A new national study shows that more than half of all non-drivers age 65 and over stay at home on a given day, many because of limited transportation options. This trend is particularly troublesome as the baby boom generation of Americans grows older.
"Aging Americans: Stranded Without Options," released today by the Surface Transportation Policy Project, in coordination with AARP and the American Public Transportation Association, concludes that as Americans grow older, our existing transportation network is unable to meet the needs of the nation's aging population particularly as they become less willing and able to drive. Read the full study.
AARP believes it is critical that transportation policymakers begin to address the needs of the over 65 population now by offering choices beyond driving, allowing people to travel independently in their communities. The reauthorization of TEA-21 (the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century), is an opportunity to expand and improve transportation services for older Americans.
AARP is working to:
- increase funding for public transportation programs, particularly those serving the elderly and persons with disabilities
- allow operating assistance as an eligible expense in the Section 5310 program for the elderly and persons with disabilities, and not just funding for the purchase of vehicles
- strengthen coordination among human services transportation programs
- preserve the Transportation Enhancements program that helps make communities more walkable and bicycle friendly, and
- support funding for improvements that make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians.
AARP testified before both the House of Representatives and Senate transportation committees in July, 2002. Read the House testimony.