An Investigation of Older Adult Preferences for Transit and Related Mobility Services

University  Florida State University (FSU)
Principal Investigators  Jeffrey Brown, Ph.D
PI Contact Information  Department of Urban & Regional Planning
Phone: 850.644.8519
Funding Source(s)and Amounts  Provided(by each agency or organization)  USDOT: $73,400
Florida State University: $36,700
Total Project Cost  $110,100
Agency ID or Contract Number  DTRT13-G-UTC42-033177-039371
Start and End Dates 10/20/2016 – 08/15/2017
Brief Description of Research Project 

The recent proliferation of alternatives to driving has presented many older adults with a complex menu of transportation options. Many older adults face challenges that can hinder their ability to drive, making these alternatives an attractive means of maintaining independent mobility. However, little study has been devoted to how older adults perceive and use these alternatives, or to what degree these alternatives can be adapted to better serve older riders. Using a community survey and interviews with older adults in Tallahassee, Florida, this paper explores the perceptions and preferences of older adults regarding several modes of transportation other than the automobile. Findings indicate that older adults in Tallahassee prefer to drive themselves if possible, and generally value the personalized services of demand-response transportation more than fixed-route transit or taxicabs. Many non-drivers appreciate the flexibility of demand-response transportation, and appreciate the safe and personalized service offered by that mode, but harbor reservations about the operators’ commitment to customer service and the unique needs of older riders. The findings further indicate that older adults’ transportation habits are shaped by external forces as well as individual impressions. This suggests that agencies seeking to adapt their services to better serve older adults must be mindful of both macro-level issues (such as the aging process and physical frailty) as well as the micro-level opinions and desires (such as each client’s need to maintain dignity and independence) that draw older adults to one mode over another.

Describe Implementation of Research Outcomes (or why not implemented) Place Any Photos Here Final Report
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation (actual, not anticipated) See Final Report