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Measuring the transportation needs of seniors

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Author(s): Rania Wasfi | David Levinson | Ahmed El-Geneidy

Journal: Journal of Transport Literature
ISSN 2238-1031

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 8;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: seniors | accessibility | mobility | urban transportation

ABSTRACT
Transportation systems are built with the intention to serve communities by providing accessibility and mobility. Yet seniors residing in these communities face different challenges compared to regular commuters. Seniors have special needs in terms of desired destinations and challenges faced due to limitations in mobility and decline of accessibility levels where they reside. In this research paper we discuss major findings from a mail-out mail-in survey conducted in Hennepin County, Minnesota to measuring met and unmet urban transportation needs of seniors. Compared to previous research this study uses primary collected data rather than relying on travel surveys, which does not measure the unmet urban transportation needs of seniors. The findings from this survey is consistent in term of measuring the existing travel behavior of seniors, which raises our confidence in the information being collected related to the unmet transportation needs of seniors. Seniors are found to be generally independent and rely mainly on auto usage to reach desired destinations at higher rates compared to the rest of the population. The majority of seniors reported although they are currently independent they do know that such independency is not permanent and they have to learn more about alternatives available to them. This study helps transportation engineers and planners in better understanding the current and future challenges that they will face with an aging population.
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