Travel Training

Southland Transit provides a comprehensive Travel Training Program to assist Seniors and Persons with Disabilities to use the Fixed Route Public Bus System thus increasing their independence within the community.

What is Travel Training?

Travel Training is short-term, comprehensive, intensive, one-to-one, specially designed instruction to teach individuals with disabilities how to travel safely and independently on public transportation, where appropriate. The one-to-one instruction is provided by specially trained personnel on routes the students will use to travel on public transit from home to a specific destination, usually school or the worksite, and back to home again.

Who is eligible for travel training?

Persons are referred for travel training when they are considered to have the potential to learn to use public transportation independently and safely. Typically, individuals with disabilities may be considered for referral. If the level of disability or the certification report for paratransit services indicates the individual has the basic minimum skills, a Travel Training instructor conducts a full assessment of the student. Based on the assessment results, parental consent for travel training and independent travel is requested if required.

When should an individual be referred for travel training?

Individuals should be referred to travel training when they go through Access's certification process. It is in the individuals' best interest that they have sufficient time to practice and normalize their independent travel skills using public transit to travel to one destination before generalizing these skills to other destinations or modes of transit. This provides greater support for a successful outcome – safe and independent travel – and enhances the individuals' transition opportunities.

What are the components of travel training?

The travel training process begins when the referral is received and the assessment of the individual is scheduled. Once the assessment is completed, the Travel Training instructor pre-selects a route of travel from the student's home to the destination and back. The route is to be discussed with the individual to elicit their input as preferred path of travel. Conferences are an integral part of the travel training process since the training begins and ends at the home, not the day program. Family/caregiver concerns are addressed in the instructional plan that is designed by the Travel Training instructor.

The one-to-one instruction is provided by travel instructors who are qualified by specialized training working under the supervision and guidance of the Travel Training Project Manager. The instructional program includes teaching the individual:

  • Safe street crossing skills;
  • use of public transit to and from specific points;
  • problem-solving;
  • social skills for travel;
  • communication skills for travel;
  • decision-making skills related to travel;
  • and transference of skills to an alternate route.

The training is completed with a post-assessment involving the observation of individuals on solo trips through a "following/shadowing" strategy to evaluate behavior and proficiency of travel skills when individuals think they are traveling alone. Based on these observation reports, a recommendation regarding the individual's demonstrated ability to travel safely and independently is provided to Access Services and the care provider.

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