Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Travel Training Evaluation Project – Scope

(Center Identification Number: 79060-02-C)

Principal Investigator
Stephen Schlickman

Project Scope
Public transportation and public educational programs are mandated to provide transportation services for mentally and physically disabled individuals. While programs to transport members of disabled populations are important to ensure access and participation in important educational and work related activities, they are often highly expensive to operate. Moreover, they do not necessarily increase the independence of disabled clients. For these reasons, transit agencies, employers and educational institutions have begun to develop training programs to teach qualified clients how to use the fixed public transit system. Movement of disabled riders to fixed public transit systems reduces demand of costly paratransit programs, increases the ability of disabled clients to function independently, and may have a multitude of other benefits.

Travel training programs (TTP), particularly those offered by public school systems, are in their infancy. Chicago Public School’s (CPS) TTP is one of the oldest in existence. While there is ad hoc evidence that these programs are beneficial in many respects, to date there has been little effort to formally assess the costs and benefits of these programs. Given this lack of evidence and within a constant context of fiscal constraint, travel training programs are consistently vulnerable to closure.

In response, this project will undertake systematic effort to assess the benefits and costs of the CPS TTP. The project will be conducted in two tracks: evaluation of a prior TTP for specialty schools that operated on a limited basis and the design of an evaluation plan for the recently­established system-wide travel training program. These two tracks will be conducted sequentially, the first informing the second. The ultimate result of the project will be an assessment report on the costs and benefits of the prior TTP and an evaluation plan, complete with methods and metrics, for the newly established system wide TTP.

Tasks/ Deliverables
Part I
Literature review
Review of CPS Travel Training Program
Initial Logic Model Development
Data Collection – Phase I

Part II
Data Collection – Phase II
Final Logic Model Development
Program Evaluation Plan
Program Evaluation Report

The project will be coordinated by P.S. Sriraj, faculty at the Urban Transportation Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Sriraj has significant experience with evaluation of public programs. Additionally, the project will hire a Master level graduate student to work on the project. Under supervision, the student will take part in the data collection, analysis and report writing activities.

Project Schedule
January 1, 2014 to February 29, 2016

Project Budget
Total Project Cost     $261,749


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