
46 was 12 hours, while the longest was 174.5 hours. The average was about 44 hours. The travel trainers train individuals for up to three specific trips and work with the individual until he or she can do the trips with no assistance. Once the par- ticipant can do a trip alone, the trainer then verifies her/his capabilities by trailing the client on a trip. Once the trainer is sure the client can do the trip alone, the client is trained on a second trip. Each individual can participate in the travel training program as many times as desired at no cost. â¢ Group training is RTAâs primary method to approach non- ADA clients. Group training sessions are held in local set- tings, often in conjunction with another senior meeting. Most of the meetings are with senior groups and consist of the following: â A general introduction about the three RTA service pro- viders: Metra, CTA, and Pace. â A PowerPoint presentation that discusses the services and also shows people how to ride. â A description of fares and how to pay in different ways. â The discussion ends with an emphasis on safety: how to use the service in a safe manner and what to do if problems arise. â Individuals can be referred for one-on-one training in order to address their more specific training needs. RTA has one trainer who makes presentations to groups. RTA prefers small group presentations of 20 to 25 people, but has conducted presentations to groups of more than 80 people. The presentations explain RTA travel options and address safety and operational issues. Other common topics include how to pay the fare, how to ride, how to inform the driver of desired stops, and other issues. There are different training methods used for the one- on-one training and the group training. The one-on-one training has been targeted primarily to people with intellec- tual or cognitive disabilities. The training program includes very intensive one-on-one activity. This one-on-one process includes a very specific individual plan. This lends itself to a good evaluation process. The group training consists of orientation to RTA, Pace, and Metra. The travel trainer discusses how to ride: topics include fare collection, boarding and alighting, safety, and rights and responsibilities. In addition, during the presen- tation the trainer answers questions and offers individual attention after the presentation. There are many handouts and a PowerPoint presentation. There is a waiting list of 3 to 4 months for the one-on-one training. The waiting list for general orientation is 1 month. Resources RTA travel training program staff includes the manager, the travel training coordinator, five travel trainers, and a con- tract with the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind. RTA does not use any volunteers. RTAâs travel training program budget was $855,334 in 2012. Program Partners, Promotion, and Outreach The primary partners with RTAâs travel training program are the CTA, Pace, and Metra. RTA also has a contractual agree- ment with the Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind that provides travel training for visually impaired riders. The RTA also has contacts with more than 500 social services and human ser- vices organizations. Results The primary benefits for the riders are more flexibility and the ability to come and go when they want to travel. Also, RTA has found that, in general, the more the riders use fixed route transit, the more they are comfortable with it. The RTA staff has designed a travel log to determine use of ADA and non- ADA services. The basic result has been that travel training saved ADA paratransit costs but how many ADA paratransit trips have been saved is yet to be determined. Reasons for Success While it is hard to isolate particular reasons for success, the following factors seem to be important: â¢ All but one of the travel trainers come from a social ser- vices background. The other trainer comes from a reha- bilitation background. â¢ The RTA Board is supportive. â¢ The one-on-one training is very intensive. â¢ The work is done in-house with RTA employees, which makes management of the program easier. Potential Challenges Funding for expansion is always a challenge. The early results of the non-ADA outreach have been disappointing, but the outreach program started in January 2013, so it is currently too early to form conclusions about this outreach effort. Program Replicability RTA offered three recommendations for new programs: (1) The use of trainers with a social services background is helpful. (2) Emphasize the safety aspects of using fixed route transit services. (3) Study other programs and collect peer- to-peer information before beginning a new travel training program.
47 Background NJTIP, Inc. was formed in 2007 as a private nonprofit orga- nization specifically to offer travel instruction in New Jersey. The mission of NJTIP is âto teach persons with disabilities, senior citizens and other transportation-disadvantaged pop- ulations to use public transportation as a means to increase independence and self-sufficiency.â In 2013, NJTIP became part of the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers and became NJTIP @ Rutgers. Program Start-up Small and Associates, Inc. managed a pilot travel training pro- gram funded by New Jersey Transit (NJ TRANSIT) from 2005 to 2007. The pilot took place in NJ TRANSITâs Region 5, Essex, Morris, Somerset, and Union Counties, and was run by Small and Associates, Inc., with assistance from The Kennedy Center, Inc. NJ TRANSIT provided training and guidance about how transit systems work, which Small and Associates reported was the key to the development and successful implementation of NJTIP. The Kennedy Centerâs role involved managing initial development, training travel instructors, and evaluating first- year outcomes. According to the Small and Associates report on the pilot, âthe pilot helped NJ TRANSIT understand their customersâ level of demand for travel instruction services and to evaluate the effectiveness of travel instruction in teach- ing customers the skills needed to ride the fixed route system safely and independently. It also tested whether customers could be redirected from the ADA paratransit system into the less costly fixed route systemâ (Small and Associates, 2007, NJTIP @ RUTGERS RUTGERS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW JERSEY NEW BRUNSWICK, NEW JERSEY Program Name NJTIP@ Rutgers Sponsoring Organization Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Address 33 Livingston Avenue City, State New Brunswick, NJ Organization Type State university program Training Program Began 2007 Service Area Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, and Union Counties Service Area Population 4,176,796 Service Area Size (sq mi) 1,469 Data for Year Ending 2012 Annual Training Expenses $550,000 Major Funding Sources NJ TRANSIT (for seven counties), New Freedom (for three counties) Partnering Agencies NJ TRANSIT and local sponsors Key or Unique Factors Developed based on the model of another training program (The Kennedy Center, Inc.) and adapted for conditions in New Jersey. Seniors constitute less than 10 percent of one-on-one trainees, although group senior training and train the trainer programs provide additional and potentially more productive outreach to the senior population. Program ownership transferred to a university-based research center in 2013 to ensure sustainability.
