Due to conventional zoning, residential communities are often separated from commercial areas, making the private automobile the most efficient and accessible mode of transportation. Yet, one in five older adults over the age of 65 does not drive. AARP produced this fact sheet to discuss the importance of coordinating transportation and housing in communities to ensure older adults who cannot drive have easy access to safe and affordable transportation services and amenities.
The fact sheet provides an overview regarding the issue of linking transportation and housing in residential areas to ensure seniors have the option to age in place by exploring transportation challenges faced by older adults; transit improvements and alternatives; and the importance of coordinating housing, transportation, and land-use policies to meet the needs of the growing older adult population. Transit improvements include enhancing pedestrian infrastructure as well as public transportation systems within communities.
Other report highlights include:
- “A survey of older adults indicated that almost 40 percent of respondents do not have adequate sidewalks near their homes and nearly 47 percent cannot safely cross their community’s main roads.”
- Without transportation options, older adults will have to prematurely move to a nursing home facility or become increasingly dependent on family or friends for assistance.
- Transit alternatives must be clean, reliable, user-friendly, and affordable to be a viable solution to meeting the needs of older adults.
- Making streets safer for older adults will make community streets safer for all residents.
How to Use
The report highlights the acute need for transportation program improvements in order to foster age-friendly communities and overcome service gaps in existing public transit systems. Planners and government officials interested in building age-friendly environments can use this fact sheet to gain insight regarding improvements that will make transportation safer and more affordable for all residents in the community.