[COMMITTEE PRINT] (7
SENIOR TRANSPORTATIONTICKET TO DIGNITY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FEDERAL, STATE, AND
COMMUNITY SERVICES OF ME
SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGING HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
NINETY-FOURTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION
MAY 20, 1976
Printed for the use of the Select Committee on Aging
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SELECT COMMITTEE ON AGING
WM. J. RANDALL, Missouri, Chairn CLAUDE PEPPER, Florida BOB WILSON, California
SPARK M. MATSUNAGA, Hawaii WILLIAM C. WAMPLER, Virginia
EDWARD R. ROYBAL, California JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT, Arkansas
FRED B. ROONEY, Pennsylvania H. JOHN HEINZ I1, Pennsylvania
MARIO BIAGGI, New York WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine
WALTER FLOWERS, Alabama RONALD A. SARASIN, Connecticut
IKE F. ANDREWS, North Carolina WILLIAM F. WALSH, New York
JOHN L. BURTON, California CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa
EDWARD P. BEARD, Rhode Island GILBERT GUDE, Maryland
MICHAEL T. BLOUIN, Iowa
DON BONKER, Washington
THOMAS J. DOWNEY, New York
JAMES J. FLO RIO, New Jersey HAROLD E. FORD, Tennessee
WILLIAM J. HUGHES, New Jersey
MARILYN LLOYD, Tennessee
JIM SANTINI, Nevada
TED RISENHOOVER, Oklahoma
ROBERT M. HORER, Staff Di / rt LYLE MCCLAW, Counsel ALBERT H. SOLOMON, Jr., Professonal Staff Assistant MARTHA JANE MALONEY, Professional Staff Assistant V. BERNICE KING. Financial Scretary
(WM. J. RANDALL, Missouri, Chairman of the full committee, and BOB WILSON, California, Banking Minority Member, are members of all subcommittees. ex officio.)
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 1-RFTIREMENT INCOME AND EMPLOYMENT
WM. J. RANDALL, Missouri, Chairman WALTER FLOWERS, Alabama WILLIAM C. WAMPLER, Virginia
JOHN L. BURTON, California CHARLES E. GRASSLEY, Iowa
MICHAEL T. BLOUIN, Iowa GILBERT GUDE, Maryland
DON BONKER, Washington
THOMAS J. DOWNEY, New York
-MICHAEL W. MURAiY. Majority Staff NANCY E. HOBBS, Minority Staff
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 2-HEALTH AND LONa-TERM CARE CLAUDE PEPPER, Florida, Chairman IKE F. ANDREWS, North Carolina H. JOHN HEINZ I, Pennsylvania
EDWARD P. BEARD, Rhode Island WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine
JAMES J. FLO RIO, New Jersey t MARILYN LLOYD; Tennessee ROBERT S. WEin ER, Majority Staf ELLOT STERN, Minority Staff
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 3-HOUSING AND CONSUMER INTERESTS EDWARD R. ROYBAL, California, Chairan FRED B. ROONEY, Pennsylvania JOHN PAUL HAMMERSCHMIDT, Arkansas
HAROLD E. FORD, Tennessee WILLIAM F. WALSH, New York
JIM SANTINI, Nevada
JoSE S. GazA, Majority Staff
SUBCOMMITTEE No. 4-FEDERAL, STATE AND COMMUNITY SERVICES SPARK M. MATSUNA GA, Hawaii, Chairman MARIO BIAGGI, New York BOB WILSON, California
WILLIAM J. HUGHES, New York RONALD A. SARASIN, Connecticut
TED RISENHOOVER, Oklahoma
EDWARD F. HoWARD, MaJoritvyIStff ROBETTA BawRscn, Minority Staff
Ownmary --------------------------------------------------------- 1
Recommendations --------------------------------------------- 6
Chapter I: An overview:
Mobility and accessibility -------------------------------------- 9
The problem: Multifaceted (Low incomes, service gaps, rural isolation,
design problems, older pedestrian, driver licensing and insurance) 10 Chapter II: Present programs:
Public program ------------------------------------------------ 19
Department of Transportation ------------------------------ 19
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare --------------- 23
Other major Federal programs ------------------------------ 24
Private programs ---------------------------------------------- 25
Chapter III: Program gaps and deficiencies:
Fragmented, uncoordinated services ----------------------------- 27
Rural transportation and Federal responsibility -------------------- 34
Funding: How much, from where, and for how long.? --------------- 35
Volunteerism, -------------------------------------------------- 40
Schoolbuses --------------------------------------------------- 42
Surplus vehicles ----------------------------------------------- 44
Design accessibility -------------------------------------------- 45
Transportation cost assistance programs -------------------------- 47
Federal guidance ---------------------------------------------- 49
Chapter IV: Recommendations ------------------------------------- 51
Appendixes ------------------------------------------------------- 57
Digitized by the Internet Archive
'SENIOR TRANSPORTATION: TICKET TO DIGNITY
L. AN OVERVIEW
MOBILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
In a so et that has carried on a love affair with the automobile for decades, tKe elderly often find themselves jilted by the only transportation method they have ever depended on, the private auto. For either income, physical or psychological reasons, driving becomes imirssible.
eliance then shifts to public transportation, which imposes physical and income demands of its own. High steps, quick movement and ill-designed routes may in effect deny the elderly access to existing systems. Despite the 1970 declaration by Congress that "elderly and handicapped persons have the same right as other persons to utilize mass transportation facilities and services," it took until April 1976 for regulations fully implementing that policy to be issued.
As important as assuring accessibility to existing systems is, it is not enough. Inappropriate routing, long waiting periods and weather problems are only a few factors that may require "door-to-door" or demand -responsive transportation.
This broadening of mobility for the elderly generally must be pursued at the same time as increased accessibility if older Americans are to be assured adequate transportation services.
THE PROBLEM: MULTIFACETED
A statement of the problem is simple: older Americans are severely b a mpered in getting to and from places they need to travel. One recent survey showed that one-third of the poor elderly have serious transportation difficulties. Attempting to deal with the problem, however, brings one quickly to realize that improving mobility for older Americans involves sorting out a complex bundle of issues, including at least the following:
Income.-The figures are grim. The median income for elderly households in 1973 was just under $4,600-less than half of the national figure of $10,500. More than 3 million Americans azed 65 or over were below the poverty level in 1974. The pace of inflation since then has undoubtedly pushed hundreds of thousands more into the poverty classification.
Service Gaps.-In many areas, there is no public transportation at all. Often when it exists, it goes to the wrong place at the wrong times for older Americans. Reduced fare programs help some persons, but leave many still unserved.
In many cases the answer is to develop alternative systems, which can provide the more flexible, more personalized service required by many elderly citizens. Public operators, however, h ave been reluctant to enter into this new field because of their existing cost problems.
Rural Isolation.-Virtually all rural persons are poorly served by public transit, and the rural elderly-between five and six millionare no exception. Distances are greater, populations less dense, and incomes among the elderly are generally lower than in urban areas.
Design Problems.-Most transit vehicles and facilities are designed with the "normal" person in mind-someone who can climb steep steps, endure uncomfortable seats, walk long distances in terminals, and balance packages in one hand while hanging on to a subway strap with the other. Unfortunately, millions of elderly do not fit this description of normality, and are rebuffed by the system at various points.
Walking and Driving.-Traffic accidents claim a disproportionate number of elderly pedestrians as victims. In urban areas traffic signals assume a sprightliness of step that few older Americans possess. On the other hand, State driver examination statutes and practices have discouraged many able elderly persons from driving their automobiles.
II. PRESENT PROGRAMS
More than 30 Federal programs, administered by 8 different agencies, provide significant amounts of money for transportation services to the elderly. The variety of restrictions on beneficiary age, health, or location, among others, has bewildered and hampered State and local officials in addressing the problems.
Two departments-Transportation, and Health, Education, and Welfare-have most of the responsibility.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION PROGRAMS
The Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended (UMTA),' contains several major programs.
Section 3 of UMTA provides grants to public transit agencies for capital purchases only on a project-grant basis. It is the largest single program-$1.1 billion requested for fiscal year 1977. A portion of the section 3 money-$500 million over 6 years-is reserved for areas with populations under 50,000.
Section 5 of UMTA provides money to all urbanized areas in the country by formula, and permits the money-$650 million in fiscal year 1977-to be used for capital or operating purposes at the recipient's discretion. Section 5(m) also contains the requirement that recipients give reduced fares in nonpeak hours to the elderly and handicapped.
Section 16(b)(2) of UMTA sets aside 2 percent of the section 3 money-$22 million in fiscal year 1977-for capital grants to private, nonprofit groups serving the elderly and handicapped.
Section 16(a) of UMTA sets out the national policy of Congress that the elderly and handicapped have equal rights to mass transit services with other Americans.
Rural highway demonstration projects, which must at least take the special needs of the elderly into account, are being funded under section 147 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973.
IThroughout this report, UMTA is used as the abbreviation both for the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended, and for the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, the agency within DOT with responsibility for carrying out the act.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE PROGRAMS
Title III, Older Americans Act, distributes funds by formula to State and area offices on aging, which have wide discretiODon purposes for which the funds can be spent. The area agencies in a State must, as a result of a 1975 amendment to the act, spend at least 20 percent of their funds on one or more of four specified services, one of which is transportation.
Section 308 of the Older Americans Act funds model projects, many in the field of transportation, which are intended to demonstrate innovative ways to deal with senior citizen problems.
Title VII of the Older Americans Act funds nutrition programs for the elderly. Supporting services, including transportation, may be financed from title VII funds.
Title XX-Social Services---of the Social Security Act distributes $2.5 billion by formula to the States for use in serving lower income persons of all ages. Transportation for older people is one possible use for the money.
Medicaid-title XTX-funds may be used to cover transportation of a patient to an allowable service.
Many other programs, such as foster grandparents, permit funds from the particular program to be used to provide Deeded transportation to program participants.
As noted, Section 16 (b) (2) singles out private nonprofit groups as the only permitted recipients for these capital grants.
Another private resource, volunteers, has been used in many transportation programs serving the elderly, particularly as dispat6ers and drivers.
111. PROGRAm GA PS ANDDEFICIENCIES
Unfortunately, the panoply of Federal programs described above do not respond perfectly to the problems set forth in part 1 of this report. Many gaps and deficiencies can be easily identified.
FRAGMENTATION, LACK OF COORDINATION
Coordination is a goal that everyone endorses. It is required under a variety of Federal statutes and is an obvious method for getting more transportation services from a given level of funding.
Discussions of coordination, however, have produced more lip service than transportation service. Obstacles to effective coordination abound. One witness at hearings held by the Administration on Aging described some of them vividly:
(H)e stated that only children can use the day care bus; only
handicapped persons are permitted on the sheltered workshop bus; and only those aged 70 and over may ride the Council on Aging buses. (I)t it not unusual for a multiproblem family to be confronted with the possibility of riding separate vehicles to
Each social service program builds in user restrictions based on age, health status, income, geographical limits, and other criteria.
3 Summary of A0A 1975 Transportation hearings, p. M-5.
Aside from user restrictions, other barriers to coordination must be addressed. Transit planning has traditionally ignored the needs of the elderly to concentrate on commuter work trips. Social service agencies
th transportation components, concurrently, have seldom utilized
those with transit expertise.
Creation of dial-a-ride systems has often been attempted without considering franchise rights of local taxi and other paratransit operators. Franchise laws th.eniselves usually do not contemplate the kind of Service provided by special systems, and often impose damaging restrictions.
A special coordination problem arose during 1975, the initial year of operation for, the section 16 (b) (2) program of grants to private, nonprofit organizations primarily for vehicles serving the elderly and handicapped. This meant that more than 1,100 "systems" were funded, with minimal requirements for coordinating with existing transit or other social service agencies. Procedures in the 1976 program tighten coordination requirements.
RURAL TRANSPORTATION: WHO 8 IN CHARGE?
Most mass transportation programs come under the aegis of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, within the Department' of Transportation. That this agency is more responsive to urban, rather than rural, needs is understandable. The Federal Highway Administration's jurisdiction is limited to highways and i elated facilities.
There is no focus for Federal efforts in rural transportation for the elderly or anyone else.
FUNDING: HOW MUCH) FROM WHERE, AND FOR HOW LONG?
One thing we know about Federal support for transporting the elderly is that we know precious little. Amounts spent on this purpose in the 30-plus programs identified are, except in a few cases, impossible to qualify.
Unfortunately, a lack of data is not the only funding problem in this area.
Most of the major programs described in this report provide money only for capital- expenses. Yet the subcommittee is convinced, from its hearings and other information available',' that it is operating expenses that represent the'greatest need. Estimates of the relative amounts needed for operation ranged upward from 75 percent of the total. Without assistance in meeting operating expenses, most transit services to the elderly cannot survive. Since regular transit operators in 1975 experienced operating deficits totaling $1.7 billion, we cannot expect systems serving a specialized public in a specialized way to meet their operating costs from the farebox. Indeed, no fares are
permitted on many special systems serving the elderly.
Other sources of fundingy-particularly model projects money under the Older Americans Act and rural highway demonstration programs-have built-in discontinuity. Often the local agencies cannot muster sufficient resources to continue even a successful demonstration once Federal aid is term*ated.
If volunteers are asked to bear all out-of-pocket costs associated with their volunteer work, the number volunteering diminishes sharply. The 1973-74 energy crisis dramatized that fact.
Possible incentives are numerous: Reduced rates for parts and maintenance through local governments, tax-free fuel, among., others. One disparity noted is that the Federal tax deduction for mileage incurred as a volunteer, at 7 cents a mile, is not comparable to the cost of such operation.
The use of schoolbuses in hours they are not. needed for school purposes is a potential resource to benefit the elderly. Substantial difficulties can be encountered, however, in attempting to tap this resource.
State laws often restrict the use of schoolbuses. Fourteen States have some sort of direct prohibition against use for the elderly. In many States where private operators supply schoolbus service on a contract basis, a major impediment to nonschool use is the exemption permitted from the Federal excisetax on buses if the vehicle is to be used exclusively for school purposes.
In many areas the buses may not be available enough hours to make their use practical. Insurance problems may arise from nonschool use. Finally, the vehicles themselves are not particularly suited for use by the many elderly persons with limited mobility. However, this would still be better than no transportation at all.
Although the Federal Government disposes of excess vehicles to agenci s or use in public and nonprofit programs, only agencies en gaged in educational, health, or civil defense activities are eligible to receive vehicles.
Since Congress in 1970 first mandated the availability of mass transportation services for the elderly and handicapped, only scattered benefits have flowed to these groups. Significant barriers to access by the elderly are still the rule, rather than the exception.
New rapid rail systems, like San Francisco's BART and- Washington, D.C.'s Metro, have incorporated barrier-free elements. For regular transit buses, UMTA has developed Transbus, an innovative prototype, and promulgated regulations requiring a lift or ramp option be offered on all new standard buses and light rail vehicles.
Whatever the effectiveness of these steps, they do not touch the billions of dollars' worth of existing equipment, which will be m' use for many years to come. Only a program to "retrofit" this equipment to make it more accessible will deal with the major part of the problem any time soon.
REDUCED FARE PROGRAMS
Section 5(m) of UMTA requires that communities receiving money under section 5 charge not more than half fare to elderly and handicapped riders during nonpeak hours. This is an important benefit to,
72-382 0 76 2
thousands of older Americans, who could otherwise not afford frequent use of public transit.
Two other aspects of reduced fare programs need to be noted. First, it is not without cost to the operator. The New Jersey Department of Transportation, for example, estimates that its reduced fare rr grani will cost it $8.4 million next year. Second, older persons iving in communities With no transit systems or systems responding poorly to the elderly, will receive minimal benefit from reduced fares.
As with reduced fares, the main problem with special systems iis that not enough older people have access to them. Where service is available, elderly with Incomes just above lianits set for that program are blocked froia participating.
SPECIAL GEOGRAVIHIC PROBLEMS
In some relatively remote places like Alaska and Hawaii, air travel may be the only practical alternative. Unfortunately, the Civil Aeronautics Board has opposed permitting airlines to grant discounts to senior citizens, as other modes of transportation have already done.
DRIVER LICENSING AND INSURANCE
The state-of-the-art report documented wide variations from State to State in driver licensing and reexamination procedures, often with the potential for discrimination against the elderly.
Although the elderly seem to be able to obtain reasonably priced auto insurance in most cases, special problems arise when changes in residence, such as retirement might involve, force the older, driver to seek a' new company.
1. IMPROVE COORDINATION
(a) The President should require Federal social service agencies to try to secure authorized transportation services through local transit agencies.
(b) Waivers of regulatory requirements impeding coordination of prograin funds for elderly transportation should be granted in all possible cases by the executive branch.
(c) Congress should. explicitly permit or require such. coordination on all new social services programs.
(d) DOT's improved coordination procedures in the section 16 (b) (2) program should be continued and expanded.
2. SPECIAL RURAL PROBLEMS
The House Public Works and Transportation Committee should consider establishing a single public transportation authority, with responsibility inboSurban, ind rural areas (also see funding recommendations, below).
3. FUNDING LEVELS AND CONTINUITY
(a) AOA should provide more gradual phaseouts of funding for model projects.
(b) More money must be freed for operating expenses, as well as capital purchases. Since operating costs are high, substantial amounts of money may be required, and the House Public Works and Transportation Committee is urged to give every consideration to these needs.
(c) State and local governments should provide tax-free or low-cost fuel, maintenance, and parts to transportation projects for the elderly.
4. VOLUNTEER ENCOURAGEMENT
(a) The tax code should be amended to permit the same mileage deduction for volunteer activity as for business mileage.
