Human Services Transportation Plan
Development of a Human Services Transportation Plan (HSTP) was first required by the 2005 federal transportation act, SAFETEA-LU, with the intent of identifying transportation needs and solutions and thereby improving transportation services for people with disabilities, seniors, individuals with lower incomes and those in rural locations who cannot provide transportation for themselves. The region’s first HSTP for Clark, Skamania and Klickitat Counties was adopted in January 2007 and a subsequent update, the current HSTP, was adopted in December 2010. In 2014, another HSTP update is underway.
Development of a HSTP can help to ensure communities coordinate transportation resources provided through multiple federal and state programs. A coordinated plan can help to enhance transportation access, minimize duplication of services, and encourage the most cost-effective transportation possible.
Development of the HSTP brings together service providers, agencies that distribute funds, service users, and the community at-large to improve special needs transportation throughout the region. The current HSTP for Clark, Skamania and Klickitat Counties was adopted by the RTC Board of Directors on December 7, 2010.
HSTP and Funding Programs
Development of a HSTP is a condition for receiving funding through a statewide competitive Consolidated Public Transportation Grant program. WSDOT’s Consolidated Grant application process combines applications for state and federal public transportation grants. Applicants for WSDOT’s public transportation grant program are required to participate in the HSTP planning process with their local MPO. Through the consolidated program, WSDOT distributes a variety of state and federal grants to support public transportation programs. These grant programs include:
- Federal Transit Administration:
- Section 5310 Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities,
- Section 5311 Rural,
- State Rural Mobility Competitive
- State Paratransit / Special Needs Competitive for non-profit agencies.
From the needs identified in the HSTP process, human services transportation providers develop projects to submit to WSDOT for funding consideration through the state’s consolidated grant program.
RTC, as the MPO for the Clark County region and RTPO for the three-county region of Clark, Skamania and Klickitat, works with local stakeholders and human service transportation providers to develop the HSTP for the region and to identify project priorities. Development of the HSTP is coordinated through stakeholder groups in each county, and through the Klickitat County Transportation Policy Committee, Skamania County Transportation Policy Committee and the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee in Clark County.
2014 HSTP Update Underway
Under current federal law, the HSTP must undergo periodic review. In 2014, the Human Services Transportation Plan for Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties is in the process of being updated.