Case Studies

The mission of the Strengthening Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Partnerships - or Transit Planning 4 All - project is to demonstrate the value that inclusive processes can bring to transportation efforts. This project is developing, testing and demonstrating ways to empower people with disabilities and older adults to be actively involved in designing and implementing coordinated transportation systems.

The project's goal is to support communities nationwide in adopting proven, sustainable, and replicable models that include participation of people with disabilities and older adults in the design and implementation of coordinated transportation systems that are responsive to their needs.

The communities described in the case studies below conducted projects to promote and analyze inclusive planning techniques and outcomes. Some of the programs focused on older adults, some on persons with disabilities, and some on both populations. All of them contributed mightily to the understanding and practice of inclusive planning. These projects produced impressive and varied results that took into account differing goals based on their geographic and population settings.

These case studies below describe the approaches and outcomes of the projects.

Advocacy and advisory bodies
  • Area Agency on Aging 1-B, Southfield, Michigan (PDF)(141 KB) - 2013-15 Planning Grantee: AAA 1-B project activities educated participants on current and future transportation plans and empowered them to advocate for their needs and wants within the framework of an emerging regional transportation system. The ultimate goal of the AAA 1-B work is for its advocacy efforts, through the engagement of people with disabilities and older adults, to lead to improvements in transportation service delivery. 
  • King County Metro, Seattle, Washington (PDF)(182 KB) - 2016-17 Planning Grantee: The project increased participation of older adults and people with disabilities on transit and paratransit advisory committees. It used recommendations to make its reservation policy more flexible and to change paratransit performance standards. The project also increased engagement of riders with limited English proficiency.
  • PEAC, Inc., Ypsilanti, Michigan (PDF)(76 KB) - 2016-17 Planning Grantee: The PEAC project resulted in a significant increase in participation of older adults and people with disabilities on advisory committees and at public meetings. Advocates identified areas where their participation is needed, including bikeshare planning, testing of autonomous vehicles, and training of transit bus drivers.

  • Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, (PDF) (887 KB) - 2016-17 Planning Grantee: The project used surveys and focus groups as a springboard to develop marketing information about transportation services for older adults and people with disabilities. These included transportation to grocery shopping, movies, and non-emergency medical care (including a VA medical clinic), as well as outreach for opportunities for volunteer drivers and for travel training to use fixed route transit.  
  • Helena Area Transit System – Lewis and Clark County, Helena, Montana (PDF)(138 KB) - 2013-15 Planning Grantee: Project staff and consultants worked closely with stakeholders, a diverse group of people with disabilities and seniors to review the transportation system, help identify gaps and participate in other engagement strategies; conducted community surveys to identify mobility needs and attitudes; and gathered and analyzed data to support informed decision-making. A comprehensive marketing plan, new, high-profile branding for buses and bus stops and user-friendly passenger information tools, including a passenger guide and website, were developed. 

Resource development and improvement
  • Alaska Mobility Coalition, Fairbanks, Alaska (PDF)(136 KB) - 2013-15 Planning Grantee: The overall goal of the project was to implement needed mobility improvements in and around Fairbanks that were identified in a mobility management plan. Outcomes included updating of the local coordination plan; incorporating improvements that will benefit older adults, persons with disabilities, and low-income individuals; and developing an application for hiring of a VISTA Volunteer for Fairbanks region.
  • The Arc of Connecticut, Hartford, Connecticut (PDF)(141 KB) - 2013-15 Planning Grantee: The project examined lack of transit services to rural areas and non-rural areas, as well as the high cost of transportation services. The initiative's recommended solutions were the development of a more inclusive website, a call center with capacity to schedule rides and communicate with drivers, and greater engagement of transportation providers with their riders. 
  • District of Columbia Department of Transportation, Washington, DC (PDF) (884 KB) - 2016-17 Planning Grantee: The project identified strengths, weaknesses, linkages, and improvements using a project advisory committee of community members who were older adults or people with disabilities and DC agency partners. The project produced a website, a survey in English and Spanish, open meetings for the community, in-depth interviews, and recommendations for future projects.
  • Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington, Rockville, Maryland (PDF)(144 KB) - 2013-15 Planning Grantee: The project began with surveys and the creation of an advisory panel, which emerged as a voice for older adults and people with disabilities in the community and which committed  itself to ensuring inclusivity in all of the county’s transportation activities. The project resulted in harnessing the artistic and technological skills of young people to develop information and build support for transportation that serves the needs of older and disabled adults. 
  • Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee, Knoxville, Tennessee (PDF)(141 KB) - 2013-15 Planning Grantee: Using a "meeting in a box" approach, the goal of this project was to overcome communication barriers experienced by people with disabilities when using public transportation. The project was based on the development of a technological tool to enhance communication between riders and transit operators, though future customization of the app developed will be necessary to serve people with a broad range of disabilities. 
  • Northern Arizona Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (PDF)(413 KB) - 2016-17 Planning Grantee: The project was used to identify mobility improvements, to increase the inclusiveness and the input of older adults and people with disabilities into the planning process, to revise a brochure with paratransit information, to increase funding for a taxi program, and to revamp the taxi program to broaden it to include ridehailing services (or TNCs, transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft).

Targeted transportation service development
  • City of Evanston, Ill (PDF)(640 KB) - 2016-17 Planning Grantee: Employing an advisory group of residents who were older adults and people with disabilities, the project sought to create a path to embedding inclusive, participatory elements in transportation planning and to find strategies for surmounting transportation obstacles for these populations. In addition to recommendations and plans for future inclusive planning, the project resulted in a recommendation to the city for a Transportation Benefit Card pilot that would enable users to travel with one discount card on multiple modes of transportation. 
  • Ride Connection, Inc., Portland, Oregon (PDF)(137 KB) - 2013-15 Planning Grantee: The project used a participatory planning process to identify existing challenges related to transportation for kidney dialysis patients, and how these challenges impacted patient health. It involved the creation of an advisory committee and implementation of a public engagement effort. The project resulted in a pilot program with an NEMT method of grouping rides by neighborhood for trips to the clinic; providing flexible return trips allowing patients to change pickup times as needed; and allowing same-day ride requests. 
  • Rural Economic Assistance League, Inc. (REAL), Alice, TX (PDF) (300 KB) - 2016-17 Planning Grantee: The Consumer-Provider Partnership to Promote Health planning project focused on bridging the gaps and developing a transportation system that aligns transit services with needs to assist in increasing access to health care for transit dependent dialysis users. The project resulted in discounted fares for transportation to and from dialysis, flexible scheduling, and filling transportation gaps for holidays and off-hours when normally transportation would not be available. The project included a large component of educating transportation and dialysis clinic staff about the processes and challenges involved in their work to serve patients who need dialysis. 
  • United Way of Northwest Vermont (PDF) (1 MB) - 2016-17 Planning Grantee: The project used an advisory committee and a stakeholder group to identify gaps in service, and information and services to fill those gaps. Results of the inclusive planning process were a bus buddy travel training program and assistance with weekly grocery shuttle trips, both using volunteers. The team also crafted a magnet with transportation information that could be tailored for each community.