Transportation


You Are Invited to Help Us Plan the Future

of Transit in Indian River County.

Transit Development Plan Public Workshop

Wednesday, February 13th

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

North Indian River County Library

1001 Sebastian Blvd. (CR 512)

Sebastian, FL32958

The Indian River Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is in the process of developing a transit development plan for the community.  If you are interested in the future of Indian RiverCounty’s transit system, please plan to attend this workshop. We need to hear from you so we can incorporate your ideas, goals and values.

For more information visit www.irmpo.com or call Phil Matson at (772) 226-1455

For complaints, questions or concerns about civil rights or nondiscrimination; or for special requests under the American with Disabilities Act, please contact: Phil Matson, Title VI Coordinator at (772) 226-1455 or pmatson@ircgov.com.

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability or family status. Persons who require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or persons who require translation services (free of charge) should contact Phil Matson at (772) 226-1455 or pmatson@ircgov.com at least seven days prior to the meeting.

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I sat at the table. The paper placard in front of me had my name printed on it to remind people of who I am.  For about four terms, I’ve served either as an alternate or a member of a local coordinating board for transportation in our county.  I have, in fact, sat through multiple meetings like this one in three different counties in Florida.

While I serve as a citizen advocate on this board, the issues that face us are more complex than I ever imagined when I first started to attending them.  Of course, I sat dazed by the acronyms and double speak that swirled around me for the first couple of months; but I assured myself that if I continued to attend, I would gradually begin to understand what was being discussed.

Then I applied to serve as an alternate.  After being in that position for about four years, I once again assured myself that I’d soon understand everything there was to know about transportation in our county.  When the fog cleared a bit and a position on the board opened, I applied.

Unfortunately, as soon as I was seated on the board, the federal and state legislation changed drastically and I was back to square one.  I found myself flipping through the pages sent to me before each meeting wishing I could decipher the complex verbage on which I was supposed to vote.  With every new administration, there are new laws and regulations that the local boards are supposed to miraculously comprehend.

Yet, in the past few years, I find myself understanding the discussions that swirl around my head.  No longer does the talk whiz over my head, it is now filtered through knowledge and history.  In fact, at a recent committee meeting, I found that I became the historian of the group, having served longer than anyone else.  My mind recalled facts and figures that surprised me.

At times, citizens are reluctant to become a part of the process because the issues are simply too complex.  And that is usually true at the beginning.  Even after years, of study and research, administrations and local issues change as well as the laws.  Then the learning process begins again…and again…and again.

Isn’t that like our lives, however?  As soon as I thought I had my husband all figured out, the Lord would do something different and I would be left scratching my head, wondering why he had changed.  Even in my own life, I wake up and find that during the night the Lord supernaturally answered a prayer and transformed my heart.  Or I read a book and God begins to speak to me about fears and concerns that have plagued my spirit since childhood, he makes my spirit responsive to his love and the Holy Spirit does a fresh work.

Different from the complex issues that we face with governance, God’s transformations are usually simple changes that transform our behaviors, attitudes and desires.  Paul was correct when he wrote to the Romans that laws and regulations cannot make transformational changes.  That is God’s job.

Several decades ago the local transportation provider was called CATS.  It was primarily used for people with disablilites and for the elderly.  It was primarily a provider for people who would later be classified as “transportation disadvantabed.”

Understanding the growth that would be coming to Brevard, the name was changed to Space Coast Area Transit, using the acronym SCAT.  However, it is now time for another change.  Indeed, as the transportation needs and services have increased, many people remain stuck in the idea that Space Coast Area Transit is still a provider for people with disabilities and the elderly.

Therefore, led by Jim Liesenfelt, County Transportation Coordinator, one of the changes that needs to be made is a transition from the perception of limited provision to a service that endeavors to meet the transporation needs of every citizen who desires to access public transportation.  Liesenfelt hopes that the name change from SCAT to Space Coast Area Transit will also alter the perception.

In reality, Space Coast Area Transit has become much more than a limited transit line.  It is now used primarily for working people who need a safe, convenient way to get to and from work.  In addition, there is a growing youth population who travel on the buses.

If you have a transportation need, it may be that Space Coast Area Transit may be able to meet that need.  Give the office a call at 321-633-1878.  Or visit their website at http://www.ridescat.com/.

 

Riding the bus is as much a part of the culture of the mentally challenged community, as struggling to read.  In our Central Florida county, parents sometimes complain about the long bus trips that our population must take each day to get to and from work.  Often, parents will opt to transport their children to doctor’s appointments and Rec Department events, rather than teaching them the intricate maneuvering required to learn the route schedules.  The professional community has never caught the vision of teaching people who are mentally challenged how to figure out the schedules.  Transporting them in private vehicles seems easier. 

