Strategy HCO6.3: Work with transportation providers to increase access to health care, especially in rural areas.
One of the main issues to health care access is a lack of transportation to and from facilities and services. Unable to drive themselves, patients must rely on family members, friends, neighbors, and public transportation. This is particularly challenging for people living in rural areas. Mountain Mobility is an effective rural public transportation service in Buncombe County, serving almost 8,500 customers in 2011. Forty-three percent of the trips were for medical purposes. Other counties, however, do not have the resources to provide a comparable transportation option. While the Mountain Projects program in Haywood County provides a transportation service ($3 per ride within the county), it is most effective in Waynesville and the county’s other population centers. Many of the region's elderly residents who need the service are living in isolated areas that are more difficult to serve, creating a need for additional resources.