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Supporting Mobility for Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities

STA Board Awards Funding to Nonprofit Transportation Projects

The Arc of Spokane with a retired STA vehicle they now use to provide transportation for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Nearly one million dollars in local and federal funding received by STA has been awarded by STA’s Board of Directors to six projects serving people with disabilities and seniors throughout the region.

This funding goes towards projects that improve mobility for older adults and people with disabilities when other transportation services provided are unavailable or insufficient to meet their needs.

“It is inspiring to see the nonprofits out there doing this work, and I think a lot of the community doesn’t see that,” said Principal Transit Planner Matt Kenney. “The average person goes to work and goes home and doesn’t realize that there’s a lot of effort going in to help some people in the community that can’t do it on their own.”

On December 15, 2022, the STA board approved the funding for six projects from five nonprofit organizations, including Cancer Can’t, COAST Transportation, Special Mobility Services, SNAP Resource Rides, and ARC of Spokane. This year, STA was able to fund all six project applications that were submitted.

This round of projects includes transportation support for cancer patients, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and rural communities south of Spokane. The projects will help increase access to medical appointments, food networks, and other community services while increasing awareness of and coordination between transportation options and services. 

The robust outreach and evaluation process for these awards began in partnership with other regional transportation agencies, such as the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC).

“WSDOT and SRTC representatives are very familiar with the funding grants and their evaluation process, so it’s valuable to have their perspective on the applications that come to STA,” said Assistant Transit Planner Madeline Arredondo.

During STA’s 5310 informational meetings in 2022, there were 15 participants from different agencies, and five agencies turned in applications.

The funding for the projects comes from the Federal Transit Administration’s Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities (Section 5310) program, as well as $190,000 in STA funds approved by the STA Board of Directors in December 2021.

Arredondo wants the nonprofits considering applying next year to know they don’t have to do it alone. STA can offer applicants technical assistance to navigate the process, which can often present an obstacle.

“We can help them along the way,” said Arredondo. “We can give them templates and guidance on materials they need and have procedures written out, so it’s clear to them.”

You can learn more about the program and application process here: Section 5310 Program.

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