Transportation for an Aging Population: Promoting Mobility and Equity for Low-Income Seniors

This study examines the travel needs, preferences, and mobility challenges faced by diverse (in terms of age and ethnicity) older low-income, inner city adults and offer recommendations to policymakers on how to enhance their mobility.

Task 1:

Survey of Policies and Interventions. We will identify what policies, programs, and interventions relating to travel by older adults are currently available in major US cities.

This survey will allow the extraction of best practices and state-of- the-art information from mobility programs developed for low- income older adults cities (such as, for example, New York’s Senior Zones).

Task 2:

Literature Review. A review of literature from the planning, transportation and gerontology fields will provide insight into how the travel patterns of older adults differ from younger adults, and will help highlight the mobility needs and challenges encountered by diverse low-income older adults. An additional component of the literature review will be a Survey of Best Practices.

Task 3:

Analysis of California Household Travel Survey. An analysis of this database will give us some background information about the general characteristics of travel by older adults in the Los Angeles metropolitan area and California in general.

Task 4:

Travel Diaries. We will ask older adults from Saint Barnabas Senior Services (SBSS) to compile travel diaries that detail their movements; the travel modes they use in the city; and the ways they reach different important destinations.

Task 5:

Focus groups. We will conduct jointly 4-5 ethnicity- and gender- specific focus groups with older adults at SBSS of different genders, ages, and ethnic groups. Each focus group will be comprised of 6-10 participants, will be conducted in a language appropriate to the participants, will last for 1.5-2 hours, and will inquire about the older adults’ mobility patterns and travel behavior—how much they travel, trip frequency, how far they travel (distance), by which modes and for what purposes, what are their transportation needs and challenges for accessing neighborhood services and other destinations, and what trips they may wish to take, but cannot.

Task 6:

Development of Report: This report will summarize the research findings and will also include:

  • Recommendations for the enhanced mobility of different groups of low-income inner-city seniors.
  • Methodology for collecting point-specific travel data for identifying mobility challenges, needs, and travel preferences among varied groups of low-income seniors. 


Mineta Consortium for Transportation Mobility
San José State University

Principal Investigator: 

Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, Ph.D.

PI Contact Information: 

Mineta Transportation Institute
San José State University
210 N. 4th St., 4th Floor
San José, CA 95112 

Funding Source(s) and Amounts Provided (by each agency or organization): 

U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology – $70,010.33 

Total Project Cost: 


Agency ID or Contract Number: 



September 2017 to December 2018

Project Number: