A recent report by the Urban Institute finds that more than one in five adults with limited access to public transit skip health care visits because of transportation barriers, which can negatively impact long-term health. Similarly, research shows that the expansion of a public transit system, such as the development of a new light rail line, can provide greater access to health care for those living near the line.
The Urban Institute study shows the importance of public transportation for equitable access to health care, especially for individuals without access to a vehicle. Improved access to health care and reducing the need to fill non-emergency health care-related transportation gaps through Medicaid coverage or expanded access to telehealth coverage provide additional return on investments for expanding and increasing investment in public transit.
“The benefits of public transit especially in Missouri goes well beyond the ride from point A to point B. Critical access to health care represents one more reason to invest in public transit across Missouri. One of the top destinations for rural transit providers in Missouri if not the top are healthcare access trips. We must ensure the state continues to invest in public transit to ensure the health of Missouri residents,” said Kim Cella, executive director of the Missouri Public Transit Association.