Developing Strategies to Enhance Mobility and Accessibility for Community-Dwelling Older Adults

Transportation is essential for older adults not only to provide a social link between home and community but also to enable access to living essentials, such as groceries and medicine. This study seeks to understand transportation access, opportunities, and barriers faced by older adults, and investigate how transportation strategies and planning policy can better shape their mobility options. While significant recent research has focused on developing various mobility alternatives for all people, the policy recommendations to support such services to older populations remain unclear. This study proposes a research collaboration between a transportation engineer, an industrial engineer, and a social worker, with an aim to enhance the impacts of transportation policy and planning on the mobility of older adults. The study team seeks to determine the degree to which educational tools or information reduces any technology barriers to access new, alternative transportation services, such as ride-share and car-sharing, and how institutional supports, such as providing on-demand vanpool, can promote mobility of community-dwelling older adults. First, the study team will analyze data from various sources, including Census, General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS), carsharing and ridesharing operations, and community-based paratransit service to identify available transportation access and mobility options for older adults in the greater Dallas, Texas. Secondly, the study team will conduct a survey with older adults participating in home- and community-based programs (e.g., caregiver support program, elder financial safety center, and retired senior volunteer programs) to understand their mobility needs, the usage of available transportation options, potential barriers, and assistance they expect from public or private entities. Thirdly, factor analysis will be applied to the collected data to develop planning and policy strategies that would enhance the mobility and accessibility of older adults by understanding the relationships among respondents’ mobility, neighborhood environments, and accessible transportation service. A collaborative workshop with a technical advisory committee (TAC) will be administered to obtain expert feedback on the feasibility of initial planning and strategy suggestions. Lastly, an agent-based model will be developed to predict the impact of enhanced policy and planning strategies on mobility outcomes for older adults. The results of this study will provide policymakers with actionable strategies for improving mobility for community-dwelling older adults, thereby improving their quality of life. The proposed project is closely linked to the NITC themes by addressing social equity in transportation access across older populations and by identifying strategies that can improve mobility and access among this transportation disadvantaged population.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $248628
  • Contract Numbers:



  • Sponsor Organizations:

    University of Texas at Arlington

    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308

    The Senior Source

    3910 Harry Hines Blvd
    Dallas, Texas  United States  75219

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

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

    TREC at Portland State University

    1900 SW Fourth Ave, Suite 175
    P.O. Box 751
    Portland, Oregon  United States  97201
  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Texas at Arlington

    Box 19308
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019-0308
  • Principal Investigators:

    Hyun, Kate

    Krejci, Caroline

    Lee, Kathy

  • Start Date: 20190901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20220228
  • Actual Completion Date: 20211203
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01710745
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Institute for Transportation and Communities
  • Contract Numbers: NITC-1304, 69A3551747112
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2019 3:11PM