United We Ride (UWR) is a federal interagency initiative aimed at improving the availability, quality, and efficient delivery of transportation services for older adults, people with disabilities, and individuals with lower incomes. Transportation plays a critical role in providing access to employment, health care, education, community services, and activities necessary for daily living. The importance is underscored by the variety of transportation programs that have been created in conjunction with health and human services programs and by the significant federal investment in accessible public transportation systems throughout the Nation. Ironically, for most people who need transportation help, the creation of more programs has resulted in several unintended consequences. Transportation services are often fragmented, underutilized, or difficult to navigate, and can be costly because of inconsistent, duplicative, and often restrictive federal and state program rules and regulations. And, in some cases, narrowly focused programs leave service gaps, and transportation services are simply not available to meet certain needs.
The United We Ride initiative was started by the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM), a federal interagency council established by President George W. Bush by Executive Order in 2004. The CCAM oversees activities and makes recommendations that advance the goals of the Order: simplify customer access to transportation, reduce duplication of transportation services, streamline federal rules and regulations that may impede the coordinated delivery of services, and improve the efficiency of services using existing resources. Chaired by the Secretary of Transportation, the Council is composed of the Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and Justice as well as the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration and the Chairperson of the National Council on Disability.