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									     The Community Action for
Transportation Solutions Final Report
          and Action Plan
             April 2004
         Denver, Colorado




 Contact Person: Nancy Smith 303-805-5719 nancys70@comcast.net




                                                                 1
                       Table of Contents

Section Name                                             Page No.

Introduction                                                  3
The CATS Project Advisory Committee and Staff                 3
Pre CATS History                                              4
A Sketch of the Region                                        5
Profiles of the Region‟s Main Transportation Providers         7
CATS Needs Assessment Results                                  8
       a. Customer Surveys                                     9
       b. Workforce Center Accessibility Evaluations         13
       c. Customer Profiles                                  14
CATS Goals, Objectives and Activities                        22
       a. New Developments                                   27
Pilot Project: The Hub                                       28
Process Lessons Learned From the CATS Project                32
Website Access                                               35
Appendices                                                   36




                                                                    2
Introduction

In October 2003 a group of people was assembled in Denver to discuss how to
best improve the transportation available for people with disabilities, especially as
it relates to them being able to easily commute to and from their work settings.
This group, known as the CATS Advisory Committee, was composed of persons
working in the fields of transportation, employment and workforce development,
vocational rehabilitation, and disability services and advocacy. Members of the
group were nearly evenly divided among people with disabilities and those
without. There was representation of government, non-profits and the private
sector. A number of CATS members are also SMA members. Initially the group
was split into two subcommittees: existing transportation services and
destinations. Later in the process the group came together to create the major
recommendations that will be presented in this plan. (See appendix A for the
advisory committee roster). In addition to providing the staff of the project with
ideas and contacts, the CATS Advisory Committee took the most significant role
in formulating what has become the basis for the action plan presented on these
pages.


The CATS Project Advisory Committee and Staff

Easter Seals Project ACTION (ESPA) and the Community Transportation
Association of America (CTAA) joined together to create a planning grant
program aimed at supporting communities who wanted to create specific
recommendations and an action plan for increasing the transportation options for
people with disabilities 1. The problem stated in the Request for Proposals (RFP)
is that "people with disabilities work, play, shop, vote pursue an education, raise
families, and volunteer in their communities….. Transportation is an especially
critical component for people with disabilities as they transition from school and
unemployment to work." The position of the RFP supports the President's New
Freedom Initiative in which he says, "The lack of adequate transportation
remains a primary barrier to work for people with disabilities: one-third of people
with disabilities report that inadequate transportation is a significant problem".

Easter Seals Colorado and the Colorado Mobility Coalition applied for and
received one of thirteen grants awarded under the Community-Based Planning
Grants: Expanding Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities. The Colorado
grant was named Community Action for Transportation Solutions (CATS). The
CATS project was to build on over two years of work by a group supported by

1
  Definition of disability: we will use the definition of disability that states when an individual’s ability to
live life is impeded by significant problems in two or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), a disability
exists.


                                                                                                                   3
Rose Community Foundation called the Senior Mobility Alliance (SMA). SMA
includes community stakeholders who have been developing strategies for
addressing the needs of the senior population.

The staff of the CATS project included two people from Easter Seals Colorado
(ESC) as well as two from the Colorado Mobility Coalition (CMC), ESC‟s partner
in this venture. Responsibilities for the accomplishment of the project‟s goals and
objectives were divided among these four people with the majority of tasks being
accomplished by Nancy Smith and Donna Schulte.

The work of the CATS project included an extensive needs assessment, the
development of a string advisory committee whose stakeholders would represent
the needs of both riders and providers of transportation, facilitated discussion
regarding the most important issues to be addressed regarding improving the
transportation for people with disabilities, the development of specific
recommendations, and the creation of an action plan to address identified issues
and recommendations. In addition, the project would look at its own process,
identify problems, and provide a model for other communities to utilize.


Pre CATS History

The items listed below are some of the regional developments leading to the
atmosphere in which the CATS Advisory Committee met.
    1980s-1990s Regularly scheduled meetings with the major county
       providers begin and reduced duplication of vehicle and related purchases
       in the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) region.
       Purchases made through Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT)
       as well as the federal 5310 and 5311 funds were coordinated each year.
    1982 Transportation Associates of the Denver Area (TADA) was formed,
       followed by Special Transportation Association of Colorado (STAC) in
       1984. These organizations allowed people involved with the provision of
       special transportation to meet, share ideas and form strong working
       alliances. At the same time the Colorado Association of Transportation
       (CAT) was formed and included the major fixed route providers in the
       state.
    1989 The Colorado Association of Transit Agencies (CASTA) was formed
       when STAC merged with CAT.
    1998-2000 Easter Seals Colorado received two Project ACTION grants
       focusing on providing travel training to access-a-Ride (RTD‟s ADA
       paratransit system) consumers so they could use RTD‟s fixed route
       system. Other goals of the grants were to provide bus drivers with
       sensitivity training specific to riders with developmental disabilities and to
       sensitize RTD regarding the identification and removal of environmental
       barriers.



                                                                                    4
      2000 Easter Seals Colorado contracted with RTD to provide an
       assessment of access-a-Ride. One of many recommendations was that
       access-a-Ride collaborate with other transportation carriers to fill gaps in
       the service they were providing.
      Spring 2000 Rose Community Foundation (RCF) began work on senior
       transportation issues, an advisory committee was formed; the goal was to
       hold a Transportation Summit in October 2000 & issue a report of findings
       thereafter. The theme selected by the committee was Getting There:
       Bridging the Transportation Gap for Older Adults.
      Fall 2000 RCF sponsored the Transportation Summit emceed by CTAA
       and attended by more than 300 people interested in transportation issues
       for older adults.
      Winter 2000-01 RCF issued the report on the Transportation Summit and
       Senior Transportation Resource Guide.
      Spring 2001-03 RCF initiated the Senior Mobility Alliance (SMA), a diverse
       group of stakeholders, to continue discussion on resolving issues in the
       Summit report. SMA issued its own similar recommendations as well as
       proposed projects including an information and referral line for consumers
       and a transportation needs assessment.
      Summer 2001 the Denver Regional Transportation District selects Easter
       Seals Colorado to do its assessments for customers who apply for
       access-a-Ride services.


A Sketch of the Region

The area examined during this pilot planning grant project included nine counties:
Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Gilpin,
and Jefferson. This area is the same as the Denver Regional Council of
Governments (DRCOG) and the Greater Denver Transportation Planning
Region. The DRCOG 2000-2005 Regional Transit Developmental Plan (TDP)
accurately describes the commonalities and challenges of the Denver Region.

“The nine counties that make up the DRCOG region are drawn together by
strong economic ties and commuting patterns. However, the counties differ
greatly in total population, economic activities, topography and urbanized area.
The City and County of Denver constitutes the metropolitan area‟s primary
activity center and is surrounded by the adjoining suburban counties of Adams,
Arapahoe, and Jefferson. Boulder County to the northwest and Douglas County
along Interstate 25 to the south are farther removed geographically, yet still
possess the connections that tie them to the region. The mountain counties of
Clear Creek and Gilpin to the west have economies oriented toward gaming,
tourism and mining. They also have strong transportation and service
connections to the region‟s urban center. (Page 19, DRCOG 2000-2005 Regional
Transit Developmental Plan.



                                                                                  5
The CATS project identified many of the existing trends and problems in their
grant proposal. It stated that the DRCOG TDP reports that existing transit
systems in the Denver metro area are unable to meet the existing demand from
older persons and persons with disabilities. The projected increase in the mobility
dependent populations will flood existing systems. Further, Colorado’s economy,
booming during the high-tech expansion years, has suffered more than almost
any other state in this region during the national economic downturn. (Page 3,
CATS Grant Proposal)

The growth of the population of people with disabilities and older adults is
outstripping the capacity of existing transportation sources. Demographic data
from the 2000 US Census shows that within the nine county region there are
211,875 people aged 21-64 with disabilities. An estimated 59.4% or 125,854
people are employed and the majority of them need affordable, alternative and/or
accessible transportation. The US Census states that 1 out of every 5 people has
a disability, thereby increasing the importance to our communities of all people
being able to access transportation and become full participants in their
communities.

Following is information taken from the 2000 U.S. Census regarding people with
disabilities within the nine Metro Denver counties.


