“CUTA’s Introduction to Specialized Transit course is a very helpful introduction to an often-overlooked aspect of transit operations. I was impressed that the first modules of the course focused specifically on the disability community, including different types of disabilities that can impact an individual’s barriers to transit and the legal context of accessibility and human rights legislation. As transit professionals, it can be easy to immediately focus on the operational aspects of specialized transit, but the ordering of the course material emphasized the importance of thinking about passengers and their needs first.
Considering the wide variety of organizational and operational structures for specialized transit across the county, the course was effective in explaining the core components of what is needed to provide the service, and how different aspects can be carried out by internal staff and contracted agencies.
The use of videos to supplement the course content was valuable in hearing directly from a variety of individuals who are involved in specialized transit, both passengers and staff. Hearing from passengers directly was particularly impactful, as their perspectives are not always heard, yet their needs are what drive the existence of the service in the first place. It highlighted for me the inherently human element of specialized transit that staff and operators should not lose sight of, when planning and providing the service.”
- Monika Blat, Integrated Mobility Planner, Dillon Consulting Limited