Community-Oriented Solutions May Help Rural Residents Adapt to Life Without a Car

Rural residents face significant mobility challenges because travel destinations are far, opportunities like jobs and access to essential needs are limited, and rural roadways are more dangerous than their urban counterparts. These challenges are exacerbated when households have limited or no access to a vehicle because other transportation options are often expensive, inconvenient, or nonexistent. The confluence of not having access to a vehicle and living in rural areas is often associated with increased social isolation and difficulties in conducting basic activities like grocery shopping and accessing health care. Researchers at UC Davis used US Census microdata to describe socioeconomic and mobility characteristics of carless households and residents in rural California and conducted interviews to understand the barriers to access and travel adaptations among individuals who have limited access to a vehicle.