  Counties        Service     Description    Total target    %      Descriptio    Total target
                   pop.         of pop.         pop.        Emp’    n of pop.        pop.
                                                             d.
Colorado         2,949,06      Age 21-64       406,740      61.9     Age 65+      159,289
                     1           w/dis.        (15.9%)       %        w/dis.      (40%)
Adams            242,350       Age 21-64        42,188      61.9     Age 65+         12,246
                                 w/dis.        (19.6%)       %        w/dis.        (44.4%)
Arapahoe          336,246      Age 21-64        42,922      67.5     Age 65+         15,073
                                 w/dis.        (14.5%)       %        w/dis.        (37.6%)
Denver            406,180      Age 21-64        70,306      58.9     Age 65+         25,053
                                 w/dis.        (20.3%)       %        w/dis.        (41.7%)
Douglas           116,144      Age 21-64         8,609      74.7     Age 65+          2,189
                                 w/dis.         (7.9%)       %        w/dis.        (31.5%)
Jefferson         371,357      Age 21-64        43,806      68.6     Age 65+         17,327
                                 w/dis.        (13.6%)       %        w/dis.        (35.5%)
Broomfield        25,843       Age 21-64         2,711      64.7     Age 65+      814 (31.8%)
                                 w/dis.        (11.6%)       %        w/dis.
Gilpin             3,647       Age 21-64           387      65.6     Age 65+          88 (28.1%)
                                 w/dis.        (11.6%)       %        w/dis.
Clear Creek        6,281       Age 21-64           946      72.7     Age 65+            2,189
                                 w/dis.        (15.1%)       %        w/dis.           (31.5%)




                                                                                  6
Across the nation, the older population (65 +) numbered 35 million in 2000, an
increase of 3.7 million or 12% since 1990. By the year 2030, the older population
will more than double to about 70 million. In Colorado, these percentages are
even higher, with the older population increasing by 26.3%. (Source:
Administration on Aging 2001 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)
As the Baby Boomer generation reaches age 60, the numbers of older citizens
will revolutionize the priorities of our society. By the year 2020, the number of
persons age 60+ will more than double in the region. Between 1996 and 2020,
the 60+ population in the Denver metropolitan region will increase by 139.8
percent. It is essential that planning for future transportation needs for this
population begin now. (Source: Demographic Portrait of Older Denver
Metropolitan Residents, DRCOG)

Due to the increasing health and longevity of older citizens it is reasonable to
expect older citizens to utilize public transportation well beyond traditional
working years. According to a statistically representative survey published by
DRCOG in 1994, older residents in the Denver metropolitan area try to remain
actively engaged in their communities. DRCOG reports that in 1994 15% of the
region‟s elders were employed working an average of 24.4 hours per week. This
percentage is expected to increase sharply in the next decade. More than one-
fourth reported doing volunteer activities averaging seven hours per week.


Profiles of the Region’s Main Transportation Providers

Although many companies and organizations provide transportation in the
Denver region, five stand out as the major providers. Brief descriptions of these
providers follow. For a graphic representation of the first four, please see
Appendix B for a map created by DRCOG.

Regional Transportation District (RTD) “The Ride.” RTD is the largest
provider of public transportation in the state of Colorado. Its region covers over
twenty-five hundred square miles and it serves more than half the state‟s
population. RTD‟s mission is “To meet our constituents‟ present and future transit
needs by offering safe, clean, reliable, courteous, accessible and cost-effective
service throughout the region.” Services include bus and light rail, as well as ADA
complementary paratransit, call „n rides, park „n rides, commuter service, and
special event transportation. In 2003, RTD provided 78,898,851 rides through its
bus and light rail services, as well as 437, 835 rides on its ADA paratransit
service, access-a-Ride.

Special Transit (ST). Special Transit is a private nonprofit organization located
in Boulder, Colorado. They provide a variety of transportation options that
improve the quality of life for the people they serve. ST‟s mission is “We believe
that all people are entitled to live as independently as possible within their
circumstances; we believe that freedom of movement is a fundamental necessity


                                                                                    7
in our society; and we believe that everybody counts, regardless of age, health or
income, and has a contribution to make to the community in which they live.”
Their services include the fixed route Hop, a Call „n Ride contract with RTD
serving Brighton, an access a Ride contract with RTD, and the ST paratransit
service which covers Boulder County, Broomfield and parts of Larimer County..
Passenger trip numbers for 2003 are: 946,784 for the Hop, 102,350 for the ST
paratransit service, 90,586 for the Call „n Ride contract, and 65,000 for the
access a Ride contract.

Seniors Resource Center (SRC). Transportation is only one of the services
offered by SRC. SRC works in partnership with older persons and the community
to provide centralized and coordinated services, information, education and
leadership to assist seniors in maximizing their independence and personal
dignity. Community Wheels is its transportation service which serves frail elderly
and people of all ages with disabilities. It provides service to Jefferson, Denver,
and Adams Counties. It is working in Clear Creek County to establish some
transportation service there. Community Wheels provides 85,000 rides per year.

Arapahoe County Transportation Services (ACTS). ACTS brokers
transportation services in eight counties within the Metro Area. Depending upon
the funding source, ACTS provides transportation by acting as a broker/case
manager for all trips, and as such coordinates its service with all other municipal
and nonprofit agencies within the counties it serves. Their major contract is to
provide Medicaid transportation services. ACTS utilizes a number of small
independent private transportation providers to deliver service to customers. Last
year it booked 691,762 rides

Metro Taxi. Metro taxi has Denver‟s largest and most modern computer-
dispatched fleet. They provide late model sedans and minivans as well as
accessible vehicles. Service is available 24 hours per day and reservations are
also accepted. Fares are calculated by use of a meter. No figures are currently
available for Metro‟s 2003 rides.

There are many other providers of transportation in the Denver Metro region.
They include taxi companies like Yellow Cab as well as other small providers and
providers limited to serving a specific population. Many of these providers are
included in the RCF Getting There Resource Guide, which will be provided as a
reference in the hard copy version of this report.


CATS Needs Assessment Results

An important part of the CATS project was completion of a needs assessment
process. The transit customer needs assessment facilitated by the CATS staff
includes three sections: customer surveys, workforce center accessibility
assessments, and customer profiles. Gaps most frequently reported related to


                                                                                  8
finding the right source of transportation for individual needs and means. The
length of time a trip might take is another barrier or challenge to many people
with disabilities. The process and results of these sections follow.


1. Customer Surveys.

                        Survey Purpose and Distribution
In order to obtain a random sample of opinions of people with disabilities
regarding their transportation usage, a survey was developed. The stated
purpose of the survey was to obtain input from people with disabilities which
would help the grant recipients make specific recommendations to improve their
transportation services.

The survey (see Appendix C) asked how people with disabilities get to and from
work, school, medical and other appointments, recreational or other activities and
shopping. In each of the above categories survey respondents were asked about
specific problems they encounter and were given the opportunity to make
comments.

Three thousand (3000) surveys were delivered to forty-three agency locations
(some agencies have multiple locations) serving people with disabilities in the
nine county region. Agencies included State of Colorado Division of Vocational
Rehabilitation, Community Centered Boards (the State organizations that serve
people with developmental disabilities), Independent Living Centers, Workforce
Centers, dialysis treatment facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, national disabilities
organizations including Goodwill Industries, Easter Seals, United Cerebral Palsy,
as well as SHALOM Denver and many other local organizations that serve
people of disabilities in their vocational, residential and other needs.

In addition, the Colorado Business Leadership Network (CBLN) e-mailed the
survey to four thousand five hundred (4500) persons or organizations in their
database including individuals with disabilities, service agencies and companies
that employ people with disabilities. It was hoped that the overall return might be
greater if the agencies receiving the CBLN e-mails were many of the same ones
that already had surveys delivered to them by Easter Seals Colorado.

Three hundred ninety-three (393) surveys were completed. The majority of them
were picked up at the locations to which they were delivered. Other surveys were
mailed, faxed or e-mailed. A few people telephoned and requested staff
assistance to complete the surveys over the phone.


                                    Counties
                          Surveys completed by counties:




                                                                                      9
Adams 41         Arapahoe 51     Boulder 32        Broomfield 11   Clear Creek 3
Denver 159       Douglas 26      Gilpin 1          Jefferson 69




                                  Disabilities
The survey asked the nature of the respondents' disabilities. The following were
reported:

Cognitive 73               Cognitive/Hard of            Cognitive/
                           Hearing/                     Mental Health/Visual 4
                           Physical 6
Cognitive/Mental Health    Cognitive/Physical 26        Cognitive/Visual 12
23
Hard of Hearing 15         Hard of Hearing/Physical     Mental Health 52
                           21
Physical 68                Physical/Mental Health 9     Physical/Visual 9
Visual Impairment 16       Visual/Mental Health 10      Other 21
Unknown 28


               Transportation Used By Those Who Are Employed

Of those who responded, 149 or 38% stated that they are employed. These are
the modes of transportation used to commute to and from work:
     61 ride the fixed-route system of the Regional Transit District (RTD)
     37 use access-a-Ride (RTD‟s ADA paratransit system)
     5 use taxi service.
     5 drive their own vehicles.
     6 walk to work.
     17 are driven by family, friends or vehicles owned by disability
       organizations where they work
     5 carpool.
     3 use other transportation companies.
     3 use RTD some of the time and at other times they drive.
     4 carpool and use RTD.
     3 use RTD and walk home when they work later than the buses run. "The
       last bus from the Pepsi Center leaves at 10:06 pm. I sometimes work later
       than that, and then I have to walk home."
     4 use RTD during the week and another transportation company on
       Saturdays.

