1) Teach seniors and people of disabilities how to use public transportation. Spending money to improve transportation is useless for these people unless they know how to use public transportation. Teach them how to fish instead of giving them fish – use Section 5310 funds to pay travel trainers, who travel alongside people of disabilities and show them how to use tools like 511, Contra Costa’s trip travel planning services. Once people of disabilities and seniors know how to use fixed routes, they won’t have to pay paratransit to transport them from door-to-door, thus saving around $70 each trip.
2) Work on current public transportation: implement more fixed routes, especially in areas that have few fixed routes. Ensure all can accommodate wheelchairs.
3) Outreach to seniors and people of disabilities who might benefit from services like travel training. When both travel training services exist and fixed routes are a reasonably viable mode of transportation, funds should be used to maximize the helpfulness of the system in place by increasing the number of consumers using it.