Human Services Transportation Coordinating Council
Vision: Accessible, coordinated statewide mobility for all Rhode Islanders.
Promoting independence through enhanced statewide mobility, while fostering collaboration between public, private, and non-profit sector partners by gathering and sharing information, supporting transportation initiatives, and advocating for positive change.
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires all states that receive formula funding through the Section 5310 Program (“Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities”) to prepare a Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan. The purpose of the plan is to identify the transportation needs of individuals with disabilities, older adults, and people with low incomes, and also to provide strategies for meeting those needs. Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that federally assisted community transportation services are seamless, comprehensive, and accessible to those who rely on them.
One of the key recommendations of the current Coordinated Plan, developed in 2017, was the establishment of a statewide human services transportation coordinating council. The Rhode Island General Assembly directed RIPTA to convene a coordinating council in consultation with the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) to better integrate transportation programs that support individuals in need of specialized transportation assistance.
Rhode Island’s Human Services Transportation Coordinating Council held its inaugural meeting in January 2018, bringing together representatives of public agencies responsible for meeting the transportation needs of vulnerable populations and community advocates. Throughout the first year, working groups addressed specific challenges and opportunities – initially focusing on identifying sustainable funding for RIPTA’s statewide free bus pass program for low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities and improving communications between agencies that provide transportation assistance. Now in its second year, the statewide Council continues to hold public meetings every other month and has started to pursue additional projects such as the creation of a One Call/One Click transportation resource, and development of a customer-focused approach to connecting riders with transportation services. Download a copy of the 2019 Coordinating Council work plan here.
Coordinating Council partners represent: EOHHS (the Executive Office of Health and Human Services), RIPTA, Division of Elderly Affairs (now the Office of Healthy Aging), BHDDH (the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals), the Office of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Labor and Training, and the Office of the Governor, the Department of Health, and representatives of Crossroads RI, RI Senior Agenda, the Economic Progress Institute, the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, the RIPTA Riders Alliance (now RI Transit Riders), the RI Developmental Disabilities Council, the Mental Health Recovery Coalition of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Organizing Project, the Lt. Governor’s Long Term Coordinating Care Council, RIPTA’s Accessible Transportation Advisory Committee, Age-Friendly RI, and others.