Who’s Involved?

Who’s Involved?

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) in collaboration with the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is sponsoring the Transit Planning 4 All project to demonstrate the value that inclusive processes can bring to community transportation efforts.

The project brings together the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), USAging, the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI), and DJB Evaluation Consulting Group. More information on these and our staff can be found on this page.

TP4A Staff

Photo of Charles Rutkowski

Charles Rutkowski

Director of Technical Assistance Programs- Community Transportation Association of America

Mr. Rutkowski has more than 47 years of experience in community transportation with extensive skills in transit planning, evaluation, management, operations and financing. From 1991 to 2021 he managed the USDA Rural and Tribal Technical Assistance Programs, which provided planning assistance and training to help establish, expand or enhance rural and tribal transit programs, services and facilities. Through these programs, he had direct involvement in the development and implementation of transit service and facility projects in over 375 communities in 48 states, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. Included among these are innovative transit service and development projects in Sullivan, County, New Hampshire, Walterboro, South Carolina, Roxboro, North Carolina, Brunswick, Maine and with the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe in Nevada, transit facility projects in Bradford, Vermont and Spearfish, South Dakota, and transit marketing projects in Astoria, Oregon, and Cumberland County, Maine.

Currently, he is the Project Director for the Transit Planning for All Program supported by the Administration for Community Living and oversees staff and consultant activity on all projects and activities to promote and support inclusion of seniors and persons with disabilities in the planning, development and operation of mobility services. He also manages CTAA’s community mobility enhancement projects supported through the Association’s partnership with Toyota, and is a member of the National Center for Applied Transit Technology’s Strike Teams which provide technical assistance to help communities identify and address emergent technology needs. In his work, Mr. Rutkowski focuses upon inclusive collaboration with all community stakeholders and creative financial packaging to ensure that projects are implemented.

Previously, Mr. Rutkowski managed a rural transit program in Chenango County, New York. The Town and Country Transit service operated coordinated transportation for ten agencies in the rural area around Norwich, New York. He also spent ten years planning and developing specialized transportation programs in urban, suburban and rural environments with the Syracuse, New York Metropolitan Planning Organization.

He holds a B.A. degree in geography from Syracuse University and lives in West Springfield, Virginia.

Erich Lange

Mobility Planning Associate - Community Transportation Association of America

Erich Lange is the Mobility Planning Associate with the CTAA. His work supports the design and implementation of inclusive planning practices central to the Transportation Planning 4 All (TP4A) Project as well as the Toyota North America Enhanced Mobility Project funded through the Association’s partnership with Toyota North America.

Prior to joining CTAA, Erich directed public health programs in rural, medically underserved communities in Southwest, Colorado. He has experience developing and managing programs such as non-emergent medical transportation, virtual dental home delivery, Aging & Disability Resources Center (ADRC) services, Medicaid Care Coordination, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs (SNAP), Insurance Navigation and Multicultural Advocacy.

Most recently, Erich worked as the Senior Planner and Operations Manager for the San Miguel Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) where he oversaw the region’s fixed route, paratransit and volunteer commuter vanpool services.

Erich earned his BA in International Studies with a minor in Economics from Cazenovia College and is pursuing a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from Georgetown University.

A smiling David Hoff

David Hoff, MSW

Program Director - Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston

David Hoff, MSW, is a Program Director at the Institute for Community Inclusion, where he conducts training, technical assistance, and product development. He works with public systems, community programs, individuals, and families across the United States to promote the full inclusion of people with disabilities into all aspects of society.

Part of his work focuses on enhancing transportation options for people with disabilities, as a critical component of full participation in employment, community activities, and maximum independence.

DeBrittany Mitchell, MLA

Knowledge Translation Manager - Institute for Community Inclusion, UMass Boston

DeBrittany Mitchell, MLA is a Knowledge Translation Manager at the Institute for Community Inclusion. Her work focuses on the translation of research evidence into usable information for policy and practice development across multiple grant-funded national centers.

