I’ve always thought strong partnerships make day-to-day business more rewarding. DCTA seeks out external partnerships to be able to do things we wouldn’t be able to do on our own‑ to expand our skillsets, resources and offerings.
One of these valuable partnerships for DCTA is the numerous social service agencies (SSA) that serve the people of Denton County. In this article, I want to share three projects that have come from partnering with the great minds of the local social service agencies.
DCTA’s Quarterly Social Service Agency Roundtables
Our social service agency partnership is what I like to call a “think tank.” The outcomes of this collaboration benefit DCTA riders and clients of the social service agencies alike.
We host a quarterly social service agency roundtable meeting for Denton County social service agencies. Many dedicated professionals come to the roundtable to make life better for the people they serve. The SSA meetings are an opportunity for DCTA to provide service updates that they can then pass on to clients, and in return, the SSA partners present us with needs and ideas that will potentially make transit more accessible for all users.
Project One: Veterans Resource Flyer
As a result of the hard work of this dedicated SSA partnership, three projects have come to fruition. Our partners from our veteran services agencies communicated a need for a web-accessible veteran services flyer. The veteran service agencies needed a document that would assist a veteran in accessing veteran resources and services using transit. I like to think of this as a custom-built travel tool. The flyer allows the transit user to determine what routes are needed to get to different veteran-supporting agencies.
Project Two: SPAN vs DCTA Flyer
Another outcome of the collaboration between us and the SSA was the creation of the web-accessible flyer explaining the difference between DCTA and SPAN services. Through discussion, DCTA learned that social service agencies sometimes needed to help clients understand the difference between the two mobility services.
Project Three: Travel Training
And, the greatest need that was presented is about to take off! It was brought to our attention that Travel Training was a great need for SSA clients.
What is Travel Training? It is the professional practice of teaching people to travel independently on public transportation. Travel training is offered one-on-one or as part of designed instruction for a group and is most often provided for older adults or for people who have cognitive or physical disabilities other than blindness or low vision.
DCTA was awarded a grant from the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) in conjunction with the Federal Transit Administration to implement a Train the Trainer Travel Training Program, where we at DCTA train professionals, such as SSA members, who can then train their own clients. This makes travel training so much more accessible to those who need it.
We will begin training social service agency representatives on how to use the DCTA services after the New Year. SSA’s will then be able to train their clients on how to #RideDCTA. The result of the training will be more community members confidently using DCTA transit services! It sounds like a win-win, right? And that is what a partnership is all about.
If you would like more information about the SSA Roundtable meetings or travel training, please contact Mary Worthington, Community Relations Manager. What do you think of these projects? Do you have an idea for another one? Let us know in the comments!