Neighbor Rides is a strategic initiative of United Way of Northwest Vermont supported by a dynamic group of community partners that brings people and places together to help meet the transportation needs of seniors and persons with disabilities. This partnership uses volunteer drivers to leverage government and community-funded transportation programs and help more people by decreasing the cost per ride.
Neighbor Rides volunteers use their personal vehicle to transport seniors and persons with disabilities to life-sustaining and life-enriching activities. United Way recruits and orients potential volunteers then refers them to one of our partners, Special Services Transportation Agency (SSTA), to complete background checks, take trip requests and coordinate rides for passengers. SSTA matches and dispatches qualified volunteers to transport seniors and persons with disabilities who have no appropriate means of personal or public transportation available. When a trip request meets guidelines and can be efficiently matched with a volunteer driver, SSTA puts them together to make it happen.
In 2014 University of Vermont medical students surveyed a group Chittenden County seniors and found that limited access to transportation leads to missed healthcare appointments and social isolation. Among surveyed seniors who have limited or no access to a personal vehicle, 69% delay medical appointments and over 50% have difficulty visiting loved ones. View full poster by clicking image below.
Neighbor Rides is a strategic initiative of United Way of Northwest Vermont and community partners:
- Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission
- Chittenden County Transportation Authority and its community partners
- Department of Vermont Health Access
- ECOS Project
- Fanny Allen Corporation
- UVM Medical Center Community Benefit
- Special Services Transportation Agency
- University of Vermont Center on Aging