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Where do you need to go, without a car?

Public input sought on transportation plan

 

Last updated 12/4/2020 at 10:37am

Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

Some people rely on public transportation for all travel, which supports medical visits, health-related trips, work and social interaction. The department of transportation is asking for personal stories from people with disabilities and other limits, on how they use the transportation system. The plan's goal is to find unmet needs and understand use. Public input is already being collected now, and continues through Dec. 22. The plan is here: https://bit.ly/2Vkuz6E.

The Washington Department of Transportation is asking for input on service levels on its Human Services Transportation Plan.

The plan helps people with mobility challenges, offering tools such as ramps and lifts to board transit, and also transit vans that pick people up from their homes, the DOT states on their website.

The DOT says disability, low income and other factors impact transportation challenges. People rely on transportation to get to medical appointments, work, school and shopping. Gaps in transportation can lead to poor health, lower wages, isolation, and overall quality of life, the DOT states.

The DOT plan addresses unmet needs for users and potential users, including geographical areas with limited or no access to public transportation.

WSDOT says that every day, statewide, people rely on human-services transportation as their sole source of access to jobs, medical appointments, and other trips. The agency is asking for personal experiences about access to mobility that will help determine future investments in communities across the state. The experiential information is intended as data to help in future planning.

More detail on the unmet needs in Washington state are here: https://bit.ly/3oflRmO.

The emerging trends section of the report addresses the resources made more widely available by COVID-19. The plan also touches on the pandemic's silver linings for those with transportation challenges: remote medical visits that are making "a ride" unnecessary for some appointments. That makes travel less imperative for some people without the ability to get in a car and drive. Another mention that eases the burden on transportation is medication delivery services and in-home dialysis kits, which allow "to access non-emergency health care without relying on human services transportation."

Technological items that fold into travel issues include the smart phone, which the DOT site says make it "easier to access human services transportation programs and technology resources."

Collection of that input started yesterday and continues through Dec. 22. The agency partners with other agencies to develop the plan. Partners include human service agencies, transportation providers and planning organizations, Washington tribes, and the public.

The plan is here: https://bit.ly/2Vkuz6E.

 

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