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Trains, planes, automobiles; to some in urban settings, dependable transportation is a choice, not a concern. However, in rural settings, the availability of transportation is often limited if provided at all. Reliable transportation is critical to helping rural communities and community members remain healthy and productive, it is what binds communities together and supports economic growth. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows that 89% of rural residents live within the coverage area of intercity air, bus, ferry, or rail transportation (2010).

Rural residents need to receive medical care, get to work, access child care, purchase food and household items, attend school events, and access many other services just as their urban counterparts. Frequent accessibility is restricted or limited because of the distance to those services or opportunities, and the lack of public and private transportation. Oftentimes, special needs that can be alleviated through medical facilities, social service agencies, and educational programs are forgone because of the distance to be traveled.

Transportation is also a pivotal factor in determining whether the disabled and aged populations are able to remain in their homes and their communities. Enhancing transportation opportunities for a rural community can improve economic growth and community development that will ensure quality of life for residents in rural environments.

The U.S. Rural Population and Scheduled Intercity Transportation in 2010: A Five-Year Decline in Transportation Access


For funding, planning, and technical assistance regarding transportation projects:
Charles A. Rutkowski, Assistant Director
Community Transportation of Association of America
Telephone: 800.891.0590 x719

CTAA Technical Assistance Specialist
800.527.8279 x732

National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP)
Phone: 888.589.6821 or 202.772.2039

Easter Seals Project ACTION
Phone: 800.659.6428

United We Ride Technical Assistance Resources
Offers a list of technical assistance agencies.

For assistance in finding local transportation programs and services:
VirtualCAP Community Action State Association Directory

VirtualCAP Local Community Action Agency Directory

National Community Action Foundation
Telephone: 202.842.2092

National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP State Directory)
Phone: 202.408.9541

There are more organizations related to Transportation in the organizations section.

Frequently Asked Questions

Last Reviewed: 12/19/2013

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Funding for this project was supported by Grant Number U56RH05539 from the Office of Rural Health Policy, Health Resources and Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The contents of this website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the funder.