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Transportation access (or lack thereof) and its impact on our societies and communities has been documented in hundreds of research studies.   Below, Feonix has listed and will continue to update on a periodic basis the research that is released demonstrating the impact of mobility in accessing healthcare, healthy food, and employment. 

Healthcare Access Highlighted Findings

  • 5.8 million persons in the United States delayed medical care because they did not have transportation.
  • Cancer patients surveyed in Texas stated 38% of whites, 55% of African Americans, and 60% of Hispanics identified poor access to a vehicle as a barrier that could result in missing a cancer treatment.
  • A Florida State University study concluded that if just 1% of non- emergency medical transportation trips resulted in the avoidance of an emergency room visit, the payback to the State would be 1108%, or about $11.08 for each dollar the State invested in its medical transportation program.
  • 25% of caregivers in Houston missed at least one of their children’s appointments as a result of the inability to find a ride.
  • 27% of non-driving patients noted that they had been stuck at the clinic without a ride home at least once during the previous three-month period.
  • A hospital in Atlanta found that 67% of diabetic ketoacidosis admissions were related to stopping insulin and 50% of those patients cited either lack of money for insulin or for transportation to get their medicine.
  • In a survey completed by 143 individuals with epilepsy or their caregivers, 45% of patients who were unable to drive reported that fewer doses of medicine would be missed if transportation was not a problem to get to a clinic or pick up medication.
  • Up to 55% of patients report that following a hospital discharge, they had trouble filling the prescription. In addition, 65% of patients felt having transportation assistance with access or cost would improve medication use after hospitalization or clinic visits.
  • Of the non-driving dialysis patients who were surveyed in one study, 16% indicated that their clinic would not accommodate them if they arrived late. In addition, 33% of non-driving patients had shortened treatment due to being late at least once over a three-month period, while nine 9% reported having had an appointment canceled during this time as a result of arriving late.
  • The cost of missed appointments in the healthcare industry totals over $150 billion each year. This is the cost that comes from the patients' declined health and quality of life, as well as the cost for wasted time and effort by the healthcare providers.
  • The majority of people who tend to have trouble finding adequate transportation include low-income persons, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, Baby Boomers, those without cars, those without driver’s licenses, rural residents, and the chronically ill. A review of 25 regional and local studies claimed that anywhere between 10-51% of patients report transportation as a barrier to healthcare.
  • Analysis of California discharge data shows that communities where people receive poor access to medical care have higher rates of hospitalization from chronic diseases.
  • A 2010 survey of hemodialysis patients found that patients were unaware of the dangers of driving themselves after treatment, despite motor vehicle accidents being a leading cause of death for the elderly population.
  • One Women’s and Children Clinic’s staff in Oregon estimates that 30% of their appointments are canceled or missed and 1-in-3 cancellations are because of transportation- related obstacles - 10% of all total appointments. Studies have identified 26-51% of missed appointments result from transportation issues.
  • Studies in Wisconsin and South Dakota demonstrated that those who cannot adequately access medical treatment for transportation reasons will either require costly home health care or will forgo treatment altogether.
  • Approximately 950,000 children missed or were delayed medical care because of transportation issues.
  • A study of the Nation Health Interview Survey collected in 25 states found nearly 1.2 million newly insured with substance abuse problems, over 1.2 million with mental illness, with 550,000 of those being serious disorders that will impair everyday functioning.
  • In a study of low-income individuals living in a suburb of New York City, 25% of missed appointments were due to transportation problems and the bus users were twice as likely to miss their appointments compared to others.
  • In urban, low socioeconomic status adults in Atlanta walking or using public transportation to receive medical care was an independent predictor of not having a regular source to health care.
  • A study done in Cleveland, Ohio showed that of adults living at or below 125% of the federal poverty level, almost one third reported that it was “hard” or “very hard” to find transportation to their health care providers.

Employment Access Highlighted Findings

  • In a ​survey​ conducted by Wisconsin Center for Education Research, 19% of students surveyed who had not participated in an internship but were hoping to do so reported a lack of transportation as a barrier to getting an internship.
  • A ​report​ by the Greater New Haven Job Access and Transportation Working Group finds that transportation is a barrier for 84% of participants in a Connecticut job placement program to obtain work.
  • 76% of those with disabilities surveyed by the Rutgers Voorhees Transportation Center said that an important factor in their job searches was transportation.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,10.6% of individuals with disabilities who were unemployed, cited a lack of transportation as a barrier to employment.
  • In a survey by Rutgers University 26% of respondents reported that the unavailability of public transportation at the right times was a barrier to employment
  • A study published in a journal of the Transportation Research Board states that although access to a vehicle is an important factor for increasing employment retention, job opportunities accessible by private vehicle or public transit within a tolerable amount of time is even more important.
  • According to a 2006 Journal of Poverty published article, the mobility status of single mothers in Pittsburg had a greater effect on employment outcomes than education or work experience.

Healthy Food Access Highlighted Findings

  • According to a research study in Preventive Medicine Reports, 74.5% of Baltimore public housing residents who did not have vehicle access were food insecure, compared to only 57.1% of residents who did have vehicle access.
  • In the 2014 Hunger in America study, 67% of people served by Feeding America said that they had to choose between transportation and food.
  • A 2010 study by the USDA finds that nearly 10% of the population lives in low-income areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket, which is an increase of about 8% from 2006.
  • Urban Institute researchers documented that rural residents commonly spend upwards of $60 to have someone they know drive them to a grocery store.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and Wilder Research conducted a study in Minnesota where they found that 30% of Minnesotans had low-retail access to healthy food based on their distance to a full service grocery store.
  • Individuals living in a food desert without a vehicle are 12% more likely to report food insufficiency, according to a study released in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.
  • In a USDA study of low-access and low-income census tracts, researchers concluded that resource-constrained individuals in urban communities were more likely to live near a grocery store, but resource-constrained individuals in rural areas were more likely to live 10+ miles from retail food access.
  • An Economic Research Service USDA study found that food-insecure households are less likely to drive their own car to the store than food-secure households and more likely to rely on someone else or alternative forms of transportation. Compared with 92 percent of food-secure households, only 69 percent of food-insecure households use their own car to shop for groceries; 17 percent ride with someone and 14 percent use alternative forms of transportation (versus just 4 percent of food-secure households).
  • In a study entitled “Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Desserts and Their Consequences, researchers reveal that data on time use and travel mode show that people living in low-income areas with limited access spend significantly more time (19.5 minutes) traveling to a grocery store than the national average (15 minutes).