Not everyone is able to use public transport. Community transport can be a good option to enable older people, those who are socially isolated, vulnerable or disabled to get out and about either individually or as a group.
These services enable individuals to live independently, participate in their communities and access education, employment and other health services. Community transport schemes are designed by the communities that need them to provide flexible and accessible transport solutions, and are provided by a local community transport organisation.
Community transport organisations are run on a not-for-profit basis. This means any money made over the cost of providing and running the organisation is invested back in the organisation. Community transport organisations are mainly registered charities or community groups, often funded partly by transport authorities, borough councils and other official bodies and organisations, and charitable donations or work. Some services may ask the user to pay a contributory fee.
Community Transport Staff
Community transport drivers involve employed staff and volunteers. They are DBS checked and trained to a high level in areas such as minibus driving, wheelchair safety, safeguarding, etc.
Range of Services
Not all Community transport organisations offer the same services but below are some examples:
- Patient Transport – working in partnership with local ambulance services, providing non-emergency patient transport.
- Shopper Services – regular door to door shopper services for those who struggle to get to the shops.These schemes will often include time to shop and have a snack, providing a good opportunity to make new friends and reduce social isolation.
- Home to School Transport – providing safe and reliable door to door transport for a range of schools and colleges.
- Dial-a-Ride and Bus Services – provides specific door to door transport for those with mobility problems.
- Self-Hire – having your own driver may provide more flexibility for larger groups. Ideal for voluntary organisations, youth groups, schools, sports clubs, faith groups, etc. Community transport organisations will offer a range of accessible and non-vehicles at competitive rates.
- Group Travel – providing accessible door-to-door transport from A to B for a variety of groups, charities and organisations.
Finding a local community transport provider
An internet search or your local county council should be able to provide you with details of your nearest community transport provider. There may be a Transport Hub near you which could help and offer advice and guidance. Alternatively, you can search your nearest provider on the Community Transport Association website www.ctauk.org or telephone 0161 351 1475.