Ray mentioned it below, but there was a really interesting story in this weekend’s Washington Post about people over 65 who have no access to transportation. I don’t expect this is a problem limited to the Washington area. In fact, 20 percent of Americans over 65 are living like this. And I can’t imagine with the demographic shift that this number is going to get any smaller or that most of us are not going to face a parent or loved one in this situation. After all, 70 percent of Americans are living in the suburbs today.
What can be done? A couple of ideas:
- There are a host of interesting non-profit organizations that allow people to bank time while they are able to drive, so they can earn credits toward rides in the future, or even other things. Check ‘em out here .
- Build communities where lots of amenities are close by. Some good examples are Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood; Burlington, Vermont and even Traverse City, Michigan.
- Provide people choices when it comes to transportation. Buses and subways can go a long way.
As with most problems, this one will only get bigger and more expensive to solve, so hopefully we will see more innovation and good ideas before it gets out of hand.
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