(b) State and local governments should consider making tax-free or low-cost fuel, maintenance, and parts available to volunteer drivers in projects serving the elderly.
(c) AOA should disseminate information about volunteer insurance programs to. its "aging network."
6. BETTER 'USE OF EXISTING VEHICLES
(a) Private purchasers of schoolbuses should be permitted an exemption from Federal excise tax if the vehicles are used mi publiclyIV supported transportation programs for the elderly.
(b) Congress should enact legislation to permit federally owned vehicles declared "excess" to be used in projects benefitting the elderly.
(c) Congress should reaffirm the power of the Civil Aeronautics Board to permit discount standby air fares for the elderly.
6. IMPROVING VEHICLES AND FACILITIES
(a) UMTA should review forthcoming building design standards to assure that their adoption with regard to transportation facilities will accomplish the goal of maximum accessibility for the elderly and handicapped.
(b) UMTA should undertake an aggressive program. to explore possibilities and problems associated with "retrofitting" existing vehicles and facilities to make them more accessible.
(c) DOT should review the forthcoming design standards relating to parking and associated facilities used in high-speed bus systems with a view toward their impact on the elderly.
7. PEDESTRIAN IMPROVEMENTS
The Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development should develop pedestrian standards for federally funded projects.
8. THE (i NOT-POOR-ENOUGH ly ELDERLY
(a) Congress should exempt older Americans from "means tests" in social service programs except in the most compelling circumstances.
(b) DOT should encourage adoption of the new model taxi ordinance, to help promote shared rides.
(c) UMTA should accelerate its efforts to test shared-ride concepts.
9. STUDY RECOMMENDATIONS
(a) GAO should identify all Federal funds being spent on transportation for the elderly.
(b) AOA should study, and recommend actions to alleviate, transportation problems of the institutionalized elderly.
(c) GAO should recommend to Congress ways in which to promote common locations for delivery of Federal services to the elderly.
(d) AOA should study conflicting age requirements in programs servmgthe elderly and recommend appropriate changes.
(e) The National Highway Trafc Safety Administration should study State driver licensing procedures to develop ways to eliminate possible discrimination against the elderly.
(f) UMTA should review State and local franchise laws to identify how removal of existing impediments to legitimate special transporation projects can be removed.
SENIOR TRANSPORTATION: TICKET TO DIGNITY
MOBILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
In their need for transportation, the elderly are even as you-and 1. They, too, must function within a society that demands that we go endlessly from here to there to satisfy even basic needs. How well we meet the demand for mobility often determines the scope of our wellbeing, physical and psychological.
What is different for many of the elderly is their ability to cope with that demand. Most commonly, physical and income problems combine and reinforce each other until gradually lifestyle changes and shrinks; the world narrows. Abandoning driving a private automobile is frequently the first step down-whether for income, physical, or psvchological reasons. Reliance then switches to public transportation, irit is available. But public transportation places a host of physical demands on its users-getting to the system, waiting in a variety of weather conditions, moving quickly, climbing. stairs, absorbing complex information-that many senior citizens simply cannot meet. if, in addition, the service I at the times they wish tol travel is poor and the routing inappro iate to their needs for certain destinations, the eff ort needed will 2tern be too much. .,
In a broad sense, the largest numbers of elderly stand to benefit from whatever tends to make public transportation more widespread and responsive to the needs of the general population. For the present, however, the extent to which the elderly can make use of existing transportation vehicles and facilities is a function of a system's accessibility. Even a free system cannot make transit accessible for use by the less physically able if it has not been so designed. Section 16(a) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 as amended, has so recognized and has declared as national policy the accessibility of present systems to the elderly and handicapped. Those transportation difficulties of the elderly which relate to the accessibility of systems will be described in more detail later in this report.
However, modifying regular mass transit systems will not adequately meet the transportation need of considerable numbers of older persons. No degree of vehicle modification can eliminate the barriers imposed by the distance from an individual's home -to the nearest transportation pickup point and from the transportation dropoff point to the individual's destination.
Furthermore, vehicle modification cannot eliminate steep hills, heavy traffic, or long waiting periods which prevent feeble or handicapped elderly persons from using the general transportation system.
I In addition to the subcommittee's own hearings and those by other panels of the Select Committee on Aging, this report draws heavily on the research compiled for "Transportation for Older Americans: A State of the Art Report," Institute of Public Administration, Washington, D.C., April 1975.
Many of the problems described later in the report are, related to reductions in the mobility opportunities of the elderly. Fewer trips and fewer choices as to where to go for the elderly, it will be seen, contribute to a perceptible change m lifestyle marked by problems in, maintaining health, good nutrition, and normal satisfaction of social and recreational needs.
Improved accessibility to urbanized transportation systems which must operate under fixed route and schedule conditions may do little to meet the mobility needs of the elderly within the context of their particular needs. There are lin-fact, considerable data to indicate that many of the elderly need "door-to-door" transportation, often with assistance in getting to and from the vehicle. Demand-activated subsystems, such as dial-a-ride service, are also of importance in rural and suburban areas where adequate public transportation for the general population is not likely to develop for some time.
For meaningful progress toward meeting the transportation needs of the elderly, both paths will need to be pursued: accessibility on present systems and broadening of the general mobility picture.
THE PROBLEM: MULTIFACETED
As hearings on the subject before this subcommittee have documented, the satisfaction of basic needs and desires, access to existing services, and participation in the society at large for many of the elderly are suffering because of their inability to cope adequately ith the mobility demands being placed upon them. In greater numbers than any other single social group, they are bearing -the burden of such demands in the lorm of reductions in physical well-being: and opportunity for social contributions.
A crucial concern is that those senior citizens reliant on public transit must not be shut off from the mainstream of activity. These individuals should be assured of reasonable access to their doctors, shopping areas, senior citizen centers, churches, employment opportunities, social events, and friends, Otherwise, the segregation and involuntary isolation of our elderly would result in a tragic loss of valuable human resources to our communities.
The transportation or mobility problems confronting the elderly must be considered from two perspectives: Those factors that limitthe capacity of the, elderly to avail, themselves of the existing trans-" portion network, and the limitations of the transportation network itself which must be surmounted if the elderly are to be adequately served. I
As users of transportation, the elderly are faced with problems which are primarily associated with reduced or inadequate incomes to purchase necessary services; with physical or psychological impairment limits their ability to negotiate existing systems; or both.
The problems of income and physical or psychological impairment for the elderly are compounded:
By a level and/or quality of service in many urban areas which
is frequently insufficient and inappropriate for their needs.
By vehicle and facility design and travel barriers which mark
existing available systems.
By pedestrian and driving problems closely bound up with the
prevailing orientation in our society toward the private automobile.
The Executive Director of the West Virginia Commission on Aging, testifying for the National Council on the Aging, described the magnitude of the problem as measured in a recent survey:.4
Overall, about one-third of the poor respondents reported having transporta-' tion difficulties. The major reasons given for lack of transportation were "cannot afford it" or "public transportation is not very good." Lack of public transportation proved to be one of the most serious gaps in community service in nearly every area in which Project FIND operated. Project reports were full of records of persons unable to secure food, get to a doctor, or visit with friends and relatives because there was no means of transportation.2
All of these problems interact and reinforce one .another. For example, low incomes prevent. the purchase or maintenance of private automobiles or make increases in transit fares an unbearable burden. Maneuvering or disorientation 'difficulties on public transit systems may discourage the elderly from supplementing their incomes with part-time work. The major areas of difficulty 'contributing to the heavy burden the elderly face in trying to meet their mobility needs are elaborated below-both to define the problem and to provide a' framework for the examination of present program and recommenda .tion for future initiatives.
It is no secret that 'retirement brings With it sharp declines in income. As one witness stated in subcommittee field hearings.
One of the greatest [problems] is that upon retirement, the senior citizen suddenly finds himself in a different world. He is faced with almost immediate poverty. It is gradual for some and then almost right away for the others. His whole economic perspective changes. His lifestyle changes, which results in corresponding problems in nutrition, health, recreation and immobility for spirit and body.'
In 1973 the median income for households where the head of the' household was 65 years or older was $4,583-or only 44 percent of the total U.S. median income level of $10,512. Americans 65 and older predominate in the low-income categories (below $5,000/year) with, for example, 16.7 percent of those 65 and older falling in the $2,000$2,999/year category as compared to 1.9 percent of those in the 3 5-44 age group.
The grim budget condition of many elderly is further dramatized by examining individuals not living in households; differentiating between rural and urban elderly; black, white, or other races; or by sex.
In this respect, 1970 data show that the median income for the typical elderly white head of household was $5,263; for the black counterpart, it was only $3,282; for unrelated individuals, it falls to $2,005 for whites and $1,443 for blacks.
2 Dr. Louise Gerrard, on behalf of the National Council on the Aging; hearings, "Transportation: Improving Mobility for Older Americans," p. 97, held Jan. 22, 29, and Feb. 5, 1978, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
3 Joseph Souki, executive director, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.; hearing, Problems of the Elderly in Hawaii (Part I-Maui County)," pp. 43 and 44, held Nov. 25, 1975, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
The relative budget status of the elderly is perhaps most pointedly illustrated by an examination of data on persons below the poverty level. Families and persons have been classified as being above or below a low-level income based on a definition originally developed by the Social Security Administration in 1964, and subsequently modified by a Federal Interagency Committee. In 1974, there were, 15 million persons reported below the poverty income level in the workers-age population 16 years or older. Over 3 million were 65 years and older or about 16 percent of those below the poverty level in the working age population. In 1973 the median income for households with the head of household age 65 years or older was $4,583. This compared to $10,512 for all households.
Furthermore, when one considers that half of the elderly households in 1973 were below $4,583, seriousness of the income problem for older Americans is obvious. Although all the transportation problems of the elderly cannot be solv, A by income alone, they are all aggravated and accentuated by its lack. With reduced incomes, automobile ownership becomes more burdensome and dependence for mobility often shifts to public transportation, the assistance of family and friends, and *increased taxi use, if available-often despite substantial income limitations The linkages between low .4 -income and transportation deprivation have often drawn pointed comment in public testimony.
Adequate public transportation has long been an urgent, recognized need for our elderly and yet, in Nevada and throughout the Nation, we have not solved this problem. We are spending billions of dollars to build freeways for those financially and physically able to drive their own cars,. while doing little or nothing for those who probably could not afford even to buy gas at today's prices if they did own an automobile. A nation whose resources and technology can land men on the Moon can surely develop the means to move people across town.
Depriving our low-income senior citizens ofthe means or right to live out their lives in reasonable comfort and security is tragnc. It is cruel and heartless. They have paid their "civil rents" during their more productive years. They deserve a better return on their investment than they are getting, in the form of problems which Government largely has created.5
Gaps Between Level, Quality, and Convenience. o Available Service and
For many older Americans the problem is availability of transportation-any transportation. Many elderly live in isolated rural areas with little or no access to any form of transportation. Even in urban areas, the elderly frequently live in residential locations poorly served by public transit, especially during the off-peak hours. Public transit in our cities is essentially designed to serve the work force, carrying them to and from jobs. When the peak period is over, service levels decline sharply, providing infrequent service to off-peak ridersincluding large numbers of the elderly.
Low service levels are further compounded by the fact that declining ridership as a result of the automobile has reduced service routes to those primarily designed to serve work-force destinations. Destinations outside the central busm*ess district are sometimes not served at all, or with great infrequency. Access to clinics. and other facilities may
4 Institute of Public Administration, "Model Cities Transportation Project: Final Report," for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, November 1971, especially pp. 32 ff.
5 Ronald Lurie, Mayor Pro-Tem, Las Vegas, Nev.; hearing, "Problems of the Elderly in Nevada (Part 2)," p. 3, held Oct. 11, 1975, by Subeonmittee No. 3 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
be impossible, especially iif appointments must be kept. Without the availability of a private automobile, the elderly are frequently unable to obtain the medical care they need or participate in the range of socializing activities essential to their well-being and survival.
In addition to routing and scheduling limitations, public transit systems cannot easily provide the type of personalized and flexible, service characteristics required by the elderly. In service commuters and their work trips, systems operate on an impersoi al hands-off basis in which drivers must adhere to tight schedules, cannot leave their seats, Must maintain headway, and cannot deviate from their route. i
The major response of public transit systems toward meeting the transportation needs of the elderly has been in developing reducedfare programs, and these have usually been imtiated by persons outside of public transit. Though reduced fares do encourage somewhat more use of public systems, for the elderly they provide the same poor quality service along existing fixed routes oriented to the wrong places. Reduced fares do not make the system more personalized or flexible.
Not surprisingly, in the face of the present limitation of public transit, the needs of the elderly are being met by special transport systems designed to provide door-to-door flexible service, or scheduled services and modified fixed routes that permit vehicles to deviate from their appointed rounds.
I An important element iin the, inability of existing public transit systems to provide for flexible service is the lack of a financial base. Almost all public transportation systems at the present time require some form of subsidy support to continue operation, and if flexible service of a door-to-door character were provided, even grea ter subsidies would be needed. In this context, providing for demand responsive and flexible systems and service characteristics is to a considerable extent constrained by the lack of available resource support. A good illustration of the obstacles public transit operators face in addressing the special needs of the elderly was given to the subcommittee by a representative of the transit operator serving Philadelphia.
In addition to quickly escalating operating deficits, she outlined the following financial difficulties- being faced by the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA):
Bonds used to purchase the pieces that form SEPTA system are still being paid off.
Money is required to rehabilitate and replace old system components.
Resources are required to add major links-such as the airport rail line, subway extension, and due to ConRail, the purchase of commuter facilities and branch lines that would otherwise be abandoned. I should also mention the possibility of a new commuter formula under ConRail. which would substantially increase SEPTA's payments.6
The primary limitation of public transportation is .. quite simply that it does not exist in many places. In rural areas, with the exception of relatively infrequent intercity bus or rail services, there i's often no public transportation of any kind. If the elderly wish to make
I Sally Cooper, Senior Planner, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority; p. 119 of transcript of hearing held Feb. 12, 1976, in Whiting, N.J., by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
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trips to clinics, go shopping or just socialize, they must either drive themselves or be driven. Furthermore there are no public programs for providing rural transportation that correspond to urban programs, with the exception of the Interstate Highway program, which of course, is postulated on the assumption that a motor vehicle is available.
A witness from rural San Diego County told the subcommittee: You people here'are lucky. You complain about 20 minutes wait, a half hour wait, an hour wait. I deal with people in the rural area, who are still waiting for the bus stop to go up.7
Four variables can be used as rouLh indicators of the scope of the transportation difficulties of the rui al elderly:
The share of the population 65 years and older.
The density of the population.
The percentage of households with *incomes below the poverty
The relative availability of an automobile to the households.
In 1970, out of the total, of just over 20 million elderly, about 27 percent were in rural locations-5.4 million.-Of this number, almost 75 percent are located in the South and North Central farming States.
The income condition of the rural elderly is even more precarious than their urban counterparts' the poverty level threshold, for example, in 1974 for two-person farm families with head of household 65 years and over, is $2,535 as compared to the non-farm total of $2,982. Automobile ownership and poverty data developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation fc.r 1970 reveal that rural areas accounted for 27 percent of all households without automobile or telepbone.8
A witness in Colorado told a full committee hearing last year: We know of cases where elderly Deople have been requested to pay as much as a dollar a mile to go 10 to 15 miles to the nearest community and return. When on a limited income, a 20-dollar bill is something that they are unable to pay. The choice left up to them, then, is do'they forgo the service or spend the money. This is frequently a very unfortunate decision for them to have to make because without the service they may not survive.9
The transportation need for the rural elderly, therefore, is even more acute in that there is less access to social services, lower *incomes and greater isolation which limits opportunity to turn to others for help. A recent study of transportation problems in rural Pennsylvania accurately highlights the transportation problems of the rural poor (and elderly):
There are few transportation alternatives for the rural Pe s
nn ylvania residents.
There are not enough buses, schedules are seldom publicized, and the fares are burdensome for people with fixed incomes. Therefore, the only form of transportation available for most rural residents of the Commonwealth is by car. This involves a large capital investment and the upkeep costs are high, In Pennsylvania one of every four rural residents lives in poverty as compared to one of every eight persons in urban areas and one of every fifteen persons in suburban areas.
7 Joe Benintende; hearing 11 Serv! 6es for the Elderly in San Diego, Calif.," p. 97, held Aug. 20,1975, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the house Select Committee on Aging.
8 Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Transportation Systems Center, The Handicapped and Elderly Market for Urban Mass Transit, Technical Report, PB 224-821, October 1973, tables 1 and 3a, pp. 23 ff.
Robert B. Robinson, Director, Division of Services for the Aging, Department of Social Services, State of Colorado; hearing, "Problems of the Elderly in Colorado," p. 8, held Aug. 22, 1975, by the House Select Committee on Aging.
Consequently, the elderly, handicapped, and disadvantaged households too often either buy a car which they cannot afford initially or on an on-going basis pay a disproportionate amount of their income on transportation costs. Those who absolutely cannot afford a car feel numerous restrictions. Health care is often neglected because the people have only enough money to pay for -the transportation costs to the store and the cost of the groceries. There are those who do not even get to go to the store; someone will pic k up some groceries for them. The choice of consumer goods is also confined to the immediate area. Even the opportunity to take advantage of the food stamp program is eliminated if the family has no means of getting to the welfare office.