48 page 2). Fifty-eight customers started travel instruction and 49 (84 percent) graduated. All of the graduates continued to ride the fixed route vehicles during the 9-month follow-up period. Small and Associates conducted a telephone survey of graduates and found that NJTIP was helpful in redirecting customers away from paratransit and into the fixed route sys- tem. Seniors constituted 18 percent of the individuals with dis- abilities who participated in the pilot program. The founding director of NJTIP indicated that many of the potential senior participants were too frail to be eligible for travel training. The cost of the just over 2-year pilot program was $350,843. Once the program matured, the cost per customer contact hour was approximately $72. According to the founding director, the two biggest obstacles to training senior participants were finding host sites interested in participating in group training and convincing older adults that fixed route service is a valid alternative to automobiles. Program Operations The NJTIP website (NJTIP, 2013) provides fairly complete descriptions of the NJTIP program components. Much of the content that follows is from those descriptions. NJTIP pro- grams serve seniors, people with disabilities, students in spe- cial education, and social services professionals. The NJTIP mission is accomplished by providing four types of services: â¢ One-on-one travel instruction; â¢ Small group (maximum 15 persons) travel familiarization that is largely focused on seniors; â¢ Connect-to-transit seminars for social services profession- als and volunteers; and â¢ Public and private in-school travel training classes, which are not described in more detail because they are not rel- evant to older adults. One-on-one travel training instruction teaches individuals how to use the public bus and rail systems so they can travel independently and safely. NJTIP one-on-one training partici- pants receive the following: â¢ A personal travel instructor who escorts them on the bus or train to teach participants to travel safely and independently. â¢ Individualized instruction in travel skills, which may include program content described in subsequent sections. â¢ Assistance in researching travel routes and schedules. â¢ A free one-month bus pass upon graduation. The Small Group Travel Training Program supplements the original one-on-one travel instruction service. This train- ing is appropriate for senior citizens and persons with disabili- ties who do not need intensive personalized training. For small group travel training, NJTIP works with a partner agency such as a residence for senior citizens, a senior center, or an inde- pendent living center for persons with disabilities. The partner agency recruits individuals who are interested in learning to use public transportation, and NJTIP provides the training. The Connect to Transit Training Program teaches profes- sionals and volunteers from social services agencies, schools, and senior residences how to become informed advocates for public transportation, so they can better assist their clients, students, and residents with navigating the public transpor- tation network. The seminars are specifically geared to using NJ TRANSIT bus and rail systems. The Connect to Tran- sit Training Program may benefit seniors to the extent that human services and community services professionals who work with seniors may participate in the training, become more informed about public transportation and the avail- ability of travel training, and become more willing to recom- mend travel training to seniors with whom they work. Resources Total funding for NJTIP is $550,000. NJTIP estimates that about 15 percent, or about $82,500, of that total funding is dedicated to seniors. One NJTIP trainer works with seniors, and provides group training, group orientations, and one- on-one training as needed. NJTIP does not use volunteers. Program Partners, Promotion, and Outreach In addition to partnering with NJ TRANSIT, NJTIP reg- ularly reaches out to and partners with agencies that serve seniors, housing projects with senior residents, and area offices on aging. The NJTIP Board of Directors includes representa- tives from some of the partnering organizations. Everyone at NJTIP markets the program even though one staff person conducts all trainings with older adults. Results Detailed information on results was available for the one- on-one training program results, but results were not available for seniors as a subgroup. From 2005 to 2011, 223 individuals graduated from one-on-one training (NJ TRANSIT, 2012). Follow-up calls focus on using public transportation, prob- lems identified, any need for retraining, and additional sup- port needed. These calls helped determine that 75 percent of graduates continued to travel by fixed route buses and trains in the year after graduation. A 2011 study of the NJTIP pro- gram was conducted by NJ TRANSIT. The study concluded that NJTIP increased NJ TRANSITâs fare box revenue and resulted in savings in Access Link costs for a total of $234,000
49 annually. NJTIP thus covered its expenses and had a posi- tive return of 17 percent. NJTIP increased transit ridership by over 62,000 trips in 2011. Reasons for Success and Potential Challenges The NJTIP program is successful, in part, because it dem- onstrated that an existing program from The Kennedy Cen- ter, Inc., could be adapted for use by another jurisdiction. Also, NJTIPâs partnerships with NJ TRANSIT, the towns in the seven-county service area, and social services agencies that work with seniors are continuing to provide forums for NJTIP to provide travel training to seniors. While the one-on- one training is limited under the terms of the NJ TRANSIT grant to individuals with a disability, NJTIP has adapted by offering group training. While the change in management could have been a challenge, it appears that both NJTIP and the Voorhees Center are aware of the challenges with such a transition and have taken those challenges into account dur- ing the transition. Continuing to obtain funding was also seen as a challenge, but the stability of Rutgers University as an operational base is thought by both NJTIP and the Voor- hees Center to be an asset. As with other northeastern U.S. programs, NJTIP indicated that getting seniors to give up their automobiles is an ongoing challenge, as is the impact that winter has on their ability to do cold weather training. Program Replicability The NJTIP program is evidence of the ability to replicate a program and customize it for the needs of the communi- ties that it serves. NJTIP staff members strongly recommend that seniors be involved in the development of programs. NJTIP staff believes that at least one person is needed full time to operate the small group component of the program, although it is helpful to have two trainers available for large groups. A second person can focus on marketing and one- on-one training. They also recommend that group training be conducted between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. since buses are less crowded at that time and it will be less stressful for the par- ticipants. Travel trainers need to be enthusiastic about pub- lic transportation and use it themselves for a program to be effective.
50 Background Ride Connection is a nonprofit community service orga- nization founded in 1986 that offers transportation assistance to persons with disabilities and seniors without alterna- tive transportation in a three-county area. The service area is both urban and rural; it incorporates Portland and sur- rounding suburban communities and includes the rural por- tions of the three counties. The organization prides itself on an ongoing commitment to identifying transportation needs and filling them. Ride Connection has extremely strong support from Tri- Met, the local public transit authority. Ride Connection has developed partnerships with more than 30 separate agencies in the area, including adult and senior centers, mental health clinics, health care providers, and others. Ride Connection started the RideWise program in 2004 as a result of needs identified by TriMetâs internal review pro- cess. Ride Connection did a national survey of travel training programs that determined that the most successful programs were closely tailored to local community characteristics. Ini- tial concerns were that the travel training program needed to be seen as more than an offshoot of ADA paratransit services and that the expense of travel training needed to be offset by a clear demonstration of the benefits of the program. The travel training program literally changed the culture of Ride Connection, which no longer sees itself as a door-to- door transportation provider but rather as a mobility man- ager whose purpose is to open up a personâs world to a variety of travel options. Their person-centered social services model is based on increasing individual independence by offering âthe least restrictive, most empowering solutionâ to highly individual travel needs. Program Operations The RideWise program teaches older adults and people with disabilities to travel independently and safely on pub- lic transit and all other forms of transportation. It employs a person-centered social services model based on increasing individual independence. Its overarching goal is to link peo- ple to services, to open up a personâs world to the possibilities available to them. A related goal is to maintain independent RIDE CONNECTION RIDEWISE PORTLAND, OREGON Program Name RideWise Sponsoring Organization Ride Connection Address 847 NE 19th, Suite 200 City, State Portland, OR Organization Type Private nonprofit corporation Training Program Began 2004 Service Area Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas Counties Service Area Population 1,645,251 Service Area Size (Sq Mi) 3,075 Data for Year Ending June 2012 Annual Training Expenses $480,110 Major Funding Sources FTA JARC program, TriMet, STF (state cigarette tax revenue) Partnering Agencies Public transit agency (TriMet) and multiple agencies and senior centers Key or Unique Factors Close relationship with public transit. Extensive follow-up. Person- centered social services model of mobility management.
51 living at the traineeâs current residence for as long as possible. The services are provided at no charge for those who qualify. Resources The RideWise program has nine full-time positions. The programâs annual budget is $480,110. RideWise Volunteers, designated as Ride Ambassadors, Transit Advocates, and Co- presenters, contributed 1,295.75 hours of service in FY 12 by providing expertise in leading group trips, committee work, and in support of the programâs outreach efforts. Program Components The RideWise program offers a wide range of services tai- lored to meet each individualâs specific needs and ability level. â¢ One-on-one travel training is Ride Connectionâs short- term, practical, and individualized instruction to teach older adults and people with disabilities to travel safely and independently using public transportation. â¢ Group travel training is designed to be in a social, relaxed environment for customers to âlearn the ropes.â â¢ Ridersâ Club trips are designed to give Ride Connectionâs customers more opportunities to become comfortable with the public transit system by creating fun adventures that include riding fixed routes to and from the destination. â¢ The vehicle familiarization service is designed for indi- viduals new to a mobility device who need assistance and practical experience boarding TriMet buses and MAX rail cars. This training takes place when the vehicles are not in service. Results Ride Connectionâs programs have evolved over time from a focus on training persons to use fixed route public transit services to a program that emphasizes a mobility manage- ment perspective involving all modes of travel. This is consis- tent with TriMetâs adoption of a mobility management focus, but Ride Connection has more of a âone customer at a timeâ emphasis. RideWise conducts post-training follow-up evaluations of each of the successful independent travelers in the one-on- one training program at 3 and 6 months after their training. For the group trainings offered in the Riders Clubs, RideWise uses follow-up mail surveys. All of Ride Connectionâs pro- grams now conduct satisfaction surveys of participants 1 year after participating in a program. Two hundred thirty-five individuals received one-on-one training in the 2012 fiscal year. Individuals who completed the entire one-on-one training process became successful independent travelers 92.6 percent of the time. Riders Club participants are provided evaluation cards to return at their convenience. First-time participants responding indicated a 67 percent likelihood of using transit for personal trips; the likelihood was 91 percent for participants that had been on two or more outings. Reasons for Success Ride Connection believes that a key to the success of its RideWise travel training program is creating a core philosophy and delivering a clear and consistent message to all members of the community. One component of this messaging is the focus on âbuilding trust in the most respectful way,â both with its travel training customers and with its partners; for example, treating all trainees as âcustomers,â not âclientsâ or âstudents.