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The mobility and accessibility expectations of seniors in an aging population


  • Alsnih, Rahaf
  • Hensher, David A.


Populations of post-industrial nations are aging. With a growing number of people living well into their 80s and maintaining active lives, the transportation system will have to start focussing more closely on understanding their mobility and accessibility needs, so as to ensure that specific requirements of this large segment are not being ignored through the promotion of traditional 'solutions' and historical assumptions. This paper takes a close look at the evidence on the mobility needs and travel patterns of individuals over 64, distinguishing between the "young" elderly (aged 65-75 years) and the "old" elderly (over 75 years). This distinction is particularly useful in recognising the threshold of health change that impacts in a non-marginal way on mobility needs. This distinction also focuses transport planning and policy on a commitment to understanding the different needs of these sub-groups of the population, identifying services and facilities that better cater for these groups. We review the evidence, in particular, on the mobility characteristics of the over 75 years age group, including how they secure support through migration and settlement patterns. We use the empirical evidence from a number of western nations to identify the role of conventional and specialised public transport as an alternative to the automobile in meeting mobility and accessibility needs.

Suggested Citation

  • Alsnih, Rahaf & Hensher, David A., 2003. "The mobility and accessibility expectations of seniors in an aging population," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 903-916, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:37:y:2003:i:10:p:903-916

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Metz, D. H., 2000. "Mobility of older people and their quality of life," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 149-152, April.
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