Berkshire Transportation Program for Older Adults Recognized as Best Practice by NADTC

The the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC), a partnership of Easterseals, USAging and the Department of Transportation‘s Federal Transportation Administration, released a “Best Practices Compendium,” which is a compilation of the lessons learned by the 16 grant programs funded by NADTC from 2017 through 2019.

The overall purpose of these demonstration grants was to establish one or more innovations—new transportation services or programs— in the selected communities. Such innovations have the potential to serve as models that may be replicated by other communities to increase the availability of accessible transportation for older adults and people with disabilities.

One of the recognized projects came from Age-Friendly Berkshires and, more specifically, the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission (BRPC), which fostered cross-jurisdictional transportation by encouraging local entities to pair up with neighboring communities
to provide rides, primarily to pre-arranged medical appointments.

An Area Agency on Aging, Elder Services of Berkshire County, Inc. (ESBCI), offered its toll-free number and remains a central access point for scheduling rides. During the grant period, ESBCI handled reporting and arranged all rides with the Councils on Aging (those that had vehicles) and other transportation providers. While ESBCI is no longer the only access point for transportation, it continues to respond to call requests for rides.

More information on the Berkshires project and other best practices from across the country serving older adults and people living with disabilities are available here.