Pima Association of Governments prepares and adopts a Public Transit-Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan to guide transportation coordination in the region for older adults and persons with disabilities. Human service agencies are actively involved in identifying regional human service transportation needs and developing strategies to meet these needs through quarterly coordination meetings.
Prior to the enactment of the federal surface transportation bill (called Moving Ahead for Progress, or MAP-21) in October 2012, three federal grant opportunities provided annual funding support for coordinated human services transportation.
The passage of MAP-21 resulted in some significant changes to these programs:
- Section 5316, Job Access and Reverse Commute, or JARC, has been repealed. JARC assisted in the development and maintenance of transportation services designed to transport low income individuals to jobs and activities related to employment in rural and suburban areas. Job access and reverse commute projects are now eligible activities for Transit Formula Grant funding.
- Section 5317, New Freedom, also has been repealed. New Freedom provided funding for public transportation services and alternatives for individuals with disabilities beyond that required by the Americans with Disabilities Act in rural and suburban areas. Section 5317 activities are now eligible for funding under the 5310 program.
- Section 5310 is known as Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and People with Disabilities. The 5310 program typically provides formula grants to assist nonprofit agencies in acquiring vehicles to transport older adults and disabled clients. The 5310 funds can be used to assist agencies with both capital and operating expenses.
Each year the PAG region allocates $1.2 million to $1.6 million in Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) funds for locally planned human services. A regional Social Services Planning Committee works closely with the following working groups to identify needs and make recommendations to the PAG Regional Council on annual allocations: Children, Youth and Families; Developmental Disabilities; Aging and Adults; Employment and Rehabilitation Services; and Quality of Life services. These recommendations include services for homeless adults and children, employment or guidance counseling, home care programs, and services for developmentally delayed children and disabled adults.
Special Needs Transportation Services
Human service agencies coordinate with public transit agencies to meet special transportation needs for their clients. Three public paratransit services are available in the PAG region. Each of these services requires reservations and provides door-to-door service between the rider’s location and his/her destination. The ADA Eligibility Office of the City of Tucson determines eligibility for all the publicly funded transit in the region.
Sun Van, a paratransit service provided by Sun Tran, serves ADA-eligible persons who reside within three-quarters of a mile of a Sun Tran bus route. This service is managed by the City of Tucson.
Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride, with service provided by Total Ride, operates in eastern Pima County. This service is funded and managed by the Regional Transportation Authority.
Sun Shuttle Oro Valley provides trips to destinations within the town and to designated areas south, east and west of Oro Valley. This service is funded and managed by the Regional Transportation Authority.
Sun Tran and Sun Shuttle are transit systems for the general public that are accessible to disabled persons and the elderly. No reservations are required.