The TRIP Model was designed as a low-cost, low-maintenance, customer driven approach for providing transportation for older adults. It is located in Riverside California and was the outcome of a collaborative partnership between the non-profit Independent Living Partnership (sponsor of the program), the local Area Agency on Aging, and the regional planning organization.
The service provides transportation to older adults and people with disabilities. Passengers recruit their own drivers and rides are arranged between passengers and their drivers. The organization of the TRIP service results in very limited staff and infrastructure. During 2009, over 100,000 rides were provided at a cost per ride of $4.96.
The three basic elements of the model (sponsor, passengers, and drivers) interact in a manner that results in administrative efficiency and cost effectiveness. The model creates an "arm's length relationship" between the program sponsor and the driver. According to risk management professionals and insurers, this characteristic has the potential of limiting liability because:
- drivers are not recruited or managed by the program;
- the program does not own vehicles; and
- staff do not schedule rides
How the TRIP Model is Exceptional
The typical volunteer driver program needs to recruit drivers, and works with both passengers and drivers to schedule rides. The TRIP model is an outgrowth of five innovative assumptions:
- if seniors recruit their own drivers, they will be empowered;
- if they have something to offer friends and neighbors in exchange for rides, they will be more comfortable asking for rides;
- if they can be reimbursed for their travel, friends and neighbors will be more likely to provide rides;
- if friends and neighbors can use their own automobiles, it will eliminate the need to purchase or maintain vehicles;
- if passengers and drivers can schedule their own rides, it will eliminate a good part of the need for staffing and infrastructure.
The mutual-agreement scheduling method allows for 24/7 availability for travel to mutually agreed on destinations. TRIP is designed as a dynamic and flexible model that can be adapted in any community.