Given the rapidly aging population, many local leaders and community planners are facing transportation issues for their older citizens. The National Center on Senior Transportation (NCST) is a U.S. Department of Transportation-funded resource focused on increasing transportation options for older adults that enhance their ability to live more independently within their communities. NCST collects and shared best practices; provides technical assistance and training; facilitates strategic partnerships and community engagement to support the development and coordination of senior transportation options; develops and disseminates information, including the use of web-based and social media vehicles; and administers demonstration grants. NCST is administered jointly by Easter Seals, Inc. and the n4a.
The NCST website provides a wide range of resources and information that can help local transportation planners. This Wrap Up covers two downloadable PDF reports in their Modes and Services series: CarFit, a brochure helping seniors determine if their current car remains “right” for them as they age; and Travel Instruction, a program to help teach seniors about public transportation in their area.
The NCST Modes and Services brochures provide helpful information on a range of senior transportation issues:
- CarFit is a national educational program that was collaboratively created by the American Society on Aging, American Automobile Association (AAA), AARP and the American Occupational Therapy Association. The goal of the program is to help older drivers gage how well their personal vehicles “fit” them and provide them with the opportunity to discuss driver safety, mobility, and ways to improve their fit. Armed with a checklist, a trained CarFit technician meets with an older driver to review the safety features of his car, such as the distance between the driver and the steering wheel. If safety issues are identified, the technician will suggest what the driver can consider to improve the “fit” and level of safety. Successful assessment processes like CarFit can extend the period of safe driving time for seniors. The brochure includes links to successful implementations of the CarFit program.
- Travel Instruction is a service that teaches people how to use their local transportation system. Known by other terms including travel or mobility training, this service gives older people the information and experience they need in order to make an informed choice about using their community transportation systems. Seniors enrolled in travel training programs gain the confidence they need to travel safely and independently. This brochure also provides useful links to successful travel instruction programs across the U.S.
How to Use
The NCST site and these particular brochures offer local government leaders and community planners good information and access to helpful resources on the topic of senior transportation. For planners developing local programs, these brochures provide a good starting place, and provide links to successful implementations of each initiative.