As the American population ages and the number of older adults withlimited driving capabilities increases, it is important to consider all forms of senior transportation services, including taxicabs, which are one of the most prevalent transportation alternatives for the growing senior population. The National Center on Senior Transportation organized this report to discuss the importance of taxis for senior transportation, as well as some of the barriers to taxi use, steps that can increase seniors’ use of taxis, and taxi use in rural areas.
While the use of taxis helps support older adult independence, there are a number of barriers to their increased use that must be addressed, including limited availability, the cost, and accessibility, among other things. Focusing on how to overcome these barriers, and increase senior taxi use, is importantfor local officials and planners interested in improving the transportation needs of older adults.
Other report highlights include:
- Providing training to taxi drivers can help address drivers’ concerns about aging and disability, and help prepare them for dealing with older adults; however, time in training is time off the street so there needs to be a focus on incentives for participation.
- Partnerships are very important to the success of a senior-friendly project and should at least include local regulatory authorities, national associations (such as the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association), the aging and disability communities, and citizen advocacy groups.
- Accessible taxis are not as available as they probably should be because they are more expensive to purchase and operate; however, some cities have passed ordinances that require fleets to add accessible vehicles.
- Affordability can be controlled by taxi voucher programs, which are typically supported by local (e.g., private donations, advocacy groups, Chambers of Commerce, etc.) and federal dollars (e.g., U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, etc.).
How to Use
The information provided in this report provides local officials and planners with valuable information on barriers to the use of taxis by older adults, as well as steps to increase taxi use that may encourage communities to contemplate ways they can better accommodate seniors’ mobility needs. Additionally, there is information on possible partnerships to consider, as well as case studies that can serve as models for taxi improvements in any locality.
View full report: Taxis for Senior Transportation (PDF – 3.1 MB)