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Effectiveness of Transit Strategies Targeting Elderly People: Survey Results and Preliminary Data Analysis

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Title: Effectiveness of Transit Strategies Targeting Elderly People: Survey Results and Preliminary Data Analysis
Author(s): Mohammadian, Kouros; Rashidi, Taha H.; Takuriah, Piushimita
Subject(s): senior population travel mass transit
Abstract: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has shown that America’s senior population has been growing and will almost double by 2030. This trend continues to challenge researchers who are looking to increase seniors’ awareness or favorable views toward public transportation and researchers who are developing innovative public transportation alternatives for seniors. These alternatives will try to wean seniors from their reliance on cars, while not compromising other transit riders’ safety and comfort. The research team at the University of Illinois at Chicago undertook this study as a first step toward meeting this challenge. To collect information on seniors’ travel attributes and their opinions about Northeastern Illinois’ public transportation system and potential service alternatives, the research team developed a comprehensive survey, covering four common trip purposes (doctor visits, shopping trips, social or recreational travel, and work trips) and various travel modes. These modes included combinations of nonmotorized travel, auto use, and three commonly used public transportation modes (Metra, Pace, and the Chicago Transit Authority). The research team tested this survey on a small sample of respondents; modified it to maximize the number of accurate, unbiased responses; and sent it to 2,000 seniors who have resided in one of metropolitan Chicago’s six counties. Two hundred eighty seniors sent back complete and useful surveys that provided data for this study. Most of these seniors were unfamiliar with Northeastern Illinois’ public transportation system and did not view it as a driving alternative, partly because they view it as more hazardous than driving their own cars and less convenient than getting a ride from friends or family members. To help change these perceptions, the research team suggests that Northeastern Illinois’ public transit operators provide printed timetables and maps on their trains, buses, or stations; increase vehicle frequencies; provide real-time arrival information at stations and on cell phones; order more low floor and kneeling buses, clean their stations and vehicles better, and provide shuttle services specifically designed for seniors. 17.
Issue Date: 2009-02
Publisher: Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT)
Series/Report: FHWA-ICT-09-033
Genre: Technical Report
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/13717
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Sponsor: ICT-R27-17
Date Available in IDEALS: 2009-09-09
 

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