Although few Vermont residents report difficulty getting where they need to go, almost 90 percent believe that the state of Vermont has a responsibility to help people with transportation needs when they are no longer able to drive. AARP Vermont conducted this 2009, study in an effort to help residents attain lifelong independence by better understanding their transportation needs.
AARP Vermont surveyed 800 residents age 18+ to help determine opportunities for changing perceptions and practices for transportation in Vermont. In rural communities, the range of mobility options is typically more challenging. For this reason, a majority of residents rely on driving as their primary mode of transportation; however, older residents who are not working and have lower incomes are more likely to report having difficulty getting transportation when needed.
Other report highlights include:
- Although driving is the primary method of transportation for a majority of Vermont residents, a number of respondents have traveled to their desired destination in other ways, including walking and sharing rides.
- Over half of respondents do not think there are adequate alternatives to driving in their community.
- The most common driving alternatives close to residents’ houses are sidewalks, park and rides, and buses.
- Almost 60 percent of respondents say that public transportation is available in their community, and almost 50 percent say that it is in walking distance. However, of the respondents who say that public transportation is available in their area, the vast majority have not used it recently.
- The most positive factors noted about public transportation are its convenience, affordability, and environmental friendliness.
How to Use
This study highlighted key information regarding options for Vermont to effectively and efficiently utilize a variety of transportation options to increase mobility. The information provided can help local officials and planners determine the best range of transportation options to increase mobility, while reducing costs, protecting the environment, properly utilizing land, and fostering economic development.