An equitable transportation system provides users with access to safe, reliable and affordable modes of transportation including public transit, walking, and biking. Access to transportation is critical to promoting health because it allows individuals to move around freely and connects them to resources such as employment opportunities, schools, healthcare services, and parks and recreational spaces.
Disparities and Statistics
Race and Ethnicity: Public transit is vital to people of color who own fewer cars and tend to live further away from living-wage jobs than their white peers. For instance, Black people are six times more likely and Latinxs three times more likely than White people to rely on public transit. Further, in the last decade, the proximity of job centers to high-poverty communities has declined by 61%, which means that people of color are increasingly disconnected from their jobs.²⁴
Socioeconomic Status: Low-income people have the highest rates of walking and bicycling to work–the very highest rates of walking and bicycling to work are among those who make under $10,000 per year, with high rates also seen for those making under $25,000 per year.¹⁴
Health: Transportation barriers are often cited as barriers to healthcare access. Transportation barriers lead to rescheduled or missed appointments, delayed care, and missed or delayed medication use. These consequences may lead to poorer management of chronic illness and thus poorer health outcomes.²⁵
Other option: Physical inactivity is one of the primary contributors to obesity. Residents of low-income communities and communities of color have significantly less access to recreational facilities than those in higher-income or predominantly white communities. People in low-income communities have lower activity levels and higher body mass indexes.¹⁴