By Kathy Chouteau
A training mobility program that makes traveling easier for Contra Costa County seniors and people with disabilities just relaunched following a pandemic pause.
The West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee (WCCTAC) recently relaunched its Travel Training mobility program for seniors and adults with disabilities employing guidance from MTC’s Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan.
The Coordinated Plan helps local transit agencies, cities and counties better meet the transportation needs of those with disabilities, seniors and people with low incomes, per WCCTAC. It’s updated every four years with help from transportation professionals on a technical advisory committee, as well as the public, who also contribute. The updated Coordinated Plan is expected to be ready at year-end.
Along with Travel Training, the Coordinated Plan also teaches people how to use the bus, ferry, BART, paratransit—and local van services for seniors—so they become more comfortable using Bay Area transit. WCCTAC said in a statement that, “Travel Training programs throughout the Bay Area and across the country are especially important for people who cannot use or do not have access to a personal vehicle.”
Three WCCTAC Travel Trainer volunteers traveled with five seniors from the City of San Pablo Senior Center to the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez as part of the program in August 2023. The group’s multi-transit trip ride including taking a San Pablo Senior & Disabled Transportation shuttle to the Richmond Parkway Transit Center, to the Hercules Transit Center, and then a WestCAT bus to Martinez. On the way, participants learned how to best use the Amtrak system.
Along with fine-tuning their local transit skills, participants received fare discounts—which are available for seniors, people with disabilities, youth and people with low incomes—by using the all-in-one transit card, Clipper®. People age 65 and older should use the Senior Clipper card, while those with disabilities under that age can use the Regional Transportation Connection (RTC) Clipper card.