Photos from the Accessible Taxi Demonstration on November 12, 2009 at COG. Pictured from left to right: Bobby Coward, Judith Heumann, TPB Vice Chair Muriel Bowser, and David Sharp.
Washington, D.C. – At the Awards Ceremony of the D.C. Chapter of WTS on December 3, the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board will be honored with the Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award for its initiatives that serve the transportation needs of the region’s diverse populations. WTS, an international organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation, highlighted recent work by the TPB such as bringing wheelchair-accessible taxi service to the District of Columbia, conducting a review of MetroAccess, reaching out to the Hispanic community in pedestrian safety campaigns, and training community leaders and activists to get more engaged in the transportation planning process.
“We are very honored that the TPB has been recognized for its commitment to making sure that all of the region’s residents are better served by our transportation system,” said Ron Kirby, Director of Transportation Planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. “This award is possible thanks to the combined efforts of our board members, citizen and stakeholders groups, and our own diverse staff.”
The TPB’s Access for All Advisory Committee advises the board on transportation issues, programs, policies and services that are important to low-income communities, minority communities and people with disabilities. It has
conducted a study of transit access for limited-English proficiency customers, worked with WMATA to implement some of the recommendations, and conducted a review of MetroAccess efforts to improve paratransit service.
The Human Service Transportation Coordination Task Force was created by the TPB to oversee the development of the region's Coordinated Human Service Transportation Plan and two federally-funded programs to help transportation-disadvantaged individuals gain access to transportation services. Over the past three years, the TPB has awarded over $5 million for these projects, including one to bring wheelchair-accessible taxis to D.C. for the first time. The service will begin in December, and by January 2010, all 20 new vehicles will be in service.
The TPB’s Community Leadership Institute has taught a diverse group of over 100 community leaders and activists to be more engaged in transportation decision-making. It has focused on communities that are sometimes left out of the planning process, including immigrant communities and senior citizens.
Street Smart is a public outreach campaign that uses news and advertising media, as well as increased law enforcement activity, to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety. Because studies show that Hispanics are significantly overrepresented in pedestrian crash statistics, Street Smart has aggressively reached out to the Hispanic community through Spanish-language advertisements and materials.