                     Transportation to Other Destinations




                                                                                 10
Fifty respondents said they attend school. Thirty use RTD to go to and from
school. Five use access-a-Ride, five are driven by family or friends and two drive.

Of the respondents who indicated how they get to medical or other appointments,
144 said they use RTD, 25 use access-a-Ride, 72 are driven by family, friends or
paid staff, 60 drive and 17 take a taxi.

Fewer respondents gave information about recreational activities. Sixty-four said
they use RTD, three use access-a-Ride, seventy-three reported family, friends or
paid staff take them and thirty-nine said they drive.

Of those who reported on shopping, 61 said they use RTD, four use access-a-
Ride, fifty-one said family, friends or paid staff take them, thirty-six drive, six use
taxis and 16 walk.

          Problems Reported By All Who Responded to the Surveys

Time Issues (74 Reported)
The problem area most often checked and/or commented upon in the survey
regarded time issues. Seventy-four people checked one or more of the following
areas:
     RTD bus does not run at times I need transportation.
     Transportation service does not run on time
     Transportation service takes too long to get to my destination. Four
       people said transfers take too long.
     Six people reported that they have to arrange for access-a-Ride too far in
       advance.
     Of the 74 responses 20 referred to access-a-Ride, 38 referred to RTD,
       ten referred to both and six were unclear.


Affordability of Service
Forty-three people checked the box saying they cannot afford the cost of the
transportation service for RTD and/or access-a-Ride. The fee for a regular bus
ride on RTD is $1.25. The fare for people with disabilities and seniors is 60 cents.
The fee to ride access-a-Ride is $2.50. RTD management report that their cost to
provide a ride on RTD is $3.51 and their cost to provide a ride on access-a-Ride
is $44.94.

Problems Regarding Bus Drivers
There were twenty-nine negative comments regarding bus drivers. Respondents
complained of rudeness, drivers not able to speak English and drivers that are
not sensitive to their disabilities.

Broken Lifts



                                                                                      11
Twenty-three individuals checked the box that says the RTD lift is sometimes
broken.

No Bus Stop
No bus stop by home or destination was checked by 21 people.

Bus Stop Issues
Nineteen people checked the not accessible bus stop category.
Another said, “Should have a heater in the bus shelter”

Stops Aren't Called Out
Ten persons reported that stops were not called out either due to driver error or
because the PA system was not working.

Accessible Equipment Needed
Two individuals who are deaf commented that people who are deaf or hard of
hearing have no way to know what the stops are being called by the bus drivers.

No Public Transportation Available
Eight people reported there is no bus service where they live. Clear Creek and
Gilpin Counties do not have RTD or other fixed route service. A respondent
reported, “the only transportation service in Clear Creek County is operated for
seniors by Project Support and Volunteers of America. They state they cannot
include anyone else due to funding source (Older Americans' Act) and insurance
prohibitions.

A countywide task force has worked for more than two years to develop public
transportation for other Clear Creek County citizens with mobility issues. But at
this time no transportation system exists that will serve persons with disabilities
or those needing a public system. There is no local taxi service either."


                                  Other Comments
Twenty-two people wrote a positive comment about the transportation service
they use. Many were similar. A few samples:
"Special Transit is great. They are helpful picking you up at the door and bringing
you right through the door of your appointment."
"I like the access-a-Ride drivers because they‟re good to me.”
"access-a-Ride is very efficient."
"access-a-Ride has been good. Sometimes a little late, however they always
come."
"Senior Resource Services are great/they take you into Lakewood, Denver, and
Conifer."
"With RTD, I feel that anyplace I need to go I can get to."
"RTD has always been beneficial to Denver. I have no complaints".




                                                                                      12
                                       Conclusions
Clearly, people with disabilities are grateful to be able to use existing or known
transportation to participate in the life of their communities. Many people reported
difficulty with getting to their destination due to timing issues and reduced service
or no service on nights and weekends. Peoples‟ residences and work places
make a great deal of difference in the difficulty of their commute. Issues involving
drivers and equipment were mentioned often enough to point to significant
problems with these matters. People with disabilities need to be able to find
affordable alternate transportation when RTD or another major provider isn't
available.

The survey indicates that some people with disabilities walk to and from work
when buses do not run at times they need them. People with disabilities are
typically more vulnerable than the general populace and walking alone,
especially at night, is not safe for anyone.


2. Workforce Center Accessibility Evaluations

The Workforce Centers represent important sites for learning about job
opportunities and as such should be easily accessible by all of the community
they serve. Since this project was specifically interested in work-related
transportation, we looked at whether or not the Workforce Centers were
accessible to people with disabilities seeking employment.

The seventeen workforce centers (WFC) in the nine counties of the Denver
Metro Area were evaluated for fixed route accessibility. The criteria for whether
or not the center was accessible included distance from a bus stop (two blocks or
less), the presence of or condition of the sidewalks leading to the bus stop, the
presence of curb cuts, possible street crossings and whether or not the crossing
has a signal, the amount of traffic between the center and bus stop and the
condition of the waiting area immediately surrounding the stop.

The majority of the workforce centers were accessible by one or more fixed
routes, however; for some WFCs travel to and from the bus stop appeared very
difficult. The center at 3508 Peoria St. in Aurora did not have sidewalks in front of
the complex. Peoria is a heavily trafficked street and someone using a
wheelchair would most likely have to travel in the street either to reach the bus
stop or to travel to the corner in order to cross the street at a light. The
northbound stop is approximately one block from the center. There is a slight
incline and one must pass over railroad tracks surrounded by broken up terrain.
The southbound stop is also one block's distance and, as previously mentioned,
traveling to the corner to in order to cross the street may be difficult and even
impossible for some people due to the lack of sidewalks.




                                                                                   13
The center in Longmont is approximately four blocks from the nearest bus stop.
The sidewalks are wide and even but there is a set of railroad tracks to pass
over. Once a person reaches the corner of Ken Pratt Blvd and S. Sunset St. they
must cross the intersection in order to reach the southbound bus stop. The
corners of the streets at this intersection do not line up with each other and the
person must walk diagonally to reach the curb cut on the opposite side of the
street. Unless someone with a visual impairment is aware of this diagonal
intersection, it could be very dangerous for him or her to attempt crossing without
assistance. It is near this vicinity that Ken Pratt Blvd turns into Highway 119 and
it is a heavily trafficked area. The southbound bus stop itself is located on a
three-foot (approximate) strip of grass that is in front of the sidewalk, making it
difficult for someone using a wheelchair to get in the appropriate place to board
the lift. The northbound bus stop did not appear to have barriers preventing travel
to and from the center.

The workforce center in Jefferson county is located on a hill that may prevent
someone using a manual wheelchair from traveling to and from the southbound
bus stop across the street. The northbound bus stop is alongside the center and
is easily accessible.

The workforce centers in both Gilpin and Clear Creek counties do not have fixed
route service.

Conclusion
Twelve of the seventeen Workforce Centers are accessible according to the
standards mentioned above. Two Workforce Centers are in counties where there
is no public transportation: Gilpin and Clear Creek. Three Workforce Centers: Tri-
County in Jefferson County, the center in Longmont, Boulder County, and the
Adams County Workforce Center need some modifications to become accessible
or safer for people with disabilities. Considering that these locations are major
sources of employment possibilities for any citizen in the region, their
accessinbility was an important factor in this project. It is hoped that where
modifications can be made, those problems should be addressed as soon as
possible.

Note:
The Grants Manager of the Workforce Development Council has said that she
can be a liaison with the proper city, county or State government entities to
insure the modifications needed to make the Workforce Centers accessible. She
served on the CATS Advisory Committee.


3. Customer Profiles
Following the data obtained from the customer surveys, as well as their
comments we questioned how to use them during our planning process. Since it
was not feasible for us to map customer departures and destinations, we created



                                                                                 14
some fictitious profiles based upon some of the information gathered and
comments gleaned from both the surveys and the Advisory Committee
discussions. The profiles illustrate how easy or difficult it may be to get from one
place to another in the Denver region if one has a disability.

