Wichita Transit System

At a Glance:

Location: Witchita, Kansas

Date: 2013

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety, Meaningful Work and Wealth, Reliable Transportation

Determinants of Health: food access, healthcare access, employment, parks, transit system, traffic safety, Safe and affordable public transit

Affected Population: People Living in Poverty

Research Methods: Literature review, Primary research, Quantitative research, Qualitative research

Community Types: urban

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The Kansas Health Institute and the University of Kansas School of Medicine – Wichita conducted a health impact assessment (HIA) to inform a Wichita City Council vote on proposed changes to the city’s transit system. The HIA found that the health of people who do not have a reliable car or social network would be most affected by changes in the public transit system. The report recommended including bus routes that provide adequate service to low-income areas, restricting smoking in bus stops, and connecting bus routes with grocery stores, health care facilities, schools, and parks.


These recommendations increased support among City Council members to incorporate health considerations in transit-related decisions and contributed to changes in the proposed improvements for Wichita’s system, including banning smoking outside bus stops and eliminating a two-bag limit on buses in order to encourage people to use transit while grocery shopping.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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