How Public Transportation Can Benefit the Elderly

by Alayn Arambula | Dec 15, 2021

As you age, it can become difficult to safely drive your own car. Once you can no longer drive, you may start looking for other ways to get around. Unfortunately, there are common disabilities individuals face as they get older that can make traveling alone difficult.  

However, changes are being made to public transportation services that make using it easy for older adults. Learn how public transportation can benefit the elderly from your McAllen transportation service.

How Age Affects Your Ability to Drive

Studies have shown that many Americans drive 7-10 years past their ability to do so. Although many people push to keep driving, 19% of people 65 years and older no longer drive. Additionally, around 47% of those 85 years and older have stopped driving as well.

Aging can lead to a reduction in strength, coordination, and flexibility, which can affect the way you drive. Even if proper safety precautions are taken, physical limitations can lead to dangerous accidents. 

Once driving is no longer an option, older adults struggle to find a different mode of transportation.

Common Disabilities and How They Affect Drivers

As you age, your body may become weaker in certain areas. Some common disabilities that older adults face include hearing loss, visual impairment, osteoporosis (weakened bone density), limited mobility, and dementia. 

Many of these common disabilities can cause older adults to quit driving themselves and seek other forms of transportation. Unfortunately, these disabilities also make it difficult to use other transportation options. 

Public transportation can be tricky to navigate for first-time users, and as you age it becomes even more difficult. Many elderly people are uncomfortable using public transportation because it can be confusing to them. It’s also hard for them to get on and off the transit buses and find a stable place to sit. 

Because of these obstacles, many older adults may choose to rely on family and friends for transportation or choose not to go out at all.

Improving Elderly Mobility Through Public Transit

To make public transportation more accessible for older adults, there are some changes that have been made. The Florida Department of Transportation’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition has created guidelines to make public transit more age-friendly. Some of these guidelines include:

  • All bus stops must have a proper amount of space with firm, stable, and slip-proof surfaces to make boarding easier

  • The bus must have enough space for passengers to move on and off the buses, including sidewalk clearance

  • Bus stop signs are required and must be located outside the accessible path

  • Route indicators and wheelchair logos will show the way the bus is headed, as well as accessibility accommodations

  • Signs should have a greater contrast between light and dark lettering and the background to allow those with visual impairments to clearly read them

  • Each bus stop sign should have a unique design to it so riders don’t get confused with other street furniture

  • If a shelter without seating is not available at a bus stop, bus benches should be provided for rest and support

With changes like these being made, older adults may find public transportation to be easier and accommodating. Public transit that is age-friendly can also allow all a safe form of transportation that can give individuals their independence and mobility back. 

If you have a loved one who has stopped driving due to older age, public transit may be the solution.

Get Your Mobility Back When You Ride With Metro and Micro McAllen

Aging can bring about a lot of change in a person’s life. For many, being mobile gives them a sense of freedom and independence. Public transportation services are making a lot of improvements to accommodate all individuals, including older adults.

Reach out to your McAllen public transportation service today to find out how we are making accommodations for older adults. Catch‌ ‌a‌ ‌ride‌ ‌on‌ ‌a‌ ‌Metro‌ ‌McAllen‌ ‌bus‌ ‌or‌ ‌

schedule‌ ‌your‌ ‌$1‌ ‌rideshare‌ ‌with‌ ‌Micro‌ today!‌


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