Paving the Way: Addressing Transportation as a Social Determinant of Health for Rural Residents

Research center:
Project funded:
September 2016
Project completed:
November 2017

Rural areas face unique challenges related to transportation, including distance to healthcare and other services, the impact of adverse weather on travel conditions, and limited availability of public and private transportation services. Rural residents cannot receive healthcare services without transportation to access facilities and providers. Beyond direct access to care, transportation is essential for accessing basic necessities for health and wellness, such as food, recreation, employment, education, and social support. This project will use a mixed-methods design to examine ways in which transportation operates as a social determinant of health for vulnerable rural residents, and to identify exemplar transportation programs that are successfully improving health and well-being of those residents.


  • Rural Transportation: Challenges and Opportunities
    Policy Brief
    University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
    Date: 11/2017
    This policy brief uses survey data from 113 key informants across all 50 states to describe challenges and opportunities related to rural transportation.