Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council Transportation Initiatives
Transportation continues to be a major barrier for many of Missouri's residents who have a disability. This is particularly true for those who are seeking or trying to keep a job.
The Council's Statewide Needs Assessment findings indicate that Missourians with DD still struggle with the availability and cost of accessible transportation that allows them to go where they need to go, when they need to go. Individuals indicate that transportation challenges prevent them from working and increasing their independence through increased income. Many others indicate that transportation prevents them from enjoying social and recreational activities that are available to them. This especially affects Missouri's many rural communities, thus promoting isolation and lack of integration in the community. When participants were asked what could be done to improve the community for persons with disabilities, one of the top three comments was to improve transportation, further validating the importance of this issue to persons with disabilities and their families.
One of the Council's priorities is to increase the availability of accessible, affordable and flexible transportation for persons with disabilities. The Council believes that developing effective transportation solutions for people with disabilities and others who have this need is a sound investment that will benefit both the individuals and the communities they live in.
The Council is intent on supporting the development of collaborative partnerships within communities that will improve transportation outcomes for all Missouri Citizens, particularly those who have a developmental disability.
Current Council Transportation Initiatives:
Past Transportation Initiatives:
Human Service Transportation Coordination
The Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council is investing in projects to promote Human Service Transportation Coordination. Our strategy is to partner with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and the Regional Planning Commissions (RPC). We are currently partnering with Mid-Missouri, Meramec, and Boonslick Regional Planning Commissions. We know that the RPC’s have done extensive research on where the resources, needs and opportunities are in their individual communities. We believe that the RPC’s have the ability to engage their local constituents in meaningful discussions that could result in actual coordination.
Our goal would be that, with the help of MoDOT administered DOT/FTA federal transportation funds, the RPCs will develop workable coordination strategies with sufficient details so that they could be used by other communities.
Community Transportation Solutions Conference
The Council announced the availability of funding at their Community Transportation Solutions Conference on June 15, 2007, for planning and implementation of up to three Community Transportation Solutions Projects that would result in affordable, accessible, and flexible options for persons with developmental disabilities and community citizens.
In August 2007 the Council selected three communities to develop local Transportation Solutions. Those communities were the City of Boonville, St. Charles County and Jefferson County. All three communities are making great progress towards the goal of developing sustainable transportation solutions that will serve the needs of all of their community members.
Transportation Links & Resources:
- Kirk-Tran: The Council was previously involved with the development of a sustained transportation solution in the City of Kirksville, MO.
- The Council has worked on the development of two other transportation projects, the Katy Flyer (PDF) in Boonville, and OATS Transit in Jefferson County. Jefferson County residents wanting to schedule a ride can call the local OATS Transit Festus office at 636-933-9380. Schedules can be found online at www.oatstransit.org, click on Bus Schedules, then Jefferson, or by picking up a brochure at several local businesses.
- Transportation Solutions: How to Manuals
As mentioned above, the Missouri DD Council funded two communities, the City of Boonville (PDF) and Jefferson County, to assist in developing affordable accessible transportation solutions for their communities. As a result of over three years of hard work, these two areas have developed some guidelines to help other communities figure out how best to tackle their transportation issues. The Council would like to share this information with all Missouri communities, please let us know if you find this information helpful or have other comments.
The Council has also received technical assistance from a variety of state and national programs:
- The Missouri Department of Transportation's transit section provides financial and technical assistance to public transit and specialized transit providers across the state. This function is carried out through the administration of state and federal programs related to general public transportation as well as specific transit programs for agencies serving senior citizens and/or persons with disabilities.
- Easter Seals Project ACTION: Funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Easter Seals Project ACTION promotes cooperation between the transportation industry and the disability community to increase mobility for people with disabilities under the ADA and beyond.
- Missouri Public Transit Association (MPTA) provides a unified voice for public and specialized transportation providers in Missouri