According to a report released this week, more than 15.5 million Americans 65 and older will live in communities where public transportation service is poor or non-existent by 2015, with the number expected to continue to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation continues to age.
The report, "Aging in Place, Stuck without Options," ranks metro areas by the percentage of seniors with poor access to public transportation, now and in the coming years and presents other data on aging and transportation.
The data showed some alarming statistics, including the fact that 90 percent of seniors in metro Atlanta will live in neighborhoods with poor access to options other than driving, while 100 percent of seniors in smaller areas like Hamilton, Ohio will have poor access to public transportation.
As a result of fewer transportation options, seniors 65 and older who no longer drive make 15 percent fewer trips to the doctor, 59 percent fewer trips to shop or eat out, and 65 percent fewer trips to visit friends and family, than drivers of the same age, the report found.
This is alarming. Better transportation options are a must for the entire nation, especially as the population continues to grow, as well as for the environment. The fewer options there are, the more and more people will be forced to use their vehicles, causing more gridlock and pollution.
Tomorrow's "Dump the Pump Day," sponsored by APTA, celebrates our need to get out of the car and use alternative forms of transportation for at least one day. If you can't take part in the celebration tomorrow, then send a letter to your congressional representative urging them to support public transportation. We have to make a difference now in anticipation for the changes to come.
In case you missed it...
Read our METRO blog, "OCTA CEO: Public employees get the job done even under fire" here.
Agencies that use Twitter to respond to users’ complaints or answer questions get more positive Twitter reaction and more civil discourse online, according to Lisa Schweitzer the author of a recent study analyzing tweets of public transit agencies. “It’s about the marketing potential of social media — a lot of public transit agencies are simply tweeting their problems to the world by blasting out late service announcements. That’s not a good use of Twitter,” she says. “Transit agencies can influence the tone of the discussion by interacting with patrons online,” Schweitzer explains. “It gives people something to respond to, and it reminds people that somebody is listening.”
Usually by early January, I will hopefully have taken down the last of our holiday decorations and eaten or given away the remaining sweets that have become a part of my regular diet during the month of December. Then, of course like most people, I’ll think about ways I want to improve myself for the coming year. Whether it be exercising more (walking from the parking lot to my office doesn’t count), eating less ice cream or managing my email better. The latter practice alone would help improve my efficiency at work immensely. I’m sure you probably feel the same way.
A new National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) study solidifies what the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) Transit Savings Report has been telling us for years now: riding public transportation can save users money.
June 20 will mark the 8th annual National Dump the Pump Day sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association, in partnership with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Driving a bus never looked easy. Living in California and being stuck in my car as much as I am, I’ve always had tremendous respect for the men and women who operate buses on a daily basis. So, when the call came that I would get my shot to drive in Sunday’s APTA Bus Roadeo, I was both excited and nervous.