Travel behaviors, sustainable mobility, and transit-oriented developments: a travel counts analysis of older adults in the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - old people, place - north america, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, land use - transit oriented development


Older adults, Aging, Travel behaviors, Sustainability, Transit oriented development; Denver


As older adults become a larger portion of the U.S. population, new research examines the changing travel behaviors and needs of older adults in cities, especially in light of aging in place and active aging trends. Using descriptive statistics and regression models, this paper analyzes the trips, distances, mode choices, trip purposes, and time of day travel characteristics for older adults. It provides empirical evidence of basic travel behaviors and needs of older adults, examines heterogeneous characteristics between four different age groups, and focuses on sustainable mobilities, particularly the influence of transit-oriented developments. The data come from a 2009 travel-counts survey of the Denver, Colorado, (U.S.) metropolitan area, and include 4268 adults aged 60 and over, and 15,678 total trip activities. Consistent with existing research, total trips and mean distances decline with age, and mode of travel shifts away from car-driver. Each age group exhibits unique behaviors. For instance, the 75 to 84-year-old group is most mobile by car, and least by walking or transit. The models reveal that factors relating to changes in travel behaviors are quite complex, suggesting the need for research that examines lifestyle clusters more so than age and age groups.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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