University of Montana Rural Institute
Transportation is one of the most frequently cited problems of people with disabilities living in rural areas. This includes transportation to and from work, personal and social obligations in and around small communities, and transportation from home to larger communities where services are available. Cutbacks in air, rail and bus services to rural areas have made these problems even more challenging for those with severe disabilities who often have low, fixed incomes. While many larger communities may have one or more major social service agencies, such as an aging services program, that cooperate to provide transportation services under various regulations, such services are often highly restricted and determined by the agencies’ needs. Ravalli County, Montana, provided an alternative that suggests that a voucher program for transportation access may work in rural and remote counties. The Research and Training Center on Rural Rehabilitation at The University of Montana developed this model further, and its success suggests that additional Federal policy is needed to provide transportation options to rural counties. The following language was proposed to provide a rural transportation option as part of the Section 19 and or 16B2 of the Urban Mass Transportation Act. This language focused on applying Section 18 programs to people with disabilities living in rural areas or expanding Section 16B2 to permit voucher systems.
National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
Produced by the Research and Training Center of Rural Rehabilitation with U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant # H133B20002-94.
Rural Institute, University of Montana, "Rural Transportation: Using Vouchers to Improve Access" (1995). Independent Living and Community Participation. Paper 26.