The Monadnock Region Coordinating Council for Community Transportation has primarily been focused on serving older adults and people with disabilities and their transportation needs.

Over 600 residents without access to transportation are served by Community Volunteer Transportation Co., Home Healthcare, Hospice and Community Services, Keene Senior Center/Cheshire Village at Home, Monadnock Adult Day Care Friday Grocery Shopping, and Volunteers Enabling Transportation.

For some time, the council has been aware that youth transportation challenges exist. In our Coordinated Community Transportation Plan, increasing capacity to provide youth transportation is identified as a priority project. There is quite a bit of anecdotal evidence supporting the lack of transportation options that prevent youth from accessing educational and developmental opportunities.

Recognizing that we needed deeper understanding of youth transportation challenges, the council invited youth transportation stakeholders, e.g. school districts, after-school programs, parks and recreation departments, and school transportation providers to begin exploring the issue more closely by conducting a more systematic analysis. Southwest Region Planning Commission staff provide backbone support for the work of the council and have been instrumental in facilitating this new effort.

Over the next six months, the council will launch a three phase scope of work. During the first two phases — data collection/fact-finding and action plan development — the council will take a leadership role. These two stages play to the council’s strengths: convening stakeholders, gathering information, and facilitating a planning process. The outcomes of these two stages will improve the basis for the third phase — project implementation. The third phase will require leadership by partner groups/organizations, with the council and Southwest Region Planning Commission, perhaps playing supportive roles. Anyone interested in participating in this project or wanting to learn more, please consider attending our next meeting.

The council meets monthly, on the third Tuesday. Our next meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 21, 8:45 to 10:30 a.m., at Stone Arch Village Senior Housing Building, 835 Court St., Keene.

As meetings are open to the public, please contact me at 821-4081 or ellen@cvtc-nh.org for more information.

ELLEN AVERY

MRCC Mobility Manager

CVTC Executive Director

375 Jaffrey Road, Suite 3

Peterborough