With the growing population of older persons around the world, much attention is being paid to designing transportation systems and built environments that meet the mobility needs and desires of this aging population. On the basis of evidence from travel surveys showing that individuals in older age brackets engage in fewer activities outside the home, there is growing concern that aging persons are increasingly at risk of experiencing social exclusion and diminished quality of life. In this study, the activity time allocation patterns of those 65 years of age and older are compared with those of other age groups to understand better the extent to which older persons may be suffering from diminished levels of satisfaction with their daily activity pattern. Using an activity-based time use utility measure, this study quantifies the amount of welfare or satisfaction that individuals derive from their activity-travel pattern. It is found that older individuals actually exhibit the highest values of time use utility of all age groups; any loss in utility due to diminished out-of-home activity engagement is more than compensated for by gains in utility accrued from the pursuit of discretionary activities at home. The finding challenges the notion that older individuals are experiencing lower levels of satisfaction from their activity patterns but point to the need to design transportation systems that cater to those with physical and mental impairments, regardless of age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering