Human Services Provider Transportation Forum, Tuesday, September 28

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Panel of transportation experts
A panel of transportation experts helped representatives from human service agencies, the faith community, immigrant and refugee groups, city government, transportation advocates and senior housing providers met at Shoreline City Hall to learn about the transportation resources available in King and Snohomish Counties. 

The scope of services covered included the major public systems, Sound Transit, METRO and Community Transit in Snohomish County as well as services provided by private non-profit agencies such as Senior Services Volunteer Transportation Program, Northshore Senior Center, Hopelink and SNOTRAC. Specialized transportation programs such as ACCESS, for the elderly and disabled, transportation for Medicaid clients to medical appointments.

The Hyde Shuttles, a relatively new program of Senior Services in North King County, operates within Shoreline and Lake Forest Park and provide rides for anyone 55 and older or disabled Monday through Friday from their home to destinations within the two cities. The program has been well received and some attendees were advocating for expansion to Lake City and North Seattle so that residents of those areas could access Shoreline services such as the senior center. Residents wanting more information about the Hyde Shuttle or to schedule a ride may call 206 727-6262.

The focus of the Forum was the transportation needs of the special populations that human service agencies serve including low income, the elderly, youth and disabled, who together comprise about one-third of the Puget Sound Region’s population. During the question and answer period panelists responded to questions and concerns from the audience and provided valuable insights on how to advocate for improving transportation programs.
The Forum also gave participants a preview of what the future holds for transportation in North King County. In 2013 Bus Rapid Transit will begin on Aurora. This service will operate like a subway with passengers prepaying for service and rapid exit and entry through large sliding doors onto level platforms. By 2023 Sound Transit is proposing to expand the light rail system from the University District to Shoreline and Lynnwood.
The first meeting of the North King County Mobility Coalition was announced at the Forum and will be held on November 9th (more information to follow). The Coalition will work to foster coordination between human service agencies and transportation providers with the goal of improving mobility for older adults, children and youth, people with disabilities, low income individuals and families, immigrants and refugees and others with transportation challenges.

The Forum was sponsored by the King County Mobility Coalition, the Eastside Easy Rider Collaborative and the North Urban Human Service Alliance. For more information contact Michelle Zeidman, Mobility Manager, King County Mobility Coalition.

--From George Smith, Human Services Planner, City of Shoreline


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