Using disaggregated data from the Danish National Travel Survey conducted between 2006–2011, this study compares the travel patterns of older (65–84 years of age) and younger (18–64 years of age) adults regarding land use, socio-economic conditions and urban structures. The results highlight significant differences between travel patterns and their urban form correlates for the older and younger adult populations. Spatial variables such as density and regional accessibility have different and potentially reverse associations with travel among older adults. The car use of older adults is not substituted by other modes in high-density settings, as is the case for younger adults. Older adults do not respond to high regional accessibility by reducing distance traveled, but travel longer and are also more likely to continue using a car in high-access conditions. Spatial structural conditions have the potential to reinforce the need to use private cars among older adults as they attempt to maintain their independent travel and mobility. Older persons are a growing demographic group and thus, the implications of this paper for planning and policies targeting modal shift are significant. How population aging may contribute to car travel saturation or to peak travel requires further investigation.
Transport Policy, 2014, Vol 35, Issue Sep., p. 10-20
Population aging; Urban structure; Older adults; Peak travel; Car use patterns