Also employment potential will be limited because of the lack of regular transportation facilities. The elderly and the handicapped often live in pov erty. In addition, they must face other obstacles. Their-mobility may be so limitedthat it is impossible to walk the several yards or miles in some cases to where a bus might be available. If it is possible to get to "a bus stop" they may not be capable of getting up the steps and into the seats without assistance. Isolation, dependency, and a lack of social awareness for rural residents of the Commonwealth are'a result of the restrictions on mobility.10
Older Americans are also confronted by a variety of design and travel barriers on the systems they use. The elderly are at a disadvantage in having to learn new transportation skills-for example, in using public transport instead of an automobile-at the 'very time when their sensory and motor skills are declining. Adjustment difficulties are compounded by barriers designed into the transportation facilities themselves.
Essentially, travel barriers fall into two categories: First, those barriers in which the individual acts upon the system-low-income, psychological or emotional barriers, and physical handicaps; and second, those barriers in 'Which the system acts on the individualsuch as difficulties associated with the vehicle, terminal facilities the facilities for transferring between one mode and another, problems of vertical and horizontal movements, inadequate weather prGtection, availability of needed information, and poorlight timing for driving or when crossing at intersections.
Many of the travel barriers in the second category are architectural in character, and, under the pressure of speed, becrm'e too difficult for the elderly to handle. However, if 'Modem transportation systems have one thing in commoii, it is the need for speed and the, pressure to move quickly. Traffic flows have become increasingly 'heavy, and signal patterns, traffic markings and signs have been designed to prevent congestion and keep things moving. This adds to the complexity of traffic controls, making it increasingly difficult for the elderly to quickly receive and interpret traffic information.
In public transit, pressure for speed exists at every point at which the elderly come in contact with the system. Vehicles start suddenly, and schedules demand that doors be shut quickly. There is a considerable amount of noise and inconvenience; and drivers are basically not in a position to provide the kind of personalized service that older Americans often require. It is not surprising that trips with friends or family in private cars and the use of taxis-despite their high costs-are often the most popular way to travel.
10 Governor's Task Force on Rural Transportatiorf, Rural Transportation of Pennsylvania: Problems and Prospects," Vol. 11, pp. 3 and 4, May 31, 1974.
Each travel mode has its own barrier characteristics. Maintaining balance is difficult in a moving vehicle as it starts, stops or goes around sharp curves. So is coping with rapid acceleration and deceleration., Long walking distances through corridors and tunnels found in rail and air terminals make demands which handicapped and elderly persons often cannot meet, even though they may not be sufficiently handicapped to warrant a wheelchair. Of considerable importance is the problem of vertical changes in levels both in terminal facilities and within large buildings or institutions such as hospitals or schools. The escalator and the movin sidewalk are prime sources of difficulty for older persons and the handicapped in terms of maintaining balance under pressure to move quickly.
A recent study of the problems of the elderly and handicapped inA four medium-sized cities with populations between 100,000 to 200,000-Albany, Knoxville, Sacramento, and South Bend-reached significant conclusions."1 For example, based on a sample of elderlyover age 62-within the boundaries of the four cities, the following was reported:
Approximately one-third of the elderly reported having some form of physical limitation to vision, hearing or movement which made riding the bus difficult for them.
One-third reported difficulty moving quickly enough to get on and off buses.
Over one-third of the elderly indicated that they were unable to maintain balance if required to stand while riding.
Over 50 percent reported using the bus for grocery and other types of shopping, but one-third reported having difficulty carrying packages on the bus.
Among all the elderly interviewed, almost one-fifth said they were unable to pull the signal cord on the bus, and, though the majority of the respondents had no hearing problems, 17 percent had difficulty hearing or understanding the driver (not- uncommon with the not-so-elderly as well).
The difficulties with design barriers 'affect not only the elderly bu t other age group's who have some form of handicap. Estimates of the number of handicapped depend on definitions used in prep Iaring estimates, but it is fairly clear that about 8 to 10 percent of the population is chronically handicapped in some way and that the elderly probably account for about 40 to 50 percent of that group. In addition, there are relatively large numbers of people who are temporarily handicapped and would also benefit from design improvements.
How have transportation agencies responded to the problems faced by the elderly and handicapped in relation to existing systems? Specific design barriers to travel have been identified; and new systems, such as the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco and Metro in Washington have incorporated barrier-free elements in their planning. However, the major capital investment required for new equipment and redesign and replacement of old equipment on existing barrier-ridden systems has proved a formidable obstacle to action. In consequence, solutions to the mobility needs of the elderly and handicapped have often emphasized the development of alternative systems involving a more personalized "hands-on" type of transit serviceincluding dial-a-ride, and other demand-responsive forms of operation.
It U.S Department of Transportation, Urban Mass Transportation Administration, "Transportation for the Elderly and Handicapped," prepared for National Urban League by Mark Battle Associates, Grant No. DoT-Ut-53, July 1973.
Many communities have, mi fact, chosen to move in the direction of providing separate special services in attempting to deal with problems of the elderly and handicapped in obtaining necessary transportation. The older pedestrian
For many elderly Americans the only available form of mobility by which to satisfy daily needs is walking. It is appropriate that any consideration of the transportation problems of older Americans inelude an examination of pedestrianism. The elderly are both dependent upon and handicapped for pedestrian travel. Their retirement activities may be particularly well suited to access by walking, but Shortcircuited by anomalies of urban design which place community facilities beyond their walking capacity. Although the elderly participate in pedestrian travel mi rough proportion to their representation in the total population (10 percent), their representation in pedestrian traffic fatalities (25 percent) is ominous. Casualty rates for the elderly axe of even more concern if consideration of their cautious traffic behavior is added to the- picture. Visual problems, lengthened physical reaction time, nonstandaxdization of signs, and- aggressive driver behavior have been singled out as pedestrian problem areas for the elderly.
Urban designers generally do consider walking and pedestrian activities, but they are usually concerned with a typical pedestrian rather than the older pedestrian. In this context, problems arise for the elderly pedestrian as a result of decisions in the following areas: Location of community facilities, lack of pedestrian hardware such as resting benches, increased lighting, and ramps at curbs, and speed of pedestrian control Signals at lighted intersections. On this last point a
tness informed the subcommittee, a relatively small adjustment might help thousands of older persons:
At present, the Federal Highway Administration has set traffic light timing to allow a person walking at a minimum pace of 4 feet per second to make it across the street. At that rate, an Institute of Traffic Engineers study concludes that only about 60 percent of the population can make it across a city street before the light changes. I do not believe that it is necessary to point out the proportion of aged and handicapped included in the other 40 percent. However, the Traffic Engineers study further points out that by decreasing the rate to 3.5 feet per second, the total number of people able to make it across a street would go up to 90 percent. Thus a decrease of 0.5 feet per second would enable an additional 30 percent of the population to cross a street safely.12
The impact of fears for personal security in many urban areas is, of course, also a considerable deterrent to encouraging elderly pedestrianism as a transportation mode.
Driver licensing and insurance problems
For the majority of Americans of driving age, the need for personal mobility is solved in a direct fashion when-siiMclient available income permits the purchase and maintenance of an automobile. For the elderly, however, the issue of automobile ownership and usage is more complex. In addition to income availability and physical and psycho12Rudolph Danstedt, for William R. Hutton, Executive Director, National Council of Senior Citizens; hearing, "Transportation: Improving Mobility for Older Americans," pp. 93-94, held Feb. 5, 1976, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select committee on Aging.
logical difficulties which handicap them for urban driving conditions, the relation hi of age to highway safety control an the licensing process is poorly% defined.
'Although no State has established mandatory termination driving privilege with advancMie age, reexamination is widespread. Renewal periods vary between Slates. Developing criteria for disqualification has become difficult, and judgment is often left in the hands of the individual examiner. The question of objectivity in renewal examination of the elderly, plus questions on the validity of current licensing standards as predictors of future accidents have yet to be satisfactorily answered.
In the context of automobile insurance, better data collection on, actual crash risk of aged drivers, which has established that their actual loss experience is favorable, has brought about some reduction in premiums for drivers over 65 and less tendency to force the elderly into expensive assigned risk insurance pools. No-fault insurance plans are generally supported by senior groups.
Congress has provided many tools for those seeking to improve mobility for older Americans. Indeed, the most striking aspect of Federal programs aiding transportation for the elderly is their multiplicity. When the subcommittee was first informed that more than 30 different major Federal programs funded elderly transportation services, it was thought to be a staff research error. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The planning handbook issued earlier this year by the Administration on Aging I identified 30 separate Federal sources for such funds, and Congress has since added another.2
Each of these programs comes complete with eligibility restrictionshow old beneficiaries must be, where they must live, their physical condition, their income, and so on. The restrictions are rational when considered on a p~rogram-by-program. basis. Taken together, however, this maze of possible Federal financing has bewildered and hampered State and local officials across the country, as will be discussed more fully below.
fAlthough at least eight Federal agencies and departments administer one or more of the programs cited in the list of 30, those most directly relevant to transportation for the elderly ate under the direction of two agencies, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
Department of Transportation Programs
Urban Pro grams
The overwhelming majority of programs handled by the Department of Transportation (DOT) are urban in orientation.
a. Section 3, UMTA.3--Section 3 is the largest single Federal source of capital grant money for mass transportation. In fiscal year 1977, for example, $1,100 million will be available for obligation to State and local transit agencies (public bodies) to finance 80 percent of the capital costs-not operating costs-of transit projects in urban, areas (50,000 persons or more). This amount, it should be emphasized, is directed toward meeting the transit needs of the entire population, not just the elderly.
A portion of section 3 funds was reserved by Congress for nonurbanized areas.4 That program is discussed further below.
I Institute of Public Administration, Department of Transportation, "Planning Handbook: Transportation Services for the Elderly," Washington, D.C., DHEW, Appendix I.
2 Carpool program, 1976 Highway Act, Public Law 94-280.
3 Throi-ghout this report, UMTA is used as the abbreviation both for the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended, and for the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, the agency within DOT with responsibility for carrying out the act.
4 Public Law 93-503 set aside $50 million of the $11.2 billion for nonurbanized areas over the 6-year authorization period in the law.
Grants are made by UMTA under section 3 based on individual, local, or regional requests, with each grant application competing with all others submitted. As early as 1973, it was announced UMTA policy "to give priority attention to community requests for helping older Americans through capital grants from the Urban Mass Transportation fund * to commit significant resources to this end." 5 However, few transit operators or other governmental bodies have taken advantage of this new opportunity, primarily because of massive problems in maintaining existing service to the general population.8
b. Section 5, UMTA.-This program is similar to the section 3 program described above, except that (a) the money is apportioned to States based on urbanized population and population density;
(b) the total amounts available are smaller than under section 3 ; 7 and (c) the funds can be used either for capital purchases or to offset up to half of a transit system's operating deficit. About 90 percent of the money, at the discretion of recipients, has gone for operating expenses.
Again, little use has been Made of thi's section to benefit the elderly, but the potential is clear and has been realized in several instances.
c. Section 5(m), UMTA.-This provision of the act, added in 1974,8 requires that any transit system receiving assistance under section 5 offer fares to elderly and handicapped riders during nonpeak hours not greater than half the normal rush hour fare for general riders.
Many systems have gone beyond this on their own initiative. In Honolulu, the elderly ride city buses free at any time of the day. In Pennsylvania the State lottery funds free fares for the elderly on mass transit systems during nonpeak hours.
d. Section 6, UMTA research and demonstrations.-Under this section, UMTA funds a broad range of research, development and demonstration projects. Of approximately $47 million spent by UMTA under section 6 in fiscal year 1975, only about $2.8 million went to projectQ that are intended to benefit the elderly and handicapped directly.91 There is no statutory limit on the amount th at may be spent on such projects except that imposed by the combined total of money available under section 4(c) for capital grants, research and demonstrations, and technical assistance.
e. Section. 9, UMTA, technical studies. grants.-Public agencies are eligible under section 9 for funding to pay all or part of the cost of planning associated with fitting a particular transit project into a unified or officially coordinated urban transportation system.
Regulations have been published which will require local transit operators receiving technical studies funds to incorporate into the resulting transit plan a meaningful strategy to provide adequate transportation services to the elderly and handicapped.10
f. Section 16(b) (2), UMTA, capital grants to private nonprofit orgqnizations.-This subsection permits UMTA to allocate up to
5 President's special message on aging, Mar. 23, 1972.
6 See Appendix 11 for list of section 3 grants to benefit the elderly and handicapped.
7 The following contract authority remains: $650 million for fiscal year 1977, $775 million in fiscal year 1978, $850 million in fscal year 1979, and $900 million in seal year 1980.
8 National Mass Transportation Act of 1974, Public Law 93-503, Nov. 26, 1974. 9 See list of projects, supplied by the Department of Transportation, app. InI. 10 U.S. Department of Transportation, "Transportation for Elderly and Handicapped Persons," 41 Federal Register, 18235-41, Apr. 30, 1976.
2 percent of its section 3 money each year to make grants- to private nonprofit groups for purchases of vehicles and other transportation equipment specifically to meet the transportation service needs of the elderly and handicapped.
First enacted in 1973 and first funded in 1975, this section is expected to be a continuing source of about $22 million or more each year for vehicles and equipment, allocated to the States according to the number of elderly and handicapped in each State.
A State-by-State breakdown of the fiscal year 1975 and fiscal year 1976 allocations is included in appendix IV to this report.
g. Section 16 (b) (1) Capital Grants to Public Agencies for the Elderly
and Handicapped. -This section specifically authorizes the use of section 3 money by UMTA to fund projects meeting the special transit needs of the elderly and handicapped.
h. Section 16(a), UMTA, National Policy, Rights of Elderly and Handicapped to Mass Transit Services.-This subsection was added by floor amendment offered in 1970 by the Ranking Majority Member of this subcommittee, Congressman Mario Biaggi. It states:
ft is hereby declared to be the national policy that the elderly and han dicapped persons have the same right as other persons to utilize mass transportation facilities and services; that special efforts shall be made in the planning and design of mass transportation facilities and services so that the availability to elderly and handicapped persons of mass transportation which they can effectively utilize will be assured; and that all Federal programs offering assistance in the field of mass transportation (including the programs under this Act), should contain provisions implementing this policy.
Pursuant to this declaration and later congressional reaffirmations, UMTA has promulgated regulations designed to assure better access
to mass transit for the elderly and handicapped. Although the regulations will not require each vehicle financed by UMTX to be, accessible to persons in wheelchairs, a tangible level of concern and action toward addressing these special needs 'Will have to be shown.
i. CarpoollVanpool demonstrations.-First' 'enacted in 1974 11 in response to the energy crisis, this provision permits States to fashion demonstration programs using carpools to conserve fuel, decrease traffic congestion during rush hours, improve'air quality, and enhance the use of existing highways and parking facilities. Funds for the demonstrations (90 percent Federal share) can be, drawn from each State's allocation under the primary and urban systems highway programs, which together total more than $2.1 billion for fiscal year 1977. Although no individual project may exceed $1 million in Federal costs, there is no limit to the number of projects in a State.
Through January 1976, approximately $10.4 million in Federal funds had been diverted by States from highway purposes under this provision, principally to pay for computer matching of potential carpool riders.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1976, Public Law 94-280, amends the existing program by permitting money to be spent on the purchase of appropriate vehicles, and by adding, as a specifically permissible
"The 2 -percent limitation technically applies both to sees. 16 (b) (2) and 16 (b) (1), grants to public agenciesTn practice, however, the full 2 percent has gone to private, nonproet agencies, while special transit applications by public bodies have been funded under the regular sec. 3 program without regard to any percentage limitation.
12 U.S. Department of Transportation, "Transportation for Elderly and Handicapped Persons," 41 Federal Register, 18235-41, Apr. 30, 1976.
13 Public Law 93-239, San. 2,1974, the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act.
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project, measures providing carpooling opportunities to the elderly and the handicapped.
The potential benefits to the elderly from use of this demonstration program are not yet clear, but local and State agencies serving the elderly would be well advised to consult State transportation or highway departments about the new program.
a. Section 3, UMTA Capital Grants to Nonurbanized Areas.-In
1974 Congress set aside $500 million of the $11.2 billion it authorized under section 3 for transportation assistance in nonurbanized areas, for example, those with populations of less than 50,000.14 UMTA has devised no specific plan under which to disburse this money, relying on the communities or areas that are eligible to come forward with applications for capital grants. UMTA has simplified its section 3 application and approval process for such communities and is initiating a number of activities to make the nonurbanized communities aware of the program.'5
Approximately $48 million is expected to be obligated from the $500 million total by the end of fiscal year 1976. The remainder of the $500 million is available until the current authorization expires in fiscal year 1980.
Legislation to permit the use of this $500 million for operating, as well as capital, expenses has passed the Senate (S. 662, 94th Congress), and is pending in the House Public Works and Transportation Committee with parallel House legislation (H.R. 3155).
b. Rural Highway Public Transportation Demonstration (Section 147) .-Section 147 of the 1973 Federal Aid Highway Act makes funds available for public mass transportation demonstration projects in rural areas (up to 50,000 in population). UMTA and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) jointly administer the program, which distributed almost $25 million in fiscal years 1975 and 1976. Among other things, projects must address the special transportation needs of the elderly and handicapped. The Federal Aid High1way Act of 1976 extended the authorization period through fiscal year 1978.
Two-thirds of the remaining amounts authorized-some .$50 million -available during fiscal years 1977 and 1978-i prvie through the Highway Trust Fund, with the remaining one-third coming from, general revenues. No more than the amount appropriated from general revenues may be spent for operating expenses.
c. Section 16(b) (2), UMTA, Capital Grants to Private Non-Profit Organizations.-Many of these projects serve rural areas, although UMTA is unable to provide a breakdown of the number of projects servings urban as distinguished from rural areas, or serving elderly as distinguished from handicapped groups. Regulations were changed this year to eliminate the requirem ent that applicants serve towns with at least 5,000 population.
