National Volunteer Transportation Center

NVTC News

National Volunteer Transportation Center

The Center was created in 2014 response to the outpouring of interest in volunteerism related to the delivery of transportation services to many population groups including children, work force participants and older adults. Each of the founders have extensive experience in studying, supporting, and delivering volunteer transportation and are aware of the positive experience of those who volunteer to provide services as well as the many benefits accorded to those who receive the services. The founders are: Community Transportation Association of Washington, D.C.; the Beverly Foundation of Albuquerque, N.M.; Ride Connection of Portland, Ore.; VIS Volunteers Insurance of Woodbridge, Va.; and AlterNetWays of San Francisco, Calif.

Passenger Stories of Gratitude

A Book of Stories about Volunteer Driver Programs and their Passengers

Passenger Stories of GratitudeA New Publication from the National Volunteer Transportation Center

Passenger Stories of Gratitude introduces the experiences of people (especially older adults) who get where they need to go by using volunteer driver programs. The stories were gathered as part of the National Volunteer Transportation Center's 2016 STAR Awards program. The 147 programs that submitted applications served a total of 54,338 passengers, involved 11,477 volunteer drivers who used 9,671 personal vehicles to provide passengers with 633,767 one-way rides. The programs were located in 37 states and had operated an average of 37 years. The majority (84 percent) of the programs did not charge for rides, and 51 percent provided services in addition to transportation.

Passengers who submitted stores ranged in age from 55 to 101. Many told of health, mobility and financial circumstances that made it difficult or impossible for them to drive and of their resulting dependence on volunteer driver programs and volunteer drivers for transportation. The stories offer a glimpse of into the lives of the passengers: who they are and why they need rides; where they live and where they go; when they need assistance and support and why they need it; how they discover volunteer driver programs and what they think about the volunteers who drive them. Although they were appreciative of the rides they received, the bottom line for most passengers who submitted their stories was gratitud...for accessible transportation; for affordable rides; for the friendship and support of volunteer drivers; for being able to stay in their homes; for improved quality of life; and for the programs that provided their rides.

NVTC Director Co-Authors Book on Senior Transportation

Dr. Helen Kerschner, the director of the National Volunteer Transportation Center and her co-author Dr. Nina Silverstein have recently published a book, Introduction to Senior Transportation: Enhancing Community Mobility and Transportation Services. This book addresses the community mobility needs of older adults: an issue of growing concern for older adults and transportation providers alike. The book enables the reader to understand and appreciate the challenges faced by older adults as they make the transition from driving to using transportation options (many of which were not designed to meet their particular needs); considers the physical and cognitive limitations of older adult passengers; describes transportation options; and addresses the challenges providers face in meeting assistance and support needs. Although written as a textbook, Introduction to Senior Transportation addresses the professional development interests of practitioners working in the field of transportation and features innovative, practical learning tools that will appeal to practitioners and students alike. The book is available on Amazon in hardcover, paperback, or as a Kindle Edition.

Volunteer Driver Recruitment Handbook Available

Volunteer driver program managers face a variety of recruitment challenges, use a variety of recruitment methods, target a variety of people, recruit through a variety of organizations, create a variety of messages, use a variety of strategies, and communicate their "ask" in a variety of ways. To help volunteer transportation programs in this task, the National Volunteer Transportation Center (NVTC) has created a handbook based on the knowledge and experience of the many volunteer programs that have participated in the annual STAR Awards program. The handbook was developed by Dr. Helen Kerschner and is made possible by support from Toyota.

Online Course for Volunteer Drivers Now Available

CTAA's National Volunteer Transportation Center and the Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc. have teamed up to create a new online course specifically designed for volunteer drivers.

The course is self-paced, and takes about 45 minutes to complete. Topics include:

  • Communication with passengers
  • Safety of the volunteer's vehicle
  • Defensive driving
  • Avoiding distractions
  • Liability and insurance

William R. Henry, Jr. Executive Director of the Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc. developed the program. He says: "The course is designed to help volunteers drive like professionals -- always prepared to carry out their responsibilities safely. Because it is an online, self-paced course, it also respects the volunteer's time. Finally, it is a great risk management resource for the organization sponsoring the transportation program."

There is no cost to take the course. Simply follow the link below, register for the course and complete the training.

Ready to register for the course? Follow this link and get started!

The AlterNetWays Company: Assisted Rides Program Beverly Foundation Legacy Ride Connection VIS CTAA