â The focus on individuals as customers is a key component of its practice of mobility management, and this includes attention to the feelings of the customers, which may include concepts of dignity and fears of losing independence. It is vital to under- stand each person and his or her skill sets, other resources, and travel needs. Competent staff members who excel in customer service are critical to program success. A principal benefit is increasing the mobility of potential riders, and there are sub- stantial benefits from allowing older adults to age in place and avoid the costs of nursing homes. RideWise staff describe travel training as âa game changerââchanging people from shut-ins to community members. RideWise calculates its program benefits as a 3 to 1 ratio of benefits to costs over a 1-year period. This is a conservative estimate of benefits because RideWise is not calculating the long-term benefits of travel training, only the benefits over the first year that a trainee is using transit. Also, the benefits of the Riders Club are not included in these calculations. RideWise has demonstrated to TriMet that there is a produc- tivity improvement attributable to its program that has saved money for TriMet and has slowed the growth of TriMetâs ADA services. At the same time, RideWise believes that one âcan- not measure program success solely by ADA cost avoidance.â TriMet has created spreadsheets to conduct detailed cal- culations about the benefits of the RideWise travel training program. TriMet considers travel training to be highly cost effective, and its spreadsheets could be used to calculate long- term benefits of the program. Potential Challenges A major challenge for the RideWise program is how to identify and assist seniors who are aging in place and are not associated with any human services agency. If RideWise had more resources, it would more actively knock on doors and use public service announcements. Another challenge is that,
52 because of the nature of travel training, the costs are incurred first, and the benefits are realized later. This requires educat- ing stakeholders so that they understand this sequence. Program Replicability RideWise believes that its program could be replicated, although the staff stress that the most effective programs must be closely tied to local community characteristics, and this requirement will necessarily lead to programs with sig- nificant differences. Key start-up recommendations include the following: 1. Recognize the limits of what is possible. Training should be seen as providing an assist, not a salvation. A realistic view is crucial; public transportation offers certain benefits, but those benefits are limited in some important aspects. 2. Do not try to set up a âone size fits allâ program. 3. Make your program fit your own community. Donât rein- vent the wheel; celebrate uniqueness.
53 FREEDOM TO GO RIVERSIDE TRANSIT AGENCY RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA Program Name Freedom to Go Sponsoring Organization Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) Address City, State 1825 Third Street Riverside, CA Organization Type Joint Powers Agency â Consolidated Transportation Service Agency Training Program Began Service Area 2011 Riverside County, CA (Western county cities and rural areas of the county) Service Area Population 1,700,356 Service Area Size (Sq Mi) 2,725 Data for Year Ending June 2012 Annual Training Expenses $212,369 Major Funding Sources FTA, JARC and New Freedom; Local Measure A (fuel tax) Partnering Agencies Social services agencies, senior centers, internal paratransit staff Key or Unique Factors Strong customer service, social services model, strong training team, proactive changes in services to remove barriers to travel Background RTAâs Freedom to Go program is open to all older adults and persons with disabilities in RTAâs service area. Two programs are offered: Travel Training for Seniors and Travel Training for People with Disabilities. Travel Training for Seniors has two components: the Senior Ambassador Program, which focuses on group introduction to fixed route service and Travel Train- ing, which focuses on the specific skills seniors need to ride a fixed route bus independently. Travel Training for People with Disabilities teaches persons with disabilities how to recognize and overcome barriers to using fixed route service and pro- vides a personalized travel training plan that identifies and overcomes barriers to using service. The main goals of the travel training program are to increase capabilities and self-sufficiency while facilitating the most suit- able and efficient transportation service for each person. With travel training, seniors and people with disabilities who receive travel training are better able to control their schedules, their time, and their lives. Seniors learn how to achieve independence from relying on family and friends for rides. People with dis- abilities learn how to travel independently to a destination they regularly visit and return home. Freedom to Go has been avail- able for older adults from the outset of the travel training pro- gram. The impetus for making the training available to older adults was to connect them to public transportation before they aged out of their driverâs license and to reduce senior isolation, particularly in smaller communities and rural areas. Program Operations Program Components Freedom to Go provides the group experience and person- alized training services that each senior and each person with a disability requires to successfully use RTA fixed route ser- vice, based on their individual skills and capabilities. â¢ Group travel training for seniors, the Senior Ambassador Program, introduces seniors to fixed route service. First, seniors meet with RTAâs travel trainer in a group setting, usually in a senior center or other location where seniors gather. Next, seniors take a guided ride together, typically with people they know. Within each social setting, RTA
