cost-effective transportation measures for those who can use them, such as improving public transit services in the ways suggested above, while facilitating car use by those who do not live in areas where transit services can reasonably be provided. Third, these cost data also indicate the need to augment and strengthen the services of the other community transport providers that, by leveraging the resources of volunteers, can often provide less expensive (but still not cheap) paratransit services to many people with disabilities who are not eligible for ADA-mandated complementary paratransit services for a variety of reasons.
Public transit systems are not the only agencies that provide transportation services to those with disabilities. A vast array of public and nonprofit human, medical, and social service agencies provide transportation to people who use their programs or qualify for their services; the U.S. General Accounting Office (Siggerud, 2003; U.S. GAO, 2004) has identified 70 to 80 federal programs that allow state and local grantees to use grant funds for transportation services, most of which are provided to disadvantaged people (but not necessarily those with disabilities). For example, the Job Access and Reverse Commute Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation has funded over 200 state and local recipients to provide transportation for disadvantaged people, including those with disabilities, to access job and job training sites. The Administration on Aging, as another example, allows its program funds to be used to provide transportation services to older people. These social and human service agencies also have responsibilities under the ADA; they are not required to buy or own accessible vehicles, as long as their system, “when viewed in its entirety,” provides the same level of service to those needing accessible vehicles as to its more general riders.
The Beverly Foundation annually undertakes a study of how what they call Supplemental Transportation Programs (STPs) for the elderly are organized, managed, and financed across the United States; they have identified many exemplary service models. These range from transportation services that are provided entirely by volunteers in their own cars to systems that use paid drivers in system-owned vehicles, some of which are accessible to travelers using wheelchairs (The Beverly Foundation and the Community Transportation Association of America, 2005). In 2001 the Foundation designated 11 programs as Senior Transportation Action Response (STAR) award winners (Beverly Foundation, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 2001).