Best Practices in Advocating for Disabled & Senior Transportation

Example of an inaccessible bus stop. See photo below for detail of sign.

By 2025 one in every five drivers will be over the age of 65, and the 65+ population will have grown by 60% according to a recent report from TRIP.  Making transportation accessible for this demographic will become more and more important in coming years.  “Accessible” can mean anything from increased public and private transportation options (including physically accommodating transit vehicles and stops) to safer roads (e.g., brighter, simpler signage).

For just one glimpse into the issue, 30% of  bus stops in Prince George’s County (outside of D.C.) are inaccessible to the disabled, severely complicating the ability of those riders to access the bus system.  The personal impact of that is explored in Kytja Weir’s story,  “Metro: about 30 percent of bus stops inaccessible“.  A local advocacy group notes one of the challenges in improving bus stops:

It comes across a case of “pass the buck” at times.  No-one seems willing (or able) to take ownership of bus stops (or sidewalks) to work on accessibility.  If the road involved is a state highway, the county has to get the state to approve the work, but the state also will say it’s the county’s responsibility, with the end result that no-one does anything because they’re all too busy trying to figure out who can (“Prince George’s County and bus stop accessibility,” DC Paratransit Info (learn more).

Any disability and public transportation advocates who have ever experienced similar frustrations will be interested in an April 23 webinar sponsored by Project ACTION, “Transportation Advocacy at the Local Level“.  Participants “will learn to become effective advocates for accessible transportation by connecting with local advisory committees and other entities involved in transportation planning.”

The webinar is part of Project ACTION’s Promising Practices and Solutions in Accessible Transportation series; and is sponsored by Easter Seals.

Visit this Project Action webpage for more detailed information.  Easter Seals also sponsors the National Center on Senior Transportation (learn more).

Project ACTION “promotes cooperation between the transportation industry and the disability community to increase mobility for people with disabilities under the ADA and beyond. We offer numerous resources, as well as training and technical assistance, in an effort to make the ADA work for everyone, everyday.” It is funded through a cooperative agreement with USDOT.

Project ACTION also sponsors a toll-free information and resource line to “answer questions about ADA rights and responsibilities, direct callers to additional resources, and help members of the disability and transportation communities address diverse accessibility issues.

Keeping Baby Boomers Mobile: Preserving Mobility and Safety for Older Americans,” was released in February 2012 by TRIP.

I think we could have figured this out on our own.