Willingness to pay for public transportation options for improving the quality of life of the rural elderly

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - rural, planning - surveys, economics - willingness to pay, ridership - old people


Elderly quality of life, Elderly transportation, Mixed logit, Survey, Willingness to pay


Transportation for the rural elderly is an increasing concern as baby boomers age and young people continue to exit rural communities. When the elderly are no longer able to drive, they rely on alternative forms of transportation, including public transportation systems. Currently, such systems are usually not good substitutes for driving a private car, especially in rural areas. Because expanded rural transportation systems would likely be funded by taxpayers, an understanding of their preferences and willingness to pay (WTP) for non-medical transportation options is essential. To help understand WTP and preferences, a choice experiment survey was administered to taxpayers in three counties (Atascosa, Polk, and Parker) in Texas. Results indicate taxpayers’ value transportation services for the elderly and are willing to support them. They value more flexible options over base levels of the attributes presented, but they may not always prefer the most flexible options. Respondents’ WTP for the same transportation attribute was similar across counties, but differences in socio-demographic coefficients suggest that transportation systems may need to be customized to meet local needs. Furthermore, county residents’ WTP may not cover the cost of desired improvements to the transportation systems.


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


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