The ability to get around is essential to life in America. Easy-to-use, affordable transportation is essential for access to health care as well as for maintaining independence. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to transportation and this leaves many, including older adults, vulnerable to loneliness, isolation, and immobility.
Studies have shown that public transportation and paratransit service cannot by themselves meet the travel needs of a dispersed and ever increasing elderly population. In response to this reality and a growing need, a new type of flexible and affordable transportation service has emerged known as community-based transportation. This new service is regarded as a supplement to, rather than a substitute for, conventional public transportation services.
Community-based transportation service can be sponsored by community organizations and faith-based groups. These groups rely on volunteer drivers using their own cars to provide door-to-door transportation service for nearby ambulatory elderly residents who make up the majority of the elderly population.
There are two successful community-based transportation services operating in the Baltimore region – Partners in Care in Anne Arundel County, and Neighbor Ride in Howard County. These two agencies are willing to share their knowledge in helping to set up additional community-based transportation services throughout the Baltimore region and the state.