Transportation to Support Rural Healthcare Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed November 2017
- Need: Free non-emergency air travel for people of all ages with serious medical issues or other compelling needs.
- Intervention: A network of more than 1,400 pilots donate their piloting skills, aircraft, and all costs associated with flying to help families and individuals in need in the 13 western states of the United States.
- Results: Families are able to receive vital medical treatment and have other needs met that might not otherwise be possible because of financial, medical, or geographic limitations.
Updated/reviewed August 2017
- Need: To reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by drunk driving in Isanti County.
- Intervention: The SafeCab program provides alternative transportation home for bar patrons who would otherwise drive impaired.
- Results: The program is credited with a significant decrease in DUI (Driving Under the Influence) arrests and the lower average corresponding BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) levels in Isanti County.
Updated/reviewed August 2017
- Need: To reduce the incidences of repeat drunk driving.
- Intervention: Repeat DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenders were given a staggered sentence, allowing them to serve their sentence in segments of time, typically separated by several months to a year. The offender was able to file a motion to request a waiver for the remaining sentence period(s), if able to show that he/she maintained sobriety.
- Results: The incidence of recidivism, or crime relapse, has been reduced among offenders given staggered sentences, by comparison to offenders given traditional DWI sentences. The program has also reduced the average cost of jail time that otherwise would have been served from a full sentence.
Updated/reviewed July 2017
- Need: Rural seniors who are no longer able to drive are often presented with the challenge of finding a means of transportation for medical visits, errands, and social gatherings.
- Intervention: SMiles, a rural senior transportation program, was implemented in Blount County, Tennessee.
- Results: Since 2013, SMiles has successfully provided over 18,000 rides to its rural seniors.
Added May 2017
- Need: Reliable transportation options for employment and medical access needs for residents of Paris, Texas.
- Intervention: A regional government coalition, already operating a rural regional transportation system, partnered with a rural community’s medical, education and business entities to expand and improve the community’s transportation system.
- Results: Paris Metro now provides a low cost/no cost transportation option for local residents, including those with special transportation needs. After implementation, decreased emergency room visits were noted, likely due to reliable transportation for scheduled medical appointments.
Updated/reviewed March 2017
- Need: Transportation to medical appointments for children and expectant mothers living in rural Alabama.
- Intervention: Kid One Transport provides rides to medical appointments for clients who otherwise have no other means of transportation.
- Results: The program has transported 335,000 children and expectant mothers to and from medical appointments. Children have recovered from life-threatening illnesses and are experiencing a higher quality of life.
Updated/reviewed January 2017
- Need: Public transportation options in a rural 8-county area in northwest Minnesota.
- Intervention: A coordinated public transportation and volunteer driver system which serves northwest Minnesota.
- Results: Increased ridership and affordable access to transportation for residents of 8 counties in rural, northwest Minnesota.
Updated/reviewed January 2016
- Need: To provide public transportation for rural patients to access medical services in South Central Missouri.
- Intervention: A non-emergency transportation service that offers rides for patients demonstrating a transportation need for timely primary and preventive care access.
- Results: HealthTran has helped to improve healthcare access and long-term health outcomes, as well as reduced preventable hospitalizations and unnecessary emergency department visits.
Last Updated: 11/15/2017