The relationship between transportation vulnerability, school attendance, and free transportation to an afterschool program for youth

Hersila H. Patel, Sarah E. Messiah, Eric Hansen, Emily M. D’Agostino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Transportation vulnerability, defined as lack of access to transportation resulting in financial, social, or health consequences, reduces quality of life. While research has focused on the relationship between transportation vulnerability and the built environment among adults, youth have received less attention. This study examined the association between transportation vulnerability and school attendance in Miami-Dade County, Florida from 2010 to 2017 across schools that were/were not provided free transportation for students to attend a park-based physical activity afterschool program called Fit2Play (n = 289 public schools; 84% with Title I status; 41% located in high transportation vulnerable areas, 28% provided with free transportation to a program park). Adjusted longitudinal generalized linear mixed models showed a positive association between transportation vulnerability and school attendance with stronger magnitude in schools with versus without free school-to-program transportation (β = 1.16, 95% CI 0.69, 1.63). Sub-analyses showed a 3.23% (95% CI 2.45, 4.02) mean increase in school attendance for program sites with high program attendance located in high versus low transportation vulnerable areas. These findings suggest that transportation interventions have potential to improve school attendance and community-based recreation participation over time for youth exposed to high transportation vulnerability. Study results highlight the need to explore sustainable services that reduce transportation vulnerability for youth in high-need subgroups to improve school and community program participation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTransportation
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Afterschool programs
  • School attendance
  • Transportation vulnerability
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation

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