Concord, CA, April 25, 2023 – County Connection is pleased to announce our newly founded Travel Training Program for seniors and disabled community members living in Central Contra Costa County. A program of Central Contra Costa Transit Authority and in partnership with Independent Living Resources of Solano & Contra Costa Counties (ILR), this free service is intended to teach practical travel skills to those who may be unsure how to navigate public transit on their own.
Some of the tools participants will learn include understanding how to plan a trip on public transit, safe and secure travel tips, and using technology to locate a bus and pay for fares. There are individual and group trainings available, as well as field trips for anyone wanting to experience riding a County Connection fixed-route bus within a safe, supportive, and accessible learning environment. Skills learned through the trainings are applicable to all public transit.
“We have been working to develop this program for many years,” expressed Rashida Kamara, Director of ADA & Special Services with County Connection. “Public transit is for everyone and being able to expand our existing ADA services with this program gives people independence and quality of living–just by simply demystifying how to ride a bus.”
Helping to lead the travel trainings is Sarah Birdwell, who is a person with a disability and says, “I’m an advocate for disabled rights and am passionate for giving back to my community.” Birdwell has sat on the board of two different committees in the disability community and uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to encourage others. “Something that may seem as simple as riding a bus is intimidating for many seniors and disabled people…especially with emerging technologies,” said Birdwell. “I’m here to help.”
For those who know someone or are interested in this Travel Training Program themself, participants must reside in Clayton, Concord, Martinez, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, or Unincorporated Central Contra Costa County. If participants live outside of the service area, many other regional transit agencies also offer similar programs, including WestCAT, FAST, and MTC.