A planning subcommittee has been formed by the Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Coordinating Boards for the Transportation Disadvantaged. On June 12th, members of the three groups convened and confirmed their shared goal of addressing issues raised by the Tri-County Area Regional Needs Assessment. These include:
- Better transportation to employment
- Better integration of people with disabilities to participate fully in society
- Expanded cross-county transportation services.
- Fund projects that benefit both seniors and individuals with disabilities
- Frequent, late evening and weekend fixed route service
- Additional transportation to quality of life/social activities
- Connect activity hubs, hospitals and community centers
The group also discussed the importance of providing rides, negative connotations associated with the word “disadvantaged,” focusing on people and the need to change the culture and effect a paradigm shift in the way disadvantaged citizens are treated.
Sue McPhee and Donnette Waul, from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), discussed changes that have been occurring to Medicaid programs and how they relate to transportation. Detailed information is available on AHCA’s website.
The committee is composed of three members from each of the three coordinating boards. Each MPO will take turns hosting and chairing meetings. Members agreed to meet quarterly. The next meeting is scheduled for October, with the date to be announced.
For more information, email Michele Ogilvie, or call her at 813/273-3774 x 317.