14 National Mass Transportation Assistance Act of 1974, Public Law 93-503.
Is Xudith T. Connor, Assistant Secretary of Environment, Safety and Consumer Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation, letter responding to questions from the subcommittee, Apr. 10, 1976.
Department of Health, Education, and Welfaxe Programs
Administration on Aging
a. Title III (State and Community Services).-Under this title, Federal funds are allocated through State aging offices to more than 600 planning and service areas (PSA's) across the country according to a formula based on population, aged 60 and over, to develop and strengthen systems of comprehensive, coordinated social services for the elderly."' Among the social services that can be coordinated or provided, either by State offices on aging or the area agencies in each PSA, is transportation. In fiscal year 1975, approximately 20 percent of all Federal funds for area planning and social services, or about $16 million, was spent on transportation.
The 1975 amendments to the Older Americans Act, Public Law 94-135, added a requirement that all States spend at least 20 percent of the area planning and social services funds on one or more of four specified services-home services, counseling, home repairs, and transportation.
.Most area agencies provide services indirectly, through contracts th other organizations and agencies. Since the focus of the title III program is to identify and draw on other sources of funding, A0A regulations prohibit any project from receiving funds from an :area agency for more than 3 years, unless the continuation is specifically approved by the U.S. Commissioner on Aging.
b. Section 308 of the Older Americans Act (model projects).-This section permits the Commissioner on Aging to expand or improve the well-being of older persons. A number of priority areas are specified in the act, including special transportation and escort services. About 10 percent of model projects funds axe presently devoted to transportation projects in five States. The fiscal year 1976 appropriation for model projects, as approved by the House of Representatives on April 13, 1976, was $10 million, with an additional $2.5,million available for the transition period. The administration has requested no funds for model projects in fiscal year 1977, but Congress has rejected prior attempts by the -ad-ministration to make major cuts in this program.
c. Title VII (Nutrition prc ects) of the Older Americams Act.-This program allocates to the States, by a formula based on elderly population, funds to finance programs meeting the nutritional needs of the elderly. Under the program, approximately 250,000 older persons are served a hot, nutritious meal available 5 days a week or more. Supportive social services, including transportation to the meal site, may be financed from Federal funds, but by regulation cannot exceed 20 percent of the total project cost. Through the first 9 months of fiscal year 1975, approximately .5 percent, or $4.5 million, went to cover transportation costs.
Social Security Act
a. Title XX (social services) of the Social Security Act.-This title allocates $2.5 billion each year to individual States for use in paying up to 75 percent of the cost of providing social services to those re16 H.R. 13172, now awaiting Presidential signature, appropriated $93 million for area planning and social services in &wal year 1976, and an additional $31-25 million for the transition quarter (July I-Sept. 30,1976).
ceiving Federal income assistance payments, or those formerly receiving such assistance or in danger of losing their independence. The money is spent on a wide range of services for persons of all ages, with the selection of services and the beneficiary groups almost completely at the discretion of the States.
.Of the $2.5 billion, about $42 million, or 1.7 percent, is expended for transportation, but no data exist to show how much of that amount is going to older persons.
The subcommittee knows firsthand of instances in which title XX is transporting the 'elderly. In Maui County, Hawaii, for example, the subcommittee heard testimony outlining how the local commun ity action program put together the only transportation system in the county, using UMTA funds, in part, for vehicle purchase and more than $100,000 in title XX funds for the major part of operating expenses.
b. Title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act.-Regulations governing this p -ogram, financed jointly by State and Federal funds, require that a State plan must specify that there will be provision for assuring necessary transportation of recipients to and from providers of (health) services and describe the methods that will be used in providing such transportation. In many States, special systems serving the transportation disadvantaged provide transit services to medicaid recipients and are reimbursed by the adrministering agency. No accurate estimates are available of the amount of medic aid money expended for transportation. The total medicaid expenditures for fiscal year 1977 will be about $17 billion, of which more than $9 billion is the Federal share. More than 4 million of the 24 million medicaid recipients are aged 65 or over.
Other Major Federal Programs
a. Title IX, Older Americans Act, Community Service Employment.This program, administered by the Department of Labor, funded 12,400 jobs in fiscal year 1976 for those aged 55 or over. The law requires that a grantee pay for necessary transportation cost of eligible individuals which may be incurred in project employment."7
b. Rehabilitation Act of 1973.-This act provides for physical therapy, if needed, as well as skills training and transportation for beneficiaries, if included in the State plan. Although vehicle purchase is permitted, reimbursement of individual expenses is much more common. The elderly make up about 2.5 percent of those receiving services.
c. Older volunteer programs of ACTION.-Foster grandparents. program, retired senior volunteer program (RSVP), and the senior companion program, all administered by ACTION, almost always provide transportation to volunteer sites.
d. Senior opportunities and services (SOS) .-Administered by the Community Services Administration (formerly OEO), this program is designed to meet the needs of older poor persons 61 years or older. Transportation is one" need that may be addressed. Many States have no SOS programs, but a recent OSA'survey showed that transportation assis tance was a component of almost 80 -percent (26 1) of, some 333 programs reporting.
17 Section 902(b) (1) (L), Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended.
. Private nonprofit organizations received grants of $20.8 million in fiscal year 1975 to provide transportation services for the elderly and handicapped under section 16(b)(2) of the Urban Mass TransDortation Act of 1964. Another $22 million has been made available for fiscal year 1976, as discussed previously. Funds have been used in a wide variety of projects. A typical selection f follows:
In Idaho Falls, Idaho, the Eastern Idaho Special Services Agency presently provides a comprehensive program of health, housing, employment, and other services to 2,700 elderly persons, about a quarter of whose incomes are below the national poverty level. The agency is seeking to serve all of the 11,000 elderly and physically handicapped persons in eastern Idaho, where transportation presently available to elderly persons is extremely limited. With its four new 15passenger, radio-dispatched vehicles, the agency plans to offer-among other services-on-demand transportation to medical appointments, the Senior Citizen Center, developmental workshops, shopping and recreational areas, and other locations. The agency expects to provide approximately 1,000 rides per week during the first year of the project. Two of the four vehicles will be equipped with a lift.
In East Orange, New Jersey, the Essex Chapter of the American National Red Cross will purchase two 9-passenger station wagons. Using volunteer drivers, the Essex Chapter's present 20 station wagon fleet serves primarily elderly and handicapped persons who, because of low income and age or disability, cannot use public transportation. If its system were not in operation, many of those served would either need to be hospitalized on an in-patient basis or go without essential medical services. Section 16(b) (2) funds are being used to replace deteriorating vehicles.
Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. is a community action agency in Maui County, Hawaii, a county without a public transportation system in which 28 percent of the elderly population have incomes below the poverty level. The four 15-passenger buses and the 5-passenger van with a wheelchair lift which this agency will purchase with section 16(b) (2) funds will provide transportation to the elderly and handicapped persons not being served and will increase their access to treatment, training, rehabilitation, and shopping centers.18
Voluntary nonprofit organizations have traditionally provided transportation to clients of their programs, a large percentage of whom are elderly. Drivers for these programs are drawn heavily as volunteers from the ranks of the retired, and their sensitivity to the problems of elderly passengers in using their vehicles has been an important element in meeting the problems their clientele may have with actual use of vehicles. The Red Cross, as one example, attempts to meet the service needs of the elderly for medical and recreational trips after the transportation requirements of their blood program are scheduled.
Among other private organizations which frequently fund transportation services in which the elderly participate are the American Cancer Society, United Cerebral Palsy, Easter Seal Society, Muscular Dystrophy, senior citizen organizations, religious groups, and organizations for the disabled.
The subcommittee has heard dozens of witnesses detailing volunteer participation in transportation services for the elderly, eloquent testimony to the reservoir of willingness and interest on the part of other age groups to help relieve the mobility problems of older citizens.
Is Judith T. Connor; hearing, "Transportation: Improving Mobility for Older Americans," pp. .53-M, hold Jan. 29, 1976, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
Indeed, volunteers are essential to providing transportation and many other services to the elderly. Commissioner Flemming testified that:
The field of aging is very dependent on (volunteers). For example, under title VII, the nutrition program for older persons, our reports indicate that there are 57,000 volunteers participating every week in the operation of these programs throughout the country.1'
In many instances, however, project planners have been unable to utilize volunteers effectively as a resource because of undependable community response, high levels of operating costs for volunteers without any mechanism for direct reimbursement, and insurance concerns on the part of volunteers.
On the other hand, a small number of ongoing special transportation services have successfully incorporated volunteer participation in their operations, resulting in a substantially larger volume of service than would have been otherwise possible. One such project is "Whistlestop Wheels," a service to the elderly and to the handicapped of all ages funded primarily by the Manin County (California) Transit District wi th participation by two private service organizations within the county: the Senior Coordinating Council and the Volunteer Bureau. Vehicles in the project are providing group transportation for shopping, recreational, and educational activities to seniors, trips f or medical purposes to all ages, schedules for which are grouped by the Volunteer Bureau; and special group service to private service organizations, such as the Easter Seal Society, as requested.
Individual medical trip requests which cannot readily be grouped for service by "Whistlestop Wheels" are handled by the Volunteer Bureau tough a pool of volunteer drivers operating their own cars. In 1974, the individual volunteer component of service provided 318 one-way passenger trips per month, or a total of more than 3,000 vehicle miles per month for transportation to medical facilities. The use of individual volunteer drivers for those medical trips which cannot logically or efficiently be grouped with other medical trips permits a broad extension of service to the ill and handicapped of all ages in Main County and allows separating out the trips which would be most costly to provide in the demand-responsive medical service offered by the "Whistlestop Wheels" project.
The Older Aults Transportation Service (OATS) provides door-to door transportation throughout Mfissouri to persons 55 years or older and handicapped of all ages. The system is primarily operating to provide access from rural communities to somewhat larger, urbanized centers. A widespread network of volunteer local units (OATS County Committees) undertakes the organization of routes and schedules in accordance with local needs and preferences, enlists membership in OATS, and assists in the selection of the local OATS driver. Each county committee in turn sets up a broad volunteer telephone contact network Within the local community to receive advance trip requests, transmits schedule changes, and disseminate organization information. The volunteer presence in the OATS program is an essential element in tailoring the service to local needs and preferences, in providing the intake function for the scheduling and dispatching of vehicles, and in marketing and promotion activities to encourage full use of the system.
ItArthur S. Flemming, U.S. Commissioner on Aging; hearing, "Tasotton: Improving Mobility for Older Americans," p. 22, held Jan. 22, 1978, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
PROGRAM GAPS AND DEFICIENCIES
FRAGMENTED AND UNCOORDINATED TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
Many communities have developed special transportation services to provide for the transportation needs of the elderly. Oftelf these special transportation services operate alongside public transit, and parallel similar projects. In communities with a number of transportation projects, each is usually designed to serve its own client group with separate vehicles, staff, facilities, and budget. To illustrate the scope and magnitude of the duplication and fragmentation of effort, table IIIA-1 summarizes an inventory, developed for Pinellas County in Florida, of all transportation projects serving the, elderly and handicapped. It is quite evident from the table that in Pinellas County, in 1975, there were 26 different projects with over 40 vehicles (not -to mention taxis and the private automobiles of volunteer drivers) and 26 separate budgets, maintenance bills, drivers, and administrations. The potential for more efficiently providing services to the elderly and handicapped through coordinated use of these same vehicles, staffs, facilities, and budgets needs no substantiation. It is axiomatic in transportation I that centralized dispatching, maintenance, and administration represent important potential savings in the use of resources.
TABLE III. A. i.-Inventory of transportation project for the elderly and handicapped, Pinellu County, Fla.'
Sffvfce provider' Type and capacity of vehicle
L Gulfport Extended Minibus Serv- 1 Dodge maxivan, 13 passengers.
2. Mature Adult Day Care ---------- I Dodge maxivan, 13 passengers;
Dodge van, 13 passengers (part time).
3. Mature Adult Day Care Largo --- Do.
4 Transportation and Minibus Serv 2 Dodge maxivans, 10 passengers each.
ice JAMS), Clearwater.
5. Implementation and Expansion of 1 American Motors station wagon, 6 Senior Citizens Services, St. Pe- passengers; 1 Chevrolet minibus, 7
6. Pinellas Opportunity Council, Inc., 3 Volkswagon minibuses, 8 passengers.
7. Holiday Shores Mobile Park, Semi- 10-passenger van.
8. First Presbyterian Church, St. Pe- 40 passengers; former Greyhound bus.
9. First Congregational Church, St. Cabs.
10. Lutheran Towers Retirement Hotel- Full-size bus on Sunday. 11. Fish-St. Bede's Episcopal Church; Volunteers use own cars.
St. Petersburg offices in:
2. St. Petersburg.
3. Safety Harbor.
4. Tarpon Springs.
I Source: Inventory of Transportation, Elderly and Handicapped, Pinellas County, Areawide Agency on Aging, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, 1975.
TABLE III.A.1I.-Inventory of transportation project for the elderly and handicapped, Pinellos County, Fla.-Continued Serve pTO~deT Tgpe and capacity of veicle
12. American National Red Cross, St. 4 station wagons; capacity-7 passenPetersburg. gers each.
13. American Kational Red Cross, 1 station wagon; 1 sedan.
14. Wheel Chair Awareness, Clearwater-. 5 vans and 5 on order October 1975;
1 to 3 wheelchairs each.
15. Wheel Chair Transport Service, St. A vans with ramps or lift; also wheelPetersburg. chairs with recliners supplied if
needed; 1 to 3 passengers; approved by medicaid.
16. DART, St. Petersburg------------ 1 Dodge maxivan, 13 passengers; 2
Dodge maxivans converted to accommodate 3 wheelchairs and 6 passengers.
17. Sunset Hotel and Residence Club, 10-passenger van.
18. American Cancer Society, St. Pe- Volunteers use own cars.
19. John Knox Housing, Inc., St. Volkswagon bus: 8 passengers.
20. Menorah Center, St. Petersburg--- Volunteers use own cars. 21. Inter-Faith Coalition on Aging of Volunteers use own cars.
22. Four Shepherd Centers:
1. First Presbyterian Church,
2. First Baptist Church, Seminole.
3. Palm Lake Christian Church,
4. First United Methodist
Church, St. Petersburg.
23. Majestic Towers Apartments, South 2 buses each; 31 passengers.
24. Oak Manor Retirement Villas, 1 2-passenger van; Chevrolet.
25. Lakeview House, St. Petesug___- Station wagon; Chevrolet. 26. Heritage Presbyterian Apartents 32-passenger bus.
Not surprisingly, the recent Administration on Aging state-of-theart report on the transportation problems of the elderly noted that better coordination of transportation projects offered significant potential for improving the availability of transportation resources for the elderly. In the section that follows, areas in -which greater coordination might be possible are summarized, and coordination difficulties examined.
Coordination in relation to serving elderly transportation needs means the pooling of resources by separate agencies-social service, community or public transportation-in a combined effort to provide service. The result of coordination is a unified transportation project replacing separate and duplicative operations. In this context, such coordination can occur in five different forms:
Coordination between agencies (at Federal, State, or local
Coordination between public transportation systems and social
Coordination of system purchasing and/or maintenance.
Coordination in locating service delivery sites.
Coordination of system users and funding. Present requirementsfor coordination
Coordination is by no means a new issue. In terms of public transportation and statutes underlying social services for the elderly, the requirement for coordination is well specified. Appendix V summarizes some of the major coordinating requirements of key Federal programs in which transportation services are important components. The table clearly illustrates the wide and varied range of coordinating requirements, and suLyzests that the problem of providing for more effective coordination may partially lie in the multitude of coordination requirements already in the statutes. Furthermore, most of the coordinating requirements do not relate programs of one a gency to those of another; nor do they always relate transportation services between programs of a single agency and seldom across agency lines. This is hardly surprising since the requirements for transportation service coordination by social services has emerged quite recently, and independently of the requirements for coordination in social service programs. It is only in the last 2 years that the issue of transportation coordination by social service agencies has achieved so much attention.
Until now, most efforts to encourage coordination have largely focused on just understanding the scope of the problem. Some State task forces have been organized, studies of present coordinating requirements have been started; and, although generally there is considerable effort underway, there is still not much light as to what can and cannot be done or how. Not surprisingly, the actual impact on coordinating transport projects has been minimal. Commissioner Flemming, in his testimony before the subcommittee, cited eight examples of systems providing coordinated transportation services to the elderly. When measured against the 1,500 or more special systems identified in the state-of-the-art report, eight exemplary projects represent only the merest of beginmngsProblem areas in coordination
A variety of factors (working separately and in combination) makes coordination difficult. Major sources of constraint are: (1) Restrictions on users; (2) planning problems; (3) franchise problems; and (4) other institutional barriers.
Efforts to combine social programs or pool transportation facilities are frequently frustrated by user eligibility restrictions. Many social agency programs cannot serve all groups, and legislation is frequently designed to serve only designated groups, so that efforts to merge the transportation demands of a number of agencies and programs is difficult. Differences in age, income or location requirements associated with agency programs make agencies resistant to combining transportation efforts because of the complexity of allocating costs or even designing an operational system. As testimony in the course of Administration on Aging hearings held during 1975 demonstrate, the
72-382 0 76 5
inefficiencies in service as a result of conflicting user eligibi it- restrictions are all too obvious on the local level:
The President of the United Fund in Sanford, N.C., noted that there are nine different social service agencies operating minibuses in Lee County with much duplication of time and routing but that various restrictions do not permit pooling of these different sources of transportation funds into a coordinated system. He noted that none of these services are coordinated which results in underutilization and an inefficient use of limited resources. For example, he stated that only children can use the day care bus; only handicapped persons are permitted on the sheltered workshop bu,;; and only those aged 60 and over may ride the Council on Aging buses. He said that it is not unusual for a multiproblem family to be confronted with the possibility of 'riding separate vehicles to similar destinations because of Federal regulations that restrict the use of the vehicle to a particular type of client.'
