RTA Grants Announced to Enhance Mobility for Seniors and People with Disabilities

(RTA, June 26, 2023)

Michigan – The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan (RTA) has announced their list of grant recipients for its highly anticipated 5310 Call for Projects, which funds services that provide Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and People with Disabilities. The RTA is the designated recipient of all Federal Transit Administration (FTA) formula funds for both the Detroit and Ann Arbor Urbanized Areas, solidifying its commitment to enhancing transportation services for the region.

“The RTA is southeast Michigan’s chief coordinator of all things transit and that includes funding transformational projects. We have heard the calls across the region for increasing transit options for the most vulnerable members of our community – our seniors and people with disabilities,” said Ben Stupka, program manager for the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan. “This is our organization’s largest allocation of funding to date, and I look forward to how these projects positively impact our region.” 

With a total of $13.2 million available in Section 5310 federal funding, the RTA received an overwhelming response from organizations dedicated to improving mobility and accessibility for Detroit and Ann Arbor’s senior and disabled populations. 

Key considerations during the selection process involved prioritizing applicants who focused on vehicle replacement, continuing operations, and mobility management. By supporting essential local services for seniors and people with disabilities, the RTA is ensuring that their immediate needs are met to ensure a more robust quality of life.

“This additional federal funding for transit is great news for Oakland County residents,” said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. “Combined with the countywide funding approved through the Oakland Transit millage last year, SMART, Older Persons Commission, North Oakland Transportation Authority, Western Oakland Transportation Authority and local providers throughout the county will be able to improve and expand the critical services they provide. A robust public transit system is a key ingredient to strengthening Oakland County’s economy and attracting people and businesses to the region.”

“We thank the RTA for funding this project as well as your support and trust. This funding will allow Area Agency on Aging 1-B to continue to offer mobility options services, travel training, and mobility counseling to older adults, persons with disabilities, their families, and caregivers alike,” said LaVonna Howard, Mobility Project Manager for Area Agency on Aging 1-B and myride2. “Previously, myride2 has provided service to at least 5200 persons and this funding will allow us to exceed this number in the future.”

“The Downriver Community Conference is thrilled to work in partnership with RTA, SMART, and other key agencies to help support the transportation needs of our area residents. We focus on older adults and individuals with disabilities primarily and every day, we see first-hand how available transportation services enhance their quality of life,” said Lisa Wayne, CEO of the Downriver Community Conference in Wayne County. We are grateful for the support and funding provided by the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan. As a selected provider, we can continue to be part of the solution – connecting those most in need with available tools and resources in the community.

“We are thrilled to receive this funding, which brings us one step closer to bridging the transportation gap for rural communities of Washtenaw County. With these resources, we can enhance accessibility for seniors and individuals with disabilities, ensuring their access to vital resources in urban areas,” said Eveliina Taylor, Mobility Manager for the People’s Express in Washtenaw Township. “This award is a testament to our commitment to improving mobility and empowering older adults and people with disabilities in our region. We thank the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan for their support and look forward to the positive impact the continuation of our projects will have on our community.”

“We at DDOT are grateful and excited to receive this grant, but most importantly we are looking forward to using the funds to better serve our paratransit riders,” said Executive Director of Transit Mikel Oglesby. “Services such as same-day scheduling, and easy-to-use software that benefits both customer service agents and riders, are what will help take our paratransit services to the next level. We are continuously looking at how to improve and this grant will go a long way toward bringing our paratransit riders an even higher quality, more reliable service.”  

“The city of Sterling Heights has a long history of providing paratransit services to our residents in partnership with SMART,” said Kyle Langlois, Parks and Recreation director for the City of Sterling Heights. “Grant funds like this allows the city of Sterling Heights’ Parks and Recreation Department the ability to properly support those services by obtaining replacement vehicles that can remain on the road instead of being unavailable due to repair needs of an aging fleet and more importantly, contribute to the overall safety of our drivers and riders.” 

The next application cycle for Section 5310 call for projects funding will be in 2025, emphasizing the importance of leveraging these awarded grants to their fullest potential.

To learn more about the specific projects that will be funded, visit https://rtamichigan.org/5310-mobility/

For more information about the RTA and its programs visit www.rtamichigan.org

image_pdfSave this post to PDFimage_printPrint this post