is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that affects rural community members in multiple ways.
Transportation can affect access to healthcare services, social services, employment, and educational
opportunities. The Rural Transportation Toolkit offers information,
resources, and best practices for rural communities seeking to implement transportation programs that can help
improve access to needed services and opportunities.
Transportation Access Approaches
Some communities focus on increasing access to transportation in rural areas with the goal of promoting economic
development and improving quality of life. The Rural Transportation Toolkit describes several approaches that
rural communities have implemented to improve
access to transportation.
Active Transportation Approaches
Rural communities may also work on strategies for increasing the walkability and bikeability of rural
communities, which can contribute to improved safety for pedestrians and increased opportunities for physical
activity. This approach could include Complete
Streets initiatives, which ensure safe access to streets for walking, biking, driving, and public
transportation. The Rural Transportation Toolkit describes active
transportation considerations for rural communities.
Examples of Rural Transportation Programs Addressing SDOH:
- Rural Economic Assistance League, Inc.
(R.E.A.L. Inc.) is implementing a program using an integrated behavioral health model called the
Transportation for Rural Integrated Health Partnership (TRIP). This program is funded through the Methodist
Healthcare Ministries' Sí Texas: Social Innovation for a Healthy South Texas project. The program is
addressing the critical need for transportation access in the region for rural residents with severe mental
illness and is improving health outcomes and well-being for this population, as well as reducing no-show
medical appointment rates. The TRIP program provides transportation to health and wellness appointments,
programming focused on improving health literacy, and also provides social support to participants.
Program Clearinghouse Examples