Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jefferson County Rallies Agencies around Transportation Issues

At their August 2010 meeting, the ATCI team from Jefferson County, Colo. set out an ambitious agenda that focused on improving the coordination of services to create transportation options for disadvantaged populations. To best utilize existing resources in a difficult financial environment, they sought to better link geographic areas through improving the connections between organizations providing various modes of transit.

Following their two-day ATCI event, community stakeholders came together through a grant provided from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to form a Local Coordinating Council for Human Services Transportation (LCC).  The LCC has made several substantial steps forward on their objectives. The LCC includes representatives of local government, human services organizations, public, private and specialized transportation providers, and representatives of the disability and aging communities. The LCC developed by-laws, Participation Agreements and an Action and Sustainability Plan.  The group is also working with the Denver Regional Mobility and Access Council (a regional coordinating council) to develop a web-based one-call center to coordinate transportation resources in the Denver metropolitan region, drawing on best practice examples from around the country. 

Given their strong focus on the older adult community and with an eye toward addressing unmet needs in the area, the team was involved with the Jefferson County Aging Well Summits in June 2010 and June 2011. With nearly 180 attendees at each event, the venues provided an opportunity to discuss the impact of an aging population on transportation infrastructure.  The need for sustainable transit funding for specialized service provision in the area, as well as strategies that the community could use to adapt to such a sweeping demographic change were discussed.  The LCC has developed a White Paper on transportation to educate policy makers and the general population on the projected growing need for accessible transportation.

Using their collaborative strength and knowledge, the Jefferson County ATCI team continues to explore creative options and work to design a community in which people with disabilities and older adults are able to take part in all aspects of community life.