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Alliance for Transportation Working in Communities

Click below to download the Southwestern Pennsylvania Public Transit-Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan

Kathy Stefani speaks on SPC's ATWIC Program, its goals, and activities.

What is ATWIC?

A special program within the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC), The Alliance for Transportation Working in Communities (ATWIC) is committed to making certain the most vulnerable populations in the ten-county region have reliable and affordable access to services, jobs, medical care, grocery shopping, skills training, and places for social interaction.

In order to strengthen transportation access in SW PA, ATWIC relies on a coalition of stakeholders, which is referred to as The Alliance, for its expertise and willingness to bring about change in the regional transportation network, so that it meets the needs of ALL residents.

ATWIC’s mission, vision, and core functions serve as the program’s planning foundation and provide structure within and accountability to SPC.

The mission emphasizes not only ATWIC’s chief role as facilitator, but also the fundamental responsibility of The Alliance to collectively work toward the removal of transportation barriers facing the region’s low income individuals, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens.

Mission

To facilitate a robust regional forum to address transportation accessibility issues and develop new ideas and solutions to bring about meaningful change in people’s lives.

The mission emphasizes not only ATWIC’s chief role as facilitator, but also the fundamental responsibility of The Alliance to collectively work toward the removal of transportation barriers facing the region’s low income individuals, persons with disabilities, and senior citizens.

Vision

An integrated regional network of transportation services and facilities that provide measurable improvements for greater freedom of mobility for all.

Wanting to ensure that services, jobs, medical care, grocery shopping, skills training, and places for social interaction are accessible to everyone, The Alliance aspires to the following vision and looks to ATWIC staff to facilitate and guide the group in this pursuit.

Core Functions

  • Provide a forum to discuss transportation accessibility and/or mobility with broad involvement from transportation providers, human service agencies, and the clients that rely on these services.
  • Act as a resource for advocacy through technical assistance and education and information.
  • Be a bridge between agencies, advocates, and decision makers.
  • Maintain and facilitate the coordinated transportation planning process.
  • Be a “champion for change” in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

These five core functions comprise the essential services that ATWIC provides to The Alliance and other agency partners. Each of these functions essentially derive from the Southwestern Pennsylvania Public Transit - Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan (Coordinated Plan), which is a federally-mandated planning document developed in partnership by ATWIC and The Alliance.

The Alliance

Please direct Membership Inquiries to Kathy Stefani at kstefani@spcregion.org

The Alliance is a coalition of stakeholders that have a strong interest in improving transportation accessibility in Southwestern Pennsylvania. This region-wide coalition is comprised of human service agencies, transportation providers and advocates, workforce development groups, healthcare facilities, government entities, and users of public fixed route, shared ride, and paratransit services.

Alliance participants want to ensure the region’s transportation system works for ALL residents, regardless of where they live, how old they are, their level of income, and any physical, intellectual, or mental disabilities they may have. Coordinated and guided by ATWIC staff, The Alliance partners work diligently toward attaining a shared vision of “an integrated regional network of transportation services and facilities that provide measurable improvements for greater freedom of mobility for all.”

Coordinating Transportation

Coordinated Transportation is an integrated network of transportation services that, through successful collaboration and resource sharing, provides affordable, reliable, and accessible mobility for all.

Successful coordination of our region’s transportation system is dependent on the following:

  • Building strong regional support for an integrated transportation system.
  • Fully understanding the many transportation barriers facing our region’s diverse populations.
  • Engaging the appropriate entities to develop practical mobility-enhancement solutions for the residents of this region, especially those who are transportation-disadvantaged.

Implementation of the Coordinated Plan seeks to improve transportation options in the region through successful collaboration and resource sharing among human service agencies, transportation providers, workforce development groups, healthcare facilities, and government entities. The primary goal is to alleviate gaps in service due to one or more of the following barriers:

  • Limitations in public funding
  • Availability and accessibility of service
  • Cost and affordability of service
  • Program policies and regulations
  • Education and information related to services

Removing Barriers

Barriers hinder, in varying degrees, an agency’s ability to provide transportation and a person’s ability to get where they need to go.

Five Topmost Identified Barriers:

  1. PUBLIC FUNDING - Investment in public transportation is insufficient, making it difficult to maintain let alone enhance services.
  2. AVAILABILITY & ACCESSIBILITY - Insufficient levels of service, limited geographical coverage, minimum urban/rural connectivity, complicated cross-county travel, inaccessible facilities, and lengthy trips challenge those most dependent on public transportation services.
  3. COST & AFFORDABILITY - Transportation services are costly to provide, and dependence on public subsidies for ongoing operations impacts the quantity, quality, and affordability of the services that exist.
  4. PROGRAM POLICIES & REGULATIONS - Human service program policies and regulations limit flexibility in the utilization of funds and preclude agencies from having the capacity to fully serve and meet the needs of their clients.
  5. EDUCATION & INFORMATION - A lack of information regarding available transportation options and their use can hinder a person’s ability to get to the places and services that are necessary to daily life.

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