Monday, January 30, 2017

FTA Shared Mobility Dialogue

This post includes:

1. The meat of an email which reached RantWoman on January 25, 2017 for a comment period that is supposed to have closed January 27. RantWoman will TRY to read far enough to see wehtehr there is a list she can sign up to for subsequent emails.

2. Some practices that enhance RantWoman's ability to participate in Shared Mobility efforts. RantWoman recognizes that helpful practices as far as process access are not the same thing as best practices for shared mobility, but part of the helpful practices is to get more blind people into jobs related to shared mobility and to facilitate participation by blind people and people with other disabilities and the design, planning, and operation of different transportation services.

3. The text of an email RantWoman wrote to an official with whom RantWoman has many shared mobility conversations.

Don’t miss your chance to contribute to FTA’s Shared Mobility Online Dialogue, which closes Friday, January 27. This is your chance to offer suggestions for guidance, best practices and other ways we can support the public transportation industry’s efforts to explore shared mobility options that improve and expand transit service.
Advancements in smart phones, web applications and related public transportation technology innovations are driving the growth of shared mobility concepts and on-demand solutions like bike-sharing, car-hailing, and innovative demand-response bus services. As the transit industry embraces partnerships with these shared and on-demand services, transit agency staff and others have sought FTA guidance regarding funding eligibility, civil rights requirements, and other conditions for receiving FTA support.
In response, FTA has published a set of Shared Mobility frequently asked questions clarifying formula eligibility for FTA grant programs and compliance with other federal requirements, in addition to hosting the Shared Mobility Online Dialogue to allow the public to share ideas, ask questions and comment on issues raised by others. For more information, contact
Shared Mobility Online DialogueShared Mobility FAQsFTA’s Shared Mobility guidance

Best practices that I have found helpful
--citizen participation boards that reflect community diversity. In King County just one volunteer gig after another has led me to learn A LOT about different pieces of what here is called Alternative Service delivery.
--Remembering to make reasonable accommodations requests in advance so that I get copies of materials I can use and refer back to later.
--Accessible websites
--just showing up and continuing to show up.


Dear ....
Thank you so much for participating in the January 24 conference call
with other members of the WA Council of the Blind. Thank you also for
the links you sent. I distributed them with the email about the call
and I think we will refer to them further.  I am including the people
who were on this call and a couple other people in blind copy and
invite them also to distribute as they see fit and to  contact you if
they have additional questions or comments. Please include these
comments as part of public comment for this funding cycle and I also
look forward to further comments in the Coordinated Plan update

I had hoped to have someone from Pierce and maybe Kitsap counties on
the call but I am glad people from King and Snohomish County
participated. I was also glad to learn that people in Snohomish County
know about the Pay a Pal mileage reimbursement program recommended for
continued funding.

I really appreciated your explanation of current biennium cycle the
Coordinated Grant Program for the Special Needs Transportation Fund
serving King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties. I would like to
understand better how things work for the separate funding in Kitsap
County. For one thing,  besides I think two WCB chapters, know there
is one WCB member who is very interested in transportation. He lives
two miles and no sidewalks from the nearest bus stop but would
definitely be interested in opportunities to participate in Special
Needs transportation related discussions by phone.

I appreciate the work that has gone into the application and review
process and definitely endorse forwarding the recommendations for next
steps. Thank you also for the explanation of how ADA compliance works
as the funds move toward the different funded programs.

Commenting as one private citizen, I want to repeat a couple concerns
from my experience or that I heard yesterday on the call.

--I personally had one STAR Center customer  with multiple
disabilities who is a wheelchair user who complained that the DAV vans
are not wheelchair accessible. Honestly I think there could be several
ways of accommodating the needs of wheelchair users in that program
and perhaps incremental steps could be considered as funding rolls
through for that program.

--Thank you for the information about the expansion and change in
operation of special shuttle programs in King County. As I said on the
call, a STAR center project involving transition age youth from
several language communities relied very heavily on the Hyde Shuttles
for transportation partly because the timing of the project made the
length of time to qualify for ACCESS services untenable. The project’s
linguistically competent staff wound up spending really a lot of time
arranging transportation and then the project did not continue for a
number of reasons. Still the experience is important to consider as
new approaches are used to meet people’s transportation needs.

--I was glad to hear that in Pierce County the services funded through
this grant program are listed in the Pierce County 211 system. As
blind people, getting information about what services are available is
always a challenge and knowing that a county 211 system is a good
place to look would be very valuable. I do not have time this
afternoon to check what information about ongoing programs to be
funded by this process shows up in the King County or Snohomish county
211 system, but again, making information available there and also if
possible in the widely used transportation related apps would be a
valuable step that I think could easily fit into say the mobility
management work.

--I personally have found the opportunity to participate in person in
meetings of the King County Mbility Coalition extremely educational. I
appreciate that the meetings are held in locations easily accessible
by public transit, and I am always energized by the opportunity to
make connections in person at these meetings. At the same time, for
people who face huge transportation barriers, increasing ways for
people to participate by phone in the three county and king county
subregional coalition meetings would be another valuable step toward
greater inclusion. I am not a super expert on PA systems or phone
technology, but I think it could be very worthwhile to explore

--Access to health care is a continuing concern for blind people.
Yesterday’s email stream included information from a blind woman I
know who moved with her wife because of high housing costs in the
Seattle area out near a relative in rural Skagit or Whatcom county.
Both partners have many physical challenges and even arranging help
let alone needed healthcare visits is a huge challenge.

In general I would be glad to help different individuals and chapters
within WCB think about additional points of engagement:

--I think some articles in our quarterly newsletter would be very
valuable and will look at timelines and think about options. Typically
articles are 750 words

--I think it would be great for local chapters to invite someone from
your office or from the different county mobility management programs
to come speak at our monthly chapter meetings. I will include that
thought either in a newsletter article or in an email but some of that
I need to leave up to local chapters to decide.

--I do not know whether others besides me would be interested in
participating in the meetings of the different county mobility
coalition meetings or in any of the 3 sub bregional coalitions in King
county. That might be something for people to think about if they
invite speakers to chapter meetings.

--I would be very glad to distribute info about opportunities to
participate in the upcoming coordinated plan review process. The
intersection of transportation, housing costs, and access to work are
huge concerns for blind people, many of whom are entirely dependent on
public transportation, not just on standard commuting cycles but 24/7
365 days a year. I think the plan update process has already received
feedback about this point not only from me but from other voices and I
look forward to working further with this reality as part of the plan
update process.

I look forward to seeing whether we can have you and / or or someone
from WSDOT speak about Special Needs Transportation issues at the WCB
state convention in October.

Thank you again for your time and I look forward to helping expand
collaboration between PSRC and different chapters and individual
members of the WA Council of the Blind.

Best Regards
One of RantWoman's titles.

No comments:

Post a Comment