Human Services Transportation Planning
In 2006, the Washington State Department of Transportation directed WCOG and the state’s other Regional Transportation Planning Organizations to convene stakeholder groups comprising local human services agencies, schools, transportation providers and others to develop consolidated human services transportation plans to ensure that the mobility needs of people who do not drive due to age, income or disability reasons, are being met. In Whatcom County, this is known as the Employment Access and Coordinated Human-services (EACH) Plan.
The EACH planning process was reviewed and refined by WCOG’s Citizens’ Transportation Advisory Group and the Transportation Technical Advisory Group. This process results in a prioritized list of project proposals within Whatcom County based on the rankings of the EACH Stakeholder Group. Project proposals included on the list become eligible for consideration for state and federal public transportation grant funding.
The 2014 EACH Plan was approved by the Whatcom Transportation Policy Board in October 2014 and amended in October 2016.
The following three project proposals from that plan were funded by WSDOT for the 2015-2017 biennium:
- Lummi Nation Transit Operation: Sustains route-deviated service for the general public and special needs populations on the Lummi Tribal Reservation.
- Lummi Nation Bus Shelters: Provides new bus stop signs, shelters and other equipment.
- Whatcom Council of Governments Mobility Management: Provides travel training, bus pass distribution and educational activities for seniors and youth.
Whatcom Council of Governments Receives Grant to Improve Mobility for People with Disabilities
BELLINGHAM – Planning is under way to improve access to transportation for people living with disabilities in Whatcom County. The Whatcom Council of Governments (WCOG) was among ten organizations nationwide selected to receive an Accessible Transportation Community Initiative grant from Project Action Consulting (ESPAC), which is the consulting arm of Easterseals, Inc. Easterseals is an international not-for-profit organization that assists more than one-million children and adults with disabilities and special needs through a network of more than 550 service sites in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Puerto Rico.
Among other reasons, WCOG was chosen to receive this grant because its application successfully demonstrated the organization’s longstanding commitment to improving access to transportation for all members of the Whatcom region.
To kick-off the planning process, WCOG is administering a survey to gauge transportation barriers to those community members who do not drive due to age or a disability. People interested in taking the survey online can go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WhatcomNeedsAssessment.
To request a paper survey, please call (360) 685-8388. Survey responses will be collected through August 20, 2017.
WCOG will also host a two-day “Accessible Transportation Coalition” event in September. “This event is designed to bring our community together to develop a plan to strengthen the availability and accessibility of transportation services locally,” said Bob Wilson, WCOG’s executive director. “An important way to do that is through a cooperative, multiple-agency approach, which we intend to continue after the event.”
For more information on WCOG’s EACH Plan or human services transportation planning, please contact Mary Anderson, AICP at mary@WCOG.org or (360) 685-8388.