By Ed Madden, Coordinator for Public Outreach for Pace Suburban Bus
In my last blog, I talked about JJ’s List and Pace Bus’ “Hop on the Bus to Independence” workshop and how it helps build your confidence in riding public transit. To expand on this, I would also encourage readers to consider similar training available from Pace’s parent organization, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)’s “Travel Training” program.
WHAT IS TRAVEL TRAINING?
The RTA Travel Training program is for older adults and people with disabilities who want to learn how to travel safely and independently utilizing fixed route public transportation. Travel training is a FREE self-paced program (except to the cost of transit) where individuals can learn to ride all of the Chicagoland region’s fixed-route system of buses and commuter trains.
This program will give you the independence and confidence to travel anywhere public transportation can take you. As an independent traveler, you will rely less on family and friends for getting around and will have the freedom to plan trips according to your own schedule.
All Pace buses, CTA buses and trains, and Metra trains are fully accessible to all riders with ramps or lifts, audio announcements, and LED screens.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FIXED ROUTE TRANSPORTATION?
- No need to make advance reservations
- Greater independence and same-day travel
- Public transportation gets you where you need to go
- Enhanced mobility options
- Easy and accessible travel
WHAT TYPES OF TRAVEL TRAINING ARE AVAILABLE?
RTA Travel Training Program offers three types of training tailored to best meet your needs:
- Trip Training
- Individual Transit Orientation
- Group Transit Orientation
The Travel Training staff will help you decide which type of training will work best!
WHAT TYPE OF SKILLS ARE LEARNED?
The travel skills you will learn include:
- Identifying transportation options
- Planning an accessible trip
- Obtaining and using the Ventra fare card
- Identifying the appropriate bus/train/route to ride
- Boarding, riding, and exiting buses and trains
- General safety tips
- Handling unexpected situations or difficulties
WHERE CAN I LEARN TO TRAVEL?
Anywhere in the 6-county Chicagoland area served by Pace, CTA, and Metra! You can learn how to get to work, school, a senior center, church, a friend’s house, your doctor’s office or the mall. Maybe you would even like to learn how to get to the Bean downtown, Brookfield Zoo, Navy Pier, or Six Flag’s Great America!
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
To sign up for Travel Training, contact the RTA Travel Training Program at (312) 913-3120 or by email at “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Edward Madden is the Coordinator of Public Outreach for Pace Suburban Bus and one of the Hop on the Bus to Independence presenters. Among his many communication responsibilities, Ed spends a good portion of his time promoting all of the many transportation services that Pace offers in the 220 communities of the 6-county Chicagoland region.