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Policy Options to Improve Specialized Transportation – 2010


Between 2007 and 2030, the 65+ population in the United States is expected to grow by nearly 89 percent. Due to this age shift, trends indicate that demand for public transportation – in particular, specialized services – will continue to grow. The AARP Public Policy Institute produced this report to promote specialized transportation innovation and offer policy options for improving specialized transportation services.

Key Points

The report provides a discussion of specialized transportation as a “demand-response” service, funding and delivery of specialized services and programs through the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and the importance of mobility management. Specialized transportation often serves as a lifeline to the community for older adults, persons with disabilities, and low-income individuals who experience mobility restrictions and limitations. The FTA has established a partnership for sustainable communities with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “provide more transportation choices that are safe, reliable, and economical and that decrease household transportation costs and promote public health.”

Other report highlights include:

  • Mobility management takes a broad approach to optimizing all transportation resources in a community by matching the transportation needs of individuals with a range of transportation options and solutions available.
  • Collecting and analyzing data regarding specialized transportation efforts is vital to understanding the actual value of programs and where improvements can be made.
  • Differences between urban and rural areas make it difficult to create a universal specialized transportation program.
  • Flexibility of funding is essential to developing specialized transportation programs that will meet the needs of all seniors regardless of where they live.

How to Use

The report offers a detailed overview of the importance of specialized transportation and the improvements required to cater to the mobility needs of the rapidly aging senior population. Policymakers can use this report to research further the efforts and initiatives of the FTA that are intended to improve specialized transportation for older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals. Specific approaches about improving specialized transportation services and how to fund such improvements can be found throughout the report.

View full report: Policy Options to Improve Specialized Transportation – 2010 (PDF – 117 KB)

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