The major user restrictions which bear examination *in greater detail follow.
a. Age.-Among the many Federal statutes (and supporting regular, tions) concerned with the elderly, there are Wide variations in the age specified for eligibility. Under the Older Americans Act, title III (State and community programs) has no age-related eligibility requirements; title VII (nutAkion program) specifies that eligible individuals must be aged 60 or older, except that younger spouses may also participate; and title IX (community service employment) specifies age-related eligibility as 55 years or older.
In contrast, thi2 Senior Opportunities Services (SOS) program under the Community Services Act provides general social services for persons above the age of 60; however, for employment and volunteer services under the SOS program, the age eligibility drops to 55. These are illustrative of many similar conflicting age requirements.
b. Income.-Variations in income standards used to denote program eligibility act as further barriers to coordination. For example, programs under the Community Services Act utilize the CSA formerlyl OEO) poverty guidelines to determine income-related eligibility; ACTION programs, foster grandparents and senior companions, also utilize CSA poverty guidelines but once the participants in these programs have met the CSA income test, their income may rise as much as 20 percent above the poverty level without jeopardizing their eligibility.
Regulations for title III and title VII of the Older Americans Act, and title I of the Library Services and Construction Act, specify Department of Commerce poverty guidelines. Regulations for title III of the Older Americans Act permit States to modify these income levels provided the State plans indicate special factors that require such modifications. Title IX of the Older Americans Act defines low income as below the poverty threshold as determined by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; OMB guidelines do not furnish concrete numl;ers, but merely allow for adjustments in the census figure based on rises in the consumer pricemidex.
These vaned income eligibility criteria, together with the wide latitude the States have in many cases, mean that many older persons who might quality for one program cannot qualify for another that iis quite similar. Certainly a major side effect of the inconsistencies 'in income criteria is the difficulty of providing any common transportation system covering all programs.
I Summary, hearings on issues raised in Administration on Aging report, "Transportation for the Elderly: The State of the Art," pp. 4 and 5.
c. Health or other physical condition8.-A good many 0' f the Federal health programs set specific standards for mental and physical conditions for persons seeking health service, including the elderly. For example, to qualify under a regional medical program, one must have one of a specific list of diseases; for title XIX of the Social Security Act (medicaid), an older person, not yet age 65, would have to be blind or severely disabled. Transportation services under these programs, or any Federal health program, are offered only for medical or health-related trips; and systems which cannot separate these trips for invoicing have difficulty in including health trips within the the range of their program. Conversely, transportation services designed to provide 'hearth trips have difficulty in providing nonhealth trips as part of their services.
Coupled with age and income, these health-related eligibility criteria represent an additional barrier to coordination efforts. that might otherwise provide for a centralized transportation system for the client populations (which often overlap) of these various programs.
d. Area coverage.-One of the most difficult barriers to coordinated use of transportation resources stems from the geographic area covered by specific programs. Programs which specify a State planespecially the social services prograin (title XX of the Social Security Act) 'and the programs under ti-fle III of the Older Americans Actdivide States in6 planning and service areas, which often overlap. Many programs specify in varying form that projects be located in low-income areas, thereby limiting the access of the not-poor-enough elderly to transportation related to programs so restricted. Some program statutes cover only urban areas, some only rural, while others may cover either. These boundaries further compound the difficulties of coordination.
Transit planning and special systems
Transit plann*n has traditionally been focused on the commuting work trip with li ttle attention given to the needs of the elderly. There has been little motivation on the part of public transit to plan and provide special services. Cooperative efforts with social agencies whose requirements are for personalized transport appear to transit agencies to be a difficult, if not an impossible, task, and peripheral to' their major effort.
Though recent congressional and other pressures have resulted in increasing attention to the transportation problems of the elderly, substantial changes have not as yet occurred. Transportation planning agencies concerned with the long range have generally shown little concern about the implementation of social programs and how their needs for transportation may be integrated into the regular transportation planning process. Most of these transportation planning agencies focus on regional transportation problems with a time horizon that goes well into the future-typically the year 2000 or later. Obviously, ongoing or even intermediate transportation needs generated by social programs are not given very much attention.
In most social service-initiated transportation delivery systems, there are few, if any, links with transportation specialists. Projects are developed by persons with minimum transportation skills, and problems are frequently solved on a trial-and-error basis. In view of the many problems faced by transport project developers (for example, lack of landing continuity, user restrictions, franchise conflicts, licensing
problems, and so forth), the purely technical issues add a dimension of difficulty that could be avoided by coordination of the transportation expertise of professional operators and the needs of service- oriented projects.
operation between social service agencies and public transit. or taxi operators is often inhibited by the presence of an operating franchise. An increasing variety of court cases have made it quite evident that social service transportation systems that charge fares face potential court suits. In California at least two major efforts to provide dial-a-ride systems were struck down (see "Public Transit Report," Aug. 29, 1975, p. 134).
Historically, in the United States the franchise has been used to legally prevent operators of a variety of services from poaching in each other's territory, while they themselves re ceive protection from competition by parties not holding franchises or concessions. Basically, franchise services have been legally established covering three kinds of public transportation:
(1) Buses, transit and commuter railways, with rights to
operate vehicles picking up passengers for payment along a fixed route on a scheduled basis; (2) taxi services, with the right to pick up passengers at any time at random locations and to carry them between any pair of points in a designated region or service area; and (3) livery or limousine service rhich provides vehicles and/or a driver. A fourth type of public transportation in the United States has been developed from time to time, generally referred to as "jitneys," which combine regular routes with unscheduled service and some freedom to travel off the route.
The importance of the franchise mechanism to the provision of transportation to the elderly lies in the f act that services created for them generally divert traffic, from the designated public carriers (monopolies). Most of these special services cannot be certified by the regulatory agencies, either because of the agencies' limited and legalistic view of public convenience and necessity, or because they do not have various legal attributes of common carriers such as regular routes, fixed fares and specified types of vehicles. Since many of these special transportation projects are viewed as illegal or unregulated competition, they can be attacked in court under the law by regulatory bodies at any level of government for infringing franchise rights.
Since all franchise regulations deal only with vehicles and operators providing for hire (and for profit) service, one way to deal with this problem is to charge no fare at all. The great disadvantage of the i'no-fare" solution is that operators of special transportation systems are denied revenues which they might otherwise receive, so that either more money has to be raised to operate or the extent of the operation must be accordingly reduced.
Furthermore, from the viewpoint of the social service agency, the difficulties of obtaining a new franchise seem far more formidable than setting up one's own small project with a few vehicles to provide service to one's own clients at the agency's convenience, using one's own budget. In the subcommittee's judgment, that is a reas'Onable position. Solutions to the franchise problem will have to be developed
at the State and local level. However these may be arrived at, there is little doubt that the franchise represents an important limitation on developing more unified transportation projects (with the ability to collect some revenue from those who can pay). There are a few scattered examples of successful efforts in working with the franchise operation to expand service opportunities for the elderly. A Selma, Calif. project is working as follows:
This is an experimental demonstration project designed to furnish low cost transportation to older persons in Selma by partially subsidizing a local taxi service. A participant obtains from the City Clerk's office ticket booklets worth $8 (the equivalent of 8 one-way rides). Each participant isentitled to obtain 8 tickets per month to be used to pay the full fare charged on the local taxi. A donation of $2 or 25 percent of the total value of the tickets is accepted but not required
As has been noted earlier, one of the major problems of coordination is the considerable mismatch between the major social and transportation agencies. Essentially, transportation agencies at all jurisdictional levels are required to coordinate with one another, and, although it is not always effective, coordination is in fact carried out. Similarly, social service programs are also required to coordinate with one another to avoid duplication and conserve resources. A recent example of this coordination requirement is the one imposed by the Older Americans Act amendments of 1975, which authorizes area agencies on aging to enter into transportation agreements with agencies funded under the medicaid and social services titles of the Social- Security Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
However, transportation agency programs and social agency programs are not required to coordinate with each other, so it is not surprising that coordination between them'does not occur. Though State departments of transportation are taking a more active role to initiate cooperative effort between themselves and human service agencies, these are still exceptions.
As was noted earlier, there has been an increasing number of interagency agreements at the Federal level, but it is too early to measure the results which ma ,y ensue from these agreements, and there will unquestionably be complications related to conflicting procedures and regulations. Most of the agreements are still in the study stages, and, as in the case of the joint AOA/DOT working agreement, have not yet produced any'substantial results. Both agencies are giving considerable attention to the elderly, but joint funding of projects at the local level using AOA program funds for operating costs and UMTA program funds for capital costs has not materialized on any significant scale. Exact data on this point are now being collected by AOA, in response to a request by the subcommittee. However, it should be noted that these ioint agency agreements represent a promising direction and should be encouraged and accelerated. The UMTA 16 (b) (2) program
Section 16(b)(2) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, as amended, authorizes the Urban Mass Transportation Administra2 Janet Levy, Director, California State Office on Aging; statement submitted for record of hearing, "Problems of the Elderly in Fresno, Calif. (Rural Areas and Small Towns)," p. 85, held Nov. 21, 1975, by the House Select Committee on Aging.
tion (UMTA) to make capital grants to private, nonprofit organizations for the specific purposes of assisting them in providing transportation services for the elderly and handicapped. As was noted in section II of this report, UMTA set aside a specific amount of funds for each State and requested the Governor of each State to designate a State agency to manage the program. The section 16(b) (2) program was enacted in August 1973; the first vehicles were not purchased and put into operation until December 1975-seven vans in Montana. The initial program awarded $20.8 million, encompassing some 2,300 vehicles throughout the United States.
One of the major problems with the section 16(b) (2) program has been that it provided funds to private, nonprofit organizations with little requirement for coordination with other agencies, and therefore accentuated the tendency toward fragmentation and uncoordinated transportation projects. This was particularly critical at a time when public transit agencies-not eligible for such grants-were being pressed to provide more participation in transportation activities for the elderly and handicapped.
For fiscal year 1976, an additional $22 million has been set aside. In order to provide for greater coordiation and to insure somewhat less fragmentation of effort, the rules and procedures have been changed. For fiscal year 1976, UMTA is requiring the designation of a single State agency to administer the planning and use of section 16(b) (2) resources. Furthermore, where such a single agency exists, the designation of an agency covering more than one moide of transit is being encouraged. To protect the 'interest of existing public and private organizations, applications under section 16(b) (2) must be accompanied by State findings that existing public or private transit or paratransit services cannot meet the special needs of the elderly, and that private operators have been afforded a fair opportunity to participate in the provision of special services for the elderly and handicapped. In nonurbanized areas, a communitywide development program will be required as a prerequisite for capital assistance for any nonprofit organization.
All of these changes indicated a move in the direction of providing for more coordination between private, nonprofit and ongoing transportation services.
RURAL TRANSPORTATION AND FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY
A review of Federal programs concerned with the transportation needs of older Americans reveals that, at the present time, there is no clear center of responsibility for rural transportation. There are a limited number of programs concerned with supplying the transportation needs of rural residents, and not surprisingly, the transportation needs of the rural elderly have been met on the basis of whatever agencies or groups happened to have transportation capability. Even where social service agency programs exist, rural residents often have difficulty getting to them. Most social service offices are located in towns and villages; without transport there is often no way to seek their help.
Although UMTA has some programs directed to rural areas (for example, its nonurbanized funds under section 3) in general it cannot provide a major effort or direction, especially for communities
under 2,500 population. UMTA's primary mandate is in the area of urban transportation.
In the words of a disillusioned witness at the subcommittee's field hearings in rural New Jersey:
The name for the agency itself tells the story --the Urban Mass Transit [sic] Administration. The word "urban" doesn't fit. The word "mass" doesn't fit. The word "transit" doesn't fit; and some might even sarcastically remark that the, word "administration" doesn't fit.3
In the case of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), responsibility is largely related to highways and highway-related facilities; and though this permits a number of programs related to public transportation particularly for bus-related systems (such as special lanes, ramps, parking, and so forth), there is no clear operational role in respect to public transportation in rural areas. At the present time, the only specific program is section 147 of the Federal Highway Act, which provides for rural research and demonstration projects. This program, first enacted in 1973, has been relatively slow to develop, and demonstration projects are just beginning. A serious drawback of the program, however, is that it provides for research and demonstration only, and does not provide for the continuing transportation needs of the elderly living in rural areas.
As noted earlier, there is a third level of transportation services being provided through the social service programs described earlier in this report. However, these social service transportation systems are fragmented and uncoordinated, and often have only limited amounts of transportation available. Furthermore, the needs of those'who are not eligible for social services are not being met by anyone, confirming the fact that the transportation problems of the rural population go beyond the'elderly and include all the transporation-disadvantiaged.
FUNDING: HOW MUCH) FROM WHERE AND FOR HOW LONG?
Although there are many program sources from which funds may be obtained for planning and operating transportation services for the elderly, a number of important constraints in these programs have served to create limitations on the scope and level of such services. Four major limiting factors can be identified: (1) a lack of data on the level of funds presently being used for transportation services for the elderly; (2) the limitations on using funds for operating costs as against capital costs; (3) the relatively high cost of such services; and
(4) the apparent low level of expenditures for the purpose and problem of discontinuity of service.
Lack of data
Although more than 30 major sources of Federal funds financing transportation services to the elderly have been identified, it is virtually impossible to separate the amounts actually spent for that purpose, except for a few programs.
The money under section 16(b) (2) of UMTA, $20.8 million in fiscal year 1975, is easy to identify, because all of it must go to help the elderly and handicapped.
3 Jack Salveson, Executive Director, Cape May Fare-Free Transportation Project; p. 109 of transcript of hearing held Feb. 12, 1976, in Whiting, N.J., by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
The De-Dw-tmerit r-)f Tran-sportation was unable to ten the subfi iT how4i- v, -n what proportion of the funds was being spent on
dierly. a from the handicapped.
NITA pro ided a total of $I.- billion in. fiscal 2, a-7 47 a.- i rj 217 -.5 million clearly identifiable (under
-11;4 US- section
a;-- aarm'_ ZD-r f11;zv:;-teraz for the elderly and handic
-ior, 247 of t' e Feiieral-Jiid Hizbwav Act hazz committed some 2 j. L-A ri Y) demonstration river the r) a z- t 2 fi-s--al vears, but
Zai _T L ri ri a -.-,a (!Xl T_ T_'0 quantify how much of that amount iss directly
_n' t I 2y th r_.der"v- We do know that t*tles
I III (State and comalld N-11 ini-itri*tionj of the Older Americans Act 1- .A -r the first 9 months of fi-scal vear
(jaer -20 million fo
9 7 5
Tl-_, X_'K of the S4x_,1al -S-e-cunity Act yielded $42
riL 1jr blit the z no indication of how much of
at W ,Lt tfli th r"e-tTiMe the faict that the law clearly permits
4 Of HEW tf.) obta*ri zli-h a breakdown from the "tates.
even informatY s available.
-Ar *Lf-_ rjt.L- C_-A- two-j
a rc- arch effort bv the Institute of Public
1L it:;' fo.#r the Adn-iinf;ttration on Aging. it was
IrJorrnation on how much funding was r -r T
A_ InIf, frj.r the elderlv; or even more important,
rj_ j r el n xt 5 to 10 vears. Data are
A- M Ynigh t be req lius:j-1 over
Tior are T)rrt7gam. PXTWr1(hture;z ;Pgregated in 'rAr. -6, wa-;- a Tk) -,oprinit calf-111ation of the amount bemg used for f(jr the elderlv. particularIv bv social semCe t fiecau; ; -iich 'n-formation would arid in de-vedi--fpim), an eAirnate, on the level the next 5 vear; ;
IL of fund -_ for trari. .prjrtation projects for the
*Af' -Te iaP _-.1alo 1L their aVailabilitv for the two major expew to run. the
( apitaj for the projei t. Irt werieral, mo;v-'t of the
_L a b" d of capital. equipment1 A.A 1-w-_ t'riwar
A (I throii4h the Urban Mass Tran-sportation
!"Tat bilhon. 6-year program
A yr), Je. (.J tht $1
lin&r the -Nati(trial Trari-zportation
A A( t of JW4. S7. billiciri-atpwit two-third;.-is- restricted
"A PA a (awgorical The remaining $4 billion is
at, the 1, f the lcx;al recipient, Ir 111 '_' 'rjTj"_ Lr Jentally to fi -rjefit the j, e, rl v The ction 16J) (2) r a ri- I-;- t.,otaily rc .Ariot-jl to) capital filirp( r j only the portionof the
T. tljc r1fai hj'_ Ihwav protgraml,
ral reverol(,'. tow,-third) can lip- ii,-- PA for oper with the rernairArl-V two-thir&, from the highway r; 0 t,(.,
t/ Waf'rj r:hpital i_--1 r,_oro.1-F-tx,nt with tfj(,- view (if the
-r)f 'Fhe DOT ;ipo)kc -r.,f*,r,4jrj at the. sub4tat,,i (J: haw-, riot hwtn o-,o)rjvirj( Pd that
th(- capital at the pres,
7 v nz Mrr) t y f -,r ri 14pr A=jA-,r;u)z, P. 74, 134d Ian
Yet time after time in the subcommittee's hearings, and those of other Aging Committee panels, people actually struggling to deliver transportation services to the elderly stressed the need for operating assistance:
Yet even a brand new bus is not the full answer,,.. Operation costs are the biggest part of this picture, and there is little hope, because of the low incomes among the elderly, that it will ever pay its own way.5
Finding additional buses is relatively cheap. It is the driver, the repairs, the gas and all the other things that are really expensive.6
We feel, however, that UMITA provisions under Section 16 (b) (2) encouragingg operating assistance under Section 5) do not go far enough, and that difficulties in operation and maintenance costs can be anticipated.7
In New Jersey:
[Tihe Section 5 funding available now for operating assistance to our existing systems, which are dying .. is not enough.8
In Washington, D.C.:
[Un light of the fact that local transit operations devote SO(% of their budget to operating expenses, we do not believe that (Section 5 of UMNTA) will provide sufficient money to keep the systems going.'
