Friday, June 17, 2011

Transport poverty likely to effect many baby boomers as they age according to new US report

Tranzwatching trends in public transport needs USA & NZ

Investigation of access to public transport in the USA has lead to a report "Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options," which shows that by 2015, more than 15. 5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or nonexistent.

American public transport, particularly outside the bigger cities and more so in the South-east is generally far below the standards of most other developed countries.  Comparable low density, relatively affluent, high car ownership countries, similar to the USA, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand typically carry two or three times more passengers per capita in equivalent size cities - a reflection of greater investment, greater route spread, more frequent services and longer operating hours normally applying in these countries

Even so, the CANZ countries also have their share of existent "transport poverty" likely to increase as the large "baby boomer" generation ages. Transport poverty involves, for commuters, long, tedious, journeys to work, long waits between services, long walks tofro public transport and for all people (including the aging) lack of freedom to move around, shop, visit friends, or undue reliance on other people needed to move around etc

Transport poverty can become is a major problem for many elderly - even those of relative affluence -  if they are not comfortable driving, or dependent upon a partner who passes away, or physically unable to drive.

According to an excerpt of the report, quoted here,  in the USA -

Without access to affordable travel options, seniors age 65 and older who no longer drive make 15 percent fewer trips to the doctor, 59 percent fewer trips to shop or eat out, and 65 percent fewer trips to visit friends and family than drivers of the same age, research shows.

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