Introduction

A core objective of the Future Transport Strategy 2056 is access for all, no exceptions. The draft Older Persons Transport and Mobility Plan 2018-2022 (the Plan) is one of a suite of social inclusions plans that give life to this objective. The Plan deals with the challenges that older people may experience in using public and private transport as they age.

The Plan takes a ‘whole of life’ approach by looking at a person’s changing needs as they move from active ageing to older age. There are four broad outcomes:

  • Keeping active and connected with my community – Older customers are encouraged and supported to use walking, cycling, driving and public transport.
  • Staying safe – Older customers are confident accessing and using transport to get around.
  • Being informed – Older customers have access to the information they need about transport services.
  • Maintaining independence – Older customers actively plan for their future transport needs and have suitable transport alternatives when they are not able to drive.

The Action Plan in Chapter 4 of this Plan sets out the details of initiatives that will achieve these outcomes for older people.

We’ve talked to older people about their travel and their needs, surveying 2000 seniors to really understand what they want from transport. We’ve also considered independent, state-wide research conducted by the NSW Council on the Ageing. Collectively this research has given Transport for NSW unprecedented insight into older people’s travel behaviours, modal preferences and perceptions of future transport requirements as they age.

While the population of older people is growing, it is vital to understand that the nature of ‘ageing’ is also changing. Our research shows that older customers are healthier and more active than previous generations; they are working longer and have greater expectations about the quality of services they receive.

The actions in the Plan reflect these common trends and experiences of mobility and access to transport as our customers age. It means that older people will have more transport options, especially when they are no longer able to drive, so that they can remain active, independent and connected to their communities.

Transport for NSW has a range of programs, policies, projects and other initiatives that directly and indirectly support older people’s mobility, whether by walking and cycling, using public transport services, utilising community transport or by driving. In some cases, the programs have been developed as part of improving quality services for all users of public transport.

These initiatives are consistent with the directions of the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016–2020, which promotes inclusion and social engagement for older people.