Transit Deserts: An Analysis of Their Impact On Health and Access to Health Care



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A transit desert is defined as an area with limited transportation supply and or infrastructure, which may limit people’s ability to procure jobs, access health care, and obstructs economic mobility (Junfeng & Dillivan, 2013). The University of Texas Professor Junfeng Jiao first coined the term transit desert in 2012. Transit-dependent communities are immobile, unable to afford private transportation costs such as insurance or gas, and poverty-stricken. Using panel data of 3,974 block groups from 2013 to 2019, we investigate whether there is a relationship between vehicle availability and access to health care. We estimate the relationship between vehicle availability and various health outcome measurements, such as self-reported Unmet Medical Need, Emergency Room Visits by Children in the last 12 Months, and Last Reported Health Care Visit. We found that there is a relationship between vehicle availability and access to health; however, there are other vital factors such as not having insurance or having income below the poverty line, that transcend the effects of vehicle availability.



Transit Deserts, Houston, Texas, Health Care Access, Health Care and Transit, Transit Availability, Transit and Health, Public Transit, Private Transit, Houston Transit, Texas Transit, Transit and Health Care Access, Economics