Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission connects people with transportation
By Tim Walker
For many of us in the Dayton area transportation is not an issue. Beyond the occasional visit to the gas station or a mechanic’s garage our ability to drive and travel around the area—to visit family and friends, shop, pay bills,and find access to health care or other service providers—is unimpeded.
For the elderly, the disabled or those with low incomes, however, transportation can be a frightening, confusing and often difficult subject to tackle. Which is exactly why the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission decided to lend us all a helping hand when it developed its Human Services Transportation programs 11 years ago.
In 2008, the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, in collaboration with the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority, Greene County Transit Board and Miami County Transit, developed its very first Coordinated Public Transit–Human Services Transportation Plan.
The planning commission led that effort to develop an areawide regional action plan with the goal of improving transportation for people with disabilities, the elderly and people with low incomes. The plan facilitates more efficient transportation for these populations and also serves to better coordinate the efforts of public and private transportation providers in the counties of Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Warren.
“This is probably the most important service that we provide,” says Brian O. Martin, the executive director of the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. “We link up and coordinate all of the various human services agencies across the region together so that they’re partnering on transportation issues with the RTA, Greene CATS and other transit companies. As we are graying and as we are aging as a region, well, it just becomes pretty important to make sure that everybody has a ride.
“And a key component of all of this are the various social and human service agencies across the region.”
That’s true, says Kim Lahman, director of sustainable planning for the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. “The various agencies are very passionate and dedicated about their work. They’re spread throughout three counties plus northern Warren county. Most of them are private and nonprofit and they’re providing transportation for medical, grocery errands. Keeping people engaged in their communities.”
The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission has served the planning needs of the Miami Valley in Southwest Ohio for more than 50 years now, ever since 1964. The planning commission is a forum and a local resource where the board of directors identifies priorities, develops public policy and collaborative strategies to improve quality of life for the population throughout the entire Miami Valley Region.
The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission also serves as the metropolitan planning organization for Montgomery, Miami and Greene counties, plus a portion of northern Warren County. The planning commission provides regional and environmental planning support for its members in seven different Ohio counties.
If you are someone you know is in need of transportation services, visit mvrpc.org for more information.