Chicago’s Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) board approved funding for 10 projects through the federally-funded Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities program.
The RTA will administer a total of $7,296,129 million, including $4,259,555 in federal funds and $3,036,574 in local matches provided by project sponsors to improve and increase access to transit for older adults and people with disabilities.
The funds are dedicated to removing barriers to transportation service and expanding available transportation mobility options. The Section 5310 program is the only available source of federal transit funds for projects designed to serve older adults and individuals with disabilities that exceed Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
“The RTA is proud to administer dollars that help local governments and non-profit agencies provide these specialized transit services for seniors and people with disabilities," said Leanne Redden, executive director of the RTA.
In June, current grant recipients were invited to apply for continued funding. Of the 10 applications received, all 10 are included in the final program. The RTA held a 30-day public comment period on these projects prior to the RTA Board’s approval.
This year's grant awardees are:
- Association for Individual Development - Ride-in-Kane - This project coordinates paratransit services in Kane County into a centralized system that optimizes transportation resources for older adults and persons with disabilities. The sponsors of this project include multiple private non-profit organizations and local units of government.
- City of Naperville – Naperville/Lisle Partners Ride DuPage to Work - This project continues to operate as part of the Ride DuPage program. Older adults are afforded increased employment opportunities by providing them with transportation to jobs outside of their own town and at times that may extend beyond traditional work hours. Seven local governments sponsor the service.
- DuPage County Ride DuPage to Work - The Transportation to Work Program is a service under the existing Ride DuPage system designed to provide persons with disabilities with greater opportunities to obtain and maintain employment through affordable transportation.
- Kendall County Kendall Area Transit - This is a general public demand responsive paratransit service that provides service predominately for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in the urban portions of Kendall County.
- Lake County - Ride Lake County Central Dial-a-Ride - The service provides expanded dial-a-ride transportation in Lake County to persons with disabilities and older adults residing in central Lake County. Five municipalities and Lake County sponsor the project.
- Lake County - Ride Lake County West Project - The service provides expanded dial-a-ride transportation in six townships primarily for persons with disabilities and older adults in the western portion of Lake County. The townships, in cooperation with the Lake County Coordinated Transportation Services Committee, and Lake County sponsor the project.
- Little City Foundation – Transportation Program - This project provides transportation for seniors and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that are enrolled with Little City, to places of employment, community activities, Special Olympics regional competitions, and medical appointments.
- McHenry County – McHenry County Service Integration & Coordination - This demand responsive service, which initially integrated three municipal services, has expanded to incorporate twelve additional municipal partners. As part of the project, the county will also administer a Mobility-on-Demand Pilot program that provides on-demand rides to seniors and people with disabilities utilizing a private transportation network company.
- Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities - RGAs Comprehensive Transportation Program - Individuals with disabilities are transported from their homes to Community Learning Centers and to a variety of other activities including grocery shopping, medical appointments, volunteer opportunities and recreational activities.
- Will County – Mobility Management Program - This program provides transportation and mobility management services for persons with disabilities and older adults residing in eastern Will County townships. The program is an outgrowth of the county’s coordinated paratransit plan funded through the RTA’s former sub-regional Planning program.