Transportation in an Aging Society. Linkage Between Transportation and Quality of Life

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - old people, place - north america, land use - urban design, land use - impacts


older people, quality of life, transportation, built environment, aging society


This paper explores the effect of transportation factors on the quality of life of older people (those ages 65 years and older). The data are drawn from a national telephone survey done by the American Association of Retired Persons. Exploratory factor analysis was used to develop a quality-of-life index based on five survey questions. Linear regression was used to explore the correlation of the quality-of-life index to transportation as well as various personal, household, and community characteristics. The results showed that low socioeconomic status and a limited social network were linked with a lower quality of life. Various transportation factors were also found to be significant. A lack of transportation in general and, especially, not being a driver were found to be significant factors negatively associated with quality of life. A built environment, which facilitates walking, was found to be positively associated with quality of life. This study finds that accessibility to alternative transportation is positively associated with the quality of life of older people. Specifically, information about transportation options and transportation alternatives for those with disabilities and health problems were found to be significant for the quality of life of older people. This finding indicates that development of transportation alternatives, along with improved accessibility and visibility, is critical for the quality of life of older people in an aging society.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.