Thesecond meeting of the Subcommittee on Transportation of the Special Advisory Commission of Senior Citizens was held on Thursday, November 1, 2007, at 2:30 PM, in the Kentucky Room II at the Capital Plaza Hotel. Fred Smith, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Fred Smith, Co-chair, Leon Boyd, Rufus Fugate, Margaret Gilland, Bobby Hazen, Eleanor Holbrook, Bobby Humes, Nancy Linville, Jean Phelps, John Schreiber, Ted Smith, Paul Steenbergen, Joe Wahlen, and Lillian Wheeler.
Guests Appearing Before the Subcommittee: Jeremy Thompson and Eric Peraz of the Office of Human Service Transportation Delivery; Nancy Snow, TARC in Louisville; Barbara Gordon, Director of Social Services, Kentuckian Regional Planning and Development Agency; Scott Wegenast and Don Pendleton, AARP, Louisville, Kentucky.
LRC Staff: Jim Roberts and Linda Hughes.
Mr. Hazen moved to adopt the minutes from the Subcommittee's May 10-11, 2007 meeting, as submitted. Mr. Steenbergen seconded the motion, which passed by voice vote.
The Subcommittee's first speaker was two representatives from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Human Service Transportation Delivery. The transportation program cost approximately $54 million per year, serves over 3 million elderly, with over 26 million trips during that year. In addition, one in five Americans age 65 and older do not drive and that 69% of the state’s non drivers over the age of 65 do not have access to any type of transportation means.
There are new freedom initiatives to the program that offers alternatives beyond those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Some of the new initiatives are expanded hours and routes, same day service, plus a door to door policy. Mr. Thompson said that the Human Service Transportation Delivery Service is committed to identifying and reaching all elderly Kentuckians to offer them safe, accountable, flexible, and efficient services, as well as constantly looking to add additional partners into the coordinated services.
The Subcommittee's second guest speaker was Barbara Gordon, Director of Social Services for the Kentuckian Regional Planning and Development Agency. Ms. Gordon stated that Kentucky's immediate and future transportation needs were dependent upon Kentucky creating alternatives that, (1) maintains transportation for older adults; (2) assures continued access; (3) maintains good or enhances quality of life; and (4) encourages community-base living.
Ms. Gordon discussed a program called ITN AMERICA. This program is the first and only national non-profit transportation system for America's aging population. The service is available 24/7, for any type of ride within the service area, and no limitations on ride purpose. It is provided in private automobiles, with paid or volunteer drivers, and provides for help with packages and other items. Membership is necessary and you must be 65 or older or visually impaired to join the service. There is currently an ITN model being implemented in Lexington, K entucky and at least one other community is this state under consideration. However, this service can be costly, ITNPortland's average fare is about $8.00 for a one-way ride.
Ms. Gordon talked of numerous group summits with senior citizen transportation being one of their top missions. She stated that resolving the transportation needs for all senior citizens will not be a quick fix, it will require accessibility, affordability, and universal, and diverse options.
The Subcommittee recessed the meeting at 3:50 p.m. and reconvened at 8:30 a.m. on Friday November 2, 2007.
Members:Jean Phelps, Co-chair, Leon Boyd, Rufus Fugate, Margaret Gilland, Bobby Hazen, Eleanor Holbrook, Bobby Humes, Nancy Linville, John Schreiber, Ted Smith, Paul Steenbergen, Joe Wahlen, and Lillian Wheeler.
This morning the Subcommittee heard testimony from two representatives from AARP in Louisville, Scott Wegenast and Don Pendleton. They talked about two programs AARP offers – the Driver Safety Program (formerly known as 55 Alive ) and the We Need To Talk program, which helps the children of senior adults discuss the issue of limiting driving by their parents.
The Driver Safety Program has 107 instructors who conduct classes throughout Kentucky. These classes usually cost $10 and insurance companies offer insurance discounts for individuals taking the class. This discount is between 5% and 10%.
The We Need To Talk program is free of charge. Mr. Wegenast stated that AARP would come into a community to conduct a class or if anyone would like to take a class they can call AARP at 1-888-227-7669 or on line at AARP.org/ky.
Mr. Wegenast said that AARP does not support regular driver testing of older individuals renewing their driver’s licenses and that AARP found that older individuals historically have less accidents than younger drivers.
Last, the Subcommittee adopted four recommendations. They were
1. Strongly recommend the General Assembly should increase state funding for Area Agencies on Aging to support Senior Programs by at least 20% for each year of the 2008-10 bienniums.
2. Recommend that the General Assembly appropriate sufficient funds to ensure available federal matching funds for use in the state’s public transportation programs.
3. Strongly encourage legislation to prohibit the use of hand-held communication devices while operating a vehicle. And,
4. Recommend a procedure be developed to register all-terrain vehicles to provide law enforcement and property owners the opportunity to identify ATVs being operated in violation of the law. The registration system should continue to prohibit use of ATVs on public roadways.
With no further business before the Subcommittee, the meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.