Transportation board approves funds to expand mobility options for seniors, people with disabilities

The D.C. region’s transportation board has approved more than $6 million to expand mobility options for seniors and people with disabilities.

It will fund projects like wheelchair-accessible vans, educational programs about mobility options and programs that give rides to medical appointments and other destinations. The federal Enhanced Mobility program will be combined with local matches for a total of more than $9 million.

“These initiatives generally aim to remove barriers that make it difficult for persons with limited mobility to access and use existing transportation services, or they aim to provide new services altogether to fill gaps in the existing system,” a news release from the Transportation Planning Board said.

The TPB selects projects for funding every two years and once the projects are approved, staff helps to manage and implement the grant projects through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. The program has funded 92 projects totaling $34 million since 2014, including this year’s projects.

This year’s projects will not only include mobility services but will acquire 53 wheelchair-accessible vehicles to help people get a ride to medical appointments, jobs and other activities.

Here are some of the projects selected this year:

  • The Arc of Northern Virginia will receive $693,194 to expand its train-the-travel-trainer program.
  • New Horizons Supported Services in Prince George’s County will receive $190,941 to procure two wheelchair accessible minivans to replace vehicles that have exceeded their useful life.
  • The D.C. Department of For-Hire Vehicles will get $508,000 for operating support for Transport DC, a program that provides same day service for persons with disabilities and older adults in D.C. as an alternative to MetroAccess.

TPB will next solicit for projects in the summer of 2023.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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