An Investigation of Innovative Approaches to Transportation Service Provision for Aging Populations Residing in Areas Lacking Fixed-Route Public Transportation Service

Many older Americans wish to remain in their current homes and communities as they age, and access to safe, reliable, and convenient transportation is critical for enabling them to do so. The availability of transportation options is particularly important to older Americans who for reasons of disability, income, or choice are not able to drive themselves. While older Americans living in metropolitan areas that provide fixed-route transit have access to public transportation to help them meet their mobility needs, nearly one out of five older adults live outside metropolitan areas and lack easy access to such transportation services. Many communities rely on paratransit services to help meet this critical transportation need; however, such services have serious limitations related to the high cost associated with providing these services, the need for users to schedule rides in advance of their actual travel, and service quality and reliability issues. In several states, individuals and organizations have begun to experiment with innovative transportation services that seek to address the limitations of the paratransit model in communities that lack fixed-route transit services. These services range from publicly funded, quasi-formal service networks to volunteer-led organizations that rely on private donations and informal operating approaches. Other informal approaches include volunteer-led transportation linkages that operate using personal vehicles, on-call scheduling, and existing social networks lo provide rides to older adults who need one. However, these services are understudied. There is a need for more information about the types of services that are provided, and there is a need for assessment about the effectiveness of their organizational, structures and service delivery strategies for providing critical mobility services for the older population, the sustainability of their funding models, and the applicability of such approaches for other communities. This study seeks to provide best practices guidance through a multiple case study national investigation of innovative transportation services in communities that lack traditional fixed-route transit.


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $100300
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Department of Transportation

      Office of the Secretary
      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Tucker-Thomas, Dawn

    • Performing Organizations:

      Florida State University, Tallahassee

      217 Westcott Building
      Tallahassee, FL  United States  32306-
    • Principal Investigators:

      Brown, Jeffrey

    • Start Date: 20150320
    • Expected Completion Date: 20151231
    • Actual Completion Date: 20151231
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program
    • Subprogram: Research

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01604217
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Center for Accessibility and Safety for an Aging Population
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Jul 1 2016 12:14PM