Research Alert: November 20, 2017

Rural Transportation: Challenges and Opportunities

Transportation, as it relates to health and healthcare, is widely acknowledged to have unique features in rural communities, but there is limited research on specific challenges and potential policy interventions to alleviate them. For this study, we surveyed key informants in all fifty states by phone (n=39) and email (n=74). Fifty of those informants were from State Offices of Rural Health, and 63 were from programs funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, including Aging and Disability Resource Centers and Area Agencies on Aging. We also consulted with state and national organizations with relevant expertise. Six themes emerged from the interviews describing different types of rural transportation challenges: infrastructure (mentioned by 63% of key informants), geography (46%), funding (27%), accessibility (27%), political support and public awareness (19%), and socio-demographics (11%). We describe each of these in detail, along with illustrative quotations, in the policy brief.

Contact Information:

Carrie Henning-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 612.623.8320

Additional Resources of Interest: