Understanding the Effects of the Aging Population on Public Transportation Use

This paper describes a research project to model current and future public transportation ridership patterns in relation to the aging Baby Boomer population. The current relationship between ridership and demographic factors is described in detail, using data from the 2001 National Household Transportation Survey. A literature review provides background to this discussion as well. The analysis of current behavior patterns explores specific mobility problems in-depth, examining predictors of staying home on a given day and travel for non-institutionalized people with medical disabilities. Then, in order to predict future ridership results of the aging population, the research team presents a spreadsheet model of future ridership with and without factoring in the aging population. The spreadsheet model contains values for 307 urbanized areas (and one general “non-urbanized area”). The model results show estimated effects of the aging population in each urbanized area on overall ridership and costs. Excerpts from the model are presented in this paper. Generally, the growth in the older population causes a decrease in regular transit use relative to the total population growth. Increased disability rates in the older population however also lead to a predicted increase in paratransit ridership. In general, this implies that for a given population level, transit agencies can expect somewhat decreased ridership and increasing costs as the population ages.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01044341
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-2290
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 6:59PM