Breaking Down Transit Barriers in the Heart of Iowa

  • Date: 04/19/2022

SDOH trips: One program that is enhancing access to human services is the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). HIRTA submitted a grant application through AmeriCorps Seniors to start the volunteer program in Madison and Marion Counties to meet its goal of having an RSVP in every county with 75 volunteer drivers each.  The program tackles transit barriers by recruiting people 55 and older to be volunteer drivers and provide trips for people to the pharmacy, grocery shopping and medical appointments—another initiative HIRTA has been addressing.

Health care access: HIRTA is continuing its efforts to increase access to transportation for healthcare with its Health Connector Project: An Inclusive Mobility Experience from Beginning to End, which is funded through a contract with the U.S. Department of Transportation under its Complete Trip – ITS4US Deployment Program from 2021. The objective is to provide enhanced and equal access by integrating the scheduling and management of healthcare appointments and transportation, with a focus on underserved communities.

LEP populations: In addition to its limited English proficiency options with its fare collection system, HIRTA is expanding upon these efforts thanks to funds recently awarded by the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). The project is called Flex Connect and involves hiring a bilingual mobility coordinator who will specifically focus on the Latino community to better help them understand how to ride HIRTA.

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