NADTC thanks guest blogger Jennifer Perry, Access Specialist, from the Northeast ADA Center for writing July’s blog post, which features the resources of the Transit Research & Accessibility Center (TRAC). Learn more about TRAC, and join us in recognizing the importance of on-going education and training about accessibility as we celebrate the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 2019!
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) continue to experience significant barriers with accessing dependable and accessible transportation services in their communities. While transportation providers have been working on accessibility for many years, more needs to be done, and people with disabilities need to share their experiences about how well their local transportation providers are doing.
In October 2017, the Transit Research & Accessibility Center was created by the Yang Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University with funding from the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) to address barriers to accessibility.
The goals of the project are twofold: to educate stakeholders from across the country about fixed- route bus accessibility features and to share data collected by users of a new TRACbus app being piloted in New York’s Capital District to inform local transit agencies of steps that can be taken to improve accessibility.
What is TRAC and How Does It Serve Transportation Agencies?
TRAC has two main components: (1) an online training program of brief “How To videos” and (2) a mobile app that can be used to evaluate the accessibility of a fixed-route bus trip.
TRAC’s online training program is designed to educate stakeholders about accessibility and usability requirements of fixed-route public buses as well as prepare individuals to evaluate the accessibility and usability of bus trips using the specially designed TRACbus app on their smartphone.
The online training program reviews Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) features that apply to fixed-route public buses. This information can be viewed by people living throughout the United States. In addition to the training program, the center is focused on development of a TRACbus app. Unlike the training program, the app is currently in the pilot phase and can only be used in the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) service area, which includes the Albany, New York, region.
How can you access TRAC’s resources?
- Register for an account
Visit the TRAC Website at www.tracbus.org and register for an account by entering your email address and creating a password. There is no charge to participate in TRAC.
- Watch the “How To” Videos.
Here you will find the online training about fixed-route bus accessibility requirements in the ADA. This training is provided via a series of short and easy to understand “How To” videos that detail what an accessible bus trip looks like. Watching all of the “How To” videos takes approximately 15 minutes.
- Complete the brief survey after watching the “How To” videos.
This survey helps us understand who is interested in TRAC and helps us identify ways that we can improve the “How To” videos.
- Request the TRACbus Mobile app. (This is available only to residents and employees in the Albany, NY region.)
- Evaluate a Ride!
You can use the TRACbus app to evaluate a bus trip on a CDTA bus. Again, this step is optional. There is a tutorial on how to use the TRACbus app included in the “How To” videos at tracbus.org to help prepare users of the app. If you choose to evaluate a CDTA bus trip in the Albany region, you can do so after completing the brief survey at tracbus.org. We will send you a link to access the pilot version of the mobile app that you can use to evaluate a bus trip. Note that you are not required to evaluate a bus trip.
If you have questions about TRAC, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 732.449.3621.
The Transit Research & Accessibility Center (TRAC) was created by the Yang Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University, under New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council contract #C024328.