Transport for 
all

What is community transport?

Defining community transport

Community transport is about devising and delivering practical solutions to community needs.
Usually, these solutions involve providing transport, but many CTs meet the needs of their local communities in additional ways, by providing training, work experience or other services such as recycling.

The Forum defines community transport as “any transport service, which is designed, specified, controlled, or otherwise developed by the communities it serves, and which is provided in direct response to the identified needs of those communities.”

Such services may either be provided directly by local Voluntary & Community Sector (VCS) groups, or by statutory or commercial agencies under the direction, funding or control of such communities.

Statutorily run services, such as Social Services Day Centre Transport, or Non-emergency Passenger Transport would therefore not be considered as community transport.

Commercial providers (such as commercial bus & coach operators or taxi companies) also fall outside this definition.

What’s so special about community transport?

Community transport has always focused on innovative solutions to community needs – as local community-based organisations, CTs help to develop and sustain communities, combat social exclusion and promote economic regeneration.

CTs combat social exclusion, and were doing so over thirty years ago, well before the term entered popular parlance.

They achieve this mainly by providing safe, accessible and affordable transport solutions for their local community. These enable people to access work, training, fresh food, education and social activities they might not otherwise be able to.

Transport, though a major element of the work, is a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Community transport is first and foremost about people and their needs, not transport.

The community transport passenger comes first; community transport is tailored to the needs of the traveller, not the service.

Underlying principles of community transport

Community transport organisations have a number of distinct attributes, which separate them from other transport operators.