Travel Training for Older Adults: A Handbook

As older adults continue to represent a growing segment of the traveling public, it is increasingly important to document existing, develop new, and expand availability of effective travel training programs for older adults. The purpose of this training is to help increase use of conventional public transit services by older adults as they transition from driving. Travel training programs should be provided without regard to physical disabilities or cognitive impairments. Programs geared toward older adults with physical disabilities or cognitive impairments are often more prevalent; however, travel training programs for others are becoming more important as costs for providing alternate travel services increase. To make the best use of travel training programs, transit operators and other human services providers need to understand which components of current programs work best in which situations, the most likely target groups for such programs, and the best way to conduct outreach to that target group. Travel training for older adults has become more common because it encourages greater ridership using conventional public transit services, and transferring ridership from paratransit to conventional public transit can potentially decrease overall transit system operating costs. At the same time, there is interest in improving the quality of life of older adults by expanding opportunities for increased mobility and continued independence for those not so constrained by physical or cognitive disabilities that use of conventional public transit remains feasible. Transit operators need better information to understand (1) how effective travel training can increase ridership, (2) which older adults are likely to benefit from travel training, (3) what barriers have to be overcome, and (4) what elements of travel training programs are linked to greater success among different groups of older adults. The objective of this research is to prepare a handbook for transit agencies and human services providers on how to create, implement, sustain, and evaluate travel training programs for older adults able to use conventional public transit. This handbook should address the primary components of an effective travel training program for older adults, including but not limited to the following: (1) defining the target market for travel training; (2) identifying incentives and barriers to participation in training programs and subsequent use of conventional public transit; (3) presenting effective marketing and outreach; (4) presenting opportunities and techniques for customized training; (5) identifying and describing methods to monitor outcomes, refine techniques, and sustain ridership; and (6) evaluating cost-effectiveness to the provider as well as the recipient of training. The evaluation process should also address the potential change in quality of life experienced by older adults who participate in and benefit from transit system travel training.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $300000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project B-41

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Performing Organizations:

    Westat, Incorporated

    1650 Research Boulevard
    Rockville, MD  United States  20850
  • Principal Investigators:

    Burkhardt, Jon

  • Start Date: 20111104
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20140204
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37928

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01545909
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project B-41
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 27 2014 1:01AM