Lessons Learned in Inclusive Transit Planning with Persons with Disabilities, Older Adults, and Priority Populations

Date Published: April 11, 2024

The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and the Transit Planning 4 All (TP4A) partners undertook this research effort to better understand the landscape of inclusive transit planning for people with disabilities and older adults by agencies and organizations beyond their oversight. After funding and assessing over 40 projects through their TP4A project, CTAA wished to understand challenges to and best practices for inclusive planning that other agencies have identified and to develop a White Paper to support and enhance those efforts.

TP4A defines inclusive planning as “a process in which stakeholders, including participants (people with disabilities and older adults), partner organizations, and coordinated transportation partners are actively and meaningfully involved in transportation planning. They and other practitioners have found that an inclusive process, where participants can affect the outcome, results in better programs, greater communication, increased trust, and better outcomes for all.

This White Paper synthesizes findings from a research effort that included a thorough literature search and review and interviews with selected practitioners and experts. We identified and documented in detail six principles for inclusive planning with people with disabilities, older adults, and other priority populations. These include:

1. Be intentional and transparent about your goals for inclusion.

2. Get to know the community.

3. Establish early and ongoing collaboration with key stakeholders that continues throughout every stage of the process.

4. Use targeted community-specific strategies.

5. Provide payment and incentives for participation.

6. Evaluate outcomes.

For each principle, this paper details purposes, barriers addressed, specific strategies and techniques to implement the principle, and provides specific examples or case studies from transit agencies and planning organizations to aid others in operationalizing inclusive planning.

This White Paper aims to guide agencies and organizations intending to launch or deepen their inclusive practices. Inclusive planning is difficult and time-consuming work, but its value is measurable. Download the full white paper below.

Lessons Learned in Inclusive Transit Planning White Paper