Even within the administration, those closest to the transportation, problems of the elderly recognize this immense need for operating assistance. AOA Commissioner Flemming told the subcommittee, "I think the more we can loosen up the funds * *so they can be used not only for capital but also for operating purposes, the better off we:
Clearly, these restrictions favoring capital funds leave projects wth a serious deficiency in operating funds; and tend, thereby, to create serious problems in providing for project continuity. As noted, under a working agreement between the Administration on Aging and the Department of Transportation, it, was envisioned that funds from AOA could be used for operating purposes, while funds from UMTA would be used for capital financing. That agreement envisioned a degree of coordination not presently functional, and until that is realized, the working agreement is not likely to be effective. The subcommittee shares the view of the Administration on Agcn-ingf, a variety of researchers, and every witness except the U.S. Department of Transportation who addressed the issue in the hearings, that the most serious gap in fundn lies in the area of operating funds.
I Toms Bte, dmiisraiveAsisant Jckon County Board of Suevsr;hearig, Problems of the Elderly in Iowa (Part I)," p. 109, hold in Clinton, Iowa, Aug. 13, 1975, by Subcommittee No. I of the Hous Select Commnittee on Agig.
6 Robr Ykoyam& Exctive, Mu County on Agg hearng. Problems of the Elderly in Hawaii (Part I-Maui Count y), p. 24, held in Kankai Molka, Hawaii, Nov. 22,1r7, by Sbomit*o
7Frnk.c~ena Fild eprsetatveConecicu StteDeprtmnton Aging. p. 75 of trancript of hain held Mar. 12,1976, in Dry, Conn., by Subcommittee No. 4 of the Hus Select Committee on I ThmsK. PovBitz Erective Diretor, Delaware Authority forSpcaieTrnotto.p.17f trnsritof haigheld Feb. 12, 1976, in Whtig N.J., bySucmiteN.4othHusMetC9 Rudy Daset for Wila R.Httn Execuve Diretor, Naina Council of Senior Citizms heaing "ranporaton: Improving Mobility for Older Ameicns" p. 93, held Feb. 5 9,by Subcommittee No. 4 of th House Select Committee on Aig
Jan. 22, 1976, by SucmiteN. 4 of the Hous Select Commite on Aig
High cost of service
Almost all public transportation in the United States, particularly in urban areas, finds itself with a gap between its operating expenses and revenues. In 1975 the U.S. transit industry had a net operating loss of $1.7 billion. Section 5 of UMTA is, in fact, an effort to provide for some means of filling that gap in the form of operating subsidies. Traditionally, both public and private transportation authorities were expected to cover all of their operating expenses, plus their capital investments, through revenues from fares charged. This emphasis on covering all costs through. the farebox has generally led to a profit-loss orientation, which has only recently been modified as public agencies increasingly have accepted the responsibility f or operating deficits. In addition, there has been widespread emphasis on holding the line on fares, and a considerable amount of public policy has been concerned with identifying ways of keeping operating deficits down to a minimum.
Major operating deficits have been funded in a variety of ways, ranging from local and State taxes through the, formula grants provisions of section 5 of UMTA. However, as one may expect, the operating deficit burden on local government has been substantial. The New Jersey State Department of Transportation, for example, detailed for the subcommittee its operating deficit of approximately $100 million for 1975. Only a fourth of that amount was offset by section 5 subsidies from UMTA. Making available operating funds for projects serving the elderly on a continuous basis from the formula grants and/or other sources within the U.S. Department of Transportation is a proposition likely to encounter substantial resistance, especially at the local level.
Public transit operators will be interested and active participants in serving the elderly when they are convinced that funds will be made available on an adequate and regular basis for this purpose. A representative of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) summed up the funding problem from the public transit operator's view:
Notwithstanding the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1970 (and other, more recent legislative initiatives in the area of transportation for the elderly and handicapped, i.e. the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1973 and the National Mass Transportation Xct of 1974), the White House Conference on Aging of 1971 and innumerable statutes, conferences, studies and reports, a sturdy funding mechanism to bring policies concerning transportation and the elderly to life has yet to be devised. Ear-marked funds have not been provided to transit agencies and Federal transit funding has not been routinely withheld if special population needs were not addressed. The adequacy and consistency of funding tests the depth of commitment of any policy. Until recent months even Federal commitment has been sporadic. With the complexity and long-range nature of' much transportation investment commitment to be effective must be expressed consistently as priorities are set for allocation 'of funds over 6e life of a project."
It is only in very recent times that small special transportation operations catering to the needs of the elderly have had any local financing available to them, and even that has been selective up to this time. Until local, State and Federal governments develop funding programs that systematically cover the financial needs of all elements
11 Su=ary, hearings on issues raised in Administration on Aging report," Transportation forthe Elderly: The State of the Art," p. 8.
of public transportation, including special services, funding costs will continue to be a serious problem. Funding levels and discontinuity
Most Federal programs for the elderly have small transportation components despite substantial funding levels for each prograna. In many cases, the elderly represent only a small part of the program's client population, and a few programs are providing most of the funding for transportation projects for older Americans. 12 Most important are titles III and VII of the Older Americans Act, and title XX of the Social Security Act. There are also funds available under the model projects program of the Older Americans Act; however, these are generally for research and demonstration, and do not provide a basis for continuous project financing.
Funds under sections 3, 5, and 16(b)(2) of the Urban 'Mass Transportation Act are available, but at relatively low levels and, by and large, have been allocated to public transit services. Furthermore, though Section 16(b)(2) is being continued for a second year, these funds are discretionary. As important as the level of available funds is the need to be sure one can continue to operate projects on a yearto-year basis. Title III funds are subject to a previously noted restriction, imposed by regulation, on funding beyond a 3-year period for any service for which an area agency contracts. Proposals for a, fourth year must be personally approved by the Commissioner on Aging. Since the area agency is such a new institution, there have been no, requests until now for such a funding continuation. However, as a witness in the Committee's Nevada hearings pointed out: Very often the communities are reluctant to become involved because of the 3-year limitation of funding. We do have the option of requesting that funding be extended, but this often depends on administrative whims whether a project is terminated after 3 vears or whether a request goes forward to the Administration on Aging.13
The subcommittee understands that the Commissioner is considering a regulatory change to permit State offices on aging to continue projects beyond the 3-year cutoff point. Such a change would be welcome, and would remove one element of uncertainty in transportation, and other projects financed under title III of the Olaer Americans Act.
At the present time, the problem of continuity in project funding is one of the most serious faced by special transportation projects. 'Many projects have had to discontinue because of difficulties in obtaining regularized funding, in many instances staff responsible for developing transportation projects felt that citizens disappointment in the discontinuance of a transportation project seriously jeopardized other phases of the social service program.
The SEATS program in Iowa, for example, operated transportation for the elderly in seven rural Iowa counties under a model project grant from AOA. When the model project ran out after only 6 months, the integrated system disintegrated. Six of the seven counties have now instituted some substitute service, but the counties are now operating separately, and older persons with destinations that require crossing county fines cannot benefit.
12 Institute of Public Administration, "Transportation for Older Americans: A State of the Art Report 12 Louise C. Lightner, Director, Sixteen County Area Agency on Aging; hearing, Problems of the Elderly in Nevada (Part I)," p. 6, held Nov. 10, 1975, by Subcommittee No. 3 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
As Congressman Michael Blouin, a member of the Committee on Aging who represents the area affected, testified, "It (the initial grant) proved just enough to get things going, to give elderly residents in this part of the state a taste of what kind of transportation services could be provided if local governments worked together and had the money to do the job." 1
This exercise illustrates the need for (1) consistent long-range funding, (2) tailoring all Federal programs permitting transportation support so that funds can be earmarked specifically for that purpose and (3) the need for expanding the general level of funding effort. It also points out the need for commitment at State and local levels of government. Some States have already made such commitments. The formation by the State of Delaware of the Delaware Authority for Special Transportation (DAST), the statewide system in Rhode Island, the dial-a-ride program in Michigan, and a variety of other efforts in cities throughout the country suggest there is growing support at the State and local level. However, there can be little doubt that further efforts to improve the mobility of older Americans
wilrequire increases in present funding levels.
As for earmarking of existing funds for transportation, the subcommittee previously noted the lack of information on the total amounts available. It is known, however, that the amount is considerable. One witness referred to a study estimating that at least a billion Federal dollars a year is being expended on fragmented transportation services through social programs.'5
Another witnessI in New Jersey, testified that he operated a system drawing funds from a variety of social service agencies:
(W)e called a meeting of all agencies and departments using Federal funds who had transportation money or who could possibly get transportation money from their grant. We thought that about 6 agencies and departments in our small county of 67,000 population fell into this category; 30 showed Up.1
There is no doubt, judging from this and many other cases the subcommittee has identified, that considerable Federal funding is available for tiansportation through social programs.
The potential for stimulating more volunteer activity through some system of rewards has not been fully explored in the context of transportation services to the elderly. The concept of rewarded volunteerism, is not new and has been successfully applied in a variety of circumstances. One well-known example is the National Ski Patrol, which offers members free or priority privilege at ski areas, plus prestige and satisfaction, in return for safety and emergency policing of the sloe need for providing incentives became clear during the energy crisis of 1973-74, when the number of volunteer drivers who were
14 Congressman Michael T. Blouin of Iowa, Member of the Select Committee on Aging; hearing, "Transpration: Improving Mobility for Older Americans," p. 42, held Jan 22, 1976, by Subcommittee No. 4 fofthe House Siect Committee on Aging.
's Lillian Liburdi, Chairwoman of the American Public Transit Association's Comtmittee on Elderly and Handicapped; p. 152 of transcript of hearing held Mar. 12,1i976, in Derby, Conn., by Subc:)mmittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
16 Jack Salveson; p. 0 of transcript of hearing held Feb. 12, 1976, in Whiting, N.J., by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Saelet Committee on Aging.
essential to many projects fell off dramatically. During the AOA transportation hearings summarized by Commissioner Flemming for the subcommittee's information, one elderly North Carolinian told how she was forced to curtail her volunteer driving as the costs of operating her car rose and her fixed income did not."
A project in Philadelphia provided 7,000. rides to elderly passengers using volunteer drivers during 1973-74, but was forced to turndown. 4,500 more requests for rides because there were no funds to pay drivers and insufficient volunteers.18
Rewarded volunteerism apparently works best when the potential for spreading costs is high, or where each operator or firm can provide a reward (or payment) that represents a very low out-of-pocket cost to him. Similarly, where external economies are possible through organizing on a large-scale, basis, there will be considerable incentive to participate in and support a system of rewarded volunteerism.
An important transportation potential is therefore to encourage volunteers who could use their cars, and who, in turn, can be rewarded in some way. In view of the fact that the cost of operating an automobile includes a large component of relatively fixed costs (insurance and depreciation alone account for almost 45 percent of the cost per mile), even small rewards represent important potentials for recovering the costs of operating a car. This is especially true for many who are only marginally able to own cars (this includes the young, the elderly and the poor-the same groups generally at a disadvantage with respect to transportation 'in rural -areas). This "car-sharffigr" can be encouraged by providing some form of reward to volunteers. Examples of possible rewards might be: free parking space, discounts on supplies, parts and even -perhaps u i g State fuel stations tax
relief on fuels and oils; free registration; certain free services related to normal maintenance, etc.
Current Federal tax law permits those who it emize their deductions to include the mileage driven in bona fide volunteer activities at the rate of 7 cents a mile. This compares with the business mileage deduction of 15 cents a mile, a figure much closer to the true costs of operation. For even a middle-income elderly person, whose marginal tax rate is as high as 20 percent, the charitable mileage deduction amounts to less than a cent and a half per mile.
Another concept frequently discussed is that of usmg nonprofessional drivers, perhaps the competent elderly, for providing service to the elderly and handicapped. The principal objective would be to reduce the large fixed costs which drivers' salaries represent for special transportation services.
There are, however, a number of legal and *institutional problems that need to be explored, particularly the impact on unionized taidi and transit drivers.
If fares are to be charged, the issue of franchise infringement may have to be faced. In this respect, "volunteerism," if carefully structured in a service program, may be an advantage-although the issue is unclear-and may free a special service of regulation by public utilities or service commissions. For example, the Commonwealth of
17 Summary, hearings on issues raised in Administration on Aging report, Transportation for the Elderly: The State of the Art," p. 111-3.
Is Ibid., p. 1-9.
Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission ruled that an GEGsupported, scheduled carpool service in Warren-Forest counties would not require a certificate of convenience and necessity provided, among other things, that the driver of the carpool was principally employed in some occupation. On this project, drivers received reimbursement only for the operating costs of vehicles they volunteered to the service. The reward to the volunteer drivers was a free ride while sharing their automobiles, and the satisfaction of providing a community service.
When asked by the subcommittee for his opinion of such volunteer incentives as tax deductions for volunteer hours, access to low-cost fuel and maintenance or insurance breaks, Commissioner Flemming had no hesitation:
Testimony presented at the four public hearings that I conducted last year on transportation for the elderly indicated that any or all of these incentives would prove helpful in maintaining continuity in volunteer driver transportation services, or as important components of larger specialized transportation systems. 19
BARRIERS TO USING SCHOOLBUSES
Since before the 1971 White House Conference on Aging, the use of schoolbuses to meet the transportation needs of the elderly has been on every list of recommendations on the topic. "The basic issue is quite simple," one witness told the subcommittee, "older persons are in need of transportation services and schoolbuses are an untapped resource."Y 20
Indeed, in many areas of the country this resource is beginning to be tapped. In Arlington, Va., for example, schoolbuses are being used in off-hours to transport senior citizens to nutrition sites.
Nonetheless, those who suggest the use of schoolbuses in a particular situation often fail to take into account a number of significant factors which restrict their availability and suitability for service to the elderly.
Major limitations on availability, which vary from State to State, are the flowing:
The extent to which the use of schoolbuses is restricted by
statute or other restrictive covenant;
A lack of specific legislation or policy allowing non-school use
of schoolbuses; and
Requirements for special authorization, license or permit for
Of the 50 States and the District of Columbia, 14 have some form of direct prohibition; 11 States have statutes explicitly allowing the use of schoolbuses for elderly transport; 13 States leave the decision to be made at the local level; 8 allow general use of schoolbuses, not specifically confined to older citizens; and 4 States and the District of Columbia are primarily served by privately-owned schoolbuses, on which there are partial restrictions.
10Arthur S. Flemming; hearing, "Transportation: IpoigMobility for Older Americans," p. 32, held Jan. 22, 1978, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House eet ommittee on Aging. 20 Rudolph Danstedt, for William R. Hutton; hearing, "Transportation: Improving Mobility for Older Americans," held Feb. 5, 1976, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging. Not stated in oral testimony; source of quote is p. 8 of Mr. Hutton's prepared statement Which is retained in committee files.
Even in those 11 States in which the elderly are explicitly allowed to use schoolbuses, variations and restrictions appear in four principal characteristics:
The application of the law to owned versus contract buses; Provision for contractual arrangements- or direct furnishing of
Restrictions on focus of service, the nonavailabiity of alternative services, population levels, et cetera;
Group or individual coverage.
Of those States permitting general -use of schoolbuses, the intragovernmental arrangements for use vary greatly. In addition, in the 13 States which leave the decision to the local level, restrictions are often instituted in the form of local policy decisions or interpretations.
The biggest obstacle to contractor use of schoolbuses for nonschool purposes comes from the Federal level. Schoolbuses ow-ned by contractors are exempt from the Federal excise tax (10 percent of the value of the vehicle), if the contractor signs an affidavit at the time of purchase that the bus will be used exclusively for trips to and from school. (Internal Revenue Code, section 4221 (e) (5)). The exemption provides significant savings to the contractor, particularly for large fleets, and most are unwilling to risk that savings in order to provide nonschool transportation. In this context, recent informal interpretation by the Chief of the Excise Tax Branch of the Internal Revenue Service has indicated that "if subsequent circumstances arise which would dictate that a bus purchased tax free can no longer be exclusively used for exempt purposes, then its diversion to other uses will not negate the exemption for that bus."1 21 However, most bus operators appear to interpret the l aw narrowly.
Apart from legislative restrictions, there are a number of concerns that contribute to reluctance of school district or local governmental agencies to expand the use of school vehicles to other uses. Foremost is the obvious wish not to dilute the safety record of the systems built up over the years by distinctive markings and driving controls associated with the use of the vehicles for pupil transportation.
Additional insurance requirements for nonschool service are also a new concept for which the insurance industry has not as yet developed set rules. Schoolbus coverage is, at presenti, relatively low in cost because the type of service provided (fixed route, driver familiar with route, careful driver selection and training requirements, limited service hours, et cetera) minimizes losses paid out on schoolbus policies. Extensions of service bring the insurance rating for the vehicles into comparatively uncharted territory.
The concern that local funds earmarked for school transportation purposes may be used for other transportation needs is frequently raised. It is essential to finance in a clearly identifiable manner those projects which broaden the use of schoolbus vehicles so that operating costs for nonschool use be fully met by the new project. The effect of additional mileage incurred by the vehicles on the replacement cycle for the vehicles must also be examined within the context of broadened use of school vehicles.
