Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Attracting Elderly Drivers to Public transportation: Issues and Concerns

  • Sponsor: Federal Transit Administration
  • Contact: Dr. Fabian Cevallos, (954) 234-4183, fabian.cevallos@fiu.edu
    or Dr. David Shen, (305) 348-1869, shenl@fiu.edu

  • Senior citizens continue to drive even after an age where physical, cognitive, and motor skills are seriously affected. With age, visual acuity and sensitivity declines, information processing capabilities diminishes, and the ability to maneuver to unexpected situations is impaired. Further, the elderly population is expected to significantly increase by year 2030 and many of these persons will require some type of transportation. It is common knowledge that age is an important factor in the number of accidents. In fact, the older the driver gets the higher the propensity to get involved in a car accident, some of them resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. Yet attracting older drivers to use public transportation is still a challenge.

    The need to reduce accidents and other societal costs makes public transportation a viable solution to the mobility of older drivers. However, older drivers are still hesitant to relinquish their driving rights. Is it because of the sense of freedom driving provides or is it because the inability of transit agencies to provide adequate transportation? This research will concentrate on critical issues and concerns of elderly drivers, as it pertains to their mobility. Addressing these critical issues is important as transit agencies need to be prepared to better accommodate and provide efficient service to this segment of the population. In contrast, budget constraints limit the level of service that transit agencies can provide. Results from this research can shed some light into this issue, which can be used by public transportation providers to meet the needs of older drivers.