Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Health Services Agency


July 15, 2003


August 5, 2003


Honorable Board of Supervisors


Margaret Taylor, Director of Health Services

Charlene Silva, Director, Aging & Adult Services Division


Strategic Plan for Accessible Transportation Services (SPATS)


Approve the Strategic Plan for Accessible Transportation Services (SPATS)



In February 2001, San Mateo County Aging and Adult Services received a grant in the amount of $93,760 from the California Department of Aging via the Governor's Golden Challenge Long Term Care Innovation Grants program. This grant was awarded for the County to develop a Strategic Plan for Accessible Transportation Services (SPATS).


The goal of the SPATS project was to create an enhanced transportation plan that meets the access needs of all County residents, focusing on currently unserved and underserved populations in the senior and disabled communities. The goal of the plan itself is to reduce the number of instances in which older adults and adults with disabilities are placed in institutional care because the County lacks the accessible transportation alternatives to link them with services to help them maintain their independence. The SPATS report outlines a continuum of transportation needs of transit dependent seniors and individuals with disabilities, identifies transportation options currently provided by public and private carriers, identifies gaps between available options and needs, and develops strategies for meeting those needs.



The SPATS project represents a unique partnership between two public agencies, the San Mateo County Health Services' Aging and Adult Services Division (AAS) and the Transit District (SamTrans). While SamTrans is the County's key public transportation provider, the Plan is not intended to be solely a SamTrans Plan, but rather goes beyond the commonly used transportation resources to include other potential partners such as local municipalities, social service agencies and health care providers.


A Steering Committee was developed to provide oversight and input. Members of the Steering Committee represented various advisory groups including the Commission on Disabilities, Commission on Aging, New Beginning Coalition, Health Plan of San Mateo and the Paratransit Coordinating Council. A Work Group consisting primarily of Aging and Adult Services and SamTrans staff was also formed to carry out specific tasks and objectives. Over the course of almost a full year, the Working Group implemented a variety of approaches to outreach to and receive feedback from diverse populations of current and potential transit users. These included focus groups, surveys for individual input, an open house, forums held at committee meetings, key stakeholder interviews, videos distributed to social service agencies and shown on television, and a transportation hotline.


Many of the SPATS recommendations respond directly to issues raised in the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury 2002-2003 Report on Redi-Wheels Paratransit Service. Successful implementation of objectives arising from SPATS will address many of the Grand Jury's concerns. The SPATS project and resulting recommendations are being incorporated into the SamTrans ten- and twenty-year Strategic Plans as well as the San Mateo County Strategic Plan for Services for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities 2000 - 2005. The SPATS Steering Committee will continue to oversee plan implementation. Implementation of specific SPATS projects will come to your Board as a part of the annual approval process for the Strategic Plan for Services for Older Adults and Adults with Disabilities.


Vision Alignment

This Plan allows the opportunity to realize the potential of our diverse population through Goal 1: Our diverse population works well together to build strong communities, effective government, and a prosperous economy; and also redesigns our urban environment to increase vitality, expand variety and reduce congestion through Goal 10: Public transportation choices that are convenient, affordable, accessible and safe. SPATS contributes to these commitments and goals by providing the opportunity for multiple groups and their representatives to work together to improve accessible transportation for residents of San Mateo County.


Fiscal Impact

There is no fiscal impact as a result of approving this strategic plan. Projects that do not require funding will be addressed first, and projects that require funding will be implemented as funds become available.