Governor's Council on Access and Mobility Begins Work to Enhance Transportation for People with Disabilities, Those Who Are Economically Disadvantaged, and ElderlyTRENTON New Jersey Department of Human Services' (DHS) Commissioner Jennifer Velez yesterday hosted the first meeting of the Governor's New Jersey Council on Access and Mobility . This meeting addressed the goal of this council, which is to make recommendations that will lead to the most efficient and effective use of state resources to ensure that the elderly, disabled and economically disadvantaged have access to community-based transportation services.
“This council will play a valuable role in supporting New Jersey 's efforts to assist our transportation disadvantaged population in gaining access to employment, health care and educational opportunities,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez . “The recognition and support of the Governor of the vital role that transportation plays in accessing essential services, is invaluable to people who rely upon community-based transportation.”
This council was established in DHS by Governor Jon S. Corzine, on October 26, 2007, by Executive Order No. 87. Four public members are appointed by Governor Corzine to serve on the council: a physically challenged individual, a senior, an individual with a developmental disability or mental illness and a low income individual. The council includes the Commissioners of Human Services, Children and Families, Community Affairs, Education, Health and Senior Services, Transportation, Labor and Workforce Development, the State Treasurer, the Adjutant General, and the executive director of New Jersey Transit Corporation or their designees.
“This first meeting identified important opportunities for us to improve the coordination of services for people who rely on transit,” said New Jersey Transit Corporation Executive Director Richard Sarles. “Integrating our approach to access and mobility will result in better efficiency and service delivery.”
This council will inventory state and federal transportation funding sources, identify additional resources, study ways to improve the coordination of resources to maximize the current state of human service transportation programs and make recommendations for improvement. The council will seek input from the participating agencies, transportation providers and the consumers of human services transportation services.
Governor's Council on Access and Mobility Release
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Both state and federal governments allocate funds for human service transportation programs. Through the United We Ride Initiative, federal law now requires that human service transportation projects selected for federal funding be derived from a locally developed, coordinated public transit human services transportation plan. This council will participate in United We Ride and coordinate activities with the federal Council on Access and Mobility.
This council will meet quarterly and is establishing subcommittees to meet monthly. A report of its activities, findings, and recommendations will be submitted on December 31 st of each year to the Governor and Legislature. The Executive Order creating the Council expires on January 1, 2010.