Older people and local public transit: Mobility effects of accessibility improvements in Sweden
AbstractSeveral transportation factors concerning older and disabled people are under transition in Sweden at present. By the year 2010, the public transit system must be fully accessible for all passengers. The present survey studied older people, in order to assess the perceived travel opportunities. Questionnaires were sent to a sample of older citizens (75+) in three Swedish mid-sized municipalities. The general conclusions were that even though older people show appreciation of the existing travel opportunities, there was evidence for restricted mobility for some sub-groups of these older people, due to various perceived barriers. These groups have few optional modes, and despite various accessibility measures, special transportation services – the mandatory demand-responsive transport service – continues to provide crucial mobility. Hence, there is more to be done regarding accessibility and usability in public transit for older people. Further studies have to clarify reasons for bus travel cessation. Even larger efforts have to be put into accessibility improvements, in particular intermediate transit solutions in order to meet the regulations and policies.
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