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Age Friendly Strategy – Transportation

Transportation is a key factor that influences active and healthy aging. “Being able to nnove about the city determines social and civic participation and access to community and health services” (WHO, Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide, 2007: 20)

Benefits from focusing on transportation might include:

1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

  • Focusing on transportation allows older adults to utilize outdoor spaces and buildings. Affordable and reliable transportation allows for increased accessibility to participate within community (Novek & Menec, 2014)

2. Housing

  • More transportation options might allow for older adults to remain in their own homes, or where they want to live, while still allowing for community participation (Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors, 2009)

3. Transportation

  •  Affordable and with consistency/reliability to all older adults
  •  All areas are well-serviced with adequate connecting routes
  •  Safe and accessible shelters and bus stops
  •  Priority seating is available on all city transportation options
  •  All transportation options are safe and comfortable (WHO, Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide, 2007)

4. Social participation

  •  Inadequate access to transportation is a barrier to social participation (Dahan-Oliel etal., 2010)
  •  Participating in social activities promotes good health and successful aging (Statistics Canada, 2012)
  •  Transportation issues was the second most common reason behind health concerns fornot participating in social activities (Turcotte, 2012).
  •  Accessibility of events and activities will be improved with increased transportation options for older adults
  •  Transportation addresses social isolation and encourages active participation and community integration (Novek & Menec, 2014)

5. Respect and social inclusion

  •  Increasing transportation options for older adults allows for inclusive services that are inresponse to older adult’s needs and preferences. (Dahan-Oliel et al., 2010)
  •  Intergenerational interactions may increase with transportation options (e.g. ride forfree with an older adult). Intergenerational interactions have positive benefits for OAs including social inclusion, decreased social isolation, and positive attitudes towards younger people (DeVore, Winchell, & Rowe, 2016).
  •  Older adults will experience economic inclusion with decreased or free fares

6. Civic participation and employment

  • Increased transportation options may lead to more volunteer and employment opportunities for older adults further integrating them into the community and increasing feelings of respect and value
  • OAs have a wealth of knowledge and are an asset to communities to enhance volunteer opportunities – leads to inclusion and other social pieces

7. Communication and information

  • Information regarding events could be included on city transportation options (e.g. brochures or advertisements on the bus, etc.)

8. Community support and health services

  • More affordable and reliable transportation removes barriers that limit opportunitiesfor older adults to access health and social services


Dahan-Oliel, N., Mazer, B., Gelinas, I., Dobbs, B., & Lefebvre, H. (2010). Transportation use in community-dwelling older adults: Association with participation and leisure activities.

DeVore, S., Winchell, B., & Rowe, J.M. (2016). Intergenerational programming for young children and older adults: An overview of needs, approaches, and outcomes in the United States. Childhood Education, 52(3), 216-225

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors. (2009). Age friendly rural and remote communities guide. Retrieved from http://vi/v’’/ friendly rural/pdf/AFRRC en.pcif

Novek, S., & Menec, V.H. (2014). Older adults’ perceptions of age-friendly communities in Canada: A photovoice study. Ageing and Society. 34(6), 1052-1072

Turcotte, M. (2012). Profile of seniors’ transportation habits. Statistics Canada Catalogue. Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2007). Global age-friendly cities: A guide. Retrieved from age friendly cities Guide English.pdf

Age-Friendly World