Rural communities and small towns have much to offer, including a sense of community, affordable housing and access to open space. However, many of these areas are currently experiencing population declines due to various demographic and economic trends. An aging population, industrial shifts, changing consumer preferences and diminishing local services have all contributed to rural stagnation.

Like people anywhere, rural and small town residents rely on transportation to access jobs, schools, medical facilities, retail shopping, recreation, social events and other services. This can be challenging in these areas because of lengthy travel distances and limited travel options, particularly for people with limited ability to drive.

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