The CATS staff searched for a way to use the results of the survey to provide a
picture of how easy or difficult it might be to get to and from workplaces. Instead
of mapping, which became impossible due to the plethora of possible departure
and arrival sites, we fashioned instead snapshots of typical customers of the
Denver Metro system.
                             Transit Customer Profiles

Joan
Joan, aged 35, is a recently divorced mother of two children, aged seven and
three. Joan is a paraplegic who uses a Quickie power chair. She has just
accepted a fulltime customer service job at an insurance company near DTC.
She begins work in two weeks. She lives in Evergreen, has no car and has never
ridden a bus. Joan is researching ways to get her children to and from day care
and herself to and from work.

Joan's new job is Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00p.m. She has
found a day care that will watch her three year old all day and the seven year old
before and after school. Joan needs to be at the Evergreen Park-n-Ride at 6:20
a.m. and will need to have her children dropped off at day care before that time.

Joan's address is 963 S. Wagon Trail Rd., Evergreen and the job is located at
8400 E. Prentice Ave., Englewood. She needs to travel nearly five miles from her
home to the closest bus stop, a Park-n-Ride. Mountain W heels or RTD Call-n-
Ride are services that might have been able to transport her to drop her children
off at day care and then take her to the Park-n-Ride but neither is capable of
scheduling this trip for her prior to 6:00 a.m. No other transportation services can
accommodate this need and there is no taxi service in Evergreen. The only
remote solution would be to find a private individual who could drive her but very
few private citizens could accommodate her wheelchair.

Joan's return trip in the evening will take approximately two hours. Essentially,
this single mother would need to leave her home prior to 6:00 a.m. and would
return to the Park-n-Ride about 7:00 p.m. From there she would need to get
some kind of transportation to day care (assuming it stays open after 6:00p.m.)
and then home. Her workday and commute would be about 14 hours per day,
which would be difficult for anyone and especially someone with a disability. It is
highly unlikely that Joan will be able to take the job she has been offered. She
may be faced with needing to move to the Denver area to be able to work and
support herself and her children.

Carolyn



                                                                                   15
Carolyn is a single woman, aged 55, who has lived in Idaho Springs, Clear Creek
County all her life. She has cerebral palsy with marked spasticity and
communication difficulties. Carolyn uses a manual wheelchair and
communication device.

Carolyn's family owned and operated an antique store in town from 1953 until her
father passed away in 1991. At that time Carolyn's mother sold the store and
retired. Carolyn had been involved in all aspects of the family business would like
to find a job in retail management but she has been unemployed since 1991. Job
opportunities are few in a small community like Idaho Springs. She collects SSI
and still lives with her eighty-year-old mother. Carolyn would like to pursue a job
in retail management in Denver but she is unable to drive and there is no public
transportation in Clear Creek County.

The only transportation available in Clear Creek County at this time is called
Project Support. It is a collaboration of the Volunteers of America and the Older
Americans Act (OAA) administered through DRCOG. Project Support is a
nonprofit entity that serves people 60 years and older, so Carolyn does not
qualify for their services. If she were old enough to qualify for services, there are
no daily scheduled trips outside of Clear Creek County. The VOA thirteen
passenger van that delivers Meals on Wheels is also used to transport seniors
for planned trips for shopping and limited entertainment trips. Project Support
also utilizes Clear Creek County citizens who volunteer to take seniors for one-
on-one trips to doctor appointments.

The citizens of Clear Creek County would have to vote to increase property taxes
to be eligible for RTD services. The manager of Project Support states that
citizens have discussed this matter for at least twenty years. A planning
committee for transportation in the county has been working to create some
public transportation planning in the area, but has not completed its work.

Unfortunately, Carolyn has no means to get to and from work at a job in Denver
from her home in Idaho Springs at this time. She does not want to move away
from her mother so her employment possibilities look bleak.

Joel
Joel is a 42 year old man who has a developmental disability and an unsteady
gait. He uses a cane for balance. Joel's I.Q. is 55 and he receives services
through the State Division for Developmental Disabilities. Joel has been working
a part-time job during the second-shift (7:00 p.m. until 11: 00 p.m.) in the laundry
at the Westin Hotel Tabor Center in downtown Denver for six years. His job was
found by an agency that contracts with the State to provide vocational services.
Joel's Job Coach trained him to do his job at the hotel and still provides follow-
along services with Joel and the hotel management so he can help with any work
related issues; thus Joel can maintain his job. Joel works twenty hours per week
and earns $7.50 per hour.



                                                                                    16
Joel has been living with a host home provider who is paid with State funds to
provide him with room and board. The host home provider has given 30 days
notice that he will no longer be able to serve Joel. Host home providers are
difficult to find, as are group homes, which are the only choices for Joel's
residential needs. Joel's case manager has found only one host home provider, a
husband and wife, who have agreed to serve Joel in their home beginning next
week.

Joel was trained by his Job Coach six years ago to take RTD to get to work at
7:00 p.m. and his current host home provider had been willing to pick him up at
11:00 p.m. from work each night. Unfortunately Joel's new host home is further
from work and his host home "Mom and Dad" are unable to transport him. The
man works nights and his wife has to be at home with their three year old child.

Unfortunately, the only route available to him is a Limited route that runs from
early morning until noon. Joel could probably take a taxi part of the way to work
and a bus into downtown close to the hotel but his 11:00 p.m. departure home
means his only choice would be to take a taxi the entire way home at a cost of
$31.00. Joel's gross pay per day is $30.00.

Joel is undoubtedly going to be forced to quit his job since transportation costs
are greater than his pay.

Henry
Henry is a 72 year old gentleman. He and his wife of 48 years retired seven
years ago and moved to a town home in Highlands Ranch. Soon after the move,
Henry took a part-time evening job at a McDonalds. Last year Henry had a
stroke, leaving him with hemiplegia and some memory problems. Henry wants to
return to work and McDonalds would welcome him back working 4:00 p.m. to
9:00 p.m. three nights per week. The problem is Henry no longer feels safe
driving and his wife has never driven. Henry wants to go back to work and his
doctor thinks it would be good for him so he asked a friend to check out RTD for
him and found the route would require over one hour or travel each way plus
having to transfer twice on the way to work and three times on the way home.
This is much too intimidating for Henry who now has memory problems and has
never ridden a bus before. Henry's friend checked out the cost of taking a taxi
(the distance is 22 miles) and it would be more than $39.00 one-way. Henry will
be unable to return to his job and may need to check a location closer to home.

Tanya
Tanya is a 17 year-old High School student in Adams County. She has just
gotten her first job at King Soopers. She works from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
weekdays and every other Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Tanya has mild
mental retardation. She doesn‟t drive. She lives with her grandmother who does
not drive or own a car and she has no other family or friends to help get her to or



                                                                                    17
from work. She wants to take RTD and her school can provide her with a travel
trainer to help her learn the route. During the weekdays the route is
straightforward, requires only a short commute to and from her home and the trip
less than 20 minutes.

No bus near her runs early enough to get her to work by 6:00 a.m. on Saturdays.
She would have to walk 7 blocks to the bus stop and would arrive approximately
10 minutes late to work. Hopefully Tanya, and her special education teacher who
helped get her get the job, can convince King Soopers that she will be a valuable
employee and that they should make special accommodations to adjust her work
schedule by ten minutes at night in order to allow her to catch her bus and also
allow her to arrive for work on Saturday fifteen minutes later than the regular
shift.

Even if King Soopers can adjust her schedule, the Saturday morning ride is far
from ideal. Walking seven blocks prior to 6:00 a.m. when it is dark and cold to get
to the bus stop may not be safe for a 17 year old girl with mental retardation.

Janet
Janet is a 54 year-old woman who is divorced and living alone with her 16 year-
old daughter. Janet has end stage renal disease (ESRD) and needs to go to
dialysis three times per week. She lives near Himalaya Rd & Smokey Hill Road in
Aurora and she goes to the East Aurora Dialysis Center. She is unable to use the
fixed route due to fatigue and weakness. She is also too weak to drive. She has
very limited access-a-Ride service because the fixed route in her area only runs
a couple hours in the morning and then a couple of hours in the afternoon. She is
able to schedule rides with access-a-Ride to go to dialysis but unable to schedule
rides to go home because access-a-Ride can only operate during the hours that
RTD fixed route service runs.

