For many individuals on the autism spectrum, transportation serves as a significant barrier in accessing important activities in the community. Driving is not always a viable option due to the impact of the condition (i.e. executive function issues, perceptual motor issues) or financial resources. Many individuals on the autism spectrum are dependent on others, such as parents or family members, to drive them to life events and appointments outside of the home. Research has identified that transportation issues impact access to important healthcare services and employment (Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Bureau of Autism Services, 2011). Additionally, there is no opportunity for spontaneous travel trips when there is no available independent transportation options.
When family or caregivers are not available to drive individuals on the autism spectrum, there is often a reliance on paratransit services (Feeley, et al., 2015) to access community activities. This is a costly and inconvenient option as the scheduling and time commitments required increase significantly.
Public transportation provides a low cost option that allows for independence to access services and community activities. Individuals on the autism spectrum often avoid using public transportation due to environmental barriers and lack of training and experience (Rosenkvist, Risser, Iwarsson, Wendel, & Stahl, 2009).