Title

TRAVEL MODE CHOICE OF THE ELDERLY: EFFECTS OF PERSONAL, HOUSEHOLD, NEIGHBORHOOD, AND TRIP CHARACTERISTICS

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

land use - planning, ridership - mode choice, ridership - old people

Keywords

Trip purpose, Travel patterns, Transportation policy, Transportation planning, Senior citizens, Older people, Old people, Neighborhoods, Mode choice, Modal choice, Mobility, Households, Elderly persons, Choice of transportation, Aged, Activity choices

Abstract

The travel patterns and travel mode choice of the elderly are analyzed. The elderly are here defined as those who are both 65 or older and retired. A rapid increase in the older population and their proportion in society has tremendous implications for transportation planning and the policy arena. Previous studies on mode choice have been largely focused on working-age people, and existing studies on the travel mode choice of the elderly are limited to descriptive analyses. A systematic analysis is presented of the mode choice of the elderly and how it relates to activity purpose. It is found that neighborhood and trip characteristics, as well as personal and household characteristics, are associated with the mode choice of this group. For example, the elderly are more likely to use transit if they live within five blocks of a bus stop, and they are more likely to share a ride with others when chaining trips, doing errands, or going to a medical appointment and are less likely to use transit when going shopping or doing errands. The elderly prefer walking when going on recreational or personal trips. Those with a higher income are more likely to drive or carpool. The results shed light on the mode choice of the elderly and contribute to the development of a transportation policy framework that considers the elderly. The results suggest that transportation strategies must move beyond private automobiles to prepare adequately for the increasing number of the elderly in society and their mobility needs.