The Transportation Needs of Seniors


David Levinson, Rania Wasfi

January 2007

Report no. CTS 07-01

Over 208,000 residents of Hennepin County, Minnesota are over the age of 55, a number that is sure to rise. This paper examines the transportation needs of the elderly in Hennepin County through a mail out-mail back survey of their existing travel behavior and their unmet needs. The survey had both demographic and attitude questions as well as a travel diary for recording actual trips and desired but untaken trips. We found that 87% of the sampled population feel they are independent travelers. Around 51% of the surveyed population indicated that they are transit users, 25% of them revealed their concerns about difficulties they are facing when using public transit. About 16% of transit users were concerned about waiting time for transit, while only 8% were concerned about the travel time. Only 15% of the surveyed population use paratransit. A large number of comments were received, which add qualitative flavor to the analysis that was conducted. Seniors recognize even if they are currently independent, that will not always be the case, and acknowledge they should plan.

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