Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Webinars - Performance Measurement, Creative Responses to Reduced Funding

Performing For Individual, Organizational and Collective Impact - webinar - Sept. 14, 2011 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. The Partnership for Mobility Management and the Community Transportation Association of America jointly present this webinar to explore the fundamentals of performance measurement. Hear how a results-based accountability framework is used to support quality of life. Learn about mobility management measures that gauge success of programs and outcomes for customers. Speakers include representatives of transit, transportation services and workforce agencies as well as a staff member of the Federal Transit Administration.

Creative Solutions to Reduced Funding for Public and Human Services Transportation - webinar - Sept. 20, 2011 at 2 p.m. Eastern time. The National Consortium on the Coordination of Human Services Transportation presents this colloquium via webinar to assist national organizations, states and communities during these fiscally challenging times. Speakers are representatives of communities that have taken different approaches to solving or alleviating the problem of cutbacks as well as a panel representing national organizations.

President Addresses Reauthorization

Department of Transportation
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in his Fastlane blog applauds President Obama's request that Congress "pass a clean extension of key transportation programs as soon as possible." The President states that the jobs of thousands of construction workers and DOT employees are on the line. Politico is linking Obama’s remarks to a job-creation plan he’s expected to launch next week.

According to Politico, the President also calls this a good time to invest in transportation - while jobs are scarce, interest rates are low and infrastructure needs to be maintained. “We have to have a serious conversation about making real, lasting investments in infrastructure from better ports to a smarter electric grid to high speed rail,” he said. A Washington Post blog states that Obama will address jobs next week in a speech to a joint session of Congress.

The houses of Congress have different plans, a six-year reauthorization in the House and a two-year proposal in the Senate. Transportation funding will expire on Sept. 30. Click here for more general information about reauthorization and the speech from the Associated Press.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Caregiving Costs & FTA Policy on Access to Transit


AARP reports that transportation is a major part of caregiving for elderly relatives. Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update - The Economic Value of Family Caregiving in 2009, states:
Nearly four in ten (39 percent) Medicare beneficiaries report being accompanied to routine medical visits, typically by spouses or adult children. A recent analysis found that family and friends provide 1.4 billion trips per year for older relatives (age 70+) who do not drive. Adult children provide 33 percent of these trips.
Taking time off to drive a parent or a spouse is not the only responsibility, though it might be one of the most time consuming. AARP also mentions the at-home medical care for people with long-term conditions as well as nursing-type care is performed after major surgeries and other critical procedures. Those people requiring the most care over long periods were individuals with chronic health conditions.

According to "more than one in three (36 percent) caregivers" due to budget cuts "government agencies and nonprofit organizations are now less able to provide services to their relative or friend" than prior to the recession. These include services such as transportation and delivered meals. This is borne out with area agencies on aging statistics in the report. Long-term effects for caregivers include a drain on financial resources and retirement savings, and negatively impacted employment prospects or advancement. Only California and New Jersey have legislation mandating paid family leave programs.

[Fish design bike rack in Long Beach, Calif.]

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
AASHTO publicized the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) issuance of a policy statement on the eligibility of pedestrian and bicycle improvements for funding under federal transit law - up to a radius of one-half mile for pedestrian improvements and all bicycle improvements located within three miles of a public transportation stop or station." The FTA declares a "de facto physical and functional relationship to public transportation." Funding for bicycle or pedestrian improvements at greater distances to public transportation may also be eligible for FTA funding where it is demonstrated that "the improvement is within the distance that people will travel by foot or by bicycle to use a particular stop or station." And that's just the FTA's introduction to the statement.

Details about funding are available in the NRC Technical Assistance News. The FTA policy statement appears in the Federal Register.