Improving Mobility for People with Limited Options

From the new I-405 Express Toll Lanes, to University Link Light Rail, to major construction projects on State Route 99 and State Route 520, you've probably noticed some changes to King County's transportation system lately. With so many changes, transportation can be a difficult challenge for anyone to navigate.

Fortunately, the King County Mobility Coalition is dedicated to bringing together individuals and organizations to share information and work together to improve mobility for people with limited transportation options. Two recent projects taken on by the Coalition and their staff team housed at Hopelink are called "VetsGO" and "Operation: Easy Access."

Connecting veterans to transportation options

VetsGO, a website which helps connect veterans, service members, and others to transportation options, was highlighted in AgeWise King County in January. Since then, VetsGO was expanded to include transportation services in Pierce and Snohomish counties. Since the expanded "VetsGO 2.0" has launched, people from all around the Puget Sound region have accessed the website to help them find resources to overcome mobility challenges and connect them to their community.

In partnership with the King County Mobility Coalition and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, VetsGO has been shared at outreach events, a quarterly email newsletter, and on tablet computers used by Veteran service providers all over King County. The quarterly VetsGO newsletter includes information such as upcoming events, new veteran services, and pertinent news about transportation in the area. You can sign up for the email newsletter at www.Vets-GO.com.

When transportation is a barrier to getting health care

Operation: Easy Access is a project that uses "design-thinking” strategies to identify innovative mobility solutions to improve access to post-hospitalization medical appointments, rehabilitative therapy, and other services for older adults in King County.

For an overview of local mobility options, see Hopelink's Get Moving: King County Transportation Resource Guide.

The Operation: Easy Access project team is made up of King County Mobility Coalition members, transportation users, and healthcare professionals. They have come together to develop a better understanding of the various challenges related to care coordination for follow-up medical appointments, especially the transportation needed to get to and from the appointments safely and in a timely manner. One possible solution the team is exploring involves the use of patient navigators. Right now, the proposed solution is undergoing careful testing to make sure that it has customer desirability, operational feasibility, financial viability, and a return on investment, demonstrating the ability to improve health outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions.

With VetsGO, Operation: Easy Access, and many other collaborative projects, the King County Mobility Coalition and the Mobility Management team at Hopelink are helping members of your community navigate a transportation system that seems to be ever-changing! If you would like to learn more, e-mail mobility@hope-link.org.


Jon Morrison Winters, Mary Pat O'Leary, Doug Gellert, and Cassie Marshall contributed to this article. Jon, Doug, and Cassie are on the Mobility Management team at Hopelink. In addition to serving on the Operation: Easy Access project team, Mary Pat is a planner with Aging and Disability Services—the Area Agency on Aging for King County.