As the National Capital Region’s administrator of a new federal program to enhance transportation for seniors and individuals with disabilities, the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) approved $2.7 million in funding for a slate of projects proposed by local governments, businesses, and nonprofits.
A grant solicitation for these funds was conducted last year, and a TPB selection committee reviewed applications and recommended nine projects for funding. Projects to be funded through the Federal Transit Administration’s Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program include:
- a Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind project to develop audible maps of key Metrorail stations for people with visual impairments;
- a multi-jurisdictional effort to be led by Fairfax County to coordinate services in Northern Virginia and train neighborhood groups to provide travel navigation support;
- a Jewish Council for the Aging project to strengthen the Connect-a-Ride transportation information program;
- a Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services project to increase outreach, volunteer driver recruitment, and coordination between transportation and human services agencies within the County; and
- a Yellow Cab of DC project to add 7 wheelchair accessible taxis to its fleet serving the District of Columbia.
Access the full list of approved projects and funding totals.
“These projects demonstrate how the TPB does more than planning,” said Alexandria Councilmember and TPB Vice Chair Timothy Lovain, who served as Chair of the program’s selection committee. “This Board oversees the Enhanced mobility program which funds critical daily services to get people to work, to medical appointments and social events and improves the quality of their lives.”
The TPB was tasked with administering the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program by the Governors of Maryland and Virginia and the Mayor of the District of Columbia in 2013.
The TPB has been funding locally-developed projects for several years that make a difference in the everyday lives of people with disabilities or older adults from wheelchair accessible cabs to door through door transportation. Prior to the Enhanced Mobility Program, the TPB oversaw the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) and New Freedom programs. Under TPB stewardship from 2007 to 2013, these programs funded $25 million in mobility services, programs and training across 66 projects.