21 Chief of the Excise Tax Branch, Internal Revenue Service; Internal Revenue Code, Section 4221 (e) (5).
The actual availability of large blocks of scheduling time for nonschool uses in some school systems is, in many instances, fictional. Rigorous maintenance and inspection checks required in some jurisdictions cut heavily into vehicle availability, as well as the expansion of special school programs-special education, technical classes, work/ study programs, et cetera.
Finally, several problems in schoolbus use for the elderly relate to the characteristics of the vehicle itself. Cost data developed by the Pennsylvania Governor's Task Force on, Rural Transportation in 1974 illustrate a range of possible operating costs for various vehicle sizes and types which may or may not be representative of what might be expected in other parts of the country or in urban service. The costs per vehicle mile for the school bus-68.6 cents-were second highest of all vehicle categories (large transit bus costs: 76.1 cents per vehicle mile). Within this operating cost framework, the critical question in services planned for the elderly, especially in sparsely populated rural areas, with their long trip distances and low load factors, is whether or not the high operating cost of the schoolbus vehicle becomes more expensive than buying new vehicles with smaller seating capacities and more favorable operating characteristics. Funding mechanisms for operating costs, therefore, must be clearly defined when schoolbus use is considered.
Generally unfavorable operating cost considerations in schoolbus use must also be examined in the context of the basic unsuitability of the vehicle design for the needs of older persons. Steps are high, seats closely spaced and lightly padded, and aisles constricted, with few handholds or aids for negotiating the vehicle which are so essential to an elderly or handicapped clientele.
One Iowa witness told the committee that his county had the benefit of "one old schoolbus for seniors." Describing their problems with it, he said simply, "It is costly to maintain and almost impossible for an oldster to board." 122
Despite all of these restrictions, however, the subcommittee agrees with Commissioner Flemming in his judgment that: "Even though the barriers and constraints are substantial, schoolbuses could be utilized to a greater extent than they are, to meet some of the transportation needs of older persons." 23
As with certain real estate and other types of personal property, vehicles owned by a Federal agency often outlive their usefulness to that agency. The agency is required 24 to declare such vehicles "excess" to its needs, and control is transferred to the General Services Administration, the administrative services arm of the executive branch. If GSA is unsuccessful in finding another Federal agency with a need for a particular "excess" vehicle, it is then declared "surplus" and available for disposal. The Office of Federal Property Assistance
22 Berniece Morrissey, senior citizen from Ryan, Iowa; statement submitted for record of hearings, -"Problems of the Elderly in Iowa (Part I)," p. 211, held Aug. 13 and 14,1975, by Subcommittee No. 1 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
23 Arthur S. Flemmning; hearing, "Transportation: Improving Mobility for Older Americans," p. 8, held Jan. 22, 1976, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging.
4 Te Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 48).
in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare is responsible for the disposal process.
Disposal is carried out in each State through agencies for surplus property, which have the power to transfer the vehicles to eligible groups and organizations. The law requires that the surplus vehicle be used for one of only three purposes: education, health or civil defense. Eligible donees are limited to ones engaged in those fields, and the categories are defined narrowly.
More than 5,400 vehicles were disposed of through this process during fiscal year 1975 (see breakdown by Federal region and vehicle type, appendix V1).
Given these restrictions, Commissioner Flemming pointed out to the subcommittee that the only possible way in which older Americans could benefit from surplus vehicles is if they are participating in a title VII nutrition project located in an eligible health or educational institution.21
Legislation to broaden the list of eligible donees. has been introduced in both Houses.26
National policy as embodied in section 16(a) of UMTA, first enacted in 1970, has mandated the availability of publicly funded mass transportation facilities and services to the elderly and handicaDped. The" intervening 6 years since that time have produced only scattered benefits for the target group, often exacted only through negotiation and litigation. The high expectations for social relief embodied in the policy have been significantly dampened. Rules proposed in Feb.ruary of 1975 to spell out standards for accessibility on systems receiving Federal funds were not issued in final form until 14 months later.-7 It may be that the essential mechanisms for insuring policy implementation is at last in hand, but it is not at all clear how the regulations will be enforced within the precarious overall cost picture of the transit industry.
A committee within the American Public Transit Association, the association for transit operators, attempted to quantify the annual cost of implementing the draft regulations issued last year by UMTA.21 Their estimate was that it would cost almost $2 billion a year for 20 years.
The figures are necessarily speculative, apply generally only to urbanized areas, and would obviously be affected by the changes made by UMTA in the final regulations. Moreover, they could be viewed as an attempt by the transit industry to justify its own less-thanenthusiastic efforts in the field, and there are questions about the methodology and assumptions. In this context, it is urgent that accurate and impartial cost estimates be developed.
Although overall efforts to deal with the accessibility problems of present systems have been slight, there has been considerable research
2s Arthur S. Flemming; hearing, "Transportation: Improving Mobility for Older Americans," pp. 34-35, held Jan. 22,1976, by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging. 24 S. 2876 was introduced by Senator Hugh Scott; H. R. 9152 was introduced by Congressman Jack Brooks, Congressman Glenn English, and the chairman of the Select Committee on Aging, Congressman Wm. J. Randall.
27 Federal Register, vol. 41, No. 85, pp. 18233-41, Apr. 30, 1976. X "Cost of bnplementing Regulations on Elderly and Handicapped Transportation Services," Jan. 16, 1976, by the American Public Transit Association's Committee on Elderly and Handicapped.
and demonstration activity undertaken which pinpoints the complex nature of many of the problems. Specific design barriers to travel have been identified, and future prospects for reduction of design barriers appear to depend on how thoroughly new understandings are reflected in the expected accessibility rules. New systems, such as the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco and Metro in Washington have incorporated barrier-free elements in their planning. In fact, UMTA stated formally in the explanation of the April 30 regulations that, "(e)ven before issuance of this regulation it has been UMTA policy not to concur in specifications for new rail rapid transit facilities unless the facilities are accessible to wheelchair users."~ However, the major capital investment required for new equipment and redesign and replacement of old equipment on existing barrierridden systems has proved a formidable obstacle to action.
In any event, even if existing systems were made substantially more accessible, the problems for the elderly-in getting from home to transit stop, from stop to destination, and in using routes oriented to work destinations and limited off-peak hour transit schedules-would still be unresolved. Because many of the elderly require forms of transportation other than what is presently offered by conventional public systems, solutions to their mobility needs have often emphasized the development of alternative systems. More personalized "handson" types of transit service, including dial-a-ride and other demandresponsive forms of operation, are being developed by many communities. Reworking elements of existing systems to accommodate the needs of the elderly and handicapped is frequently judged to be less satisfactory than the provision of such service in "special" systems.
It may be that the April 30 regulations will provide some incentive for local transit operators to move aggressively into this field.' One of the measures of an acceptable level of effort to 'provide' accessibility cited by UMTA in companion documents to the regulations is the creation of a special system that will 'assure every wheelchair user or semiambulatory person up to 10 round trips per week at a moderate fare.
Questions of mobility (service) and accessibility (design) both Dresent problems and complexities which loom large' in -prospect. t(MTA has sponsored a range of demonstration projects bearing ona both areas. Improved service patterns primarily of a demandresponsive nature, which benefit the elderly along with other groups, have been tested. Technology research and development is also well underway in UMTA to produce prototypes of vehicles which incorporate design improvements of particular benefit to elderly and handicapped individuals.
The Transbus program, for one, has demonstrated prototypes of wheelcha 'ir-accessible full-size buses. No manufacturer of full-size transit buses presently offers a lift or ramp option for its buses, and new bus designs, as a result of the Transbus program, are about to come on the market which could offer that technology Future UMTA policy, therefore, as defined by the April 30 regulatiions, will insist that only manufacturers offering a wheelchair accessibility package be eligible to supply federally funded transit buses and light rail vehicles.
UMTA-funded research and development projects in small -bus and paratransit vehicle designs for use in special or feeder systems-
involving considerable effort in accommodating the requirements of handicapped persons-are underway. However, it. 'is uncertain what impact prototype development, even if successful, will have on improving the transportation picture of the elderly. Major problems remain in funding services in which small vehicles would be used. An unstable market to date has had a -serious effect on the financial health of many manufacturers who have tried to enter the market with their own version of an appropriate vehicle to meet elderly and handicapped needs.
Additional UMTA research efforts on "next generation" vehicles include level change mechanisms for the modern trolley, and the incorporation of new concepts of benefit to the elderly nd handicapped in future rapid transit vehicle design. Problems in advance technology continue to lie less in the resolution of innovative en i1neering, than in the development of well-conceived mechanisms for the transference of the results of research and development activity to the transit industry.
It is clear that accessibility to mass transportation, if it iis to have any major impact on the present needs of the elderly and handicapped population, will have to encompass the availability of existing vehicles and facilities to them. Gaps and deficiencies in program development for retrofit are overwhelming. Until now, there has been no consistent program to develop a retrofit cost picture, to define the elements of an acceptable retrofit package, or to examine the service impact of various levels of retrofit on existing systems. In addition, available retrofit information has been confined to its application to existing bus fleets and has not included the existing subway network.
In terms of the UMTA regulations, accessibility requirements to stations, terminals, buildings, and other fixed transportation facilities are specified by reference to the minimum standards contained in the "American Standard Specifications for Making Buildings and Facilities Accessible to, and Usable by, the Physical a ly Handicapped," the so-called ANSI (American National Standards Institute, Inc.) standards. These standards are in the process of being revised by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Yor the first time since 1961, and are not due for review until the summer of 1976. Not only is the efficacy of the standards in the context of transportation facilities untested, but they do not apply, in most instances, to existing facilities. Pedestrian problems of the elderly and handicapped which have relevance to their ability to cope with the design elements of transportation facilities are under research by the Federal Highway Administration.
In brief, long-term prospects for accessibility seem assured and will be a function of the rate of investment in new equipment and facilities. It is plain, however, that, in the near-term, realization of accessibility will not move readily beyond the demonstration phase without the commitment of substantial funds to the task.
TRANSPORTATION COST ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
Even before the enactment in 1974 of section 5(m) of UMTA, which requires reduced offpeak fares to those 65 and over on systems receiving section 5 assistance, more than 150 of the country's approxi-
lately 1.000 transit systems offered fare reductions of one type or another to the elderly. Discounts identified in the Administration on Aging "State of the Art Report" ranged from 14 percent in Medford, Oreg. to 100 percent (free) in Honolulu.
A more communities begin to receive section 5 money, half-fare (or greater reductions) for senior citizens will become the rule, not the exception, on major transit systems.
The subcommittee believes 1'it is important for all parties to understand that fare reductions, whether undertaken voluntarily or mandated by Congress, are not without cost. Only a few studies exist of the impact of reduced fares to the elderly, but a few facts are clear:
Increased ridership at the reduced fare does not compensate for the loss of revenues from the elderly paying full fare before the reduction s7oes into effect. When Chicago began a half-fare off-peak program for ihe elderly in 1969, estimated annual revenue loss amounted to more than $7 million .29 The New Jersey Department of Transportation
projected its cost for the reduced fare for elderly and handicapped in 1977 will be $8.4 million. 30
Reduced-faxe programs are obviously irrelevant if there is no transit system in a given community, or if service between the places where the elderly live and the destinations to which they must travel is limited or nonexistent.
Given the choice of better service or reduced fares, a significant number of the elderly would pro ably select the former.31
Where free fares are not possible, the elderly have expressed a preference when surveyed for weekly or monthly passes rather than reduced cash fares even if the fare reductions are not as great.
Since reduced-fare programs are usually instituted in relatively short times, there is a shortage of good "before" and "after" information on the true and full impact of such programs on both the transit systems and the elderly themselves. Special Sydem8
As discussed above most specialized transportation services to the elderly and handicapped are offered by persons or groups outside the regular transit apparatus. As a result, those services are frequently fare-free, to avoid franchise law conflicts and other restrictions. This is consistent with the philosophy, for example, behind the nutrition program financed through title VII of the Older Americans Act, under which no older person may be required to pay for the meal. Unfortunately, however, as With reduced-fare programs, a large percentage of the elderly have no access to these special systems. When asked at the subcommittee's hearings to estimate the need for such additional service in rural areas, Commissioner Flemmine declined even to quantify a guess. 27 percent of all elderly reside-in nonurban areas, and the large majority of them have no access to public transit of any kind. Even in areas where paratransit is available, income limitations often reduce its usefulness to those elderly just above whatever maxiimum is set. In those systems drawing support from title XX of the
29 "Reduced Fares for Senior Citizens," City of Chicago, Department of Human Resources, Division for Senior Citizens, 1970.
30 Neil Sternstein, Director, New Jersey Department of Transportation; p. 87 of transcript of hearing held Feb. 12,1976, in Whiting, N.J. by Subcommittee No. 4 of the House Select Committee on Aging. 311 'Transportation for the Elderly and Handicapped," prepared for the National Urban League, N.Y., by Mark Battle Associates, Inc., Washington, D.C., DOT, Urban Maw Tramportation Administration, July 1973.
Social Security Act, for example, States must impose fees on any person wiith income greater than 80 percent of the median in that State.
Costs Related to Geographic Location
The most expensive mode of travel is the commercial airplane. The elderly, therefore, do not make use of planes, choosing less expensive alternatives. A study by United Airlines of its ridership in 1969 indicated, for example, that only 5 percent of its passengers were 65 and older, about half of the elderly proportion of the population in general."
For the elderly in Alaska and Hawaii, however, alternatives may not exist. Sophisticated medical care, counseling or other kinds of specialized attention may well be nonexistent on the neighbor islands of Hawaii, for example. There is no element of choice.
Inter-island carriers in Hawaii responded to this situation by instituting a half-fare for persons aged 65 and over in 1967, which remained in effect until 1974. During that time one of the carriers, Hawaiian Airlines, reported a 340-percent increase in the number of senior citizens taking advantage of the fare reduction. Moreover, since the seniors were accommodated on a space-available basis, the halffares charged more than covered the extra costs of carrying them, and returned substantial increased revenues to the carriers."
Both carriers withdrew the fares when faced with the prospect of lengthy, expensive challenges to the fares from the Civil Aeronautics Board. The CAB had decided that youth standby fares were unduly discriminatory, and informed the Hawaii airlines that the senior citizen discount f ares arguably fell into the same category-.
Hawaiian Airlines has now asked the CAB to approve 35 percent space-available discount to seniors. Oral arguments before the Board were held on April 28, following a favorable decision by the CAB hearm*g examiner.
There are several areas in which Federal leadership may be of benefit in rationalizing problem areas which may inadvertently have a discriminatory or inhibitory effect on the maintenance or extension of elderly mobility. One such area that might be examined more thoroughly is the extent to which driver licensing procedures play a role in the capacity of the elderly to continue to drive. Control of driver licensing is, of course, a State function, and reexamination requirements for the elderly which axe becommg mcreasingly widespread seem not to be discriminatory, but to reflect recognition that there may be a relationship between the physical problems of advancing age and driving performance which ought to be reflected in the licensing procedure.
However, it is also evident that there is considerable variation in practice between jurisdictions, and between examiners within a single jurisdiction in interpretation and application of reexamination requirements. Further, the relationship between elderly driver performX I aky
ance and driver quality control mechanisms (licensing), is sn and
a Spari M. Matsunw's testimony, Civil Aeronautics docket No. 27612, Aug. 12,1975. A Ibid.
undocumented. Few satisfactory positive relationships between current licensing criteria and accident involvement have been established to validate current licensing methods. In this context, a Federal role in developing model reexamination procedures might encourage the States to adopt more consistent and scientifically valid license reexamination requirements. This would offer substantial reassurance to the elderly in maintaining the driving role as long as it is personally appr pria
0 taini g automobile insurance is, of course, necessary for the elderly to m tain personal- responsibility for their transportation needs by driving. As the IPA study reveals, the insurance industry has found it increasingly worthwhile to reassess favorably their loss experience with elderly drivers, and there is reasonable evidence of the spread of improved treatment of the older driver (after a difficult period during the 1960's when many older drivers bore the brunt of the competitive problems experience d by many companies).
One problem that is largely unexplored is the issue of insurance renewal after relocation. Many of the elderly on rethement move to warmer climates and new locations; and there has been some suggestion that they may have problems renewing their auto insurance where they are not known. To the extent thal this mav be true, the problem may be compounded if insurance has been hAd with insurance firms who do not have branch locations throughout the country. It would appear that further study of this issue is needed.
There may also be a useful Federal role in bridging the gap which special services receiving substantial Federal subsidy have encountered in gaining favorable insurance rates in their initial phases due to lack of risk data for such systems.
1 Major improvements are needed in coordinating -Federal funds already appropriated under social services programsfor transportation of elderly citizens.
a. The President has the authority under the Joint Funding Simplification Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-510) and other laws, to require close coordination among agencies in the delivery of social services. The subcommittee recommends that the President use this authority to its legal limit. Every agency providing funds for transportation services for older Americans should be required by Exe active order to secure those transportation services from the appropriate aiea transportation operating agencies wherever possible.
Further, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Department of Transportation in joint action should compile and submit to this and other appropriate committees of Congress a list of social services programs where such a requirement is.precluded by law, with recommendations for any legislative changes necessary.
b. In addition to the requirement recommended above, and in anticipation of its application, there are other steps that can be taken to assure adequate coordination among federally funded social service programs under which transportation services' to the elderly can be financed. The President should permit and encourage, the waiver of program eligibility requirements necessary to permit coordinated delivery of transportation.
