Transportation to Clinic: Findings from a Pilot Clinic-Based Survey of Low-Income Suburbanites

Silver D, Blustein J, and BC Weitzman.
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 14(2): 350-355

Health care policymakers have cited transportation
barriers as key obstacles to providing health care to
low-income suburbanites, particularly because suburbs have
become home to a growing number of recent immigrants
who are less likely to own cars than their neighbors. In a
suburb of New York City,we conducted a pilot survey of low
income, largely immigrant clients in four public clinics, to
find out how much transportation difficulties limit their
access to primary care. Clients were receptive to the opportunity
to participate in the survey (response rate = 94%).
Nearly one-quarter reported having transportation problems
that had caused them to miss or reschedule a clinic
appointment in the past. Difficulties included limited and
unreliable local bus service, and a tenuous connection to a
car. Our pilot work suggests that this population is willing to
participate in a survey on this topic. Further, since even
among those attending clinic there was significant evidence
of past transportation problems, it suggests that a populationbased
survey would yield information about substantial
transportation barriers to health care.

Wagner Faculty