54 recruits a Senior Ambassador who facilitates at least one outing a month and reports back on participation. â¢ One-on-one travel training for seniors is provided to seniors who have completed the group travel training. Each senior from the group training who desires to learn more is scheduled for one-on-one travel training. This training covers route familiarization, how to read the RTA Ride Guide and system map, trip planning, and mobility device training. An individual travel training plan is pre- pared and training lasts as long as required for a senior to be able to travel independently. Refresher training may be conducted if requested. â¢ One-on-one travel training for people with disabilities was initially designed for those who are currently using or those who would become users of paratransit service. Train- ing is offered to people who are registering for paratransit service before they use the service extensively. Training is tailored to each individualâs needs, covering assessment of basic skills and the path of travel, as well as identification and evaluation of barriers and personal safety skills. Train- ing also includes use of the Ride Guide and maps required to plan a trip. Trainers meet with the parent, care provider, case manager, and others involved in the day-to-day sup- port of the trainee. Intensive travel training involves the following steps prior to route training: assessment of basic skills; assessment of path of travel and barriers; assessment of personal safety skills; use of Ride Guide and maps to plan a trip; and meet- ing with trainee, parent, care provider, or guardian for travel consent. Freedom to Go travel trainers describe and demon- strate correct methods for all skills, such as verbal cues or landmarks to recognize a bus stop; physical prompts, such as a tap on the shoulder or placing a traineeâs hand on a stop signal; and gestures such as pointing, a nod of the head, eye contact, and role playing to help problem-solve an event that might happen. Once these skills have been learned, the training focuses on monitoring progress on a declining basis (known as âfadingâ) so that the trainer provides less instruction as the trainee acquires the needed independence; shadowing, where the trainer follows without being seen and the trainee com- pletes the trip independently; and independent travel, where the trainer is not along on the trip; and follow-up contacts at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, and annual intervals. Resources The Freedom to Go travel training program has three full-time travel trainers, one of whom is the travel training supervisor. Each trainer focuses on different segments of the population. One focuses on students with developmental dis- abilities who are transitioning out of high school. A second, who is bilingual (English and Spanish), focuses broadly on people with disabilities who are using RTAâs paratransit ser- vice. The third travel trainer, who is fluent in American Sign Language, focuses on older persons; all three have experience in social services program delivery. Program Partners, Promotion, and Outreach Key program partners are county agencies such as the Department of Rehabilitation, Department of Education, Inland Regional Center, senior centers, and adult day pro- grams. Freedom to Go is promoted on RTAâs website, with videos and brochures. Outreach is done by staff travel trainers. Results RTA began planning its travel training program in January 2010. The primary impetus then was to reduce the growth in paratransit trips. The program was established to train and encourage seniors and people with disabilities to learn to use fixed route service and to reduce dependency on paratransit service. Since travel training started in November 2011, nearly 500 persons have received training, more than 44,000 trips have been taken by trainees, and nearly 300 people are cur- rently in or awaiting training. Reasons for Success A key reason for success is strong organizational support. RTA management started the travel training program slowly and took time to recruit and hire the right people: the hiring process was not focused on academic qualifications but on personal qualities such as heart and compassion. The three travel trainers work very well as a team and meet regularly with ADA paratransit staff. Challenges Potential challenges include demand for travel training services exceeding budget limits and looking for ways to leverage the resources to complete additional training within existing budget limits. Program Replicability The Freedom to Go travel training program has been devel- oped very carefully, with broad RTA management insight and oversight. Services were not rolled out until the program was fully configured, so start-up issues were negligible. With the design of the travel training, including the well-targeted pre-
55 and post-training evaluations; the formal policies, practices, and methodology; and the thorough documentation and database development, the program is highly replicable. Key Features The training environment is positive, proactive, supportive, and success oriented. Trainers empower people to find inde- pendence. The initial objective of the program was to reduce paratransit service costs by transferring riders to fixed route. However, such a focus is not evident in the conduct of manage- ment and the travel trainers. The focus is clearly on customers. The RTA travel training management database supports detailed tracking of group and one-on-one training, as well as following the continued travel of those who have completed training. Individual travel by persons who have been travel trained is tracked by an encoded fare card issued for use in the electronic recording fare boxes. Customized reports are generated, tracking ridership associated with each individual pass, allowing trainers to monitor progress on a long-term basis. These data tables and graphs are generated weekly, to facilitate the review of individual riding patterns. Reports show whether riding is stable, declining, or increasing. As necessary, retraining is offered and completed.
