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n4a Endorses Senior Mobility Legislation

The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging based in Washington D.C. recently endorsed the Senior Transportation and Mobility Improvement Act introduced by Se. Herb Kohl, Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman, and Se. Ron Wyden.
The legislation introduced in December addresses some of the critically important transportation issues that concern older adults and people with disabilities.
n4a officials stated in a news release that the legislation provides an excellent opportunity for Congress to advance initiatives of the Senior Transportation Task Force, of which n4a is a co-chair.
“The last transportation authorization made significant progress in providing greater resources
and instituting a new coordination planning process that has begun to produce real results in
bringing key stakeholders to the table from the aging and disability communities in planning
transportation services,” said n4a CEO Sandy Markwood. “However, there is much more to be done to ensure
that there are adequate, accessible and reliable transportation options for older adults and
people with disabilities. We look forward to working with Congress to see that the provisions
called for in this bill are included in the upcoming transportation reauthorization.”
According to n4a, older Americans represent the fastest growing demographic in the nation and they have an increasing desire to participate in the workforce, to age in place and to access social and health services and they often need to have access to transportation to achieve their goals.
n4a believes it is critical that Congress place greater emphasis on community transportation programs that provide a vital link between home and community for older adults and people with disabilities. According to the organization, transportation is consistently at or near the top of services for which local aging programs across the country receive the most requests. Without adequate transportation options, the n4a states many seniors are at risk of increased isolation and may be forced into costly and unnecessary institutionalization.
The Senior Transportation and Mobility Improvement Act provides states added flexibility for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Section 5310 program to use funds for operating costs. The bill also requires states to annually report to the Federal transit Authority how they plan to coordinate their Section 5130 program with transportation services offered under the Older Americans Act. The bill also provides technical assistance and grants to innovative community programs.