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Travel mobility and social participation among older people in a transit metropolis: A socio-spatial-temporal perspective

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  • He, Sylvia Y.
  • Cheung, Yannie H.Y.
  • Tao, Sui

Abstract

Employment provides resources and opportunities that allow people to participate in economic and social life. To investigate the effect of economic status on transport mobility, we examined the travel behaviour of Hong Kong’s older population from a socio-spatial-temporal perspective. We paid special attention to older people’s economic activity status and examined whether this variable would significantly affect an older adult’s transport mobility. Using the 2011 Hong Kong Travel Characteristics Survey (TCS), we categorised out-of-home trips into three types: mandatory, maintenance and discretionary. The Poisson and linear regression models were used to estimate the number of trips and travel duration, respectively. Separate models were estimated for different departure times over the course of a day. We found that the travel mobility of older people in Hong Kong was not significantly lower compared with younger people. The steep decline in mobility with ageing as shown in the Western experience was not found in our study. On the other hand, some older people associated with certain socio-economic and geographic characteristics were found to face potential spatial barriers in fulfilling their mobility needs during certain periods of the day. From these findings, a series of implications has been determined to inform policy-makers about the potential need to provide special transit services to cater for the out-of-home needs of employed and unemployed older people. As ageing is becoming a global challenge for many world cities, this research may serve as a reference from an Asian perspective.

Suggested Citation

  • He, Sylvia Y. & Cheung, Yannie H.Y. & Tao, Sui, 2018. "Travel mobility and social participation among older people in a transit metropolis: A socio-spatial-temporal perspective," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 608-626.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:118:y:2018:i:c:p:608-626
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2018.09.006
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