People affected by low vision conditions often have concerns with transportation. Our patients are no different. When driving is no longer an option, there are resources in public transportation. Our speaker for our July Support Group, Michael Deolloz, provides travel training services for the Capital Metro bus lines. Here he provides some background information about the program:

My title is Public Transportation Travel Trainer for Capital Metro.  I provide training for people with physical and developmental disabilities, as well as senior citizens, who are interested in learning how to travel on Capital Metro’s Fixed Route buses.  I am a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist and have worked with many people who have multiple disabilities and varying degrees of mobility.

I provide bus training for people who might be in the following situations:

  • Have never traveled independently.
  • Have utilized MetroAccess but are interested in the spontaneity and freedom that using Fixed Route buses can provide.  They may want to continue to use Fixed Route buses for some of their travel needs.
  • Have recently moved to Austin and want the orientation to our bus routes.
  • Have stopped driving (especially seniors) and want to maintain their independence.
  • Have been traveling using Fixed Route buses but may have moved to a new residence or to a new job and need orientation to these new places.

This service is free of charge. The services vary for each person; they may want to learn to go to one or a few places, or they may want to learn the whole system and learn how to plan their own travel using the Trip Planner or the Go Line.   There is no limit to how much training a person receives.  They may learn a few routes initially and then want to add some more at a later date. I teach people the route, how to transfer buses if need be, from their starting and ending locations.

Our goal is that people in the disability and senior communities are aware of the Travel Training service.  I encourage you to contact me or pass on my contact information to individuals and groups who are interested in Capital Metro’s services for people with functional disabilities or senior citizens.  I will be happy to make presentations to groups about the Travel Training program.  I can also answer questions about our Para-Transit service, or Special Transit Service, known in Austin as “MetroAccess.”

Prior to taking part in the travel training program, an evaluation will be conducted to determine eligibility and to develop an appropriate plan of travel to meet the needs of the participant. Travel training can be provided on an individual basis or as part of a group depending on the users needs.

In coordination with travel training, there may be other available resources to help with navigation in the community. The following link describes Capital Metro’s participation in a recent pilot program for GPS mapping:

http://www.kut.org/post/capital-metro-tests-new-ways-help-blind-riders-catch-bus

To learn more about travel training, please contact:

Travel Training phone#: 512-369-6083

Email: TravelTraining@capmetro.org

RFID & Transit Store phone#: 512-389-7454

MetroAccess phone#: 512-389-7501

Web: http://www.capmetro.org/accessibility/