Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Myride2
We're highlighting the cutting-edge programs and successful strategies used by the 2018 recipients of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week we're focusing on the Myride2 Travel Training project from AAA 1B, winner in the Transportation and Mobility category.
Easily accessible transportation can be the key to independence for older adults who no longer drive. Whether it's getting to a doctor's appointment or visiting a loved one, it's important to know how to use the transportation systems in your community. In keeping with this concept, AAA 1B in Southeast Michigan developed a program called Myride2 Travel Training. The goal of the Myride2 Travel Training program is to educate participants on how to navigate local bus systems. The training sessions are geared towards first-time and returning riders who need assistance using public transportation. This service supplements AAA 1B's Myride2 Transportation Concierge Service, in which older adults who call Myride2 with information about where they want to go have their transportation arranged by Myride2 staff from start to finish.
Adding travel training had been on AAA 1B's agenda since the launch of Myride2. The program also fit well with AAA 1B's mission to enhance the lives of older adults and people with disabilities through education and empowerment to travel independently. AAA 1B envisions that the service will maximize employment opportunities, allow for increased socialization and give seniors access to their broader community. The project officially began in January 2017 and, after research and further development, the first training was held in July 2017. AAA 1B partnered with local transportation providers, who provided information on using paratransit community services and senior centers and senior housing complexes to help promote the class.
For agencies looking to implement a similar program, there are a few options based on budget. One low-cost option would be to host presentations on transportation access at a local provider, like a library or community center. Another option would be to source volunteers from local senior centers or senior housing complexes.
For more information about this program, please contact Roberta Habowski, Mobility Project Manager at AAA 1B, at RHabowski@AAA1B.com.
To learn more about this year's winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!