All people need access to a variety of travel options. These options should be safe, affordable, dependable, and user-friendly. For some people, public transportation services are ideal. Personalized services are more appropriate for others because of their health, disability status, or geography. Such customized services might include curb-to-curb wheelchair-accessible vehicles (sometimes known as paratransitThe Americans with Disabilities Act requires fixed-route public transit providers to offer “complementary paratransit” to qualified people with disabilities. Door-to-door service is typically provided using wheelchair-accessible vehicles. services), reduced-fare taxis, and rides from volunteer drivers in private vehicles.
These community transportation systems are vital links connecting older adults, people with disabilities, and other transportation disadvantaged populations with needed services and social opportunities. Although everyone benefits from having multiple transportation options, it is especially important for older adults, people with disabilities, and others who do not drive. More than eight million Americans age 65 and older do not drive. Drivers age 70 and older are expected to outlive their driving years—men by seven years and women by ten.