Supplemental Transportation Programs for Seniors: A Report on STPs in America
Published July 2004 In Partnership with the Beverly Foundation Report and STP listingavailable online at: www.seniordrivers.org www.aaafoundation.org
What are STPs? Supplemental transportation programs for seniors (STPs) are community-based transportation programs that complement or supplement existing transportation services, enabling seniors to remain active and healthy.
Background Supplemental Transportation Programs for seniors (STPs) are: • Set up by grassroots, community, or regional organizations to provide seniors with alternative forms of transportation. • Organized to meet the needs of seniors through trip chaining, transportation escorts, door-through-door service, and other means of personal support.
Methods • Surveyed STPs in the U.S. and sent follow-up surveys to 2001 STPs report participants • Updated www.seniordrivers.org, a web-based clearinghouse with information on STPs and information for seniors, children of seniors, and transportation providers • Developed a low-cost/low-maintenance “volunteer friends” model for a STPs including information on riders, drivers, vehicles and infrastructure
www.seniordrivers.org • List of STPs in all 50 states • Tips for seniors, children of seniors, and transportation providers • Free materials
PasRide: A Senior-Friendly Pilot Project In August 2003, an 18-month STPs pilot project in Pasadena, California, called PasRide (Pasadena Area Seniors Ride) was completed and successfully relocated to a permanent administrative setting.
PasRide Development The senior-friendly, consumer-driven, “volunteer friends” approach to transportation, was created based on these assumptions: • Many seniors need rides. • If seniors who need rides have something to offer friends and neighbors in return, they will feel more comfortable asking for rides. • If friends and neighbors can be reimbursed for their travel expenses, they will be more likely to provide rides.
PasRide Approach • If friends and neighbors can use their own cars, there will be no need to purchase vehicles. • If rider and driver can work out the schedule for rides, there will be no need for staffing and infrastructure.
PasRide Key Elements The key elements of PasRideare: • Sponsor • Partners • Riders • Volunteer Drivers • Documentation • Reimbursement
PasRide Outcome • Provided rides to seniors who can no longer drive and have health, mobility, or financial limitations that preclude use of traditional transportation options. • Provided tangible evidence that a program of this type can be undertaken in an economical and efficient manner with very little additional funding, designed such that there would be no need to purchase vehicles, hire paid drivers, or schedule rides.
Results • Demonstrated a low-cost/low-maintenance “volunteer friends” model through a pilot project in Pasadena, California (PasRide) • Disseminated information on PasRide in a “Volunteer Friends Starter Kit” so that other localities, where applicable, can adapt it to start similar programs • Established a STAR (Senior Transportation Action Response) Award to nationally recognize exemplary STPs
Overall Conclusions STPs meet the needs of seniors for mobility and will help them remain active, healthy, and happy. STPs can complement existing transportation systems in any community.
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