Exploration of Transportation Obstacles for Those Seeking Selected Social Services in Northern Mississippi

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Transportation obstacles create problems that on the surface appear simple; turning frustratingly complex to the policy makers and public administrators tasked with tackling them in modern human communities. Two primary imperatives focus administrators and legislators attention to transportation obstacles: (a) Transportation obstacles are primary contributors to an inability to access public services, and (b) transportation obstacles prevent all citizens from benefiting equally from public services which are paid for by all members regardless of transportation ability. Literature has long identified transportation obstacles as a priority in public debate about transportation policy, practice, and social equity, with myriad studies and academic works to support the supposition that obstacles to transportation in modern society make it difficult for the least among its citizens. Missing in large part among all this work is a contemporary, operating, definition of what actually constitutes a “transportation obstacle.” The available literature is rich in quantitative data identifying “obstacles” to transportation as a major problem, but there is precious little deeper qualitative information of what obstacles are actually encountered. This study attempts to define and describe transportation obstacles. This study did this by conducting focus groups of public service providers in northern Mississippi in which the participants were asked to articulate their views on the construct and secondary effects of a transportation obstacle. This will assist legislators and administrators in developing strategies to deal with these issues.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Public Administration
Public administration, Transportation