Medicaid used to pay for her trips to dialysis but that ended several months ago
with a ruling that Medicaid will no longer pay for medical appointments. Janet has
a neighbor who has been picking her up from her dialysis appointments but she
is moving out of state next month. Her daughter is in school and cannot transport
her and she has no friends, neighbors or family that can help her. A taxi costs
$17.60 per trip or $206.00 per month. Janet is living on Social Security Disability
and her ex-husband seldom pays child support. She has difficulty paying the rent
each month so she doesn't know how she can afford to go to dialysis, which she
must do in order to survive.

Mindy
Mindy is a 46 year-old woman who has MS. She uses a manual wheelchair but is
having some difficulty propelling it independently. Mindy has not been able to
work for the last six years and receives SSI. Mindy is married. Her husband is a
cross country truck driver who is often gone on the weekends.




                                                                                 18
Mindy and her husband recently moved to Commerce City. Mindy wants to
continue participating in the same MS support group that she has been going to
for years that is located in Arvada and meets the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every
month. She has no access-a-Ride service near her home on Saturdays and she
is unable to use the fixed route. Mindy cannot afford taxi fare and will be unable
to attend the support meetings that have been so helpful to her for years.

Randy
Randy is a 27 year-old man with developmental disabilities. His IQ is reported as
51. Randy lives with his mother, a single mom, and two brothers ages sixteen
and fourteen. Mom works two jobs and many hours as a waitress to support her
family.

Randy lives in Lakewood and receives services through Developmental
Disabilities Resource Center (DDRC), the Community Centered Board of
Jefferson County. Randy worked in a workshop for five years with door-to-door
transportation provided but Randy has expressed a desire for several months to
work in an integrated job setting.

Randy's interdisciplinary team from DDRC and his mom agreed that Randy is
ready to become more independent and work in the community rather than
continue at the sheltered workshop. Staff at DDRC found a job for Randy at a
McDonald's in Lakewood. Randy has been working 25 hours per week for the
past two weeks as the DDRC staff teach (job coach) him to perform the tasks of
cleaning tables, sweeping floors and emptying trash.

Randy is learning his job and it seems to be a perfect match for him. He is
personable and polite with the general public and he takes pride in having what
he calls, "a real job".

The hours and days that Randy works vary each week. He can be scheduled any
five days Sunday through Saturday and his hours vary from noon to 5:00 p.m. or
5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Randy is not able to take RTD's fixed route system due to a lack of street safety
skills. He has been certified to use access-a-Ride and has been doing so with the
help of staff who have helped to arrange for his rides. Randy is easily confused
by dates and times and he cannot read his work schedule, which is posted every
Saturday morning for work the following Tuesday through Monday.

Staff instructed Randy and his mother that they must give access-a-Ride at least
24 hours notice to arrange rides to and from work. They can schedule no more
than three days in advance so Randy's mother cannot simply call access-a-Ride
when Randy gets his schedule to arrange rides for the following week. They must
also request that Randy be picked up an hour before his shift begins to be certain
he is not late to work. If Randy starts work at noon, his ride needs to be



                                                                                  19
requested for 11:00 a.m. and Randy must be ready by 10:30 a.m. A window of
30 minutes on either side of a pick-up time must be allowed for access-a-Ride so
Randy can expect to be picked up between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. when he
makes a request for 11:00 a.m.

Once Randy and his mother called at 4:00 p.m. the night before he wanted an
11:00 a.m. pick-up but they were unable to schedule a ride because they did not
give 24 hour notice. In that instance staff picked him up and took him to work, but
once his job coaching is completed staff will not be available to transport him.

Another time Randy's mother had requested 4:00 p.m. pick-up so Randy could
be at work at 5:00 p.m. but she was at one of her waitress jobs when Randy
started getting ready for work. Unfortunately, Randy was taking a shower at 3:35
p.m. and did not see or hear access-a-Ride when they came. Randy does not tell
time and his mother forgot to call him to remind him to get ready for work. That
day staff picked him up and got him to work by 5:00 p.m.

Staff are concerned that Randy cannot arrange his rides himself and that his
mother, who does her best raising two teenage boys and caring for Randy, will
not be consistent in arranging his rides and that Randy will miss work and lose
his job. Another real concern for Randy being able to keep his job is that when
Randy is scheduled for work on the weekends he cannot take access-a-Ride
because the bus does not run near his home on the week-ends and access-a-
Ride is only available when RTD is available. Last Saturday Randy was
scheduled to work from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. His mother had difficulty
getting permission to leave her waitress job for an hour to go home and get
Randy and take him to work. He was 45 minutes late. The manager was
unhappy. Randy could lose his job if his mother can't find dependable
transportation for him on the weekends as well as being consistent about calling
for rides during the week and calling Randy to prompt him to be ready when
access-a-Ride arrives.

Helen
Helen is a 58 year-old single woman who lives in Boulder and works at University
Hospital, Denver in the dietary department. Until six months ago she took RTD to
and from work.

Six months ago Helen was in an automobile accident and suffered a head injury
that has left her with short-term memory problems. Helen no longer drives her
car due to her head injury. Helen has no family in the area and few friends. She
relies on Special Transit to take her to the supermarket on Saturdays and to
church on Sundays. She is also suffering from anxiety regarding the effects of
her head injury.

She has received help from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, which has
provided her with a Job Coach to help retrain her as a dietary aide. Unfortunately



                                                                                 20
it is unlikely that Helen will be able to ride the fixed route bus system again. She
has tried to do so with the help of her Job Coach but she gets confused and
forgets how and when to transfer buses.

Helen now uses access-a-Ride to go to and from work. She has a friend who
helps her remember to call in for a ride no less than 24 hours and no more than
three days in advance of the needed ride. The difficulty she encounters is that
she can often get from her home to work in 80 to 90 minutes, but she must allow
for two hours one way because access-a-Ride states that their service may take
as long as twice the time RTD fixed route would take. She requests pick-up at
6:00 a.m. and can usually get to work by 8:00 a.m. On days when she is picked
up at 6:30 a.m. (access-a-Ride has a thirty-minute window from the requested
pick-up time) she is sometimes late to work. Her employer is being flexible about
the times she is late.

In the evening she cannot leave work early since the employer allows her to be
late in the mornings. She gets off work at 5:00 p.m. but she cannot request a
5:00 p.m. pick-up because access-a-Ride could arrive thirty minutes early.
Therefore, she requests a 5:30 p.m. pick up. Some days access-a-Ride arrives at
5:00 p.m. Other times it is 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. The RTD ride used to take 1
hour 25 minutes and can now take as long as two hours 50 minutes. Although it
seldom takes that long, Helen realizes that she may be picked up at 6:00 p.m.
and arrive home as late as 8:50 p.m.

Helen usually gets picked up between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m. and usually arrives
home between 7:30 and 8:00 p.m. but that is a long day for her. She tires more
easily since her accident and often gets home, eats a light dinner and is in bed
by 8:30 p.m. so she can arise the next morning at 5:00 a.m.

Suzanne
Suzanne is a 47 year-old lawyer who is deaf. She uses American Sign Language
and lip reading to communicate. Suzanne lives in Littleton with her husband and
twin sons, aged thirteen. The family has only one car which Suzanne's husband
drives daily for his job as a salesman. Suzanne utilizes RTD‟s Light Rail to go to
and from her job at a downtown law firm. There are no buses running between
her home and the Light Rail station so her husband drives her to and from the
station each day, which is just over a mile from home. Her travel time is under 30
minutes on light rail. She walks three blocks to and from the law firm.

Suzanne's husband is able to take her to the Light Rail Station most mornings
with no difficulty, however there are times that he is unable to pick her up at 5:30
p.m. due to his sales appointment schedule. Often Suzanne must wait until 6:00
p.m. or later and in some cases when her husband has a late appointment she
must walk a mile home.




                                                                                   21
When riding light rail Suzanne cannot hear the stops being called out and there is
no bus driver that she can sit close to, as on a bus, to request he motion to her
when approaching her stop. Signage in the light rail informing passengers of
upcoming stops would be helpful to Suzanne.

During the workday when Suzanne has appointments outside her office she
utilizes the 16th St. Mall Shuttle, Light Rail and RTD. In all cases Suzanne has
difficulty knowing when she is approaching or has reached her stop. She is
unable to hear and there is no signage in buses, Light Rail or the Mall Shuttle
Bus. When using the shuttle bus it is often so crowded with passengers sitting
and standing that Suzanne has difficulty seeing out the window to determine
when she is approaching or has reached her stop. Signage inside would help
Suzanne and others who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Conclusions
The desire to work and make a contribution to one‟s community is a basic need
of most people. In the case of people with disabilities their desire is sometimes
dampened by the challenges of getting to and from the workplace or other
locations that are important to them. As these illustrations indicate, while “you
can get most places from here”, it cannot be done without a great deal of time,
effort and in some cases personal risk.


