Public Transit Training: A Mechanism to Increase Ridership Among Older Adults

Authors: Susan Shaheen, Denise Allen, Judy Liu

Published: November 15, 2008

Abstract: In the United States, the older adult community is forecast to more than double by 2030. Research is needed to address their increasing mobility needs and perceived public transit barriers. In this paper, researchers evaluate the effectiveness of the Rossmoor Senior Adult Community transit training class (Walnut Creek, California). In Summer 2007, surveys were implemented before-and-after transit training sessions to assess changes in attitudes and intended transit behaviors. Surveys also were administered to participants who had taken the training course over the past two years to identify any longer-term changes in public transit use (longitudinal survey). Results of the ‘before-and-after” survey revealed a positive shift in participant comfort levels in taking public transportation and increased confidence in locating transit information. The majority of respondents (85.7%) stated that they planned to take transit more frequently after training. Longitudinal survey results revealed a significant decrease in private auto use as their primary transportation mode after training. Bus and transit information resource use increased significantly after training. Results from both study populations indicate that training may have an immediate impact on attitudes towards public transit and resulted in longer-term travel behavioral changes.

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July 21, 2015