Transit Barriers for Older Populations

Project Area(s): 
Mobility for Special Populations

Many older people have special travel needs which can limit their mobility. Some feel less comfortable behind the wheel or traveling alone, and some are forced to give up their driver’s licenses because of age-related disabilities. It is critical to address the special needs of older travelers -- to prevent them from becoming isolated because of a lack of transportation options, and to prevent traffic accidents that might occur because of a decline in their driving abilities. Transportation options including public transit must be made available to older people, however, this aging sector of society may be unfamiliar with transit. TSRC, in conjunction with the Transportation Safety Center, sought to evaluate a transit training class at the Rossmoor Retirement Center in Walnut Creek, California, and identify other barriers that may prevent seniors from taking transit. The transit training class taught Rossmoor residents how to reach frequent destinations by bus, transit fares and where to access transit information. Rossmoor residents were surveyed immediately before and after undergoing transit training. A longitudinal study with participants from up to two years ago evaluated if the Rossmoor transit training class has changed participant behavior in the long term. This project was built upon a past project funded by Caltrans and the Mineta Institute.

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