56 Background Founded in 1978, Paratransit, Inc. is a private nonprofit corporation dedicated to providing transportation services to individuals with disabilities, to the elderly, and to related agen- cies throughout Sacramento County. Since 1981, Paratransit, Inc. has served as the Consolidated Transportation Services Agency or CTSA (a state-designated agency for administer- ing transportation funds and coordinating transportation in a locality) for the Sacramento area and is recognized as a national leader in coordinated transportation programs. Program Start-up In December of 1981, the Sacramento Regional Transit District (RT) received $62,700 in state SB620 discretionary funds administered by the California DOT for a Mobility PARATRANSIT MOBILITY TRAINING PARATRANSIT, INC. SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA Program Name Paratransit Mobility Training Address 2501 Florin Road City, State Sacramento, CA Sponsoring Organization Paratransit, Inc. Organization Type Private nonprofit Training Program Began 1981 Service Area Sacramento, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Rancho Cordova, Citrus Heights, Rio Linda, Elverta, Orangevale, North Highlands, Elk Grove, West Sacramento, Davis, Woodland, Roseville, Folsom, and surrounding areas Service Area Population 1,418,788 Service Area Size (sq mi) 964.64 Persons Trained 12,030 since 1981 Data for Year Ending 2012 Persons Trained per Year 400 Annual Training Expenses $534,429 Major Funding Sources Revenue for the program comes from vendor agreements with the Alta California Regional Center (ACRC) and the California State Department of Rehabilitation (DOR). The ACRC and DOR pay an hourly rate for training of their clients. Additional funding came from a New Freedom grant, a JARC grant, and from the South Area Transportation Management Association (TMA). Also, Paratransit, Inc., under the name Innovative Paradigms, provides consulting services and travel training program management for other agencies to bring in additional revenue for the agency and the local program. Partnering Agencies ACRC, the California State Department of Rehabilitation, and the Sacramento Regional Transit District Key or Unique Factors Paratransit, Inc. has been offering travel training for the past 30 years, with some of the staff working at Paratransit the entire time the program has been running.
57 Training Pilot Program. RT subcontracted the program to Sacramento Area Council of Government (SACOG). SACOG formed an advisory committee, and the program successfully trained 70 people in the first year. In September of 1982, the pilot program was successfully completed and Paratransit, Inc. took over the program. Vendor agreements were estab- lished with the ACRC and the DOR. In 1983, Paratransit was awarded $64,000 in Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds from the Sacramento Employment and Train- ing Agency (SETA) for travel training. Program Operations Paratransit, Inc. serves Sacramento County and the sur- rounding communities. Anyone in the county is eligible for the program. If riders need to go outside of the service area, and the training is not provided through a vendor agreement, Paratransit, Inc. will show the participants how to connect to a different transportation system. Paratransitâs travel training program is a free service to the participants. The program focuses on travel training for people who have disabilities, as well as the elderly, and teaches safe and proficient use of regular public transit. In Sacramento, that includes RT buses, light rail, and Neighborhood Ride route deviation shuttles. The program teaches all of the skills needed to use public transit successfully including trip planning, safety, and the use of accessible equipment. Most of the travel training takes place in a one-on-one or occasionally in small group settings in public transit vehicles while the vehicles are in service. Mobility training (travel training) for RT in Sacramento includes the following: â¢ How to get to and from the bus stop or light rail train station. â¢ Training to specific destinations. â¢ A free RT identification card and bus pass for the month of training. â¢ How to identify landmarks. Resources Over the past few years, the travel training program has varied in size due to budgetary issues. Currently, Paratran- sit, Inc. has three full-time travel trainers; at one point, the program had expanded to seven full-time travel trainers. The travel trainers that Paratransit, Inc. employs have a full sched- ule with outreach and travel training and constantly maintain a busy schedule. The cost of training including wages, benefits, and other indirect costs is approximately $50 per hour. The average amount of hours to complete travel training is approximately 16.5 hours for all of types of individualsâthis includes intel- lectual disabilities, mental illness, or other conditions. The average amount spent on an individual for travel training is $825 per trainee, starting with the initial assessment through their final personal report. Over the past 30 years, Paratransit, Inc. has continued to provide mobility training in the Sacramento area. From December 1981 to September 2012, Paratransit trained 12,030 people, including people with disabilities and older adults. The cost avoidance over the last 17 years in Sacra- mento has been estimated to be $20,588,458. Program Partners, Promotion, and Outreach Creating successful marketing and outreach to inform the community about travel training is a major component for a successful travel training program. Paratransit, Inc. conducts outreach efforts to senior communities and senior programs throughout Sacramento County. Travel training outreach presentations are held at most senior centers and develop- ments approximately once a year; The travel trainers will return for another presentation if the need arises; this typi- cally occurs if there is a high rate of turnover of seniors in a specific community. Paratransit, Inc. believes that in order to run a successful program it is extremely important to develop and maintain relationships within the community and to make sure that seniors are aware of the programs that Paratransit, Inc. offers. Results To date, Paratransit, Inc.âs curriculum has brought inde- pendence, through travel training, to more than 12,000 tran- sit users in the greater Sacramento area, including persons who are developmentally (intellectually) disabled, physically challenged, mentally disabled, and seniors. Over the past 30 years, the travel training program in Sac- ramento has averaged 400 individuals trained per year. An average year of travel training would include training for 31 seniors with no disabilities, 37 people with physical disabili- ties, 147 people with intellectual disabilities, 94 people with psychological disabilities, and 91 people who have more than one disability. Often the people with more than one disability are seniors with physical disability or psychological disabilities. The program has averaged 80 successful trainees per year who are 55 years of age or older. Most of the seniors who have participated in the travel training program that Paratransit, Inc. provides are over 80 years old. The reason seniors often start using public transit and are interested in travel train- ing is because they are beginning to face issues of declining
58 health, and beginning to look for other options for mobility because driving is becoming less appropriate. Reasons for Success and Potential Challenges Paratransit, Inc. has successfully operated the travel train- ing program in Sacramento for the past 30 years. The travel training program has been able to operate on the resources that have been provided. The amount of money for travel training has varied from year to year. The travel training program that Paratransit, Inc. operates is set up to be scal- able based on the funding that is available from year to year. Financial restrictions based on the budget are the biggest challenge that the travel training program faces. Program Replicability Paratransit, Inc. has successfully replicated the program in several cities. Paratransit, Inc. helped to establish programs in Portland, Oregon (TriMet); Salt Lake City, Utah (Utah Transit Authority [UTA]); Baltimore, Maryland; Boulder, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; Santa Cruz, California; Spokane, Wash- ington; Stockton, California (San Joaquin RTD); San Jose, California (Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority); Honolulu, HI; Modesto, California (the Stanilaus County CTSA); and San Bernardino County, California (VTrans). In 2006, Paratransit, Inc. established a new division, Innovative Paradigms, to provide consulting services that include travel training. The first client was the Spokane Tran- sit Authority (STA), which established a contract to design, implement, and manage its travel training program.
