Cars. This is how we get to work, run errands, visit family and take our kids to school.
Well, not all of us.
Approximately 26 percent of Detroit households are without a vehicle.
So how do they handle the basics like shopping for healthy food, attending doctor appointments or filling prescriptions?
That’s the $3 billion question and one we hope to solve with a regional transportation plan.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties will be asked to vote on the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Master Plan. This plan will address the lack of public transportation that exists within Southeast Michigan and will coordinate regional service to strengthen and improve the frequency, reliability and connectivity of transit services across all four counties.
The RTA Master Plan is necessary due to the huge gaps in the current system and the limited ability for people to get from place to place.
Remember the walking man? Featured by the Detroit Free Press, James Robertson took the bus and walked 21 miles per day to and from his hourly job because buses didn’t run where he needed to go – and he did this for 10 years!
I know this is an extreme example. But if this is what some do to get to work, then they’re probably not getting an annual health screening or are missing appointments with their cardiologist. In 2015 alone, nearly 3,000 Henry Ford Health System patients canceled appointments, citing a lack of transportation as the reason.
We know that transportation barriers are health care barriers which lead to poorer health outcomes and higher costs of care. The RTA Master Plan will improve access to health care, including door-to-door transportation services that help seniors and people with disabilities.
A “yes vote” will improve access to health care for everyone.