Like many rural areas and small communities, Park County, Wyoming, is looking for opportunities to address mobility needs that
can also encourage economic development. The cost of transportation has important implications for area residents: The Bureau
of Labor Statistics (2016) indicated that transportation was the second highest expense
for a family of four, representing 17.6% of all expenses, and was only behind housing
expenses, which represents 31.2% of household expenses. Moreover, commuting in rural
counties often involves long distances. For example, many commuters in Park County
travel between Powell and Cody, a roundtrip distance of 50 miles, which represents
estimated commuting costs for a full-time employee of $8,250 per year (American Automobile
In 2015, the County initiated discussions concerning mobility with the region’s two leading economic development organizations: Powell Economic Partnership (PEP), Inc. and Forward Cody, Inc. Together, these partners were interested in transportation options that could increase access for employees and clients to workplaces, hospitals, educational institutions, and commercial centers; facilitate access for tourists to the county’s scenic, cultural, and recreational opportunities; and improve safety and quality life for county residents. Read more.
This article was published in the Western Rural Development Center’s Rural Connections Spring 2017.