Are American Rural Transport Systems just passing clouds?

  1. If you believe that only a small percentage of Americans use rural roads, you are mistaken. Our nation’s transportation system is a multi-sectoral system, with each section, rural and urban, critical to the overall system but with its own set of difficulties and requirements. Rural Public Transit serves less densely populated but sparsely distributed communities. According to the Federal Highway Administration, Rural America accounts for more than 80% of the country’s coverage.
  2. According to the American Community Survey, almost 64 million Americans, or nearly one-fifth of the country’s population, reside in rural regions and 96% of them own vehicle(s) to meet daily needs. But it has been challenging for the elderly, people with disabilities, low-income people, and others since the necessity for rural public transportation has long been associated with providing mobility and access to important employment, products, and services.
  3. Rural roads have a death rate that is more than double that of metropolitan routes. To cover the inequity, alternative transportation such as Demand–response public transportation (dial-a-ride), traditional and deviated fixed route services (e.g., shuttles, circulators), vanpool, and reimbursement programs are put into the basket of rural public transportation.
  4. Rural populations take fewer journeys per day on average, but their average travel distance is longer. Rural populations travel more kilometers per year than their urban counterparts due to longer trip lengths and higher reliance on automobiles. American Rural roads cover more than 3 million kilometers and account for 40% of all vehicle miles traveled.
  1. Auto — Includes car, SUV, van, pickup truck, and rental car (This does not include ride-sharing modes be Uber, Lyft, etc.,)
  2. Public Transport — Includes public or commuter bus, paratransit/dial-a-ride, School bus, intercity bus, intercity rail, commuter rail, and rail transit, but not a taxi, or private or charter bus
  3. Walk/ Cycle — Includes walking, motorcycle, private or charter bus, airplane, boat, RV, and others
  4. Ridesharing mode — Taxi/Uber/Lyft
  5. Others
  1. The networking at the state level ensures smooth multi-sectoral trips covering vast distances with ease.
  2. Local transit providers run the service, and you may be sharing the ride with other customers hence reducing your travel budget. No more pressure to buy or lease a car.
  3. Customized vehicles for the disabled and elderly accompanied by trained drivers ensure a safer trip minimizing transport accidents.
  1. Building better public transit in rural America. (2020). Retrieved from Ride with via website: https://ridewithvia.com/resources/articles/building-better-public-transit-in-rural-america/
  2. U.S. Department of Transportation. (2021). Rural Public Transportation Systems. Retrieved from https://www.transportation.gov/mission/health/Rural-Public-Transportation-Systems#:~:text=Rural public transportation systems serve,%2C vanpool%2C or reimbursement programs
  3. Western transportation institute. (2020). What Is Rural Transportation? Why Rural Matters. Retrieved from https://westerntransportationinstitute.org/about/what-is-rural-transportation/
  4. Laska, A., & Bellis, R. (2021). Rural Communities Need Better Transportation Policy. Third Way. Retrieved from https://www.thirdway.org/memo/rural-communities-need-better-transportation-policy
  5. Bellis, R. (2020). More than one million households without a car in rural America need better transit. Smart Growth America. Retrieved from https://smartgrowthamerica.org/more-than-one-million-households-without-a-car-in-rural-america-need-better-transit/
  6. Qryde. (2021). Let’s Ride. Retrieved from https://letsride-gdot.hub.arcgis.com/

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