Document Type

Guide (how-to document)


University of Montana Rural Institute

Publication Date



Demography, Population, and Ecology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Where did it begin? For many years transportation has been recognized as a need for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, unlike their urban neighbors, rural residents have even less access to transportation, which in turn further limits their lives. The Supported Volunteer Rural Transportation Program (SVRT) is a means of providing rides to people with disabilities who cannot drive and who live in communities with limited public transportation. The SVRT program is similar to self-directed personal assistance service models (PAS) in that consumers control who their ride providers are, when they can get rides, and where they can go. Transportation programs similar to SVRT have been operating off and on since the late 1970s, but were discontinued in many cases because of liability issues and the lack of public transit services in rural areas. In other words, consumers couldn’t use their transportation vouchers. However, liability issues can be resolved, and coordinating a system of volunteer drivers in rural areas is feasible. This handbook will show you how to set up a transportation program in your community, how to handle liability issues, where to look for financial assistance, and what to expect from the program. It also provides guidelines for recruiting and training volunteer drivers.


community participation and independent living, transportation, rural, disability


© 1996 RTC:Rural.

Granting Agency

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research


The SVRT program advisors would like to thank the following agencies for their support and contributions: Summit Independent Living Center, Inc., Missoula, MT; Peter Shauer Associates, Booneville, MO; Brenda Farnham and Denise Jones of Prairie Freedom Center, Yankton, SD; James Walker and Mike Chaffin of Ravalli Services Corporation, Hamilton, MT; Larry Noonan and Cindy Eleson of Aware Inc., Anaconda, MT; and Greg Olsen, Developmental Disabilities Planning and Advisory Council, Helena, MT.

Project Number