AFS Blog

Sharing Age- Friendly Transportation Innovations Across the State

Posted on August 24, 2017 | by Kathy Black
Sharing Age- Friendly Transportation Innovations Across the State

Age-Friendly Sarasota was pleased to participate in the Focus on Community: TRANSPLEX (Transportation Planning Exchange) Conference in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Hundreds of transportation professionals and people in mobility-related industries gathered for the multi-day event that included over 40 sessions on innovative transportation ideas from across the state. According to Mike Dew, Secretary of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and sponsor of TRANSPLEX, the goal of the FDOT “is to continue delivering a world class transportation system that is continuously rated as the best in the nation.” The TRANSPLEX Focus on Community is designed to foster a premier forum to learn and exchange ideas about transportation planning and public engagement.

The tagline for the event was Plan, Connect, Innovate – three action verbs that align with Age-Friendly Sarasota and The Patterson Foundation. We shared our model of engagement (below) which builds upon our community’s assets and residents’ preferences and engages multiple sectors including people, nonprofits, businesses, government, and the media. This approach recognizes that we are all stakeholders in our aging communities.



AFS ModelpngAge-Friendly Sarasota Model

In addition to sharing this model, Age-Friendly Sarasota shared how we collaborate with Sarasota County Transportation and Area Transit, the Metropolitan Planning Organization of Sarasota-Manatee, and the FDOT’s Coalition for Safe Mobility. We were also pleased to share efforts of the Independent Transportation Network of the Sun Coast, which provides reliable and desirable door to door service in Sarasota and Manatee counties for the disabled and people age 60 and older.

Co-presenters and their transportation practices included Chris Cochran from the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Association who spoke about innovative partnerships with Uber. Robyn Chiarelli from the Downtown Ft. Lauderdale Transportation Management Association, talked about the on-demand free water trolley which provides real time access across the Riverwalk district. Debbie Leistner of the City of Gainesville reported on the positive findings from their Uber and seniors, and Bike Ride Share programs. Lastly, Brad Thoburn of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority discussed the Ultimate Urban Circulator which provides reliable free transportation across the downtown Jacksonville community.

Laura Cantwell of AARP FL moderated the session and provided an overview of aging demographics throughout the state. Laura also introduced and shared the age-friendly community framework which includes a prominent role for transportation as a core element of the built environment. 72 attendees participated in two discussions. The interactive dialogue focused on ways in which partnerships formed and how to address obstacles during implementation. Participants also inquired about the operational aspects of the programs presented. There was much interest among attendees, and we are already looking forward to planning the next transportation sharing event.


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