If you can’t drive or don’t have a car, are you just out of luck in metro Atlanta? To assess how systems need to change to meet the needs of non-drivers, several organizations including the Atlanta Regional Commission, AARP, AAA Traffic Safety Foundation hosted a transportation summit on June 7, 2012. The Worst to First: Transportation Access for Older Adults, Persons with Disabilities and Non-Drivers summit brought together local and national leaders to discuss transportation options, as well as highlight local and national best practices.
Faye DiMassimo, Director of Transportation for Cobb County, was one of the summit’s local panel experts and highlighted Cobb’s Complete Streets policy and pedestrian safety improvement program. Cobb’s New Freedom Transportation Voucher and travel training programs are examples of the recent increase in Atlanta region’s options for transportation access. Local community transportation such as volunteer driver programs, transportation vouchers, and community shuttles for older adults are providing flexible alternatives to help non-drivers get around. The increasing older adult population provides a challenge to expand and grow the region’s successful models to meet the current and future mobility needs of all non-drivers. Virginia Dize of the National Center on Senior Transportation and National Association of Area Agencies on Aging added that, “Mobility management is the way we can do more with less. By streamlining our existing services, not only will consumers be able to easily access the rides they need, but providers can efficiently serve more people.”