Yogin Shroff, Senior Partner and Chief Operating Officer
The American Rescue Plan Act provides critical investment across the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH). What role does transportation play in the relief package?
Peter DeFazio, Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is quoted as saying, "Moving people and goods is not a luxury in this country. It’s an absolute necessity." At no time was this truer than at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when lack of transportation access and availability threatened food security, job security and access to care for millions of Americans.
HOW IS ARPA ADDRESSING TRANSPORTATION NEEDS IN AMERICA?
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), a bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, targets $30.5 billion for transportation.1
A considerable portion of ARPA funds are targeted toward urban development. However, ARPA also includes enhancements across existing infrastructure such as Amtrak totaling another $165 billion.
Transportation is unique among the social determinants for its tendency to directly affect the others; restated, as transportation security diminishes, so too does security among the other social determinants. Consider the findings of a study by the Department of Economics at Louisiana State University which found that, “...an extra bus-equivalent vehicle per 10,000 people decreases the probability of food insecurity of households by 0.78 percentage points.”2
Transportation plays an essential role in the SDoH framework. The American Rescue Plan Act adds important funding to supplement access and bolster critical transportation infrastructure at a time when Americans need it most.
1 Wanek-Libman, M (2021, March 30) USDOT readies American Rescue Plan funds for transit agencies. Retrieved from https://www.masstransitmag.com/management/article/21216393/usdot-readies-american-rescue-plan-funds-for-transit-agencies
2 Baek, D (2013) The Effect of Public Transportation Accessibility on Food Insecurity. Retrieved from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lsu/lsuwpp/2013-02.html
3 White House Briefing Room (2021, March 31) Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Plan. Retrieved from https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/31/fact-sheet-the-american-jobs-plan/