Effectiveness of Transit Strategies Targeting Elderly People

Taha Hossein Rashidi, Kouros Mohammadian


The problem of the aging population has brought new challenges for transportation researchers. The Department of Health and Human Services predicts by the year 2030, the elderly population (65+) in the US will approximately be doubled. As the percentage of seniors rapidly increases within the population, it becomes more important to provide them with innovative transportation alternatives that help them maintain their independence while also assuring safety and comfort of other transit users. Exploring the strategies that can improve seniors’ perception of the public transit system was the main goal of this study. A comprehensive survey was designed and seniors’ travel attributes in the Chicago Metropolitan Area were collected. The survey covered four common trip purposes (shopping, doctor visit, social, and work) and different travel modes available in the Chicago region including various combinations of non-motorized, auto drive, and three commonly used public transit modes of Metra Commuter Rail, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and PACE Suburban Bus. Survey respondents were also asked to provide their opinions about the existing and alternative transit services within the region. A descriptive analysis of the stated preference data was then conducted. The results of the analysis represent seniors’ preferred alternatives and effective strategies for system improvement. Furthermore, policy analysis using the modeled results examines the effective factors that could be considered and applied to improve transit services to encourage senior citizens to use public transportation facilities more often.


Elderly People (65+), Transit Ridership, Chicago Metropolitan Area, Transit Improvements and Technologies

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