How transportation impacts health in Portland
More than one in five U.S. adults without access to a vehicle or public transportation missed or skipped a medical appointment last year, according to a report by the Urban Institute.
Why it matters: While access to telehealth has reduced some transportation barriers, it's not available to all and can't replace in-person care for all medical needs.
- In the Portland area, 8% of all households — and nearly 24% of Black households — don't have a car.
- Despite Portland being known for its public transit and bikeability, one of the primary ways to traverse the city is by car.
What they found: Nationwide, 21% of adults without access to a vehicle or public transit said they went without needed medical care in 2022.
- Though 91% of adults reported they had access to a vehicle, the figure was substantially lower for Black adults (81%), those with low family incomes (78%) or a disability (83%) and for people with public health insurance (79%) or no coverage (83%).
Go deeper: Research suggests as much as 40% of a person's health can be attributed to socioeconomic factors like education, employment and the availability of transportation.
- The pandemic heightened awareness of racial inequalities, prompting some cities to ensure there's more equitable access.
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