She is the lead of the ExploreVR.org web portal and develops knowledge translation activities and products including, but not limited to toolkits, webinars, learning collaboratives, and briefs and reports for target audiences.

A Smiling Virginia Dize

Virginia Dize

Co- Director - National Aging and Disability Transportation Center; Program Director - National Association of Area Agencies on Aging

Virginia Dize is Co-Director of the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) and Program Director at USAging. She has more than thirty years’ experience in Aging programs, the last 12 years focused on transportation for older adults and people with disabilities.

She has a Master of Science degree in Gerontology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Mary Washington College.

Photo of Melissa Gray

Melissa Gray

Assistant Director - National Aging and Disability Transportation Center

Melissa Gray is the Assistant Director of Transportation for the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC). She serves as a resource on accessible community transportation addressing the needs of older adults and people with disabilities. She provides program management, communications, and programmatic support to the NADTC leadership team and to internal/external partners that are also working to promote accessible transportation options in their local communities. Melissa is passionate about supporting communities in their transportation efforts to enable older adults to maintain their independence and age in place in their homes and communities for as long as possible.

Melissa has more than 10 years experience in aging programs, all with the focus of enhancing the quality of life of older adults through designing programs and initiatives that promote an independent and inspiring lifestyle for seniors. Melissa holds a MS in Gerontology from Texas Tech University and BS in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

David J. Bernstein, Ph.D.

Owner - DJB Evaluation Consulting

David J. Bernstein is a professional evaluator and public administrator. He has over 35 years of experience in evaluation and performance management and has worked extensively on strategic planning and accountability projects for government and nonprofit organizations. He has over 15 years of experience evaluating programs for people with disabilities and older adults with a focus on vocational rehabilitation, transportation, and mobility.

For Transit Planning for All, DJB Evaluation Consulting is a project partner, providing planning and oversight services, performance monitoring and evaluation, and evaluation technical assistance and training for project partners and grantees. His prior experience includes evaluation consulting for the National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM), Transportation Research Board, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Center for Senior Transportation. He earned a PhD and an MPA in Public Administration from The George Washington University and a BA from Drew University.

Project Teams

Community Transportation Association of America

The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its members believe that mobility is a basic human right. From work and education to life-sustaining health care and human services programs to shopping and visiting with family and friends, mobility directly impacts quality of life.

CTAA members are in the business of moving people – efficiently and cost-effectively. CTAA staff, board and state/tribal delegates are dedicated to ensuring that all Americans, regardless of age, ability, geography or income, have access to safe, affordable and reliable transportation. CTAA’s priority is our members and the communities and passengers they serve.

Administration for Community Living

The Administration for Community Living was created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities. By funding services and supports provided primarily by networks of community-based organizations, and with investments in research, education, and innovation, ACL helps make this principle a reality for millions of Americans.

USAging

USAging is the national association representing and supporting the network of Area Agencies on Aging and advocating for the Title VI Native American Aging Programs. Our members help older adults and people with disabilities throughout the United States live with optimal health, well-being, independence and dignity in their homes and communities.

Institute for Community Inclusion

The Institute for Community Inclusion at UMass Boston supports the rights of children and adults with disabilities to participate in all aspects of the community. As practitioners, researchers, and teachers, ICI forms partnerships with individuals, families, and communities. Together ICI advocate for personal choice, self-determination, and social and economic justice.

DJB Evaluation Consulting Group

The mission of DJB Evaluation Consulting LLC is to empower and assist clients to conduct strategic planning, performance management, and evaluation activities that are USEFUL for their organizations. DJB Evaluation provides evaluation skills and tools to help clients at the beginning and throughout the program development and implementation process, and assists them in continually improving services and demonstrating accountability. For the Inclusive Coordinated Transportation Project, DJB Evaluation Consulting provides project planning and oversight support, performance monitoring and evaluation services, and evaluation technical assistance and training for project partners and grantees.