The coordinated services concept developed in the Valley transit district demonstration project in the Naugatuck Valley, Conn., and in Chattanooga, Tenn., are illustrative of the effec, tiveness of such an approach, and should be made the standard model for all social service agency programs.
c. It is recommended that all new social service programs enacted by Congress, and all existing programs being reauthorized, specifically include'In the legislation a provision to permit or require joint agency f funding for transportation associated with the delivery of the service.
d. The regulations relating to section 16(b) (2) of UMTA (capital grants to nonprofit organizations) for fiscal year 1976 have been designed to assure that greater coordination is provided in planning and operating transportation services under its provisions. It is recommended that these efforts at greater coordination be continued and expanded for fiscal year 1977.
2. Special efforts must be made to deal with the transportation problem's of the rural elderly.
The rural elderly are particularly isolated, yet at the present time there is no focus of responsibility for the transportation needs of rural residents. It is an anomaly that the Urban Mass Transportation Administration is the main supplier of Federal public transportation support to rural areas. It is recommended that the House Public
Works and Transportation Committee assess the need, and consider legislation to meet the need for a public mass transportation agency as a means for providing centralized direction for both urban and rural transportation needs. Funding recommendations, below, are also critical to rural needs.
3. Both Congress and the administration need to act to as-sure better continuity of funding, and higher levels qf funding, for transportation for the elderly.
a. The Administration on Aging's common practice on model projects is to fund them for l year, although some have been funded for as long as 3 years. In many instances local communities with reasonably successful model projects have attempted to develop funding on a local basis to assure continuation of the 'Model project,, but have needed time to develop the local resources. The subcommittee recommends that in such cases the Commissioner on Aging use his discretionary authority and provide for a more gradual phasing down of Federal funding.
b. Most money available from the Department of Transportation for projects to serve the elderly and other disadvantaged is for capital; Administration on Aging funds for transportation are relatively more limited in the amounts available, but can be used for operation. One result of the UMTA emphasis on capital funds is a lack of operating funds for most special transportation services, resulting in the discontinuity of transportation services for the elderly.
In this context, the subcommittee recommends that the Committee on Public Works and Transportation address the issue of providing more nearly adequate levels of funding on a more regularized basis to pay for operating costs of transportation projects serving the elderly.
c. It is recommended that State and local governments be" encouraged to provide tax-free fuel facilities, and low cost parts and maintenance to publicly supported transportation programs serving the elderly. It is further recommended that the "aging network" o~f State and area agencies encourage and promote these changes.
4. Congress and existing agencies need to- encourage the Participation of volunteers to provide transportation to the elderly, as one of the most costeffective steps toward remedying the problem.
a. The subcommittee recommends that the Internal Revenue Code pertaining to tax deductions for charitable or volunteer mileage be amended to equate such deductions to those for nonreimbursed business mileage deductions.
b. The. subcommittee recommends that State and local governments develop a system for providing low-cost or tax-free supplies, and. maintenance for volunteer-driver vehicles being used 'to transport the elderly to and from publicly supported programs. It is further recommended that the "aging network"'should promote these changes.
c. The Administration on Aging should collect and disseminate to the "aging network" information about ongoing volunteer insurance programs.
5. Congress should promote better use of existing vehicle resources to help transport the elderly.
a. In view of the present uncertainty on the part of contract school bus operators as to their tax exemption if school buses are used to carry persons other than for pupil transportation, the subcommittee
recommends that the Internal Revenue Code be amended to expressly permit the carriage of elderly and other disadvantaged through publicly supported programs without the loss of the exemption pertted in section 4221 (e) (1).
b. The subcommittee recommends that, to permit a broader range of deserving projects to benefit from the disposal of surplus Federal Government vehicles, Congress enact legislation such as H.R. 6152, now pending in the House Government Operations Committee.
c. In the areas where air travel is absolutely necessary to meet many needs of the elderly, such as the various islands of the State of Hawaii or remote areas of Alaska, access to reasonably priced air travel is imperative. Moreover, in the actual experience with reduced f ares for senior citizens in Hawaii, both the elderly and the carriers benefited substantially. The subcommittee therefore recommends that Congress clarify existing law to reaffirm the Civil Aeronautics Board's authority to permit reduced air f ares for the elderly on a standby basis.
6. Design improvements and modifications in vehiclesand trawportationfacilitles need to be vndertaken immediately.
a. The present American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards relating to buildings and facilities have not been revised since 1961, although revisions are underway and are anticipated to be completed by the summer of 1976. Developing appropriate design standards is a critical element in solving the problem of architectural and other barriers for the elderly, and UMTA has incorporated the ANSI standards by reference in its recently published rules relating to accessibility of public transportation under section 16(a) of the UMTA statute. This subcommittee and others will certainly review the revised ANSI standards to assure their compatibility with the accessibility regulations. However, the subcommittee recommends that UMTA undertake an independent review of the same subject, to bring its considerable expertise to bear on this complex technical question.
b. Existing statutes and regulations relating to design-including section 16(a) of UMTA, the ANSI standards and velicile development-relate primarily to new facilities or equipment. Since wdstii g facilities and equipment (including vehicles) are likely to remain in service for many years to come, a program of retrofit offers the only prospect for any major improvement or impact within the next 5 years.
The subcommittee therefore recommends that UMTA accelerate retrofit research and demonstrations which would
Identify the possible range of costs for an acceptable retrofit
package for present vehicles and facilities;
Analyze the impact on service of various levels of retrofit
and the accompanying institutional and operating problems; and
Explore the need for retrofit levels that might be used to
provide various ranges of accessibility.
c. High-speed express buses and special busways are likely to play an increasing role in public mass transit, and these rapid-bus systems are frequently used in conjunction with parking and associated facilities. The subcommittee therefore recommends that the Secretary of Transportation review the forthcoming ANSI desip standards applicable to the parking and transfer facilities used in
such high speed bus systems, to assure accessibility for the elderly and handicapped.
7. Improvements in conditions available for the most frequent method of elderly transportation, walking, are needed.
Walking i-s one of the most important modes of transportation for the elderly. However, the elderly have a disproportionate share of accidents at intersections. Further, standards vary widely for such items as street and sidewalk design, placement of street furniture, and light controls and information systems at intersections. The subcommittee therefore recommends that the Secretary of Transportation develop pedestrian standards for projects in which Federal funds are involved. In addition, the subcommittee recommends that the Secretary of Housig and Urban Development develop standards for pedestrian facilities in senior citizens housing.
8. Ways must be found to improve transportation services for the elderly who have incomes too high to qualify for 'special services, yet too low to purchase transportation in the marketplace.
In 1974 the typical poverty threshold for the elderly 65 years or older was under $3,000; about 3.3 million or 16 percent of the elderly fall into this category. Income data for the elderly in 1973 showed that there were over 4 million or about 20 percent who fall into the income range between $3,000-$5,000-above the poverty level but 'still in what must be counted as a very low income category.
These 4 million are too poor to buy cars, pay for taxis or hire private transportation; and they are poorly served by public transit.. But they are not poor enough to be eligible for many of the social service programs that provide special transportation services. These are the forgotten elderly who are in isolation because they are not poor enough.
a. Given this high proportion of elderly with serious income problems, and the costliness of determningi income eligibility for particular programs, the Subcommittee recommends that Congress exempt older persons from "means tests" except where absolutely necessary.
b. The subcommittee recommends that the Secretary of Transportation take specific steps to encourage the adoption of UMTA's recently developed model taxi ordinance which would encourage' shared rides and expand the potential for paratransit services by the taxi industry.
c. The subcommittee recommends that UMTA should accelerate its efforts in developing paratransit systems that promote ride-sharing sysems to lower operating costs and individual trip costs to the elderly.
9. The -subcommittee finds that a lack of critical data hampers the fashioning of rational solutions to the mobility problems of the elderly, and recommends that a number of specific research and demonstration tasks be undertaken as soon as possible.
a. The General Accounting Office'(GAO) should undertake a study to identify the Federal dollars presently being spent on transportation services for the elderly.
b. The Administration on Aging (AOA) should begin a study of the transportation needs of the institutionalized elderly, and make recommendations to deal with any deficiencies that are documented.
c. The GAO 'should review current practices an~d requirements for locating federally financed public faciliti-es and recommend ways to
promote more centralized sites and multiple agency use of such facilities to facilitate the provision of transportation services by these agencies to their clients.
d. AOA should undertake a study of conflicting age requirements of various Federal programs as they apply to the elderly and determine whether these age variations are necessary to accomplish the intent of Congress. AQA should identify what changes, if any, are needed and nke appropriate recommendations.
e. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should undertake a study of existing State and other procedures regarding driver license renewal examinations and identify possible areas of discrimination against the elderly, with a view toward formulating model driver license renewal procedures to eliminate any such discriminatory practices in the future.
f. UMTA should review State and local franchise laws now in effect to identify ways in which low-cost paratransit services could be encouraged by the removal of impediments present in the franchise laws.
Appendix # Title
I Potential Major 'Federal Funding Sources for
Elderly Transportation Projects.
IT FY 1975 Capital Assistance Projects Specifically
Addressing the Non-Ambulatory Handicapped, U.S.
Department of Transportation
III UMTA Research and Demonstration Projects,
IV Money distributed and allocated to states
for FY 1975 and 1976 under Section 16(b) (2) of
Urban Mass Transportation Act
V Illustrative Coordination Requirements for
Major Federal Programs Funding Transportation
VI Excess vehicles distributed by U.S. Government
in FY 1975
transportation services forthe elderly
PREPARED FOR THE ADMINISTRATION ON AGING
WASHINGTON, D,C. 201
THE INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
DE0 RiUBLICATiON No. ((I)) 76-228)
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Que sti on No. 16
Please provide the Subcommittee with a descriptive
list of the demonstration projects funded by UMTA in Fiscal Years 1974 and 1975, and some indication of the kinds of initiatives that are receiving funding in 1976. What future direction does UMTA contemplate for demonstration projects affecting the elderly?
Prior to UMTA's reorganization in September 1973,
demonstrations were conducted by both the Office of Research, Development and Demonstrations and the Office of Civil Rights. The later ran the Service Development Program, which was oriented toward research and demonstrations for the elderly, handicapped, poor, unemployed, and young. After the reorganization, all service improvement demonstrations were consolidated under the Division of Service and Methods Demonstrations within the Office of Transit Planning. Administrator Patricelli's recent reorganization retains this division within the office of Transportation Management and Demonstrations.
Attachment C is a table of demonstration projects funded in Fiscal Year's 1974 and 1975, and demonstration initiatives for Fiscal Year 1976. Not included are a number of projects which primarily involve research and technical assistance. Although no decisions have been madethe future direction being discussed at the present time involves a continuation of the TRIP project, further large city health and social service coordination demonstrations, and retrofit of an entire fleet of buses to ease access to elderly and handicapped persons.
FY CONSUMER PROJECT DESCRIPTION GRANTEE AMOUNT
1974 Handicapped of Research on problems of Grey $ 997, 000
all agesa handicapped including Advertising
General Public Double deck buses, in SCRTD & $ 703, 000
line haul operations MTA (Los
Tourists BiCentennial Shuttle Buses D. C. COG $ 364, 000
1975 Elderly and Planning for large city Chicago
Handicapped demonstration of service to
elderly and handicapped
Elderly and Apply proven service Portland and $ 1, 600, 000
Handicapped techniques to medium-size Albuquerque
Poor Elderly Transportation Remuneration West Virginia $ 300, 000
and Handicapped Incentive Program (TRIP)
Elderly Poor User Side Subsidy Danville, Ill. $ 100, 000
Elderly Community Transportation Palo Alto, Calif. $ 150, 000
General public Subscription Van Service Knoxville, Tenn. $ 1, 000, 000
General public Integrated fixed route Rochester, N.Y. $ 2, 600,000
with demand -responsive
Elderly and Subscription and zone service,
Handicapped express service, park and
ride, and bus priority
Handicapped Paratransit Houston, Texas 700, 000
Commuuters Bus and carpool lanes Los Angeles 900, 000
General public Integrated fixed route
-with demand response Zenia, Ohio 700, 000
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STATE-BY-STATE ALLOCATIONS UNDER SECTION 16(b)(2) OF URBAN MASS TRANSPORTATION ACT
Actual 1975S97 Allocation
State Amount Awarded (000)
Alabama $ 327,136 449
Alaska 90,792 117
Arizona 220'012 249
Arkansas 464,056 332
California 2,055,588 1,561
Colorado 245,256 249
Connecticut 261,000 283
District of Columbia 156,652 166
Florida 699,000 814
Georgia 252,960 515
Hawaii, 131,596 133
Idaho 158,000 150
Illinois 838,032 897
Indiana 411,880 465
Iowa 285,004 332
Kansas 435,712 283
Kentucky 421,700 432
Louisiana 417,600 465
Maine, 169,904 183
Maryland 608,792 349
Massachusetts 443,548 515
Michigan 639,280 698
Minnesota 385,856 382
Mississippi- 346,836 382
Missouri 453,932 515
Montana 99,452 150
Nebraska 22,616 233
Nevada 125,844 133
New Hampshire 125,596 150
New Jersey 585,536 581
New Mexico 182,264 183
New York 1,909,228 1,478
North Carolina 527,352 548
North Dakota 144,000 150
Ohio 756,560 847
Oklahoma 384,400 366
Oregon. 248,300 266
Pennsylvania' 1,093,400 996
Puerto Rico 288,644 532
Rhode Island 158,816 166
South Carolina 228,208 332
South Dakota 66,236 166
Tennessee 433,420 482
Texas 932,000 1,046
Utah 150 ,912 166
Virginia 397,852 449
Washington 351:,760 349
Wisconsin 623,148 415
Wyoming 81.,744 117
The following jurisdictions did not apply for-funds
in FY 1975. Their 1976 allocations are as follows:
Jurisdiction 1976 Allocations (000)
Virgin Islands 117
West Virginia 283
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
ILLUSTRATIVE COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR
MAJOR FEDERAL PROGRAMS FUNDING TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
ACT COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS
1. Older Americans Act Planning
of 1965, as amended
A-95 Clearinghouse; A-98; and State Plan approval. Areawide projects require extensive coordination under Title III.
Section 301 (OAA) requires coordination but does not specify the method. Area Agencies on Aging are Coordinative by their very nature. Title VIII encourages local coordination with other agencies, both public and private.
2. Public Health Service
Act of 1944, as amended
a. Title III, Section 314(d) Planning: Governor's Office
Operation Governor's Office
b. Title X Planning
Regional Plans. Mandatory review by 314 (a), A-95. Also, Family Planning plans review by Federal Inter-agency group and HEW coordinating committee.
Local coordinating councils supervise operations.
c. Section 303(a)(2); Planning
42 U.S.C. 242(a) Each application must be endorsed
by administrator of State Agency responsible for State mental hospitals.
ACT COORDINATION REQUIREMENTS
3. Emergency Medical Planning
Service Systems Act of 1973
State Comprehensive Health Planning Agency Appropriate Areawide Planning Agency, if one exists. A-95 Clearinghouse Review State Government EMS Focal Point EMSS Council
4. Social Security Act of 1935
a. Title XIX Planning
None except State Plan
At State level between State Welfare
................................. ___ned_ t Medicaid _Agen c-..
b. Title XX Planning
Regional Coordinating Council, Federal Regional Committee, Family Planning Review Committee, Manpower Coordinating Committee, Title XX Coordinating Committee; much interagency coordination with U.S.D.O.L., and H.E.W. health programs.
Human Development programs, health, manpower programs with special emphasis on Model Cities, WIN, Special Education, Aging Programs and manpower/training activities.
ACT COORD INAT ION REQUIREMENTS
c. Title IV Planning
Regional Coordination Committee, Federal Regional Committee, Manpower Coordinating Committee;
interagency coordination with U.S.D.O.L., and H.E.W. health programs. Also Statewide Operational Plan.
Human Development programs, manpower programs with special emphasis on Comprehensive Employment TrainingAct 4, --grams. _d. Title V Planning: Governor's Office
Section 503 and 504
Operation: Governor's Office
5. Vocational Rehabilitation Planning
Act of 1973
P.L. 93-112 as amended The State Plan, coordinated with the
Governor's Office is required under Part III, OMB Circular No. A-95 (revised). The State VR agency must certify to the availability of State funds for matching purposes.
Operational coordination is established on a State-by-State basis, depending on the organization of the State government and the location of the State vocational rehabilitation agency within that structure.
6. Equal Opportunities Act Planning
P.L. 93-644 R.D. Review and Sign--Off; A-95 Clearinghouse Required.
OHC/OCD would be a concurring party to the method of utilization and operation of. the Head Start transportation system.
ACT COORDINAT ION REQUI REMENT
7. Health Resourses Administration Planning: A-95.9 314 (a) and (b) agencies
Operation: Same as planning.
S. U.S. Office-of Education Planing: Annual Program Plan
Adult Education Act
Operation: Annual Program Plan and State Law
9. U.S. Office of HumanPlnig
P.L. 91-517 and 93-4S The State Plan is coordinated with
the Governor's Office as required under under Part IT, OMB Circular No. A-95 (Revised). The State planning and advisory council is required under P.L. 91-S17, Section 134(b)(2) to coordinate with other Federal/State programs, i.e., it must describe in its State Plan how other State/Federal programs provide for the developmentally disabled and how the new program will complement and augment, but not duplicate or replace the services they provide. At least nine specific programs must be taken into account: vocational rehabilitation, public assistance, social services, crippled children's services, education for the handicapped, medical assistance, maternal and child health, comprehensive health planning and mental health.
The State agencies) must certify to .the expenditure of matching funds.
Operational coordination is established on a State-by-State basis through the
State Planning and advisory council for developmental disabilities, and individual State agencies administering or supervising the administration of all or portions of the State Plan.
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