Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

SURTC Conducting Transportation Surveys of Older Adults and People with Disabilities

The AARP’s North Dakota State Office conducted a survey last fall of its members to explore their views on important topics such as health care, economic security, and transportation.  They released a report in February summarizing the findings.  SURTC collaborated with AARP in formulating the transportation questions and has conducted a more in depth analysis of this section of the survey.  SURTC’s findings will be published later this fall.

One of the major findings is that people with disabilities have greater transportation concerns.  Seventeen percent of the 1,042 respondents age 50 or older identified themselves as having a disability. These people were less likely to think that they have adequate transportation options and were substantially more likely to report problems using public transportation.  Many of these people with disabilities do currently drive, but they are more likely to forego driving during certain conditions such as poor weather or darkness, and they are more likely than others to desire more trips, with transportation more often being a limiting factor.

These results tie into a recently launched SURTC study titled Assessing Existing and Needed Community Transportation for People with Disabilities in North Dakota, which will include a survey of people with disabilities in the state.  Using information obtained from this study, state, regional, county and local public and private transportation and human service agencies will be able to assess their existing transportation services, identify gaps and needs, and plan improvements.   One of the goals of the study is to create a survey instrument that could be used by communities and states beyond North Dakota for collecting similar information.

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