Many basic health services are hard to access via public transportation, making it challenging for low-income families to access the preventive health care, healthy food options and other resources they need to stay healthy.
Mile High Connects wants to help ensure that public transit links Metro Denver families with the health care, fresh food and recreational options that lead to a healthier lifestyle. By supporting the development of affordable housing within walking distance of transit and encouraging the addition of grocery stores and health care facilities in mixed-use development, Mile High Connects hopes to improve access to the services that help us all to lead healthier lives.
The Equity Atlas
developed by Mile High Connects reveals a number of opportunities and challenges related to health care services located near affordable housing and mass transit stops including:
- While many major health care centers are located near frequent transit, there is a need to expand coordinated bus service to some facilities.
A number of major health centers and hospitals are located in close proximity to planned light rail corridors. Other facilities that are not along rail lines could be made more accessible through the expansion of coordinated bus service.
- Smaller health care centers are not well-connected to transit.
Many community health care facilities and clinics that provide care to low-income individuals are not easily accessible by rail or bus transit. Therefore, efforts need to be made to better connect small health care centers to affordable housing via public transit.
- Healthy food options are limited along many transit corridors.
There are food deserts all over the region, but especially along future transit corridors. Denver has a major food desert in its northern neighborhoods, which are primarily low-income. While residents of these neighborhoods will benefit from improved transit service, they will still be quite far from most grocery stores.
- There is a need for more localized health data.
Most health data is available only at the county level, so it is difficult to examine many of the region’s health challenges and disparities. Mile High Connects believes that more localized health data would help us to determine and solve some of the health care access issues faced by low-income individuals in Metro Denver.
To learn more about Mile High Connects’ efforts to improve access to health care services, download the full health chapter
of the Equity Atlas or review additional resources