RTA Celebrates National Mobility Awareness Month

Kristen 3

My name is Kristen and I’m an outreach coordinator in the RTA’s Mobility Management Program, that helps people with disabilities and older adults get around the region more efficiently on CTA, Metra and Pace.

The RTA runs several programs that help older adults and people with disabilities learn how to use our regional transit system. One program works one-on-one with customers to show them how to take accessible public transit, and one offers group training on accessible transit options. I lead the group training sessions.  When I do group outreach to different communities, my presentation includes information about the regional services available to them. I try to make my presentation interactive and fun. I use videos and pictures to show people how they can use the accessibility features on buses and trains, such as the ramp or the lift to get on and off the vehicle. I also make sure I go into detail about how older adults and people with disabilities can sign up for different fare programs. If they qualify, I can even sign them up to get a reduced fare card.

Many times, people want to know how they can take transit to get to their favorite destinations. I make sure to show people all the options RTA has for trip planning, from making a phone call to the Travel Information Center to visiting our online trip planner to plan a specific trip. Just the other day, I was out in the western suburbs and helped someone using a wheelchair learn how to get to Navy Pier using a Metra train and CTA buses. We made sure all of his routes were accessible for him. He couldn’t believe how easy it was!

My favorite part about being an outreach coordinator is being able to connect people to programs and services that make moving around our region easier. I love talking to people one-on-one and helping them find the programs and services that will be most helpful to them. There is so much that the RTA and CTA, Metra and Pace have to offer to older adults and people with disabilities. The RTA makes it easy for older adults and people with disabilities to learn how to get around, and the Mobility Management Outreach Program makes it easier to figure out how!

National Mobility Awareness Month is an annual celebration in May that encourages people with disabilities to embody the spirit of Life Moving Forward by raising awareness of the mobility solutions available in your community.

Kristen Salkas
Mobility Management Outreach Coordinator
Regional Transportation Authority

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