Thank You APTA for a Revelation
An article this week from APTA (American Public Transportation Association) opened my eyes to something. On the surface, the title of the piece sums it up: Most Seniors Worry About Being Stranded Without Transportation.
Any of us with older parents, or those of us who know older people, are fully aware that admitting the fact that driving a car is no longer a safe option is a tough ticket for Seniors. It is one of those demarcations in life when things change. Losing the level of mobility that we all take for granted these days is significant. So what the title of the article says is obvious.
My revelation as a result of this article may have happened because of another story I read that mentioned that the first of the Baby Boomers will hit sixty years of age this coming year. If it is true that the impact from this groundswell of aging people will redefine the retirement lifestyle as we know it, then a good transit system might be a deciding influence when these people decide where to live.
If a Senior who no longer has use of a car can choose to live in a home where it is possible to access a good LRT line that ultimately delivers them to whatever activity or function is available, I bet that is exactly where such a Senior will live. These Seniors could have much of what they like in the suburbs, but yet have access to the advantages of the urban environment, simply because of a good LRT System.
So that's my revelation, simple as that. As arguments are made in favor of spending money for LRT, this new argument will be that accessible, convenient, and safe transportation will result in an improved lifestyle for Seniors, a lifestyle and location that will be selected over something else. It's even more reason that cities like Portland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas, and Charlotte, which are building these very Transportation alternatives, will add their names to San Francisco, Chicago, and the other Northeastern Cities as places desirable to live. Everyone will benefit in ways too numerous to mention here. Everyone, that is, except places like San Antonio, Kansas City, and Detroit, places that continue to listen to LRT naysayers.
The result will be that Seniors will avoid some places, and will actually decide to move to others, taking with them their vitality, time, and tax dollars, too. It is going to be just another benefit of the construction of viable LRT Systems.