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Mobility and Health in Chicago

Exploring the Impact of Public Transportation on Individual
Well-Being in Chicago’s Communities

Project Lead:

Victor Jiao, Ermelinda Calderón


Vikram Srikonda, Nicole Gutierrez, Elena Gill, Francesca Carney, Meghana Halbe, Radha Ramanathan, Ava Hedeker


This paper investigates the impact of transportation accessibility on public health outcomes in Chicago, and OLS regression analysis finds that reliable transportation facilitates better healthcare access and promotes healthier lifestyles. We analyze how the availability of public transit correlates with various health metrics including obesity rates, chronic disease management, and access to healthcare resources. Using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression analyses, we explore the relationship between transit stop accessibility and health indicators such as routine checkups, prenatal care, and physical activity levels, while controlling for median household income. Our findings indicate that improved transit accessibility could increase the rates of early prenatal care and reduce physical inactivity, but the influence of socioeconomic status remains substantial. We also discuss the disparities in transit accessibility that exacerbate health inequities among Chicago’s South and West Side communities. The study highlights the critical role of public transportation in enhancing public health and offers policy recommendations to improve transit reliability and access, particularly in underserved areas. We provide recommendations for addressing transportation barriers that would ensure a more equitable urban environment that supports the health and well-being of all Chicagoans.

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