Volunteer Driver Programs in Minnesota: Benefits and Barriers


Frank Douma

February 2017

Report no. MCOTA 17-02

In FY 2016, the Minnesota Council on Transportation Access (MCOTA) requested a study of Volunteer Programs in Minnesota, with the objectives of documenting the organizations that use volunteer drivers to help meet the transportation needs of their clients, how they organize and fund their volunteer driver programs, and the challenges these organizations face in continuing to provide these services with volunteer drivers, including issues with insurance coverage. Once these were documented, MCOTA requested recommendations regarding which of the identified barriers would be most productively addressed, and what methods would help providers address these barriers. Researchers from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs sought to meet these objectives through a survey of providers that use volunteer drivers in Minnesota and review of current regulations, including insurance. This report covers the background and need for this study in more detail, the survey method followed, a discussion of the results and conclusions from the survey data, and recommendations for how the identified barriers might be addressed.

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