Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Webonews button

Healthier Somerset: Access to transportation options crucial to healthy living

CLOSE

Rutgers public health expert Christopher Ackerman teams up with a frog puppet to improve nutrition education in the South Bronx
~Courtesy ofRutgers Today

SOMERVILLE – As the Healthier Somerset Coalition strives to make Somerset County the healthiest county in New Jersey, an area of focus is access to care.

Specifically, one of the coalition’s goals is to improve the access to health care services for those living and working in Somerset County. This can be especially true for certain populations within the community.

According to the American Journal of Public Health, transportation is the third most commonly cited barrier for accessing health services among older adults. In 2017, The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) took a closer look at existing transportation barriers within the Northern New Jersey region and identified awareness of services as one of those barriers with an unmet need.

READ: Healthier Somerset: Addressing school safety through community resource partnerships

READ: Gardener State: Farming in the Millstone Valley

Specifically, that “consumers are either not aware of the services that are available or don’t know how to use them.”

Coupling this data with the access to care needs identified through Healthier Somerset, RideWise recognized a need to fill the transportation awareness gap within Somerset County.

Through its mission, RideWise connects people and businesses to safe and sustainable travel options that enhance quality of life and create a vibrant economy.

Providing education on navigating the transportation system is one way that RideWise helps to connect those travel options to the people who live and work in the county. Specifically, RideWise launched the TransitConnect program as a way to provide real-life training on how to utilize the many transportation options available within the county.

As Donna Allison, RideWise Executive Director, explained, “Sometimes, the availability of transportation is not the barrier to accessing care.

The barrier can also come from not knowing how to find or use existing services. With transportation being a vital component for so many needed services, it becomes critical for people to understand what transportation options are available and how to use them.”

The network of transportation options available in Somerset County is extensive and is comprised of seven state transit bus and rail lines, ten county public transit bus lines, and three regional transit bus lines.

Additionally, para-transit services are also available to county residents by offering older adults or people with disabilities on demand services to locations within Somerset County and up to five miles outside the county border.

Together, the availability of transportation services, combined with education on availability and ease of use, can help those who live and work in Somerset County to reduce the inability to access needed health care services.

To learn more about Healthier Somerset, RideWise and the Somerset County transportation services, visit the following websites: www.healthiersomerset.org, www.ridewise.org, or www.co.somerset.nj.us.

Melissa Feltmann is project manager for Healthier Somerset

Don’t miss a thing

MyCentralJerseySubscribe now to get everything you need to know about local news, education, politics, things to do, restaurants and more.
Download our apps by searching for MyCentralJersey in your app store or use these links from your device: iPhone app | Android app for phone and tablet | iPad app
Don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook!

 

Article source: https://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/somerset-county/2018/09/25/transportation-somerset-ridewise-nj-issues/1382377002/

Speak Your Mind

*