Title

Evaluation of Urban Travel Training for Older Adults

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2009

Subject Area

planning - signage/information, ridership - old people, economics - appraisal/evaluation, technology - passenger information, place - urban, mode - mass transit

Keywords

Urban areas, Travel training, Transit, Senior citizens, Quality of life, Public transit, Passenger information systems, Older people, Old people, Mobility, Mass transit, Local transit, Elderly persons, Alameda County (California), Aged

Abstract

The aging population in the United States is growing, and transportation is critical to maintaining the mobility, independence, and quality of life of older adults. Travel training programs designed to increase individual knowledge are one way to encourage older adults to use fixed-route transit and improve their transportation options. An analysis was conducted to explore characteristics of travel training participants in Alameda County, California, in 2007 and 2008 and their knowledge and concerns regarding public transit. Specific issues addressed include transit habits, degree of increase in knowledge after participating in the training, and factors that predict training participation. Participants in this study represent a diverse group of older adults having a broad range of transportation experience and knowledge. After participation in the travel training course, participants showed an increase in knowledge of local public transit and how to access transit information independently. The study identifies “currently driving” as a positive predictive factor for participating in the travel training course. Future travel training courses should make efforts to recruit current drivers who may wish to plan for their future mobility needs by becoming more familiar with public transit options.