Age and Its Relation with Home Location, Household Structure, and Travel Behavior: 15 Years of Observation

Many urban regions are experiencing dramatic changes in the demographic structure of their populations. The “baby-boom” generation is rapidly approaching retirement age and the younger cohorts are not sufficiently large to completely replace them in the workforce. Transportation planners and engineers must therefore be prepared to meet the needs of a population increasingly composed of non-working individuals, many of whom will experience progressively reduced mobility as they grow older. The present paper aims to assist in this regard not only through a descriptive analysis of how home location decisions, household structure, car ownership and travel behavior change with age, but also how these relationships have themselves changed over time. Such compound effects, which are vital for producing informed estimates of future conditions, were quantified using time series data generated from four large-scale travel surveys undertaken in the Greater Montreal Area between 1987 and 2003. This study of the Greater Montreal Area reveals, first of all, that the proportion of elderly in the general population rose from 10.6% to 13.6% between 1987 and 2003. Secondly, the elderly population is dispersing at a higher rate than the general population but is still more concentrated near the CBD. Thirdly, it was observed that household size and automobile access within households are lower for the elderly than for other population segments. Over time however, household size is rapidly decreasing among the elderly, while car ownership and accessibility are rapidly increasing. Finally, various mobility indicators were defined and the scale of their evolution, with age and over time, was estimated. These indicators confirm the existence, among the elderly, of an increasing motorization of trips, a lower concentration of trips during the peak periods, an increasing rate of mobility and an increasing number of kilometers travelled daily. All these findings have important implications for the planning of urban transportation systems and the development of urban transport policy in the context of a rapidly aging population.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 87th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01100654
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 08-1260
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jun 3 2008 7:32AM