Programs that provide flexibly scheduled and routed transportation services using low capacity vehicles such as vans for community residents who do not have private transportation and are unable to use the fixed-route public transportation system. Paratransit services generally operate within normal urban transit corridors or rural areas; and may be used by the general public or limited to special populations such as people who are elderly or have a disability, individuals who are not in a sober enough condition to drive their own vehicles or people who are endangered.
Programs that offer the services of trained security personnel who accompany people who feel uncomfortable or unsafe walking or biking alone during evening, night or early morning hours to their car, public transit stop or (depending on the program) other destinations. Safety escort services are frequently offered by campus police agencies to students, faculty and staff on college/university campuses but may also be available in urban downtown areas or other settings. Escorts may be equipped with radios which allow them to be in constant contact with law enforcement and offer a safe alternative to walking alone at night. Some programs offer van transportation in addition to walking escorts.
Programs that provide support for battered women, sexual assault survivors and other victims of crimes by having a staff member go with them when they require a medical examination to gather evidence or need to visit a police station to file a complaint or appear in court to give evidence.
Programs that accompany people who are new to the country and may face language and other cultural barriers when establishing themselves, particularly during the first months of following arrival. Escorts are generally volunteers with a shared ethnocultural background who provide assistance in key areas such as housing, employment and education as well as help with other necessities of daily living such as understanding the local public transit system, opening a bank account and learning the location of stores that sell familiar items.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.