This research project had three objectives: to identify and explore the challenges of developing and operating a volunteer senior mobility driving service; to propose solutions to establish successful programs; and, to provide guidance on best practices that could be used by a variety of audiences, including transit agencies, paratransit agencies, non-profit programs, social service agencies, volunteer driving programs and policy makers. Abstract: Seniors need adequate transportation, not only to maintain their health and vitality, but also to stay active in the community and fully participate in life. Transportation is the essential link to basic services needed by the aging population. The problem that this research project addresses is the documented general lack of transportation options suitable for seniors who are no longer able to drive, particularly those who are too frail to use public transportation. The development and operation of volunteer driving programs for seniors has been one approach to solve this problem. However, these programs encounter various operational challenges, including a demand for service that is far greater than program capacity. Challenges involve configuring volunteer driving services that can be sustained over time within the limitations of scarce resources. While the issues facing volunteer driving programs are varied, the most significant problem is insufficient numbers of volunteers. This report provides recommendations to volunteer driving programs on how to enhance risk management and recruit volunteers. Recommendations are offered to public transit agencies and commuter assistance programs on how to coordinate with volunteer driving programs. Recommendations are provided for raising public awareness and legislative remedies to enact liability reforms.
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