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J Popul Ageing. 2017;10(4):343-361. doi: 10.1007/s12062-016-9168-9. Epub 2016 Nov 12.

Review of Public Transport Needs of Older People in European Context.

Author information

1
Transport for London, Palestra House, 197 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NJ UK.
2
Austrian Institute of Technology, Giefinggasse 2, 1210 Vienna, Austria.
3
Transportation Research Group, University of Southampton, Southampton, SO17 1BJ UK.

Abstract

People's life expectancy is increasing throughout the world as a result of improved living standards and medical advances. The natural ageing process is accompanied by physiological changes which can have significant consequences for mobility. As a consequence, older people tend to make fewer journeys than other adults and may change their transport mode. Access to public transport can help older people to avail themselves of goods, services, employment and other activities. With the current generation of older people being more active than previous generations of equivalent age, public transport will play a crucial role in maintaining their active life style even when they are unable to drive. Hence, public transport is important to older people's quality of life, their sense of freedom and independence. Within the European Commission funded GOAL (Growing Older and staying mobile) project, the requirements of older people using public transport were studied in terms of four main issues: Affordability, availability, accessibility and acceptability. These requirements were then analysed in terms of five different profiles of older people defined within the GOAL project - 'Fit as a Fiddle', 'Hole in the Heart', 'Happily Connected', An 'Oldie but a Goodie' and 'Care-Full'. On the basis of the analysis the paper brings out some areas of knowledge gaps and research needed to make public transport much more attractive and used by older people in the 21st century.

KEYWORDS:

Older people; Older people profile; Public transport; Transport accessibility

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