Many agencies in Massachusetts and nationwide have created volunteer driver programs as one way to bridge gaps in transportation.
- Find a local volunteer driver program in Massachusetts
- Resources for developing a volunteer driver program
For more information, check out our MassMobility reports on volunteer driver programs in Massachusetts.
Volunteer driver programs help residents participate in community life
Volunteer driver programs can have a huge impact on riders’ lives. For example, Joe is a vibrant young man who lives in central Massachusetts. He is an avid sports fan and loves to be actively engaged in his community. He is also a person with an intellectual disability. When he and his family were notified that paratransit service would no longer be available due to route changes on the local bus line, they had nowhere to turn until they found out about the volunteer driver program at the Millbury Council on Aging. Since then, Joe has had transportation to medical appointments, employment, and internships. He is also enrolled in a training program at the local community college. When he finishes the program, he will be ready to work in an office setting – all of which is made possible by the transportation he gets through the volunteer driver program. His mother reports that the drivers have gotten to know Joe personally and are “sensitive, respectful, and easy-going – Millbury is a lifeline for us.”
As well as helping people get to work and school, volunteer driver programs help reduce isolation for elderly individuals. Mrs. T., 83, from a Boston Metro North community, had been the primary caregiver for her husband. When he entered a nursing home in a nearby community, there was no way to get there via public transportation though it was only six miles away. Through the TRIP Metro NorthTRIP Metro North program, Mrs. T. was able to get rides from a friend and reimburse her for the mileage so she could visit Mr. T. While her husband has since passed away, Mrs. T. continues to use TRIP Metro North for personal errands and other shopping. Since her children work full time, she said she would be “lost without TRIP.” She called TRIP a “wonderful service that really is a lifesaver.”
This information is provided by EOHHS Human Service Transportation Office.