Transportation

The NH Alliance for Healthy Aging (NHAHA) has 5 strategic priority areas, one of which is to ensure transportation options are available to older adults and individuals with disabilities. The NHAHA Transportation Committee’s goal is to create connections between transportation services, social services, and those they serve.

Since 2016, NHAHA’s Transportation Committee has been collaborating on solutions to identify transportation needs in New Hampshire, improve awareness of community transportation options, and create relationships between social service providers and transportation providers.  The following strategies outline the Committee’s key areas to ensure New Hampshire’s service agencies and the older adults they serve have the connections to health care, community programs, shopping, and other life needs through a collaborative and coordinated community transportation network.

Strategy 1: Identify and Understand Transportation Needs.

There are many people in New Hampshire who are unable to drive, lack awareness about community transportation options, or simply lack access to reliable transportation.  Whether a change in health or finances, this lack of transportation represents a loss of independence and can significantly impact one’s physical and emotional health and wellbeing.  This can be a particularly acute problem for many older people across the state, especially those who live in rural areas and those who are challenged with a disability.

The NHAHA Transportation Committee is partnering with service agencies to identify areas of unmet needs, availability and limitations of services, and develop possible solutions.

In response to a lack of understanding of the overall need for transportation and gaps in transportation for older people and people with disabilities, the Transportation Committee has developed a paper outlining the benefits of a Statewide Needs Assessment for transportation in New Hampshire for older adults and individuals with disabilities. This work is vital for policy makers, service providers, and planners on multiple levels to better understand the transportation needs of the growing number of older adults, veterans, and the disabled population in New Hampshire. This assessment will guide programs and policies needed to keep seniors who are still driving safe, outline the type of assistance needed for older adults transitioning from driver to rider, and recommend outreach and education for older adults who no longer drive but have yet to discover transit options.

Strategy 2: Create Connections Between Transportation and Service Provider Programs.

In an effort to create connections between the transit and service providers, the NHAHA Transportation Committee has expanded partnerships with the following organizations:

  • NH Department of Health and Human Services and ServiceLink Resource Centers,
  • NH State Commission on Aging,
  • Regional Planning Commissions,
  • Volunteer Driver Program Providers,
  • State Coordinating Council for Community Transportations and
  • State Mobility Management System.

Through these connections, NHAHA’s Transportation Committee has inspired new connections and increased the dialogue regarding transportation needs across multiple agencies.

Strategy 3: Examine and promote cooperative delivery systems.

The NHAHA Transportation Subcommittee with its many connections has focused on understanding and supporting volunteer driver programs (VDP) across the state through:

  1. Learning about VDP needs through surveys and quarterly meetings.
  2. Developing a VDP driver initiative that has recognized the need to educate the general public about VDPs and the need for volunteer drivers.

To learn more about volunteer driver initiative, please visit the NH Volunteer Driver Initiative webpage review the FAQ and view our Interactive Map that highlights VDPs across the state.  We also invite you to view the NH Alliance for Healthy Aging Transportation Group Strategy brief. 

AHA Transportation One Pager 5.17.2024

 

Looking Ahead 

As NH is expected to experience a doubling of older people over the next 20 years, new transportation solutions are critical for NH and its residents.

To learn more about how you can join AHA’s efforts to increase transportation options for all of us as we age contact, Jennifer Rabalais at jennifer.rabalais@unh.edu.