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ATWIC:  Alliance for Transportation Working in Communities

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Removing Barriers

Shown here are the five topmost barriers identified through extensive ATWIC outreach to human service agency representatives across SPC’s 10-county region, along with lengthy discussions among Alliance participants.  These barriers hinder, in varying degrees, an agency’s ability to provide transportation and a person’s ability to get where he or she needs to go.

  1. PUBLIC FUNDING - Investment in public transportation is insufficient, making it difficult to maintain let alone enhance services.
  2. AVAILABILITY & ACCESSIBILITY - Insufficient levels of service, limited geographical coverage, minimum urban/rural connectivity, complicated cross-county travel, inaccessible facilities, and lengthy trips challenge those most dependent on public transportation services.
  3. COST & AFFORDABILITY - Transportation services are costly to provide, and dependence on public subsidies for ongoing operations impacts the quantity, quality, and affordability of the services that exist.
  4. PROGRAM POLICIES & REGULATIONS - Human service program policies and regulations limit flexibility in the utilization of funds and preclude agencies from having the capacity to fully serve and meet the needs of their clients.
  5. EDUCATION & INFORMATION - A lack of information regarding available transportation options and their use can hinder a person’s ability to get to the places and services that are necessary to daily life.

In September 2015, The Alliance decided to tackle the Program Policies & Regulations barrier first.  Engaged participants are currently focusing their efforts on two particular strategies:

  • Broker conversations between regulators, providers, and consumers to reduce barriers caused by program policies and regulations.
  • Develop a coordinated regional voice to advocate for a common-sense approach to human services transportation (HST).

Based on input from 150+ people who attended one of ten outreach sessions conducted across the SW PA region between December 2015 and April 2016, ATWIC and The Alliance will soon be speaking with legislators and other decision-makers about proposed policy and regulation changes.  If implemented, the recommended changes (coming soon) could improve transportation accessibility for disadvantaged populations residing in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Port Authority Bus Crossing Bridge

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