Assisting Veterans and Service Members: TCRP Report 164 Now Available

tcrp_rpt_164 1AMMA is pleased to announce that TCRP Report 164: Community Tools to Improve Transportation Options for Veterans, Military Service Members, and Their Families has been published. This guide is available at http://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/170466.aspx as a PDF.

A project of the Transportation Research Board, TCRP Report 164 provides guidance and tools to assess transportation needs of veterans, service members, and their families and ways to potentially improve public transit, specialized transportation, volunteer services, and other local transportation options needed to meet those needs.

AMMA Transit Planning was proud to join Elizabeth Ellis and members of the KFH Group, INC as part of the research team developing this tool.

AMMA Conducts LEP Outreach in Lake County

IMG_7015AMMA kicked off its Title VI development for Lake Transit with a public outreach event at Yuba College’s Clearlake campus. Among fulfilling federal requirements, the Title VI program will ensure that Lake Transit’s services are accessible to non-English speakers.

In late October, campus administrators hosted a student conference for Spanish-speaking high-school age students and their parents. The conference included a campus tour, information about financial aid, a student panel and, following it, a chance to gather information from local businesses, non-profits and Lake Transit.

AMMA attended with Lake Transit to ask participants to respond to a short survey about their interactions with Lake Transit. Lake Transit drivers and dispatchers were there to answer questions and talk to students and their families. The information collected from this event—and from the additional outreach efforts AMMA will conduct over the course of this project—will be used to develop a Language Assistance Plan for Lake Transit.

AMMA will be working with Lake Transit on the Title VI Program over the next few months.

MBTA’s Title VI Program Approved and Applauded

AMMA recently completed the Title VI program for Morongo Basin Transit Authority (MBTA) on behalf of the San Bernardino Associated Governments. In addition to developing the Title VI core elements and corresponding procedures, AMMA prepared the Language Assistance Plan and Public Participation Plan.

Upon review, Caltrans reported that MBTA’s Title VI program was one of the best its seen. AMMA was pleased to work with MBTA on this project and looks forward to future joint efforts.

Potential TRB Publication and Presentation for Travel Training Paper

DSCN2368 (2)AMMA’s Heather Menninger and Riverside Transit Agency’s (RTA) Virginia Werly recently collaborated on a paper that studied the cost-savings to transit providers by providing fixed-route travel training.

Of the nearly 5200 papers submitted toTransportation Research Board for the 2014 Annual Meeting, this was one of the few to be recommended for Presentation at the 2014 Annual Meeting and Publication in the 2014 Transportation Research Record series (Journal of the Transportation Research Board).

Titled “ADA Cost Savings and Increased Fixed-Route Ridership through Transit Agency-Provided Travel Training“, Menninger and Werly’s paper uses RTA’s Freedom to Go Travel Training Program to document long-term riding experiences of travel trained individuals through analysis of GFI farebox data.

This paper documents the almost $333,000 in cost-saving RTA saw in its first full program year.The paper reports on trainees’ fixed-route use, some additional outcomes RTA has affected due to increased understanding of barriers to use by its ADA riders and overall demand trends in RTA’s ADA program.

The RTA Travel Training program is for people with disabilities and older adults who want to learn to travel safely and independently using public transportation. Travel training is a free self-paced process where an individual, regardless of ability or age, can learn to ride RTA’s fixed-route system. More about Freedom to Go is available here.

Menninger and Werly will be notified in the next few months if the paper is selected for publication and presentation, though the odds look good. Reviews commented on the paper’s quality writing, well documented research and needed contribution to literature on the topic of travel training.

 

Caltrans Offers Rave Reviews on RCTC’s Coordinated Plan Update

The reviews are in…and they are singing praises.

Riverside County’s 2012 Public Transit-Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan Update was recently reviewed by Caltrans’ Division of Mass Transportation (DMT) as part of their preparation for an impending in preparation for a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) audit this fall.

Caltrans DMT Office Chief, Jila Priebe, wrote that “Caltrans is pleased with the outcome of RCTC’s 2012 Coordinated Plan Update…”

Additional Caltrans remarks included, “This document exceeds minimum expectations for coordinated plans…RCTC has done an excellent job articulating the existing state of transportation in areas served and for populations served. The 2012 Coordinated Plan Update reflects a candid and comprehensive assessment of the region’s needs and offers realistic strategies for meeting specified priorities.”

AMMA is pleased to have developed this plan on behalf of RCTC (Riverside County Transportation Commission) and is proud to continue working with RCTC on their specialized transit program.

