January 29, 2004








Acting Administrator
Office of Policy Development, Evaluation and Research




Announcement of ETA's Sponsorship of "United We Ride National Leadership Forum" February 23-25, 2004, in Washington, D.C.

  1. Purpose. To encourage attendance and participation at the "United We Ride National Leadership Forum", February 23-25, 2004, in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Labor is pleased to be a co-sponsor of this Forum in partnership with other agencies in the Departments of Transportation, Education, and Health and Human Services. Letters to Governors have been sent from the four Secretaries asking teams of three to five senior decision-makers to attend the Forum, including a representative of the Workforce Investment Board. A copy of the letter is attached for your information.

  2. Background. The Departments co-sponsoring the Forum recognize that effective coordination of transportation services is needed to ensure better service for more people. These Departments are asking states and communities to join them in making a commitment to develop comprehensive strategies to deliver efficient and affordable community transportation services. To build on the recommendations of a recent expert panel and a report on transportation coordination by the General Accounting Office, the partners developed five strategies to move effective transportation coordination efforts forward. These strategies form the "United We Ride" initiative to break down barriers between programs and set the stage for local partnerships that deliver common sense solutions to all citizens, including individuals with disabilities, older adults, persons of lower income, and transit dependent populations. This Forum is one of the five strategies included in the "United We Ride" initiative.

  3. The United We Ride Initiative. For most citizens, getting to work, getting to the doctor, or getting to church means getting in a car. But it’s not that easy for many people, who often face multiple challenges when trying to “get a ride.” Nearly every human service program recognizes that transportation is important. There are 62 federal programs that fund transportation services and spend a significant amount of money to help. The key to using these services more efficiently is coordination. The U.S. Departments of Transportation, Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, are launching a new five-part initiative called “United We Ride” to break down the barriers between programs and set the stage for local partnerships.

    The "United We Ride" initiative includes:

    More information on "United We Ride" is available on the Web site of the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) at: .

  4. Registration. The Forum is by invitation only and will be held at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. It begins with an awards ceremony the evening of Monday, February 23, when Members of Congress, top Administration officials and industry leaders present the "United We Ride Awards". The Forum continues the entire next day, and adjourns at noon on Wednesday, February 25. Approximately 250 leaders representing a variety of state and Federal perspectives are expected to attend together with other transportation authorities, human service providers and advocates.

    Governors have been asked to send a leadership team of three to five representatives of the state’s Department of Transportation, State Unit on Aging, Workforce Investment Board, Rehabilitation Services Administration, and Medicaid or other human service programs. Expenses for airfare, hotel (2 nights), and meals during the event will be supported by Project ACTION for up to three members of the State Leadership Team. Nomination forms were included with the Governor’s letter. The representatives named in the Governor’s nomination form will receive conference and registration information directly from Project ACTION.

  5. Inquiries. Questions may be directed to Bryna Helfer at (202) 366-1663 or by e-mail at

  6. Attachment: Letter to Governor