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How the Travel Patterns of Older Adults Are Changing: Highlights from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey

This AARP Public Policy Institute Fact Sheet is the first in a series of publications on the travel patterns of older adults. This analysis of the 2009 National Household Travel Survey by Jana Lynott and Carlos Figueiredo found that:

  • Older adults comprise an increasing share of the nation’s travel.
  • Although individuals are traveling less, particularly in private vehicles, public transportation use is up.
  • Older men are more mobile than older women; however, the gap has been narrowing.
  • The number of older non-drivers has grown by more than 1.1 million.

To accommodate the mobility needs of an aging population, the focus of transportation planning and policy must shift from increasing road capacity to providing more multi-modal solutions. Investments are needed in Complete Streets, older driver safety measures, volunteer driver programs, public and specialized transportation, and implementation of the CLASS program.

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