Casa Latina promotes and supports the full participation of Latinos in the community // Casa Latina promueve y apoya la plena participación de Latinos en la comunidad.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Use of public transit will be easier for local Spanish speakers with the first translation of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s (TheRide) route and schedule book called the Ride Guide.
Development of the first Spanish Ride Guide has been a project initiated by Casa Latina, a non-profit organization formed in 2010 to promote and support the full participation of Latinos in the community. Casa Latina’s work on this project is supported by a Michigan Department of Community Health grant through the Washtenaw County Public Health Department.
In announcing the new guide, Charo Ledón, Executive Director of Casa Latina, said, “This effort will help many of our fellow community members effectively use the bus system to get to and from work, school and the grocery store. It’s a big step for Spanish-speakers to be able to fully participate in our community.”
The first Spanish Ride Guide features the spring-summer schedules, which go into effect on April 29. The guides are now available at each of TheRide’s facilities, on its buses and at several dozen local outlets. The Spanish Ride Guide will also be posted online at www.TheRide.org.
To further support the Latino community, Casa Latina opened its first office earlier this month inside the Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County office at 4925 Packard Road in Ann Arbor.
Casa Latina reports that:
• According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 30 percent of Washtenaw County community members who speak Spanish at home speak English ‘less than well’
• Latinos make up 4 percent of Washtenaw County, yet 7.4 percent of those who use public transit are Latino
• More than 70 percent of Spanish speakers in Washtenaw County are native-born US citizens, and 6.5% are naturalized citizens
TheRide’s Manager of Community Relations, Mary Stasiak, said, “We have been pleased to work with Casa Latina to help the Latino community to better access our services and we are grateful that this project was supported through a grant provided by the Michigan Department of Community Health.”
The Washtenaw County Public Health Department’s Health Equity and Social Justice team is working to increase health equity by addressing social needs among Latinos and African Americans, and this was one product of that work.
Translation of the Ride Guide into Spanish was donated by the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) Interpreter Services Program. Olas Translations also worked on the translation of the Ride Guide. “UMHS Interpreter Services was proud to assist the Health Disparities Capacity Building Partnership by translating the Ride Guide into Spanish,” said Michelle Harris, Director of UMHS Interpreter Services. “Community partnerships like this one significantly improve access to healthcare services in underserved communities. Increasing usage of local, public transportation through better communication tools, such as the Spanish version of the Ride Guide, just makes sense.”
“In working with TheRide, we learned that there are folks who would like to see the Ride Guide published in other languages, too, and we applaud TheRide for trying this pilot project in Spanish first with Casa Latina,” said Carrie Rheingans, Casa Latina’s Director of Civic Engagement.
TheRide CEO Michael Ford said, “We appreciate Casa Latina’s help in making this translation possible. We want to do all that we can to make it easy for everyone to use our services. To expand on this effort, we will soon be introducing our new website, http://www.TheRide.org, which will allow for translation of our information into multiple languages.”
The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (TheRide) was chartered in 1969 by the City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, as a not-for-profit unit of government. AATA operates the local public transit system for the greater Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti area, enabling the area’s residents to reach their destinations at reasonable cost, and offers the region efficient, environmentally sound transportation alternatives. For more information, please visit www.TheRide.org.
TheRide’s Board of Directors has endorsed a 30-year Transit Master Plan for Washtenaw County. Updates on the progress of the plan are available at www.MovingYouForward.org.
E-mail and text message updates on bus routes, schedules, detours and other news from TheRide are available by free subscription to MyRide at www.TheRide.org.
Connect with TheRide through social media at www.facebook.com/CatchTheRide, www.twitter.com/CatchTheRide, or www.youtube.com/CatchTheRide.
Casa Latina’s mission is to promote and support the full participation of Latinos in the community. Founded in August 2010, Casa Latina just opened its first office this month on April 12, 2012 inside Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County at 4925 Packard Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48108. http://casalatinami.org