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Human Services

  1. Section 5310 Program
  2. Social Services Block Grant Planning
  3. 2015 PAG Public Transit - Human Services Coordinated Transportation Planning
  4. Special Needs Transportation Services
  5. Pima Find-a-Ride
  6. Additional Links

Pima Association of Governments works with local governments, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), community agencies and interested citizens in developing plans and recommendations for the allocation of federal Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) and other federal, state and local funds for services that help people in need.

In particular, the funding for Human Services helps address the social services needs of children, youth at risk, families in crisis, low income individuals, homeless, elderly and persons with disabilities.

Approximately $1.5 million in SSBG funding is contracted by DES to local agencies to respond to the locally identified needs in the plan. The SSBG plan is amended as needed throughout the year. PAG works with member jurisdictions and local agencies to identify priority needs, explore options, establish goals and develop partnerships with interested stakeholders. A regional Social Services Planning Committee meets several times annually to coordinate regional responses to community needs.

PAG also prepares a Public Transit - Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan that identifies human services transportation needs, barriers to meeting those needs and recommends strategies to increase mobility options in the region. The 5310 federal grant program provides annual funding for implementing these strategies and specific projects identified by the Coordinated Transportation Plan.

The 5310 federal grant program assists nonprofit agencies in acquiring vehicles to transport elderly and disabled clients.

Section 5310 Program

Pima Association of Governments manages the federal Section 5310 program for the region. Also known as the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities, the 5310 program assists nonprofit agencies in acquiring  and operating vehicles to transport older adults and persons with disabilities. Agencies can receive up to 80 percent of the cost of a vehicle that will be used for client transportation and up to 50 percent reimbursement for vehicle operating expenses. Nonprofit agencies, Native American Nations, Districts and Tribes are eligible applicants. Types of vehicles typically available under this program include:

  • Maxi-Van with lift and raised roof
  • Dual rear wheel cutaway (larger van/mini-bus with lift)
  • Maxi-Van without lift
  • Mini-Van without lift
  • Mini-Van with ramp

Local applications are solicited annually and are reviewed by a regional Elderly and Disabled Transportation Review Task Force. The Task Force listens to presentations by potential recipients and ranks the submissions for Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) for inclusion on a statewide priority list. In the past, agencies in the Tucson region have secured grant assistance for the acquisition of 15 or more vehicles through a statewide competitive process. In 2013, due to a change in the way in which 5310 funds are apportioned, the region receives set funding on a formula basis; eliminating the requirement that local agencies compete statewide for grants.

2016 5310 Notice of Funding Availabilty

Contact Information:

Katharine Mitchell
Transportation Planner
Pima Association of Governments
1 E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 401
Tucson, AZ 85701
Phone: (520) 792-1093
Fax: (520) 620-6981

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Social Services Block Grant Planning

Each year the PAG region allocates Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) funds. Approximately $1.2 million to $1.6 million is made available annually for locally planned human services. A regional Social Services Planning Committee works closely with the following working groups to identify needs and make recommendations to the PAG Regional Council on annual allocations: Children, Youth and Families; Developmental Disabilities; Aging and Adults; Employment and Rehabilitation Services; and Quality of Life services. These recommendations include services for homeless adults and children, employment or guidance counseling, home care programs, and services for developmentally delayed children and disabled adults.

The Department of Economic Security prepares the state SSBG plan that includes both the allocation of the state portion of the SSBG grant and all of the locally prepared regional plans. Arizona receives approximately $31 million annually to provide social services in both urban and rural areas of the state.

Plan Information

The PAG region’s Social Service Block Grant funding recommendations are now available for comment.  If you would like to make a comment on the recommendations, please email Katharine Mitchell.

SSBG Fact Sheets

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2016 PAG Public Transit - Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan

Pima Association of Governments prepares and adopts a Public Transit-Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan to guide transportation coordination in the region for older adults and persons with disabilities. The 2016 PAG Public Transit-Human Services Coordinated Transportation Plan was adopted by the PAG Regional Council in September 2016. Human service agencies are actively involved in identifying regional human service transportation needs and developing strategies to meet these needs through quarterly coordination meetings.

Prior to the enactment of the federal surface transportation bill (called MAP-21) in October 2012, three federal grant opportunities provided annual funding support for coordinated human services transportation. The three programs were the 1) Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities Transportation Program (known as Section 5310), 2) Job Access and Reverse Commute Formula Grants, (JARC or Section 5316) and 3) The New Freedom Program (Section 5317).
The passage of MAP-21 resulted in some significant changes to these programs:

  • Section 5316, JARC, has been repealed. JARC assisted in the development and maintenance of transportation services designed to transport low income individuals to jobs and activities related to employment in rural and suburban areas. Job access and reverse commute projects are now eligible activities for Transit Formula Grant funding.
  • Section 5317, New Freedom, also has been repealed. New Freedom provided funding for public transportation services and alternatives for individuals with disabilities beyond that required by the Americans with Disabilities Act in rural and suburban areas. Section 5317 activities are now eligible for funding under the 5310 program.
  • Section 5310 is now known as Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and People with Disabilities. The 5310 program typically provides formula grants to assist nonprofit agencies in acquiring vehicles to transport older adults and disabled clients. The 5310 funds can be used to assist agencies with both capital and operating expenses.

The 5310 program is intended to increase mobility options in the region for older adults and persons with disabilities.

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Special Needs Transportation Services

Human service agencies coordinate with public transit to meet special transportation needs for their clients.There are three paratransit services in the PAG region. Each of these services requires advance reservations and provides door-to-door service between the rider’s location and his/her destination. The ADA Eligibility Office of the City of Tucson determines eligibility for all the publicly funded transit in the region.

  • Sun Van serves ADA-eligible persons who reside within ¾ of a mile of a Sun Tran bus route.
  • Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride, with service provided by Total Transit, serves a substantial portion of eastern Pima County.
  • Sun Shuttle Oro Valley provides trips to destinations within the town and to designated areas south, east and west of Oro Valley. Elderly (62+) residents of Oro Valley also are eligible to ride regardless of their disability status.

Sun Tran and Sun Shuttle are transit systems for the general public that are accessible to disabled persons and the elderly. No advance reservations are required. However, these operate on fixed routes and schedules, and do not offer door-to-door service.

In addition, there are several commercial providers of paratransit services, some of whom operate wheelchair lift-equipped vehicles. The private pay rate for such paratransit service is substantially higher than for the publicly subsidized transportation described above. A number of Human Services agencies also operate lift-equipped vehicles, but these usually are restricted to serving clients of their programs.

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Pima Find-a-Ride

Pima Find-a-Ride is a directory of transportation options for the general public, people with disabilities and older adults who want access to reliable transportation in the greater Tucson region beyond their private vehicle. Pima Find-a-Ride will help you find transportation options for getting to work, running errands, going to medical appointments or just getting around.

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Additional Links

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©Pima Association of Governments | 1 E Broadway Blvd, Suite 401, Tucson, AZ 85701 | Telephone (520) 792-1093, FAX (520) 620-6981