Resource to Support Volunteer Driver Programs in Rural and Low-Density Areas

People in rural and low-density areas are more likely to have limited transportation options than people in populated and developed areas. In the United States, a confluence of demographic changes, centralization of services, and other factors have exacerbated the effects of limited transportation options. Volunteer Driver Programs (VDPs) have been shown to help address these unmet mobility needs. The current body of knowledge regarding VDPs is largely anecdotal, with little research-based exploration that provides actionable findings and recommendations for state departments of transportation (DOTs). There is potential for state DOTs to support VDP success, identify opportunities to remove state-level barriers, provide effective technical assistance, and elevate innovation to close transportation gaps with VDPs. There are opportunities for VDPs to be implemented and improved on a more coordinated basis to provide low-cost transportation for unserved and underserved people. However, the history and growth of VDPs has largely been community-based, with inconsistent support from state DOTs. State DOTs are the audience for this research because they have important responsibilities for planning, funding, and overseeing transportation services in rural and low-density areas. The objective of this research is to develop a resource for state DOTs to provide assistance to mobility providers in rural and low-density areas of the United States to plan, implement, and sustain VDPs as an option for responding to transportation gaps.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $350000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 08-183

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20240422
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01902710
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 08-183
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 19 2023 7:45PM