Yet, I seldom hear the same complaint from Special Gathering members and my other friends.  When Diana developed the skills needed to ride the bus to work and to her appointments after her mother died, she gained a new sense of independence.  She and her close friend, Mimi, often ride the bus together to go to lunch and to the shopping center.

Because of the complexity of the geography of the county, bus routes can be complicated and hard to understand.  Therefore, there are not as many bus people who live in our county, except a few scattered homeless individuals.  Bus people are folks who ride the bus everyday for fun and entertainment.  

A good friend of mine has a daughter who is in her mid-thirties.  She is mentally challenged and bipolar.  She lives in South Florida where there are many bus routes.

This young woman boards the bus early everyday and rides all day long.  She gave up employment years ago because she doesn’t like the tedium of the day programs.  The erratic behavior caused by her bipolar symptoms, makes it hard for her to understand the logic required to be able to submit to authority.  For that reason, she hasn’t succeeded in working in the community.  Therefore, she finds that riding the bus everyday, fills her time in a meaningful way.

Perhaps one of the best things the professional community could do within our cloistered, sub-culture is bus training.  Teaching individuals who are developmentally disabled to ride the bus to doctor’s appointments and to the shopping mall should be an intricate part of the skill sets needed for survival. 

Part of my desire is to get a grant that can be used to teach people how to ride the bus in our county.  It will mean educating parents and professionals first but it would be worth the effort.   As the cost of gas continues to climb, riding the bus may become a necessary skill set that we cannot afford to be without.  

Does anyone know of a grant that teaches people to access public transportation? 

This is a memo that came from Florida Department of Transportation.  At the end of the memo is the information contained in the brochure that was mentioned in the memo:

 Thank you for the input and comments you provided during the 2060 Florida Transportation Plan Update phase.  Attached you will find the revised 2060 FTP brochure explaining the goals identified in the plan and how we are moving forward in implementing the plan. 

For more information about the plan, please visit the 2060 FTP website at www.2060FTP.org

Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Heather S. Garcia

Public Involvement Manager

District 5 Department of Transportation

719 S. Woodland Blvd., MS 521

DeLand, FL  32720-6834

386.943.5077

heather.garcia@dot.state.fl.us

2060 Florida

Transportation Plan

Goal:

 

Moving Forward

The 2060 FTP identified three issues critical to achieving the FTP goals and objectives: governance; investments; and immediate actions to begin implementation. The 2060 FTP calls for creating a 21

st century governance model and a strategic approach to transportation investments to provide reliable funding for statewide, regional, and local priorities. Implementation of this plan will occur as Florida’s transportation partners align plans and policies, coordinate activities, and measure and report progress toward achievement of the 2060 FTP.

Florida’s Governor, Legislature, and public and private transportation partners have the opportunity and responsibility to implement the FTP and advance critical priorities. Together, FDOT and its partners will move Florida forward through the 21

st century.

Objectives:

Achieve and maintain a state of good repair for transportation assets for all modes.• Reduce the vulnerability and increase the resilience of critical infrastructure to the impacts of climate trends and events.

• Minimize damage to infrastructure from transportation vehicles.

• Optimize the efficiency of the transportation system for all modes.

Goal:

 

Objectives:

Expand transportation options for residents, visitors, and businesses.• Reinforce and transform Florida’s Strategic Intermodal System facilities to provide multimodal options for moving people and freight.

• Develop and operate a statewide high speed and intercity passenger rail system connecting all regions of the state and linking to public transportation systems in rural and urban areas.

• Expand and integrate regional public transit systems in Florida’s urban areas.

• Increase the efficiency and reliability of travel for people and freight.

• Integrate modal infrastructure, technologies, and payment systems to provide seamless connectivity for passenger and freight trips from origin to destination.

For more information:

 

 

HORIZON

2060

a new era for transportation in florida

Improve the security of Florida’s transportation system.• Improve Florida’s ability to use the transportation system to respond to emergencies and security risks.

 

Goal:

 

Objectives:

Develop transportation plans and make investments to support the goals of the FTP and other statewide plans, as well as regional and community visions and plans.• Coordinate transportation investments with other public and private decisions to foster livable communities.

• Coordinate transportation and land use decisions to support livable rural and urban communities.

Transportation partners will be working together to achieve the six goals identified in the FTP over the next 50 years. Three goals focus on how transportation supports Florida’s future prosperity and quality of life. The other three focus on the performance of the transportation system.

