Rural Transit

Public Transit is Essential Link for Rural Areas
Public transportation is not just for Virginia’s urban areas. It provides an essential link for Virginians living in small towns and rural areas. Many of these residents have limited access to a car. Employees, students, people with disabilities and single parents caring for children use public transit to commute to work, go shopping, attend school, go to medical appointments and travel to recreational activities.

Rural areas of Virginia include a growing elderly population. Without public transportation that is safe, reliable and affordable, elderly citizens would miss doctor appointments, could not attend church and would have limited social contact.

Public transit takes rural residents where they need to go

 In the counties of Albemarle, Louisa, Nelson and Fluvanna and the city of Charlottesville, JAUNT, Inc. provides services to the general public, social service agency clients, the elderly and people with disabilities. JAUNT’s 55-vehicle fleet provides more than 228,000 trips annually. One elderly passenger wrote, ”If it weren’t for JAUNT, I’d never get anywhere.”

 More than 25 bus routes serve the counties of Lee, Scott, Wise and the city of Norton areas through Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc. (MET).

 About 400 passengers ride the MET vehicles daily for more than 145,000 passenger trips annually

 MET also provides meals to 163 elderly citizens daily or more than 39,000 meals annually.

 More than 90 percent of MET’s fleet have registered 100,000 miles or more.

 Almost 1000 passengers depend on STAR Transit (Shore Transit and Rideshare) weekly. This new transit service began serving Accomack and Northampton Counties on Virginia’s Eastern Shore in 1996 when community leaders realized that a transportation service was vital to implement welfare reform and address conditions that had deteriorated over the last decade. These conditions include increased poverty, a higher unemployment rate and an older/disabled population with limited mobility and fewer registered vehicles.

Back to top

Case study: JAUNT serves Virginia’s small town and rural residents

Of the more than 314,994 5 trips that JAUNT provided to passengers in FY 13, riders indicated that they use public transit for these services.

Type of Service

Number of Riders

Elderly and disabled (non-medical)


Elderly nutrition services


Children and youth


Rural routes


Other (miscellaneous services)