Across the state, an army of younger senior citizens use their own private vehicles to serve as volunteer drivers, providing an essential service to the elderly and disabled in rural communities where public transit can be sporadic or non-existent.
According to the transit providers who coordinate these rides to grocery stores, clinics, and other important appointments, however, the numbers in this army have been dwindling steadily, while the numbers of those needing transportation services are trending upward (Figure 1). With the population across Minnesota expected to age considerably over the next decade, especially in rural areas, rural transit providers and rural communities face growing challenges to meet the needs of those who cannot drive themselves. This video summarizes research by Center for Rural Policy and Development exploring this issue and potential policy solutions.
Click here to read the full report.