T

he Florida Transportation Plan (FTP) is the state’s long range transportation plan. The FTP is a plan for all of Florida – including local, regional, and private partners responsible for transportation planning and funding decisions. The FTP identifies goals and objectives to guide transportation decisions over the next 50 years.

The 2060 Florida Transportation Plan marks a new era of transportation in Florida and calls for a fundamental change in how and where Florida invests in transportation. The FTP defines transportation goals, objectives, and strategies to make our economy more competitive, our communities more livable, and our environment more sustainable for future generations.

The department conducted extensive public and partner outreach as part of updating the FTP in 2010. A 29 member committee was formed to draft the 2060 FTP. The committee represented diverse interests from throughout the state: all levels of government and all modes of transportation, business and economic development organizations, community and environmental interests, the military, and private citizens. A statewide summit, 12 regional workshops, nearly 300 briefings at partner meetings, two statewide webinars, and an interactive website helped FDOT gather input from an additional 10,000 Floridians.

Goals and Long Range Objectives

Goal:

 

Goal:

 

Objectives:

Maximize Florida’s position as a strategic hub for international and domestic trade, visitors, and investment by developing, enhancing, and funding Florida’s Strategic Intermodal System (SIS).• Improve transportation connectivity for people and freight to established and emerging regional employment centers in rural and urban areas.

• Plan and develop transportation systems to provide adequate connectivity to economically productive rural lands.

• Invest in transportation capacity improvements to meet future demand for moving people and freight.

• Be a worldwide leader in development and implementation of innovative transportation technologies and systems.

Objectives:

Plan and develop transportation systems and facilities in a manner which protects and, where feasible, restores the function and character of the natural environment and avoids or minimizes adverse environmental impacts.• Plan and develop transportation systems to reduce energy consumption, improve air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Goal:

 

Objectives:

Eliminate fatalities and minimize injuries on the transportation system.

Provide a safe and secure transportation system for all usersMake transportation decisions to promote responsible environmental stewardshipInvest in transportation systems to support a prosperous, globally competitive economyMake transportation decisions to support and enhance livable communities

Ms. Huiwei Shen, Project ManagerOffice of Policy Planning

Florida Department of Transportation

605 Suwannee Street, M.S. 28

Tallahassee, FL 32399-0450

Phone: (850) 414-4800

Fax: (850) 414-4898

e-mail: huiwei.shen@dot.state.fl.us Please visit us at:

 

www.2060ftp.org

You’ve probably seen the commercial on TV in which one of the private transporters extols the virtues of logistics.  Ahh! In special needs ministry, we know logistics and logistics can either be our best friend or our worst enemy.  Most of our programs are not like Wayside Baptist Church in Miami, Florida, which has 150 members.  Almost all of them attend the weekly services.  At Wayside, they run no vans or facilitate any other transportation. 

However, each week at Special Gathering we transport as many as 100 people from their homes to the various places where we have worship services.  Then our staff makes sure they safely get home from there.  Occasionally, we facilitate the transportation of people from our 2 Sunday morning programs to an event sponsored by the Brevard County Recreation Department.  We don’t ever provide transportation home from the party.

We do this for three reasons.  Without this transportation, some of our members would not be able to attend these events, if they came to Special Gathering.  Rather than make our members decide between our chapel programs and a party, we work to make sure they get to the party from our program.  Second, on these few Sundays, this time helps parents’ of our members.  It gives parents a few additional hours of respite time.  Third, our members enjoy the parties.  If the transportation we provide makes it easier for them, we try to make it happen.

Yet, there always seems to be an interesting bletch in my logistical planning during those extra events.  While we have our regular transports running smoothly, it is those extra times that makes me want to pluck a few eyebrows to relieve the pain.  Getting our members to the party is always easy, whether I personally transport them or we use a public conveyance.  It is getting them home safely that becomes the problem.  We say that we don’t provide transportation home from the party but someone always gets confused.

Over the years, I’ve called each member’s home to ask if they would be attending.  This was a great way to have personal contact with all our members.  However, this year, I put a notice in our monthly newsletter that said, “If you desire to attend the rec social, call Linda Howard.”  Only five people called and each of the parents assured me that they would be picking up their children.  These were also my more reliable parents. 

In all, there were more than 35 people who came from our program to the rec social.  But I was only responsible for five of them.  To insure that nothing went wrong, I was at the party at the end, making sure that all Special Gathering members had transportation home. 

It worked.  Everyone left with the person with whom they were supposed to go.  Logistics.  I love it.

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