CATS Goals, Objectives and Activities

Following several months of meeting and the completion of the needs
assessment elements, the CATS Advisory Committee formulated major
recommendations. The following four goals reflect their direction.

Goal 1. Make the best use of existing transportation sources. The CATS
Advisory Committee noted that there are a plethora of resources available for
transporting people in the Denver Region. Unfortunately, many of those
resources are not known to all of the major providers, let alone the customers.
Rationale: Using resources efficiently and effectively is more easily done if those
resources are known and identified to the public needing to use them, as well as
other providers. The Committee thinks this is best done by an entity that can
encourage coordination of said resources. Colorado has no mechanism for
facilitating coordinated communications and decision making regarding limited
transportation resources. The Committee recommendation is that an office of
state transportation coordination be created to provide a focal point and the
development of simple solutions to people‟s transportation problems, as well as
creative new ideas.

Objective 1.1 Create a Colorado State Transportation Coordination office. This
office connects the state together in a pattern of transportation coordination and
will control decisions made regarding funding designated for coordination


                                                                                    22
purposes as well as managing transportation resources statewide. Authority for
the establishment of this office will be given by the Governor in perpetuity. The
State Transportation Coordination Office will also have the authority to negotiate
and create solutions based upon coordination of resources. The office would
evaluate methods used to broaden the utilization of transportation resources, as
well as creative methods for funding these ideas. Decision-making will be held
cooperatively between the State Transportation Coordination Office and a group
of advisory committee members chosen for fixed terms who represent various
aspects of the transportation community in the state.
Actions: Create the State Transportation Coordination Office.
     Build relationships with executive directors of relevant state departments
       as well as program directors under them that will support an executive
       order mandating a coordination office for the state.
     Receive gubernatorial authority for this office.
     Develop the business plan for beginning and maintaining an office that
       would facilitate and mandate coordinated transportation statewide.
     Locate initial funding as well as developing the long-term funding plan.
     Identify major partners in the transportation community throughout the
       state, as well as those involved with employment, health and housing
       services for person dependent upon public transportation.
     Develop the Advisory Committee and write voluntary member position
       descriptions plus a policy handbook for the committee.
     Develop a 3 year pilot project coordination office in the Denver area that
       will go statewide incrementally after the first two years of the pilot project.

Goal 2. Develop and Implement Comprehensive Training and Public
Awareness for All Coloradoans. This category includes Life Choice Training,
Travel Training 101 for any and everybody needing to use or curious about using
public transit; individualized travel training including effective and safe use of
vehicle accessibility equipment and how to safely travel to and from stops;
transportation driver training; public works employee training; and targeted public
awareness campaigns.
Rationale: An informed public as well as trained and aware employees will
increase the success rate of utilizing public transit for many of one‟s traveling
needs. Training needs to be varied, customized in some cases, and pervasive.

Objective 2.1 Build a coordinated and sharable system of mobility
management. A member of the CATS Advisory Committee, Boulder‟s Special
Transit, is a model for customer training. Their Mobility Management program
works with certified trainers who assist customers in learning how to make full
use of all appropriate available systems. Their mobility management program
provides certified trainers who assist customers in learning how to make full use
of all the transit options available in the community, including the region‟s biggest
public transportation system (RTD). The program works with individual
passengers to locate the transportation option from among all choices that will
best suit the individual's need and his or her abilities while allowing maximize


                                                                                     23
utilization of all the transit resources in the community. It allows people to have
more individual freedom over how and when they can travel and also opens up
capacity on Special Transit's paratransit services for those unable to use other
transit alternatives.

Training will be customized to suit the individual‟s needs and abilities. In some
case only the Travel 101 course might be necessary. In other cases, a person
would work with a certified trainer until there was the assurance that the person
felt competent, confident and safe while traveling independently.
Actions:
      Examine and choose from available models of customer-focused training
       those most appropriate for each area of the state.
      Provide train the trainer experiences for those administering the training in
       the future.
      Provide supplies necessary to start the training process in each area.
      Identify ways to fund the training process into the future.
      Evaluate the success of the training semiannually.

Objective 2.2. Create a curriculum for and offer Life Choice Training. This
program would teach people with disabilities whether quite young or much older
to make choices based upon their reality. Such choices would include living near
the major sources of transit and/or employment centers and including such
considerations in determining where to move.
Actions:
    Search existing resources for similar types of training that may be
      adaptable for this purpose.
    Work with interested parties to develop the curriculum.
    Train trainers for the curriculum.
    Identify prime target audiences for the training and establish a schedule
      for completing 6 trainings in one year.
    Identify sources of future steady funding.
    Evaluate semiannually and adjust he curriculum as needed.

Objective 2.3 Provide regularly scheduled training in disability awareness
for transportation, public works employees, and related government
employees. Employee training will include curricula designed to increase the
sensitivity of public works employees regarding everyday accessibility issues for
people with disabilities who may be impacted by how these employees do their
jobs. For example, public works employees may unknowingly operate snow
plows in ways that eliminate curb cuts and bus stop access, and create obstacles
in the path of unsuspecting citizens with disabilities. Transit and related staff
need continuing opportunities to learn or update their knowledge of how the ADA
impacts their work.
Actions:
     Research existing models of similar training.
     Work with public employees in human resources to create the curriculum.


                                                                                      24
      Identify and schedule target groups throughout the state.
      Identify and secure steady future funding.
      Evaluate the progress of training semiannually and make necessary
       changes.

Objective 2.4 Develop sensitivity training and policy guidelines that would
be included in all state/city/county employee training courses and policy
handbooks. Employees are not always aware of how their completion of a task
may negatively impact someone else‟s‟ life. Providing specific training and
guidelines to all government personnel in the state will make progress toward
insuring that all are adequately informed about their responsibilities.
Actions:
    Research existing policies and curricula that may be similar or applicable
       at least in part to this training.
    Working with human resource managers, create a curriculum and policy
       guidelines.
    Train the trainers
    Schedule 6 targeted training throughout the state in one year.
    Identify sources of future secure funding.
    Evaluate progress semiannually and adjust curriculum accordingly.

Objective 2.5 Create and provide targeted public awareness campaigns
throughout the state. An informed public will both understand the impact of
public transit on their lives as well as the tremendous impact it has upon the lives
of people who are transit dependent. Create winning campaigns through a
competitive process that identify the best ways to reach various parts of the state
with the transit message.
Actions:
     Identify a source of funding for the competition and campaigns.
     Present a competition to locate companies and individuals who can build
       outstanding campaigns.
     Judge entries using a non-partial group of judges.
     Award contracts to several companies to create campaigns.
     Distribute campaigns throughout state.
     Evaluate their effectiveness semiannually.
     Enter winning campaigns in the APTA AdWheels competition.

Goal 3. Provide a method for consumers, especially those who are deaf,
hard of hearing or blind, to suggest accessible equipment to be ordered for
new transit equipment. This goal asks that specific recommendations be made
to transit and transportation providers regarding accessibility features to be
ordered on new equipment. The crucial questions of how and when to make the
recommendations are also important. In particular, members of the CATS
Advisory Committee note that bus or train car features currently available to
make buses and trains more accessible to those who are deaf or blind are not
being implemented. Adaptations at stops and stations that will increase


                                                                                  25
accessibility for persons who are deaf and blind are also encouraged. The
Advisory Committee and CATS project are not recommending adapting or
retrofitting current equipment because such solutions are not practical as well as
being expensive and difficult to do for either a large transit system or small
company.
Rationale: Many consumers on the CATS Advisory Committee expressed their
wish that a new and improved method for suggesting accessible equipment be
created. This goal would build a mechanism for consumers to do that.

Objective 3.1 Create a small consumer advisory committee to determine
how to reach this goal
Actions:
    Consumers especially from the deaf, hard of hearing and blind
      communities will meet with transit representatives to determine what
      existing mechanisms might serve this purpose or if additional methods
      need to be established.
    If an existing mechanism will work, ensure that members of the
      committees or similar groups include people, possibly from the consumer
      advisory committee, who can make the recommendations needed.
    If no appropriate mechanism exists, work in conjunction with the transit
      providers and the state coordination office to create a vehicle to meet this
      need.
    Advise as agreed and evaluate the results every quarter.