AMMA is currently authoring Coordinated Plan Updates for various California Counties, as well as in counties in Arizona and Oregon. Learn more about AMMA’s coordinated transportation planning by clicking here.

Riverside County Coordinated Plan Update and the original 2008 Coordinated are available on RCTC’s website.

Veterans Specialists Now in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties

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Riverside County 2-1-1, administered by Community Connect, welcomes its first Veterans Specialist to the team! Miguel Duran, a Marine Veteran, is the second of two Veteran Specialists to be installed as part of VetLink, the Inland Southern California One-Call/One-Click Project.

Osvaldo Maysonet, Mr. Duran’s counterpart in San Bernardino–and also a Marine Veteran–has been working as the Veterans Specialist at Inland Empire 2-1-1 since the summer of 2012.

Mr. Duran and Mr. Maysonet are part of VetLink’s efforts to improve access to and information about transportation options for Veterans, their families, and the broader military community. More about this VTCLI project can be found here.

AMMA is pleased to welcome both to the team and the transit community!

AMMA and CalACT to Host Title VI Webinar

August 21, 2013 at 10 am, AMMA will be offering a Title VI Development Webinar. This webinar is hosted by CalACT (California Associated for Coordinated Transportation) and is part of AMMA’s Title VI Technical Assistance role on behalf of CalACT and Caltrans.

During the webinar, we’ll discuss all the Title VI requirements for small urban and rural transit providers operating less than 50 vehicles and not located in an urbanized zone with a population of 200,0000.

The deadline for Title VI programs is approaching–this webinar will be a perfect opportunity to help kickstart your agency’s process!

The webinar will run 10 am to 12 pm PDT on August 21, 2013. Register here. More information is also available at CalACT’s website.

 

 

Vet Link Widget Connects to a Veterans’ Transportation Portal

logo-vetlinkThe Inland Southern California One-Call/One-Click project is using its new Vet Link logo and brand as a widget to aide veterans and their family members in locating available transportation services within the 27,000 square mile region of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.

Funded under the Federal Veterans Transportation and Community Living Initiative (VTCLI), this is the first phase of the One-Click effort. The widget can be easily placed onto participating stakeholders’ websites and creates a hotlink to the IE511.org website where a page on Veterans transportation resources exists.  Although all five of the public transit operators in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties are on Google Transit, its trip planner capabilities only provide fixed-route transit information.  There are other demand response and specialized transportation programs in the region that can assist veterans in getting to where they need to go and the IE511 page helps to identify those.

The second phase of this project will be an expanded Veterans Transportation Portal with trip search capabilities, hosed by the United Way 2-1-1 which is the lead organization in this VTCLI project.  AMMA Transit Planning provides leadership and direction to the project’s Steering Group, meeting quarterly at the Loma Linda VA Medical Center since late in 2011.

IE 511’s Veterans Transportation page, can be visited by clicking here.

AMMA Launches Title VI Technical Assistance

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AMMA launched its Title VI technical assistance role on behalf of CalACT and Caltrans starting with a presentation at CalACT’s 2013 Spring Expo and Conference, set in stunning Truckee, CA.

Heather Menninger and Valerie Sedig’s CalACT presentation—and AMMA’s Title VI technical assistance—focuses on the requirements for small urban and rural public transit providers, those agencies operating less than 50 vehicles and located in an urbanized zone with a population of less than 200,000.

Our engaged and participatory audience helped develop a list of topics and questions to address at our upcoming Title VI webinar, hosted by CalACT and is tentatively scheduled for July, 2013.

Also forthcoming, is a Title VI page on CalACT’s website, which will provide AMMA’s Title VI presentation, Title VI FAQ’s, and other resources and tools AMMA is preparing to guide transit providers in developing their own Title VI programs.

Kern County Coordinated Plan Outreach

AMMA recently concluded a three-day intensive outreach effort in Kern County as part of updating its Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan. AMMA is under contract with Kern Council of Governments to update the Coordinated Plan, which was originally developed in 2006-2007.

This outreach effort was agency-based and included meeting with representatives of agencies that serve individuals with disabilities, older adults, veterans, homeless individuals, and persons of low-income. An e-survey was also widely advertised to solicit agency input about these groups’ needs.

The Kern County Homeless Collaborative graciously hosted AMMA’s outreach team during their visit for a special meeting to discuss the transportation needs and concerns of their consumers. Read the full story of that content-driven meeting here.