Reconnect Rochester has a series of articles that digs into the city’s mobility issues and how they restrict residents’ access to jobs and opportunities for economic mobility. In particular, transit-dependent residents must sacrifice huge amounts of time, or low-income residents with cars must sacrifice disproportionate amounts of wages, in order to reach employment, and lose access to professional development.
Similarly, transportation options are emerging as key impediments to addressing the opioid addiction crisis in many communities. St. Vincent’s Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, is piloting a project to connect recovering addicts to treatment with ride-hailing services. Preliminary results suggest this type of connection could be vital to improving access to treatment.
Many smaller communities around the country are establishing focused pilots to address their residents’ mobility issues, the outcomes of which could provide valuable information for similar jurisdictions elsewhere.
For example, Wichita, Kansas, is looking to connect residents that live in food deserts to grocery stores elsewhere in the city using a demand-response model. While locally available groceries would be an ideal remedy to relieving food deserts, transportation is also a key factor in connecting residents to food wherever it’s available.
Davenport, Iowa, meanwhile, is engaging citizens in developing its multimodal transportation plan with Davenport GO. The city is looking for public input on how to “better connect people who don’t necessarily want to drive to their intended location,” including an interactive map for ideas, and community meetings where residents can discuss mobility issues they face and how they think they could be improved.
Heritage Transportation Services, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, is establishing a trial one-call Travel Navigation Center to help residents develop a “transportation plan” to reach the services they need. They expect this service would “work best when it can design a transportation plan for someone who needs regular service for a job or medical treatment.”
In addition, a Mountain View, California, hospital is partnering with Lyft to improve access to their services for older adults. Though the hospital currently has a volunteer driver program – RoadRunners – they still lack the capacity to connect with everybody that needs service. They’re establishing a virtual “concierge” to send Lyft drivers to potential passengers when they do not have enough volunteer availability.
Image Credit: Robert Torzynski, Flickr, Creative Commons
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