Transit

TransitThe Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) provides assistance for much of the public transportation services in the West Piedmont Planning District.  The region is served by three public transit systems including Piedmont Area Regional Transit (PART), which serves Martinsville and part of Henry County; Danville Transit, which serves the City of Danville; and the Ferrum Express, which provides transit service several days a week between the Town of Ferrum, the Town of Rocky Mount, and the City of Roanoke.  Both PART and the Ferrum Express systems are managed and operated by RADAR Transit located in Roanoke, VA.  The West Piedmont Planning District Commission provides support to these agencies, which includes assistance in obtaining grant funding for new vehicles and service expansion as well as other technical assistance as needed or requested.

Other specialized transportation entities within the region include senior and disabled transportation services, RIDE Solutions, and "Miles 4 Vets" Transportation Service. Numerous organizations throughout the region offer transportation services to medical, shopping, and recreational destinations for the elderly and disabled.  RIDE Solutions is a relatively new service to the West Piedmont Planning District and matches workers with others going in similar directions for commuter/carpooling services.  Miles 4 Vets, administered by the Southern Area Agency on Aging (SAAA), provides transportation several times weekly for veterans traveling to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem and the Danville Community Outpatient Center in Danville. Other transportation services administered by the SAAA provides mobility access to returning citizens re-entering society for job interviews, work, and meetings with probation officers for the intent of reducing the recidivism rate. 

Through the DRPT, Section 5310 grant funding is used as a tool to support transportation programs for the elderly and disabled beyond public transit and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Prior to such funds being dispersed, a Coordinated Human Services Mobility (CHSM) plan must be developed in a region to identify elderly, disabled, and low-income populations; recommend strategies for addressing the needs of these populations; and the establishment of transportation service priorities.  The most recent West Piedmont CHSM Plan was published in September 2013.