Document Type

Policy Guidelines


University of Montana Rural Institute

Publication Date



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


In 1970—more than 40 years ago—the Urban Mass Transportation Act created a national policy to promote universally accessible transportation. PL 91-453, stated it as clearly as possible: “elderly and handicapped” persons have the same right as other persons to use mass transportation facilities and service. The law required that “special efforts shall be made in the planning and design of mass transportation facilities and services so that the availability to elderly and handicapped persons of mass transportation which they can effectively utilize will be assured.” Today, over 98% of the vehicles used to provide mass transportation are wheelchair accessible. In 1975, Congress created Section 5310, Transportation for Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities federal grant program, (FTA, 2013) to help private nonprofit groups meet the transportation needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities. These funds were to be used to provide transportation when it was otherwise unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate.


community participation and independent living, transportation, rural, disability


© 2013 RTC:Rural.

Granting Agency

National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research


Our research is supported by grant #H133BO80023 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Dept. of Education.

Project Number