59 Background The mission of The Kennedy Center (TKC) is âto promote the empowerment of these individuals to achieve their opti- mal participation and inclusion in the community with both dignity and confidence.â TKC does this by offering services, including travel training, to individuals with disabilities and the elderly. Since 1991, TKC has provided travel training to more than 3,000 people with cognitive, sensory, and physi- cal disabilities so these individuals could use local buses and trains to access their communities. In 2005, TKC saw a need to serve others besides adults with disabilities: seniors were identified as a population that might benefit from travel train- ing. TKC appealed to its funding source, CTTRANSIT and the Connecticut DOT, for additional funding to support a full- time staff who would be dedicated to providing outreach and training to seniors as well as transitional high school students, another niche within the travel training population that dem- onstrated a significant need for education and transporta- tion training, which the existing TKC travel training program could not adequately support. The additional funding request was approved in July 2006 and TKC hired a full-time staff per- son, made appointments, and began rebranding its program to market to seniors. The travel training program began with one full-time staff member once funding was received. TKC indicated that it took time and energy to get to know the orga- nizations and their staff that could promote the program to seniors, and face-to-face visits and meetings were needed to facilitate this. It also took some time to establish TKCâs cred- ibility with the senior population and service providers. TKC SENIOR MOBILITY ORIENTATION, TRAVEL TRAINING, AND OTHER TRAINING THE KENNEDY CENTER, INC. TRUMBULL, CONNECTICUT Program Name The Kennedy Center Senior Mobility Orientation, Travel Training, and Training & Professional Development for Transit Staff Sponsoring Organization The Kennedy Center, Inc. Address 2440 Reservoir Ave City, State Trumbull, CT Training Program Began 2006 Organization Type Private nonprofit corporation Service Area State of Connecticut Service Area Population 2,492,081, of which 709,854 are over age 60 Service Area Size (sq mi) 5,014 (Based on CT FY2014 Municipal Dial-a-Ride Funding Formula) Data for Year Ending July 2011 to June 2012 Annual Training Expenses $55,000 Major Funding Sources CTTRANSIT via a Grant from Connecticut DOT Partnering Agencies Transit agencies in urban and suburban transit districts in Connecticut Key or Unique Factors In addition to training seniors and people with disabilities on a one-to- one basis, The Kennedy Center, Inc. offers training to transit agency staff and consulting/project implementation support to other organizations starting up travel training projects. TKC offers both group orientations and group trainings.
