Elderly travel frequencies and transport mode choices in Greater Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Lars Böcker, Patrick van Amen and Marco Helbich has studied elderly daily mobility patterns
Demographic ageing is a key societal challenge in Europe as well as in many other western and non-western societies. A crucial dimension concerns elderly daily mobility patterns. While still partaking fewer and shorter trips than younger generations, today’s elderly have been found increasingly (auto)mobile. Although the elderly benefit from the independence, freedom of movement, and social inclusion, concerns may rise regarding the environmental and accessibility impacts of this induced mobility. The present study adds to the expanding literature on elderly mobility, an integrated analysis of the effects of socio-demographic, health, trip, spatial and weather attributes on elderly mobility. Utilizing travel diary data for Greater Rotterdam, The Netherlands, trip frequencies and transport mode choices of the elderly are analysed by means of zero-inflated negative binomial models as well as multinomial logit regression models, and contrasted to the non-elderly subpopulation to explore (dis)similarities. While the results show common determinants, the models also highlight important differences in the magnitude of the estimated coefficients and factors only influencing transport patterns for the elderly. Embedded in the context of an aging population, the empirical findings assist policy-makers and planners in several respects: For transportation plans and programs it is critical to recognize mobility needs of the elderly. As the seniors are becoming increasingly automobile, the results call for strategies to encourage older people to use more physically active and environmentally friendly transport modes such as public transport, walking and cycling.