The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota assessed transportation needs on Indian reservations in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. A survey was conducted using a 25-question, multiple choice interview which included eight demographic questions, two open-ended questions, and fifteen questions directly pertaining to transportation issues. Two types of findings came out of this work--survey results and a more subjective, anecdotal discussion of reservation transportation as to what is needed if transportation is to expand, and what needs to be done to expand it. The overall survey results indicate that nearly eight out of ten reservation community residents rely on a household vehicle, a car, truck, van, or motorcycle to provide their daily transportation needs. Almost half of the vehicles used on reservations are over five years old. Conditions faced by many tribes which affect mobility are not much different from barriers faced by other rural residents. Distance, road and weather conditions, and access to maintenance facilities are common problems. On reservations, however, these barriers are compounded by problems of winter road plowing and unpaved access roads. The survey indicated that over 90% of the tribal members queried believe that better transportation will improve their quality of life at least a little. Major conclusions and recommendations of this project as a whole, briefly, are as follows: (1) The quality and availability of personal transportation on the rural reservations included in this project do not meet the needs of the residents. Supplemental transit and paratransit must be provided to meet these needs. (2) There are no easy, quick-fix, low cost solutions to the provision of needed supplemental transportation options. In addition to the more conventional provision of transportation, innovative and sometimes unconventional substitutes must be tried. These should include but not be limited to, volunteer drivers, informal taxi operations, and car and van pooling designed to overcome the cultural barriers preventing more use by reservation residents. (3) More attention to management of existing and future transportation resources on the reservations is needed. (4) Building more cooperative efforts with state agencies is necessary to improve reservation transportation infrastructure. While many states have no history of cooperative efforts in the area of tribal transportation planning and programming, the current situation clearly calls for such action, and the federal ISTEA legislation mandates such cooperative efforts. (5) Current providers of transit in areas around reservations provide excellent opportunities for cooperative planning and delivery of services.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures;
  • Pagination: 44 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00636384
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: MPC Rept No. 93-21
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 21 1993 12:00AM