Goal 4. Connect riders with all available resources. The CATS Advisory
Committee identifies a need for increased information sharing and resource
coordination among various transportation modes resulting in more solvable
transportation issues for customers. Customers often have difficulties with one
leg of a trip or the return trip. If information was shared and existed in a format
easily accessible to customers at any time, then customers might be able to
resolve their own transportation problems. Currently, only a fraction of the
available information on transportation resources is readily known to the riding
public. If this were drastically increased and people knew how to access and use
such a resource, they could create solutions through the information source.

The enhanced ability to schedule and facilitate multi-modal trips might also
eliminate some problems, such as a rider navigating longer distances from bus or
train stops. The Advisory Committee suggested that employers might be willing
to pay for short trips between a bus or train stop and their building. Another issue
for riders was working past the regular hours of a transit service. Multi-modal
trips can be used to fill the gap between what fixed route transit can provide and
another provider can offer, especially for the after-hours trips that were identified
by our survey as particularly problematic. This is another opportunity for a major
employer, like the Pepsi Center, to provide a transportation benefit to employees.
Trips that cross jurisdictional boundaries can also make use of multi-modal




                                                                                  26
solutions. A provider in one area or county can meet another at a boundary and
allow passengers to easily transfer.
Rationale: Increasing communication and resource sharing between and among
both providers of transportation and the customers should result in more
solutions and more efficient use of resources. Customers will be happier as well.

Objective 4.1 Complete a systems needs assessment of the Denver Region
to ascertain both what existing transportation resources are and the
barriers to accessing them by providers or customers.
Actions:
     Identify the scope of work to be pursued and a timeline for completion
     Identify funders for the project.
     Identify a group to examine the needs of the state.
     Identify contractors to complete the work and award the contract.
     Acquire copies of the Framework for Action from the Federal Transit
       Administration and utilize these tools for the group assessment process.
     Plan to start with the Denver Region and spread outward to the entire
       state in stages
     Disseminate the results to identified partners in the process of changing
       problems with the systems.

Objective 4.2 Prioritize changes to be made and a process for making them.
Actions:
    Using the Coordination Taskforce now convened, carefully prioritize tasks
      and create plans for implementing each of them.
    Identify avenues of funding for each task
    Identify current members as well as new partners, possibly from the
      private sector, that will help us to complete the tasks
    Evaluate the process after 6 months.

Objective 4.3 Work with a diverse provider group and the state office of
coordination to build the possibility for more multi-modal trips in the
region.
Actions:
          Identify current problems, such as no RTD buses being available
             after certain hours on certain routes
          Identify a practical solution within the means of the riders
          Identify and commit to the solution partners needed
          Create funding sources
          Notify the riders
          Evaluate the success of new options after 6 months and one year
          Provide the model to other regions in the state




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New Developments
Following six months‟ of CATS Advisory Committee meetings, the Colorado
Mobility Coalition initiated a meeting among members of this group and two
others to form a Coordination Taskforce for the purpose of moving forward with
similar recommendations and action plans being developed by all three groups.
The other groups represented were the Senior Mobility Alliance and the Medicaid
Transportation Group. The Taskforce includes representatives of the four major
transportation providers, as well as other providers; state agencies involved with
coordination of transportation at the federal level; Rose Community Foundation,
Health One Foundation; FTA Region 8; the Colorado Association of State Transit
Agencies (CASTA); the Colorado Mobility Coalition; and others with a strong
interest in maximizing the use of transportation resources.

Together they are investigating and acting on plans to apply for funding through
private foundations, CDOT or other state agencies, as well as the federal United
We Ride program. They are going to the Governor‟s transportation specialist to
seek an Executive Order on Coordination for the State, and facilitating a
statewide systems and coordination assessment process using the FTA
Framework For Action tools.

Pilot Project: The Hub

The CATS Advisory Committee and staff present this plan for a Denver Metro
Region coordination center as a method for achieving some of the goals and
objectives outlined above.

                              Statement of Purpose


The Denver Metro Region Transportation Coordinating Hub will provide the structure,
technology and know-how to work with transportation providers to create more efficient
and effective use of the many forms of transportation now available to persons with
disabilities in this region. Specifically, the following services will be funneled through
the Hub to allow sharing and joint use of such services.
             1. Travel/Mobility Training
             2. Employee Customer Service Training
             3. Scheduling trips across county boundaries or during off-hours for a
                 specific provider, and
             4. Utilizing multi-modal trips as regular forms of transportation for
                 destinations more difficult to reach.
This increased level of customer service will be possible because of the open-ended,
cooperative, and supportive relationships established among the providers and the Hub,
as well as increased education and training of customers.




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                               Description of the Business

The Denver Metro Region Transportation Coordinating Hub (referred to as “The
Hub”) will offer customers complete and current information about major
transportation providers in the nine county Denver Metro Region. Highly skilled
and customer-focused Hub personnel will interface via database information,
phone, e-mail and facsimile transmissions with transportation provider personnel
to form an action center for the provision of more trips to persons with disabilities,
as well as other transit dependent people. These trips will become possible
through teaching more current customers or potential customers how to use
existing accessible public transportation; utilizing the resources of more than one
provider per trip, and constantly searching for underutilized modes of
transportation already existing in this region. It is anticipated that The Hub will
become a model for other regions of the State to use when creating coordinated
transportation services.

Another function of The Hub will be to act as a liaison between potential
providers or funders of some transportation services (employers, for example)
and the existing partners of The Hub. New relationships will be built which extend
the transportation possibilities for persons with disabilities and other transit
dependent people.

The Hub will also function as a conduit for information. Providers and other
Partners will be able to promote opportunities for training employees or
customers. Customers may report inaccessible pathways to bus routes or
construction or weather-related obstacles that temporarily block access to a bus
stop. Municipal authorities and outside sources for resolving such issues will be
contacted. Customers may report inadequate service from a provider which will
then be funneled to the provider for corrective action. Providers can report no-
show customers or other customer situations that require corrective action.
Providers may also need a place in which they can discuss relational issues with
other providers in a confidential manner. The Hub can provide all of these
services.

How does it work for customers? A customer will call The Hub requesting
service. Perhaps this person has not been able to get to her destination via
public transportation or cannot return from a destination during the normal hours
of operation for that provider. The Hub staff will find alternatives that work for this
individual through use of up-to-date information and communication with
providers. The exact details of the trip including departure and arrival times, type
of vehicle, and cost will be provided to the customer. The customer selects the
option that works best for them and can ask that a reservation be made in their
name with the providers.

How does it work for providers? Providers of transportation services and other
types of services to the disability community, such as employment, will form



                                                                                     29
partnerships through The Hub. A partnership entails agreeing to be willing to
seek innovative solutions and to support the use of multiple modes of
transportation to be used for a single trip. Partners will support the work of The
Hub through contributing an established amount of funding plus other in-kind
services such as software sharing or office space. In return, the partners will
acquire more ways to satisfy customer needs, access to expanded training
options for customers and employees, as well as stronger and more mutual
relationships with other providers and with the disability community and its
advocates.


                                     Marketing

The Hub will be a service that makes it more feasible for people with disabilities
to live the kinds of full and active lives most of us take for granted. They are the
target market, whether young or old, in school, employed, wanting to be
employed, or needing more opportunities to participate in the life of the
community. The CATS Advisory Committee does recognize that although our
focus has been on people with disabilities, an improved transportation system for
all people will certainly improve the transportation options for people with
disabilities. Therefore, the marketing will be for all riders with specific outreach
planned for people with disabilities.

The Hub will be marketed through use of print ads targeting both customers and
potential partners. All ads will also be available in alternate formats, such as
Braille or large print. Wherever possible the ads will also be available in Spanish.
Advertising will also be incorporated into the existing advertising of Hub Partners,
whenever possible and publications that cater to the needs and wants of the
disability communities in the Denver Metro region.

Another important aspect of marketing this service is to take the concept to
providers of services for persons with disabilities, including housing, employment,
advocacy, medical and health care, transportation, rehabilitation facilities,
vocational counselors, and equipment. Hub personnel will create opportunities to
present the service to people with disabilities as well as their families and the
people who serve them where they congregate for other services and activities.
The Hub will be listed through information sources such as the 211 and 411
information numbers.

Opportunities to distribute materials and tell people about The Hub will be
utilized. Whether it is the Nine Health Fair, Senior Health Fairs, or other public
educational forums, materials and promoters of The Hub will be there. If any
agency or company is providing training to its employees or customers with
disabilities, that will be another opportunity for informing them about The Hub.




                                                                                     30
                             The Founding Partners

The nine county Denver Metro Area does not have a coordination center or
centralized mechanism for encouraging coordination in transportation provided.
However, due to the extremely large geographical area covered by RTD, the
Metro Region already exhibits a fairly high degree of coordinated transportation.
The ability to coordinate access-a-Ride service with the service of other providers
would extend transportation options for many people with disabilities.

