Funds Available to Develop Community Transportation Especially for Employment and People with Disabilities

Posted: February 3, 2011

Transportation, especially transportation to a job, is a major problem for many West Virginians, especially those with disabilities. The Division of Public Transit is soliciting proposals for the Federal Transit Administration’s JARC (Section 5316) and New Freedom (Section 5317) program. Projects will be competitively selected and chosen as funds are available. One program in particular, The New Freedom Program is designed specifically to assist people with disabilities in accessing transportation to meet their community living needs.

The New Freedom formula grant program aims to provide additional tools to overcome existing barriers facing Americans with disabilities seeking integration into the work force and full participation in society. Lack of adequate transportation is a primary barrier to work for individuals with disabilities. The New Freedom program seeks to reduce barriers to transportation services and expand the transportation mobility options available to people with disabilities beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. This program provides grant funds to eligible grantees to establish new transportation options in rural and urban communities. A “new” service is any service or activity that was not operational before August 10, 2005 and did not have an identified funding source as of August 10, 2005, as evidenced by inclusion in the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) or the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). New Public Transportation Services Beyond the ADA. Application due date is March 14, 2011, but exceptions for New Freedom may be made. Applications and more information are available at: http://www.transportation.wv.gov/publictransit/

The following activities are examples of eligible projects meeting the definition of new public transportation and are eligible as new public transportation alternatives beyond the ADA under the New Freedom Program:

  • Purchasing vehicles to support new accessible taxi, ride sharing, and/or van-pooling programs. New Freedom funds can be used to purchase and operate accessible vehicles for use in taxi, ride-sharing and/or van pool programs provided that the vehicle has the capacity to accommodate a passenger who uses a “common wheelchair” at a minimum, while remaining in his/her personal mobility device inside the vehicle, and meeting the same requirements for lifts, ramps and securement systems.
  • Supporting the administration and expenses related to new voucher programs for transportation services offered by human service providers. This activity is intended to support and supplement existing transportation services by expanding the number of providers available or the number of passengers receiving transportation services.
  • Supporting new volunteer driver and aide programs. New volunteer driver programs are eligible and include support for cost associated with the administration, management of driver recruitment, safety, background checks, scheduling, coordination with passengers, and other related support functions, mileage reimbursements, and insurance associated with volunteer driver programs.
  • Supporting new mobility management and coordination programs among public transportation providers and other human service agencies providing transportation.