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Transportation team travels to Washington

ELIZABETHTOWN While Essex County is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world, it is also one of the most difficult areas to serve those residents who do not have safe, reliable transportation. This is especially true for those seeking employment, low income families, senior citizens and people with disabilities. It is for this reason Nancy Dougal, Essex County Transportation Coordinator, organized the Essex County Transportation Team and applied for technical assistance training through the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA). The team was one of 20 selected to attend the training which was held in August in Washington, DC. The team leader was Nancy Dougal and was also comprised of Patty Bashaw-Director of the Essex County Office for the Aging, Ellen Gordon-Director of Essex County One Work Source, Lauren LeFebvre-Executive Director of the Tri Lakes Center for Independent Living and, Jennifer Thorne-New York State Department of Transportation. While the CTAA Institute addressed transportation issues on many levels, the Essex County Team focused on a few basic, but very important items, increasing awareness of public transportation, increasing ridership on existing routes and decreasing the negative stigma that surrounds public transportation and its users. Other issues addressed by the group were encouraging other transportation providers in the Human Service and private sectors to participate in a coordinated transportation system, tapping into alternative funding streams and the establishment of a One-Call center in where all transportation requests would be scheduled. The Essex County Transportation Team would like to encourage anyone who has an unmet transportation need or who is a transportation provider that would like to be involved in the coordination planning process to contact Nancy Dougal at Essex County Public Transportation at 518-873-3689 or ndougal@co.essex.ny.us.

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