Transportation challenges for persons aging with mobility disability: Qualitative insights and policy implications

Elena T. Remillard, Margaret L. Campbell, Lyndsie M. Koon, Wendy A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Persons aging with mobility disability (PAwMD) experience transportation barriers, which can hinder their ability to fully participate in society. Despite a vast infrastructure of federal laws and programs designed to ensure access to transportation, PAwMD remain a transportation-disadvantaged population. Objectives: This paper presents detailed insights on transportation challenges experienced by PAwMD along with recent Federal programmatic initiatives designed to enhance access and mobility for transportation for older adults and people with disabilities. To identify policy gaps and opportunities to improve transportation services, we compared individual-level challenges from PAwMD to national survey data about barriers associated with delivering transportation services at state and local levels. Methods: To assess individual-level transportation challenges, we conducted in-depth, structured interviews with sixty older adult participants with self-identified mobility disabilities for at least 10 years. We also conducted a content analysis of end-user transportation challenges and agency-level transportation coordination barriers to identify correspondences. Results: Participants reported challenges utilizing public and private modes of transportation, related to availability; accessibility; safety; advanced planning; as well as societal attitudes. Barriers to the availability, delivery, and coordination of access and mobility services are linked directly or indirectly to the PAwMD reports of experiencing a shortage of accessible transportation options. Conclusions: Findings highlight the complexity of federal transportation policies and programmatic initiatives designed to support older adults and people with disabilities, which contribute to implementation barriers and transportation challenges. Results highlight the importance of integrating end-user and state and local provider input into transportation policy development and program implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101209
JournalDisability and Health Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Aging
  • Aging with disability
  • Disability
  • Policy
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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