Positive Aging SourceBook
Posted by Positive Aging SourceBook on 03/27/2015

Survey Results - Mobility & Transportation Options for Older Adults - Fairfax County

Key Findings

  • Twenty-seven percent of respondents were unable to get to a destination in the past month.
  • The majority were unaware of the free travel training programs.
  • Those with the lowest annual household incomes are most likely to not leave their homes in a typical week.
  • A significant number restrict driving to avoid rush hours, inclement weather, and driving after dark.
  • Thirty-four percent of older adults and people with disabilities who have difficulty finding transportation are not aware of any fare discounts, or taxi subsidies.
  • Inaccessible bus stops, unsafe pedestrian crossings, and limited service prevent use of public transit.


  • Mobility Management
  • Establish a mobility management coalition, managed by a staff coordinator, to foster collaboration to expand transportation options for older adults and people with disabilities.
  • Public Transit
  • Off-Peak Service: Increase bus service during off-peak times to connect neighborhoods with shopping centers, senior centers, recreation centers, and libraries as well as transfer points at main-line transit stops.
  • Fares: Expand the locations where people can buy Senior SmarTrip cards and Metro Disability ID cards. Display Metrorail parking policies and fees more prominently.
  • Stop Announcements: Install automated bus stop annunciators and visual LED displays. Upgrade communications equipment and train operators to announce stations clearly.
  • Accessibility: Conduct PSAs about priority seating areas. Improve way-finding signage, as well as lighting at Metrorail stations. Ensure that escalator and elevator outages are fixed expeditiously and publicize ELES alerts notifying riders of elevator and escalator outages. Provide elevator redundancy at new Metrorail station.
  • Empowerment: Provide contact information at transit stops to enable riders to report deficiencies in service.
  • Bus Stop Accessibility and Pedestrian Issues
  • Pathways: Prioritize bus stop accessibility improvements by constructing sidewalks and curb cuts leading to stops, installing pedestrian signals and crosswalks, and adding shelters with sufficient seating.
  • Empowerment: Provide contact information at bus stops to enable residents to report inaccessible bus stops.
  • Paratransit – MetroAccess
  • Fare Policy: Provide a consistent, affordable fare structure that is easy to understand, especially for individuals with cognitive disabilities.
  • Service Area Policy: Provide consistent service hours throughout the MetroAccess service area, particularly to subsidized housing complexes built for older adults or people with disabilities.

Click to download survey results

By: Steve Gurney

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