Travel Training Program Evaluation (US DOT)
Public transportation and public educational programs are mandated to provide transportation services for mentally and physically disabled individuals. While programs to transport members of disabled populations are important to ensure access and participation in important educational and work related activities, they are often highly expensive to operate. Moreover, they do not necessarily increase the independence of disabled clients. For these reasons, transit agencies, employers and educational institutions have begun to develop training programs to teach qualified clients how to use the fixed public transit system. Travel training programs (TTP), particularly those offered by public school systems, are in their infancy. Chicago Public School’s (CPS) TTP is one of the oldest in existence. While there is ad hoc evidence that these programs are beneficial in many respects, to date there has been little effort to formally assess the costs and benefits of these programs. This project is conducting a systematic assessment of the benefits and costs of the CPS TTP. The project will be conducted in two tracks: evaluation of a prior TTP for specialty schools that operated on a limited basis and the design of an evaluation plan for the recently-established system-wide travel training program. The ultimate result of the project will be an assessment report on the costs and benefits of the prior TTP and an evaluation plan, complete with methods and metrics, for the newly established system wide TTP.