Benefits of Travel Training
Paratransit transportation services are expensive, and there are never enough seats for eligible riders. By training potential paratransit users to ride fixed-route public transit, travel training programs free up paratransit seats for other riders.
Fixed-route rides cost less than paratransit rides. For every potential paratransit ride that is taken on a fixed-route bus, cost avoidance is created.
See Spokane Transit Authority ‘s 4 Year Summary of travel training program managed by Innovative Paradigms.
See Transit Cooperative Research Program white paper on cost benefits.
Benefits to riders
The benefits to riders and the community are enormous. Those who have been housebound or limited to paratransit services find new freedom through learning to use the bus. Travel training helps seniors remain active and involved members of their communities. Travel training assists wider participation in the community by a greater number of its members.
“As a parent … I believe the best thing I can do for Shanti now is to prepare her to be able to take care of herself as much as much as
possible and navigate around the community in a normal manner. Shanti can 'choose' to go out and meet her friends at the mall, movie, etc…
She can choose other activities, such as Hula, where she now catches the bus two times a week. With the ability to use TheBus,
Shanti and the family have gained a very precious commodity – Freedom." -- Hubert Minn, Shanti’s father, Honolulu, HI
“When we work at a senior facility, we often find that folks are displaced. The kids have wanted their parents to move close, but they don’t visit as much as they promised. When people take 2-3 hours to ride the bus together, they create friendship. Soon they start going to lunch together, or Betty goes with Helen to the doctor. A lot of paratransit drivers say their riders don’t talk to anyone for weeks until they take a ride. If people are going to stay active, they have to have social contact.” – Kevin Welch, Mobility Options Assistant Manager, Sacramento, California
"Travel training gives seniors a means to get back connected with things in life that they like. Whether it’s going to bowling alley, to church, or just getting out to a hair appointment, it is being connected with things in life they enjoy.” --Russel Cluphf, Program Manager, Mobility Training Program, Spokane, Washington
"You can have every great service in the community, but if you can’t get to it, it might as well not exist. Transportation is the key to staying independent, being able to access the community, spend time with loved ones, and not be a burden.” --Kevin Welch, Mobility Options Assistant Manager, Sacramento, California
For more information, contact Phil McGuire.