The Foothills Area Mobility System (FAMS) is a collaborative partnership between the Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, Aging Together, which represents dozens of human service organizations in the region, Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board (RRCSB), Virginia Regional Transit (VRT) and other non-profit and human service agencies that have worked together and shared information to document existing services and to identify unmet needs.
Transportation has long been identified as one of the greatest unmet needs in this region for older adults and individuals with disabilities. This issue was the subject of a white paper produced jointly by RRRC and Aging Together in 2006. Of course, this is not just a local problem. Nationally, between 25 percent and 30 percent of individuals do not have access to an automobile. In addition to the elderly and disabled, this number includes low-income families or individuals who cannot afford their own vehicles or aren’t able to drive for other reasons. Lack of transportation is often cited by human services organizations and employment programs as a barrier to self sufficiency for low-income families.
Finding solutions for these transportation problems requires a comprehensive, cooperative effort by all public and private organizations that provide public transportation or that have a mandate to serve low-income, elderly and disabled populations. The Federal Government has recognized the need for this type of coordinated action and built such a requirement into transit funding legislation. In Virginia, the Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is working with Planning District Commissions to develop regional Consolidated Human Services Mobility (CHSM) plans. FAMS oversees this process in the Rappahannock-Rapidan region.
The FAMS steering committee meets once every other month. If you would like more information about FAMS, or would be interested in participating, please contact Jenny Biche at (540) 829-7450 or firstname.lastname@example.org.