Monday, April 23, 2012

Benefits Outweight Costs: Travel Training and Transit

Can Travel Training Services Save Public Transportation Agencies Money?, a Transportation Research Board publication, calculates the cost-benefit ratio of travel training for public transportation systems. The article is a quick read and does not identify the transit systems surveyed. What it does is identify the costs and savings related to travel training programs. Karen Wolf-Branigan, director of the National Center on Senior Transportation is one of the authors. NCST is a technical assistance center administered by Easter Seals Inc., in partnership with the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

Rural Transit Reality

The recent South Dakota Public Transit Research Project report paints a picture of the crucial role that transit plays in rural areas. "In the absence of public transit, many of them would have no choice but to forego their trips. This implies that some people would lose their job and apply for public assistance, or require home care, or move to a nursing home facility." The report concludes that for every dollar spent on public transit, the state generates $1.90 in economic activity, or almost double the return on investment.

Though the report finds a connection to the recession, with an increase in ridership since 2008,rural transit is largely transportation to medical care.
[T]he more rural the service area and the larger the share of benefits attributed to medical trips. For instance, benefits attributed to medical trips represent 73 percent of total benefits for Rural systems whereas they account for just 38 percent of total benefits for Urbanized systems. This difference can be explained by two factors: the share of medical trips is typically higher for rural transit providers than for urban transit providers ...; congestion related benefits (travel time savings and emissions cost savings in particular) are non‐existent (or slightly negative in some cases) in rural settings.

Another consequence of the recession is that rural transit systems are experiencing “load shifting”, in other words an increase in ridership as a result of transportation service cuts from human service agencies.
Disability Rights: Quick Course

Self-Paced Course on Disability Rights Laws from the New England Americans with Disability Act (ADA) Center is a free web course on federal disability rights laws will take approximately 90 – 120 minutes to complete. The course will provide an overview of the legal definition of disability; an overview of each of the disability rights laws and a discussion of the four laws that apply.