Mobility of Older Adults in California: In the Era of Shared Mobility

Research Team: Stephen G. Ritchie (lead) and Suman Mitra

UC Campus(es): UC Irvine

Problem Statement: The older adult (65 and over) population in the United States is quickly growing in proportion, and it is expected to reach its highest point by 2030 when the baby boomers will have all passed age 65. In California, the elderly population is expected to grow more than twice as fast as the total population, and this growth will vary by region. Mobility is a critical element of one’s quality of life regardless of one’s age. Good mobility and decent transportation alternatives are important in enabling the older population to participate in and daily activities and remain socially active.

Project Description: This study will examine the transportation mobility of older adults in California by analyzing data from the 2017 National Household Travel Survey, with an emphasis on those living in rural and disadvantaged areas. Individuals aging in rural and disadvantaged communities are disproportionately affected by poverty and other challenges that accompany poor economic circumstances. And in turn, may face greater challenges than their peers aging in large urban locations. Specific objectives of this research are to estimate the impact of age, and other demographic and geographic characteristics on various measures of mobility, including ability to drive, use of shared mobility services, use of public transportation, trip frequency for both discretionary and nondiscretionary travel, unmet travel demand, barriers to using public transportation, and satisfaction with available transportation options.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $80,000

Project Partner(s): California Department of Aging, Southern California Association of Governments