Authors: Yohsiang Hsu*,
Topics: Transportation Geography, Medical and Health Geography, Behavioral Geography
Keywords: transportation, accessibility, barriers, travel time,
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Poydras, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
Differences in settlement patterns have resulted in a wide range of travel times from residences to central places. The local context of settlement patterns can influence how long people are willing to travel for commuting to work or school, shopping for necessities, and participating in recreational activities.
Studies examining access to healthcare often utilize arbitrary travel times as thresholds for determining whether or not people in a location have access (e.g. > 20 minutes no access or a significant barrier). To overcome this limitation we developed an approach to determine the thresholds at which travel times might become barriers by comparing travel times to central places that provide necessities with mammography facilities. If the amount of time spent traveling to central places to access necessary goods and services is acceptable, then that would also be how long people would travel to access healthcare. Using data on mammography facilities and supermarkets in PA we provide a case study on how this approach might be applied.
We found significantly longer travel times to mammography facilities than to supermarkets for populations in some rural census tracts. Thus, the magnitude of the difference could serve as a better threshold for access. A large difference between travel times to supermarkets and mammography facilities would be considered a more extreme barrier to access than long travel times to those locations with a small difference.
While there are limitations with our proposed approach it is a good alternative to arbitrarily choosing travel times as thresholds.