Social service providers voice their clients’ challenges

HART Plus VanAs part of the 2016 Transportation Disadvantaged Service Plan development, an online survey was recently sent out to social service providers in Hillsborough County to assess the needs of their clients. Referred to as the transportation disadvantaged, their clients include the elderly, those with disabilities, and low-income individuals who may lack access to transportation. The service providers were then invited to participate in a conversation and address the needs of their clients and discuss potential solutions.

The results of the survey revealed that the transportation disadvantaged in Hillsborough County find it difficult to:

  • Travel across county lines
  • Access employment and vocational training
  • Access healthcare
  • Navigate incomplete sidewalks and other pedestrian facilities
  • Travel to more rural areas in the county, including Plant City and New Tampa
  • Manage the cost of using existing services
  • Access social service offices
  • Find safe and affordable housing with access to public transportation
  • Utilize the limited number of existing, safe bicycle facilities
  • Access adult daycare centers, schools, and group meal sites, such as soup kitchens

Some of the solutions proposed during the conversation include:

  • Providing efficient and reliable cross-county trips
  • Completing or repairing sidewalks
  • Providing pedestrian facilities compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Providing better street lighting
  • Expanding bus service hours and coverage areas
  • Informing clients of funding options to help pay for transportation
  • Providing rideshare and taxi programs specifically for transportation disadvantaged individuals
  • Offering premium transit service

The information collected will be used to modify the Goals and Objectives, as well as the Needs sections of the Service Plan update. Contact Michele Ogilvie for more information.