Possible transportation solutions discussed


About a dozen people gathered at the Grand Coulee Dam Senior Center on March 15 to discuss possible solutions to local public transportation issues.

The Mobility Summit Meeting included employees from Grant Transit Authority, People For People, and Special Mobility Services, all transportation providers who have services in the area, as well as people from the senior center, Coulee Medical Center, and Support Services for Veteran Families.

The meeting was a follow-up to a January meeting in which those in attendance discussed problems with local public transportation.

Issues raised during January’s meeting included coordination and communication of existing service, lack of transportation for medical appointments, lack of drivers, lack of transportation between the Grand Coulee Dam area towns, veteran services, and more.

Groups consisting of members of the organizations brainstormed solutions to the problems.

To address the lack of communication of existing services, one idea offered was to include a chart of bus routes in phone books, a postcard mailer, or refrigerator magnet that people could conveniently keep in their homes. Such a chart would detail all the bus schedules existing between the various transportation organizations, as well as maps detailing the pick-up and drop-off locations.

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

Another idea was to make one main website detailing the routes instead of people having to refer to all the websites of all the various organizations to understand transfers and routes. Yet another ideas was to make a big marketing push to inform citizens of their public transportation opportunities.

Solutions brainstormed to help people travel to medical appointments included having a bus route focused just on the GCD area, transportation organizations partnering with medical facilities, seeking grants, and seeking volunteer drivers.

Ideas for solutions to the lack of a GCD area route included seeking funding from local city governments, and the forming of a committee to build support for a local route.

A solution to help veterans would be to simply have more communication between transportation services and organizations that help veterans, so that a veteran with a transportation need could be pointed in the right direction.

Other ideas discussed included van pools that could take workers who work similar hours and locations to and from their jobs, and more options for getting students to and from Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake or other schools.

Renee Bile, chief operations officer for People For People, said they will take the minutes from the meeting to the Regional Transportation Planning Organization, which was primarily behind the meeting, to encourage them to use some of the solutions.

A follow-up meeting is planned for June or July.


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