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Australas J Ageing. 2012 Sep;31(3):181-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-6612.2011.00567.x. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Transportation behaviours of older adults: an investigation into car dependency in urban Australia.

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School of Design, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.



Increased car dependency among Australia's ageing population may result in increased social isolation and other health impacts associated with the cessation of driving. While public transport represents an alternative to car usage, patronage remains low among older cohorts. This study investigates the facilitators and barriers to public transport patronage and the nature of car dependence among older Australians.


Data were gathered from a sample of 24 adults (mean age = 70 years) through a combination of quantitative (remote behavioural observation) and qualitative (interviews) investigation.


Findings suggest that relative convenience, affordability and health/mobility may dictate transport mode choices. The car is considered more convenient for the majority of suburban trips irrespective of the availability of public transport.


Policy attention should focus on providing better education and information regarding driving cessation and addressing older age specific social aspects of public transport including health and mobility issues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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