NADTC Equity and Accessibility: Transportation Planning Grants Will Address Transportation Inequities in Nine Communities Across the Country

The National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) has announced a new round of funding to support the development of program innovations and new models for equitable and accessible transportation to meet the needs of vulnerable and underserved populations, especially older adults and people with disabilities from diverse communities. NADTC has awarded $173,495 in competitive grants to 9 communities in eight states—CO, CT, IA, NM, NY, OH, OR, and RI.

The 9 grantees will each receive grants of up to $20,000 to engage in inclusive planning with community representatives from historically marginalized populations and local aging, disability and transportation organizations, and develop a written plan of action that addresses transportation equity and accessibility. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role of public transit in communities across the country, yet even where public transit is readily available, it may not fully meet the unique mobility needs of older adults and people with disabilities,” said Sandy Markwood, CEO of USAging. “Responses to a 2021 NADTC national equity, diversity and inclusion transportation survey indicate that trip costs, safety issues, lengthy wait times and a lack of mobility options are some of the most significant barriers faced by both older adults and younger adults with disabilities from historically marginalized populations. To begin to address equity and accessibility challenges in transportation, older adults and people with disabilities representing populations with unique needs must be invited to the transportation planning table so their needs are recognized, and their voices are
heard.”

“According to the Easterseals’ recent COVID-19 study, the pandemic has increased the inequities affecting people with disabilities,” said Kendra Davenport, President and CEO of Easterseals, Inc. “Our research also found that isolation is the most reported cause of stress during COVID-19. Older adults face barriers to transportation and often, physical challenges related to aging that make it harder for them to access and use public transportation. The freedom and mobility public transit provides helps people with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers remain involved in and connected to their communities. These grants will ensure their voices are heard in the planning process and help communities establish new, viable solutions to address the inequity and social isolation that a lack access to transportation can create.”

We are honored to be one of the grantees and will leverage funding to explore the expanded use of community and nonprofit vehicles to reduce transportation gaps, update an inventory of transportation resources, and better understand unmet demand before ultimately designing a pilot project in a targeted geographic area to reduce transportation inequities for older adults and people with disabilities.

 


Read the full  press release for more information on the grantees HERE