Future of Mobility: Rural transportation key for health, tourism, outdoor recreation

Paved road in a rural area

What’s next in transportation?

The Future of Mobility series collects the perspectives of top U researchers and other national experts. In 17 articles, the authors scan the horizon and reflect on critical transportation topics. Each article recommends action steps for public officials and policymakers.

CTS is highlighting the articles over the course of the year. This month, we take a rural focus and feature articles on rural transportation and health by Carrie Henning-Smith and access to tourism and outdoor recreation in rural areas by Xinyi Qian.

Rural residents face unique challenges in accessing and using transportation of all types. Henning-Smith recommends using existing rural transportation-related resources imaginatively. “This could include repurposing resources such as school buses to meet a larger community need,” she writes. Another recommendation is to dedicate sustained investment in rural infrastructure—including support for rural broadband internet expansion.

Many rural areas are home to tourism and outdoor recreation. Qian advises state legislatures and public agencies to recognize the unique mobility challenges faced by these communities and ensure they have adequate financial and planning support to address them. “This is particularly pertinent with emerging technologies such as EV charging needs and CAV-ready infrastructure,” she writes.


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Michael McCarthy