Journal of Public Transportation Article in Volume 11, Issue 1 by Tom Seekins, Steve Bridges, Annesa Santa, Daniel J.Denis, Andrea Hartsell
Disability advocates frequently suggest that faith-based organizations (FBO) may be potential providers of transportation for people with disabilities living in rural communities. We conducted a national survey of rural FBOs in the United States to explore their capacity and interest in being involved in local transportation. We randomly selected 716 FBOs located within 15 miles of a rural center for independent living. Forty percent (N = 288) of these responded to our mailed survey. Responding faith communities averaged 300 worshiping adults with an average of 9.5 percent being judged to have a significant disability. Overall, respondents indicated they were neither willing nor unwilling to become involved in providing transportation to either the general public or to people with disabilities. Nevertheless, 32 percent of respondents said they would be willing or very willing to do so. Respondents reported that their congregations owned a total of 146 vehicles, 18.5 percent of which were judged to be accessible. Results are discussed in terms of the need to understand faith communities and their orientation to community service. View the full article or the entire Journal issue.