60 eventually became known in the senior community, and was able to establish its credibility with the senior population and service providers. The TKC program is unique in the state of Connecticut in that it gets state funding to provide travel training and outreach to seniors. Program Operations TKC promotes three attributes of fixed route transit, emphasizing that fixed route transit fits seniorsâ lifestyle choices, fixed route can be appealing compared to ADA paratransit and taxis because it is less expensive and does not require a reservation, and cost savings can lead to more independence. The TKC program includes Senior Mobil- ity Orientations and one-on-one training. TKC does many presentations (e.g., Senior Mobility Orientations) that can segue to one-on-one training. Group training can sometimes overcome obstacles to training by offering a social activity in which seniors can participate. Orientations may include trip planning to address the needs of specific audiences and locations in order to demonstrate the practicality and utility of fixed route transportation. TKC has developed custom- ized PowerPoint presentations that address the specific needs of their audiences. More detailed trainings at senior centers and senior housing developments may involve a bus ride to a designated location to illustrate specific issues in using fixed route transportation and demonstrate its convenience and practicality. TKC offers a group orientation and group training. Group training is a 2-hour transit introduction curriculum and includes a bus ride, while the group orienta- tion covers many topics, including the availability of alterna- tive travel options. The one-on-one travel training program is predominantly attended by people with disabilities, not seniors. TKC staff estimated that, over time, 10 percent of their one-on-one travel training participants were seniors, but in the last full year (July 2011 to June 2012) TKC provided one-on-one training to six seniors, or about 3 percent of the individuals trained. Resources The funding for travel training for individuals with dis- abilities and for seniors is provided by a $434,632 mobility training grant from the Connecticut DOT via CTTRANSIT. There is no specific budget set aside for the senior travel training program. TKC estimates that the cost of providing outreach, group orientations and trainings, and occasional one-on-one training to seniors throughout the state is about $50,000, with operating costs adding an additional $5,000 per year. TKC uses full-time staff to support the senior travel training program, and does not use volunteers. TKC is in the fourth year of a 5-year grant. Program Components and Approaches Senior Mobility Orientation and Training. Accord- ing to TKC, the Senior Mobility Orientation is designed to assist seniors in utilizing public transportation for daily travel needs. An instructor works with participants to introduce them to the bus or train routes they would like to learn. It can be as simple as helping find and read schedules or planning a trip. Staff will accompany individuals on their first few transit trips. The group training is a 2-hour transit introduction cur- riculum and includes a bus ride, while the group orientation covers many topics, including the availability of alternative travel options. One-on-One Training. TKC conducts a pre-assessment of each potential one-on-one trainee that includes multiple parts to allow customization of the training program. TKC conducts route research to help the senior get to his or her desired destinations. TKC staff members then prepare a cus- tomized training plan and continue to provide training sup- port until the individual has mastered the skills needed to independently use fixed route transportation. TKC then con- ducts a post-travel training test on 28 factors to ensure that the individual has mastered the necessary skills to use fixed route transit. TKC conducts follow-ups at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year post-completion to determine the extent to which the individual is using fixed route transit, identify any problems he or she had, determine how many round trips he or she takes within an average month, and identify the biggest difference for the individual as a result of the travel training. Mobility Management Project. TKC received a grant from FTAâs New Freedom program to conduct a Mobility Management Project. This project aims to coordinate all transportation options for people with disabilities, seniors, and veterans in southwestern Connecticut, identify gaps in service, and help implement new service where it is most needed. The project will support seniors living in southwest- ern Connecticut by solving transportation-related challenges for those seniors, including providing group and one-on-one travel training when it is appropriate. Travel Training Consultation. TKC conducts âtrain the trainerâ seminars and consults with agencies interested in starting a Travel Training Program. The focus is on consult- ing for other entities who want to start travel training pro- grams. Services include helping transit and human services agencies develop a travel training program. TKCâs 2012 Travel Training Guide is in its fifth edition. As noted in the Guide, it is intended to â. . . assist a trainer to teach in all phases of the process. It is designed for any person with any disability (except those who are blind or severely visually impaired).â
61 Program Partners, Promotion, and Outreach TKC is frequently in touch with transit districts, social and human services agencies, and senior housing developments in Connecticut, but especially those serving large urban areas such as Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Norwalk. The majority of referrals come from front line staff in the tran- sit districts who work on ADA-eligibility issues and with the elderly. TKC developed Public Transit 101, a program that includes outreach workshops with a PowerPoint training pre- sentation and bus tours designed to increase human services agency and staff awareness of the importance of transporta- tion for people with disabilities and seniors. Results TKC does follow-ups for one-on-one training participants at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months post-completion. These could be used to summarize results, but follow-ups tend to focus on individual progress, not collective results. The overall satisfaction level for those consumers receiving travel training support was 4.37 out of a possible 5.00. These results include travel training for people with disabilities and senior travel training participants. TKC reports that the response rate is relatively low (10 to 15 percent), so it is possible that the sat- isfaction survey is returned more often by those with a positive experience, and results should not be generalized. Reasons for Success and Potential Challenges One of the reasons that TKC has been successful is that it has worked effectively with the many transit districts within the state, particularly those in the southwest part of Connecti- cut and the larger urban transit districts. TKCâs success is also demonstrated by the desire of other northeastern organiza- tions to receive âtrain the trainerâ and senior travel training consulting services. TKC staff indicated that while the oppor- tunity is there for individuals to participate in one-on-one training, weather, family resistance, and dependence on fam- ily or personal vehicle use are obstacles that have limited the growth of senior travel training. Program Replicability TKC provides customized consulting services to help other transit agencies get started. TKC sells three resource guides that can be used by other entities to promote senior travel training. Summary These seven case studies document extensive and exemplary travel training programs. The seven programs demonstrate strong commitments to increasing the mobility of older adults and to providing significant benefits to transportation provid- ers and their communities. Most of the programs focus their efforts on one-on-one training, and most of the programs fea- ture substantial follow-up activities to ensure that the training has been effective in creating mobility improvements for older adults. All of the programs maintain close working relation- ships with local public transit agencies, and a number of the programs also have strong partnerships with other transporta- tion providers. Some of these programs have worked together to build or improve their programs, and many of the programs have detailed procedural guidelines and guidebooks. These programs represent leaders in the field of travel training and they stand ready to assist others in developing and improving travel training programs for older adults.