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Getting There: Barriers and Facilitators to Transportation Access in Underserved Communities


Advances in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) offer new opportunities for addressing transportation needs; however, past research suggests that opportunities are not equally shared by millions of low-income Americans. We draw from four empirical studies and two case studies to contribute descrip- tions of the 11 everyday transportation models currently used by residents of low-income and underserved communities to enhance their access to health-enhancing resources. These models fell into personal, pri- vate, public, and interpersonal categories. We contribute insights regarding the following barriers and fa- cilitators associated with these models: (1) affordability; (2) individual capabilities; (3) interpersonal trust, care and/or reciprocity; (4) trust in technology; (5) service availability/eligibility; (6) spatial and temporal matches; (7) match between transportation mode and physical needs; (8) service reliability and quality; and (9) infrastructure access. To address these barriers and build on these facilitators, we contribute six supportive policy and design principles. Operationalizing these principles, we propose four new ICT-enhanced models: (1) smart jitneys; (2) generalized, favor-based models; (3) expanded resource pooling; and (4) transportation clubs. The focus of these models on socio-technical integration with current capabilities and resources holds promise for enhancing access to jobs, food, and health care for residents of low-income communities.


Source: University of Michigan (2018). Getting There: Barriers and Facilitators to Transportation Access in Underserved Communities.