In 2009, 12 percent of all public transit trips in the U.S. were made by people age 65 or older. Economic factors such as the recession and rising gas prices have substantially increased the demand for public transit in New York and nationwide. However, according to a March 2011 survey, 71 percent of public transit agencies experienced flat or decreased operating funding from local sources and even greater cuts from state sources. AARP and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign produced this report to look at five public transit systems in New York and analyze their transit ridership, how these transit systems are being affected by the recession, and how reduced transit services affect New Yorkers’ ability to stay mobile, especially senior and low-income residents.
The report examines the relationship between the state of the economy and the use of public transportation among New Yorkers. Additionally, the report addresses the impact keeping older New Yorkers mobile has on New York’s bottom line. “By keeping seniors out of nursing homes, and enabling them to age in place with better transportation options, state policymakers can help to keep the costs of long-term care down.”
Recommended solutions to keep all New Yorkers moving with accessible and affordable public transit options are addressed throughout the report. Some of these recommendations include finding new revenue sources to provide stable funding for public transit and promoting Bus Rapid Transit that enables shorter commutes to better meet the needs of many New Yorkers.
How to Use
Planners and local officials can use this report to gain an understanding of the relationship between economic stability and public transportation needs, as well as the efforts of New York’s public transit systems to accommodate these needs, specifically for seniors and low-income residents.