IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sandra Rosenbloom, 2001. "Sustainability and automobility among the elderly: An international assessment," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 375-408, November.
    2. David Hensher & April Reyes, 2000. "Trip chaining as a barrier to the propensity to use public transport," Transportation, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 341-361, December.
    3. Metz, D. H., 2000. "Mobility of older people and their quality of life," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 149-152, April.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:8:1284-1289_4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Levine, Jonathan & Garb, Yaakov, 2002. "Congestion pricing's conditional promise: promotion of accessibility or mobility?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 179-188, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hubers, Christa & Lyons, Glenn, 2013. "New technologies for the old: Potential implications of living in later life for travel demand," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 220-228.
    2. Khandker M. Nurul Habib & Vivian Hui, 2017. "An activity-based approach of investigating travel behaviour of older people," Transportation, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 555-573, May.
    3. Olawole, Moses Olaniran & Aloba, Oluwole, 2014. "Mobility characteristics of the elderly and their associated level of satisfaction with transport services in Osogbo, Southwestern Nigeria," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 105-116.
    4. Ruben G. Mercado & K. Bruce Newbold, 2009. "Car Driving and Public Transit Use in Canadian Metropolitan Areas: Focus on Elderly and Role of Health and Social Network Factors," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 243, McMaster University.
    5. Israel Schwarzlose, Alicia A. & Mjelde, James W. & Dudensing, Rebekka M. & Jin, Yanhong & Cherrington, Linda K. & Chen, Junyi, 2014. "Willingness to pay for public transportation options for improving the quality of life of the rural elderly," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-14.
    6. Deka, Devajyoti, 2014. "The role of household members in transporting adults with disabilities in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 45-57.
    7. Stanley, Janet & Vella-Brodrick, Dianne, 2009. "The usefulness of social exclusion to inform social policy in transport," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 90-96, July.
    8. Khandker Habib, 2015. "An investigation on mode choice and travel distance demand of older people in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Canada: application of a utility theoretic joint econometric model," Transportation, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 143-161, January.
    9. Theo Arentze & Harry Timmermans & Peter Jorritsma & Marie-José Olde Kalter & Arnout Schoemakers, 2008. "More gray hair—but for whom? Scenario-based simulations of elderly activity travel patterns in 2020," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 613-627, August.
    10. Rosenkvist, Jenny & Risser, Ralf & Iwarsson, Susanne & Wendel, Kerstin & Ståhl, Agneta, 2009. "The Challenge of Using Public Transport: Descriptions by People with Cognitive Functional Limitations," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 2(1), pages 65-80.
    11. Hensher, David A., 2007. "Bus transport: Economics, policy and planning," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-507, January.
    12. Sonja Haustein, 2012. "Mobility behavior of the elderly: an attitude-based segmentation approach for a heterogeneous target group," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(6), pages 1079-1103, November.
    13. Su, Fengming & Schmöcker, Jan-Dirk & Bell, Michael G.H., 2009. "Mode Choice of Older People Before and After Shopping: A Study with London Data," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 2(1), pages 29-46.
    14. Wretstrand, Anders & Svensson, Helena & Fristedt, Sofi & Falkmer, Torbjörn, 2009. "Older people and local public transit: Mobility effects of accessibility improvements in Sweden," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 2(2), pages 49-65.
    15. repec:kap:transp:v:44:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11116-016-9680-z is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Hitomi Nakanishi & John Black, 2015. "Social Sustainability Issues and Older Adults’ Dependence on Automobiles in Low-Density Environments," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-21, June.
    17. Spinney, Jamie E.L. & Scott, Darren M. & Newbold, K. Bruce, 2009. "Transport mobility benefits and quality of life: A time-use perspective of elderly Canadians," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1-11, January.
    18. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:981-:d:100814 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Baldwin Hess, Daniel, 2009. "Access to Public Transit and Its Influence on Ridership for Older Adults in Two U.S. Cities," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 2(1), pages 3-27.
    20. Chang, Yu-Chun, 2013. "Factors affecting airport access mode choice for elderly air passengers," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 105-112.
    21. Ma, Lu & Srinivasan, Sivaramakrishnan, 2016. "An empirical assessment of factors affecting the accuracy of target-year synthetic populations," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 247-264.
    22. repec:cog:socinc:v:5:y:2017:i:4:p:183-195 is not listed on IDEAS
    23. repec:eee:trapol:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:73-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. repec:eee:trapol:v:63:y:2018:i:c:p:122-130 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:37:y:2003:i:10:p:903-916. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.