Transportation Training

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(to download slides click here: Transportation Training)

Bus Orientations

Clients are likely some of the newest arrivals you’ll meet – many have been in the U.S. for a month or less.

To help clients become familiar with the practicalities of using of the GRTC bus system. This is the first step toward transportation independence!

Bus tickets:
You and the clients will each be provided a one-day unlimited GRTC pass.

Other materials:
An envelope containing relevant bus schedules, a page of ESL-friendly directions with photos, and ReR program / contact information will also be provided for your reference throughout the orientation. This envelope should be given to the client at the end of the orientation.

Language barriers:
An interpreter may be made available to you, in person or by phone. Google Translate can also be helpful should an interpreter not be available.

Schedule of events:
Meet clients at their home and walk with them to the bus stop. Use sidewalks and crosswalks where available; encourage pedestrian safety. The destination will be pre-determined, often their resettlement agency (where they need to go on a regular basis for appointments) or the location of their ESL class. After arriving at the destination and meeting the caseworker or other contact person, retrace steps and bus routes back home.

En route:
Point out landmarks for recognizing the route / where to request a stop / where to get off. Explain how to recognize upcoming stops (the scrolling LED sign can be helpful) and how to request a stop (the yellow button or cord – different vehicles contain different systems).

GRTC drivers:
Tend to be patient, friendly, and helpful. Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance if needed, and don’t feel rushed when boarding / disembarking the bus. GRTC drivers will wait until everyone is on and paid / off and clear of the bus.

Before saying goodbye:
When you arrive back at the client's home, congratulate them on learning this new skill. Also, be prepared: You may be invited in for tea!

Guidelines for driving clients

Since self-sufficiency is the ultimate goal for our clients, if you’re asked to drive someone to an appointment or event, they are likely working towards getting their Driver’s License by attending Learner’s Permit preparation classes, being tutored to the Virginia Driver's Manual, or taking behind-the-wheel lessons. Your behavior while providing this invaluable service should be nothing short of setting a high standard in all aspects: child safety, good driving manners, and obeying all traffic laws and speed limits.

Seat belts:
All passengers riding in the front seat of the car must wear a seat belt at all times.

Child safety seats:
All children age 8 and younger must be properly secured in a car seat or booster seat appropriate for their height and weight. All children age 2 and under should be in a rear-facing car seat. All children age 12 and under should only ride in the back seat. Seat belts are mandatory for everyone age 18 and under at all times.

See this link for more information about car seat safety:

If you are unfamiliar with proper car seat installation and are interested in learning standard safety techniques, you may be able to accompany clients who attend car seat training.

Car seat education:

Henrico Department of Social Services offers this class for Henrico residents who are parents-to-be or new parents. Attendees will receive a brand new car seat for each age-eligible child. Following detailed instruction, the instructor and/or a police officer will lead the client in one-on-one, hands-on car seat installation.

Location: Essex Village Apartments, 117 Engleside Drive, Richmond, VA 23222

Frequency: Car seat classes are held at 10:00 on the third Friday of each month.

To be eligible to receive a child safety seat:

1. Client must present proof of identification as the custodial parent, legal guardian or foster parent of child/ren for whom they are applying. Eligible documents include: child's birth certificate, Social Security cards.

2. Client must be a resident of Henrico County. Eligible documents include: learner's permit, driver’s license, utility bill.

3. Client must meet all eligibility criteria for WIC, FAMIS, TANF, Medicaid or SNAP (show verification card, Notice of Eligibility or case number for TANF).

DMV Learner's Permit Exam

You are acting as an advocate for your mentee / client at every step. Do not be afraid to ask for assistance / clarification from the DMV employee.

Upon checking in:
Ask for an application to take the Learner's Permit test. Assist the client with filling it out – or fill out for them, if necessary. This form asks for basic information like full name, address, date of birth, etc.. Be prepared to make an educated guess for height and weight or convert these measurements from metric.

Documents needed:
Legal presence – I-94 form / visa / passport
Social Security card
Residency – Lease (or sub-lease) agreement with the client's name and address listed
Driving license from home country (if applicable)

While you wait:
Use this time to review test material. The Learner's Permit test has two parts:
Part 1 = 10 questions on signs and signals. The client must answer all questions in this section correctly in order to advance to Part 2 = 30 questions on the remaining rules and regulations. In order to pass the Learner's Permit test, the client must answer 24 of these 30 questions correctly. To access practice test questions on your smartphone, go to:, Drivers / ID Cards + Learner's Permit + Practice Exams + Study and Practice Now + Driver's Study Guide + Sections 2, 3, 4, 5. Quiz questions appear at the bottom of each section.

Language options:
The Learner's Permit test is available in 22 languages, in addition to English. If the test is taken in a language other than English, the client can click back and forth to see each question in both their chosen language and English. Also, there is the option of clicking to hear the question read aloud. If the test is taken in English, no other languages are accessible during the test.

Vision test:
Press forehead against device. Keep pressure applied in order for the vision test to stay illuminated. The client must answer verbal questions to complete the vision test, reading a series of letters from left to right when prompted by DMV employee.

Head-coverings for religious purposes ARE permitted.

During the Learner’s Permit test:
No one is allowed in the testing area except those participating in the exam, but be sure that a DMV employee assists the client in launching the exam, showing them how to use the audio prompt telephone, etc. If young children are with you, prepare to keep them occupied while they are separated from their parents.