Volunteer Transportation is defined as a program of service that includes volunteer drivers and/or volunteer escorts in providing transportation. Such programs and services may also include volunteer vehicles as well as paid drivers and vehicles that are owned or leased by the organization providing volunteer transportation.

Volunteer Driver Programs are located throughout the United States. While some people believe they are a “new phenomenon” one program that we know about began providing transportation services using sleighs and wagons started in the early 1900s. Historically, volunteer transportation programs appeared to emphasize service to older adults who needed special assistance and support. In recent years, population groups other than older adults have emerged in the passenger pool delete or and insert of volunteer driver programs Such groups include children, people with disabilities, veterans, work force participants, and cancer patients. Road to Recovery (which provides transportation for cancer patients) is perhaps one of the better known volunteer transportation programs. Today, many existing programs have begun to link with veterans groups to provide transportation to get veterans to VA hospitals and other services.

Volunteer Vehicle Programs often emphasize vehicles that are shared among two or more organizations. Sometimes shared rides are provided by volunteer drivers. Ride Share Nation, a program of CTAA provides information about Ride Sharing.

Mobility Management is the effort to encourage coordination and cooperation among transportation services. In some instances, volunteer driver program hire mobility managers to support their efforts to coordinate their services with other transportation providers. In other instances, mobility managers are hired to encourage coordination among transportation services, including volunteer driver programs.



Fact Sheets

Tip Sheets


Other Resources

  • In volunteer driver programs, safety is no accident(1.35 MB) A guide by Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc. and The Community Transportation Association of America. This article is based on a presentation last June at CTAA’s 2013 EXPO preconference on Volunteer Transportation and Mobility Management.

Getting Started

  • A Solutions Package for Volunteer Transportation Programs Easter Seals This publication is intended as a guide for adult day services, but contains helpful information about starting a volunteer transportation program. It is a thorough package of information with numerous model forms. The discussion of risk management, pp. 21-30, is excellent.
  • Volunteer Drivers: A Guide to Best Practices Washington State Agency Council on Coordinated Transportation (ACCT). July 2004. (updated periodically) A comprehensive guide “that provides the framework for developing and maintaining volunteer driver programs.” Excellent on liability and insurance issues. Contains extensive program forms.
  • How to Establish and Maintain Door-Through-Door Transportation Services for Seniors. Jon E Burkhardt and Helen Kerschner Report prepared by WESTAT in conjunction the Beverly Foundation, Sept. 29, 2005. Uses case studies to develop a list of characteristics of successful door-through-door transportation.

Risk Management

Members of the Volunteer Insurance Services have 24/7 access to all of their Preventer Papers, and a variety of other resources to help manage the risk of volunteer engagement. Membership is only $25 a year. You can join at:

List of Preventer Papers

  • Attitude
  • Avoiding being struck from the rear
  • Defensive driving
  • Cold weather driving
  • General safety
  • Following
  • Patience
  • Speed
  • Pretrip checklist
  • Falls from vehicles
  • Driving rules
  • Accident response
  • Intersections
  • Space cushion
  • Right of way
  • Seat belts
  • Be prepared
  • School zones
  • Passing
  • Van safety
  • Being passed
  • What yellow means
  • Head-on collisions
  • Vehicle backing

Partner organizations


The Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) and its members believe that mobility is a basic human right. From work and education to life-sustaining health care and human services programs to shopping and visiting with family and friends, mobility directly impacts quality of life.