[tabi] Fwd: City of Tallahassee News Release - StarMetro Wins $1.2 Million Grant to Improve Operations

  • From: Lighthouse of the Big Bend <lighthousebigbend@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: tabi <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 15:09:37 -0500

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: City of Tallahassee
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2011 15:04:15 -0500

StarMetro Wins $1.2 Million Grant to Improve Operations

November 16, 2011
Providing Better Service to Veterans and Transportation Disadvantaged
Customers Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded
StarMetro $1.2 million of the Veterans Transportation and Community
Living Initiative (VTCLI) grant. By upgrading technology, the VTCLI
grant aids public transportation agencies in improving services for
veterans and their families. According to the U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs, nearly 250,000 veterans living in the state have
service connected disabilities that may require specialized

StarMetro's paratransit division, which operates the Dial-A-Ride
service, will execute the grant. Ultimately, the grant will benefit all
customers using StarMetro's service, including senior, disabled and
low-income customers.

"With this grant money, we plan to purchase software and upgrade our
facilities to promote a one stop transportation resource center, which
will allow disabled, low-income, senior and veteran customers within the
Capital region to access information and schedule trips with ease," said
Ivan Maldonado, superintendent of Paratransit Operations.

To promote this one stop transportation resource center, StarMetro staff
hopes to expand the existing paratransit call center facility and
upgrade the scheduling and dispatching software, as well as install
additional automatic vehicle locators and mobile data terminals on
vehicles. These technology upgrades will allow real-time communication
between the resource center and the vehicle, thereby making the system
more efficient.

In addition, StarMetro staff plan to implement technologies that will
allow customers to schedule and change trips online, as well as receive
telephone and email alerts about scheduled trips.

"We are also planning to install an automatic vehicle annunciation
system," said Maldonado. "This system will announce bus stops, transfer
points and major intersections to customers who may have visual

StarMetro staff anticipates that the implementation of these new
technologies may take up to 18 months.

To apply for this grant, StarMetro partnered with several local agencies
including the Leon County Veterans Services department, the Tallahassee
Veteran Affairs (VA) Outpatient Clinic, Veteran's Village, VETS Inc.,
the Tallahassee Senior Center, Commuter Services of North Florida and
Workforce Plus.

For more information about StarMetro services, please call StarMetro's
main office at 891-5200 or visit Talgov.com/starmetro. Other ways to
view information include liking StarMetro's official Facebook page at
Facebook.com/starmetrotransit or following the organization on Twitter
at Twitter.com/ridestarmetro.

Ivan Maldonado, StarMetro Superintendent of Paratransit Operations,
891-5196; or Heather Teter, StarMetro Marketing Specialist, 891-5206

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