In addition, both Special Transit (ST) and Seniors Resource Center (SRC) have
incorporated many ways of ensuring customers get quality service into their
operations. ACTS provides a brokerage service that utilizes and works with
many providers in the metro area. These three providers see themselves as
mobility managers, making use of other providers who conform to their service
standards to serve their customers in a number of service areas. Special Transit
has also moved to a mobility management model including customized training of
customers in the use of transit.

These four agencies are not competitors but resources to the region. If their
experience and expertise can be more fully shared and new findings supported,
the Metro Region will be much better regarding transit and related issues. We
would add Metro Taxi as well as other taxi services to this list of major providers
because cab service has been an important alternative to other forms of
transportation in the region.

Other providers in the region are too numerous to name. They range from small
individual- or family-owned car or limo services, to van services, to large taxi
operations, to ambulance and medical transport, to company-owned vans for
moving employees to and from parking facilities, to over the road bus companies,
to airport transportation services, and to vans or buses owned and operated by
nonprofits, churches or housing units. Many of these services could be useful
and probably have been tried by some percentage of the disability community in
the Denver Metro Region. If there was a method for more fully utilizing them
region-wide, perhaps on the order of how Arapahoe County Transportation
Services (ACTS) works within its county and for its contractual obligations, they
would better serve to fill any gaps in existing transport services.

Some of the other providers in the Metro area would require some negotiating
and customer service training to be excellent providers to the disability
community. The hardest groups to reach are the independent contractors such
as taxi services, because their drivers are not employees and not as reachable
as other transport staffing arrangements. In many cases taxi drivers have limited
English skills and not much general understanding of how persons with
disabilities fit into this culture.




                                                                                  31
                               Operating Procedures

The services of The Hub would have to be started incrementally and built over
time. Specifically, the relationships necessary between providers who are
partners and Hub Staff, as well as the customers need to be carefully established
and nurtured. A suggested list of start-up activities follows.

              1. Establish working relationships and procedures among founding
                 of the Hub.
              2. Begin compiling data on founding and other providing partners
                 for inclusion in the database for the Hub.
              3. Initiate other activities in which the partners can easily share
                 resources. For example, all of the major providers in the Metro
                 area do various types of training for their employees and
                 customers. What types of training could be shared? The
                 partners could promote events jointly, could hold spaces in their
                 classes for partners to fill, and could develop and pilot different
                 ways of training customers or staff together.
              4. Decide on the necessary shape and structure for the Hub. Does
                 it require office space? Can space be found among the current
                 organizations? How will the communication among partners and
                 staff be accomplished? What is the final budget projection and
                 how will it be funded?
              5. Locate sources of initial and ongoing funding.
              6. Identify other community links and partners to notify about and
                 include in the effort.
              7. Promote the services through media, disability community
                 sources and agencies, and publications.
              8. Begin full operations.

                                      Personnel

The partners will be the final arbiters of the staffing decisions for The Hub. It is
anticipated that the Hub would need to be initially staffed shorter hours but
ultimately staffed around the clock. Starting from a bare bones operation to
whatever the final form will be will require from one person up to an
indeterminate number.


Process Lessons Learned From the CATS Project

Recruitment of Members
The process began in August 2003 with Nancy Smith's attendance at the kick-off
meeting in Chicago. Recruitment of members began as well. The objective was
to have the committee comprised of fifty percent people with disabilities and fifty
percent people from disability advocacy organizations, workforce centers, public


                                                                                       32
and private transportation companies and other governmental and private
disability organizations. The recruitment process took longer than anticipated; the
difficulty was finding people with disabilities who were willing or able to serve on
the committee. Many state and private organizations that serve people with
disabilities were contacted but very few were able to help identify consumers who
might be candidates to serve on the committee. Although the process took time
to make many contacts, the committee members were finalized in September
with nearly half the members being persons with disabilities.

Committee Meetings
The first meeting was held in October with all members present. The committee
proved to be an excellent combination of twenty-six persons with knowledge of
transportation issues and enthusiasm for the CATS project.

The committee members were divided into two groups initially, the Existing
Services group and the Destinations group. These two groups accomplished a lot
the first couple of meetings. After that the committee worked more efficiently
working as one unit. The committee broke into smaller discussion groups to
achieve the objectives of some meetings.

The committee worked extremely well together and for the project goals. Most
members attended the meetings regularly and gave valuable input that became
the basis of the action plan.

Transportation Surveys of People with Disabilities
The development of a survey to obtain input from people with disabilities
regarding their use of transportation and their specific problems, issues and
recommendations was discussed by the Destinations group at the first committee
meeting in October. Committee members gave suggestions for the content of the
survey and places to distribute them.

Surveys were developed and e-mailed to committee members for additions,
corrections, comments and/or approval two weeks later. The final draft was
approved the end of the month. Three thousand surveys were distributed early in
November to forty-three locations of agencies, governmental and private, that
serve people with disabilities. (see Appendix – for a copy of the survey form).

Several problems were encountered regarding surveys. According to the work
plan of the grant, the information from the surveys should have been gathered,
analyzed and reported on early in November. That was not an adequate amount
of time to accomplish all of the tasks involved.

Probably the first mistake, and lesson learned for future surveys, was that a
deadline date for the completion and return of the surveys was not printed on the
surveys. When those responsible for the surveys made return trips to pick up
completed surveys at the end of November, they were dismayed at how few had



                                                                                 33
been completed. They picked up the completed surveys, left the rest and again
asked for assistance from the agencies to distribute the surveys to persons with
disabilities. This process caused another delay. Trips were made to the agencies
the second and third weeks of December to again collect completed surveys.

In the meantime, the Director of the Colorado Business Leadership Network sent
4500 surveys via e-mail to individuals, agencies and employers of persons with
disabilities. With unbelievably bad timing, the server at Easter Seals Colorado
crashed two days later so no completed surveys could be e-mailed back to
Easter Seals. Easter Seals got new equipment and new e-mail addresses but it
took nearly three weeks, therefore another delay. The Director of the Colorado
Business Leadership Network again sent 4500 e-mails with the new e-mail
address to return the surveys.

Ultimately 393 surveys were completed and returned. Many were personally
picked-up from agencies; others were mailed, faxed, e-mailed or telephoned in.
The process of analyzing and computing the results was lengthy. Due to all of the
delays, an initial verbal report of completed surveys was presented to the
committee in January and the written report was submitted in February.

Mapping
The most frustrating problem encountered during the grant project process was
that of mapping. The intention of the grant writer was that maps would be made
showing existing transportation services and destinations desired by people with
disabilities such as employment sites, workforce centers and schools. Overlays
of maps would illustrate gaps between services and destinations.

Many attempts at mapping or locating an agency willing to do the mapping were
made and much time was spent in the process. Unfortunately attempts failed due
to people's lack of knowledge of what type of mapping software might work for
this task, their lack of time to pursue the task, lack of funding to complete the
task, or technical problems encountered.

An attempt was made to map destinations by hand on a map. Workforce centers
were easily done but work sites presented a real problem. An attempt was made
to map the work sites listed in the random sample surveys but it seemed a futile
project and was abandoned. A map generated by DRCOG for this report shows
the service boundaries of the four major providers in the Denver Metro Region.
This map illustrates the breadth of coverage available as well as some overlap.
(See Appendix B for the map).

The irony of our quest for the perfect map illustrated one truly positive note. To
indicate all employers in the nine county region where people with disabilities
work, or may become employed, would be impossible. Virtually all places of
employment are potential places for people with disabilities to work and it would
be impossible to map every place of employment in the nine county region.



                                                                                 34
Conclusion
Lessons learned were: to put return deadlines in writing on any future surveys; to
allow more time if planning a project involving the development, distribution,
collection and analysis of surveys; and to research the feasibility of the
performance of a task if it involves technical knowledge before including it in a
grant. In spite of the problems encountered, the process and outcome of the
CATS project was positive. The committee presented excellent ideas to improve
transportation in a nine county area; gaps were identified and recommendations
have been made.


Website Access

An overview of the completed CATS project will be listed on Easter Seals
Colorado website, www.eastersealscolorado.org, within four weeks of the
submission of the final report to CTAA/Project ACTION. There will be a link on
Easter Seals' website and the State of Colorado, Office of Workforce
Development. The entire CATS report will be available at this address:
www.state.co.us/owd. The entire report will also be available at the Colorado
Mobility Coalition‟s website: www.comobility.org




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