In the future (2020,) there will be more elderly, and their share in the total population will be larger as well. By then, one fifth of the population will be 65 or over. In addition, more elderly will own a driver’s licence and a car at that point in time. Their average educational level and their income will be higher, plus elderly will be healthier and more energetic. The elderly of the future will have a different lifestyle and be more focused on activities outside of the home. The question thus is: How will the ageing population contribute to increasing mobility?
The increasing number of elderly people in the future in the Netherlands and the impacts this will have on mobility are the focus of this study.
The following methodologies have been applied in this study:
- Literature study;
- Analysis of current mobility behavious;
- Estimation of future behaviuor using model calculations.
The future elderly will behave differently from today’s. This change in behaviour includes more out-of-the-home activities, travelling after the morning rush hour, and a different preferred location for living. The behavioural changes result in an 2.8% additional growth of total mobility
The increase in activities outside of the home will have the greatest impact. This will mainly become apparent from an increased car mileage. Public transport will continue to play only a minor role in the mobility of the future elderly.
Providing free public transport to the over 65 will not change this. The subsidy will end up with elderly who are perfectly capable of paying for the use of public transport out of their own means. To ensure the continued mobility of elderly it may be more effective to keep available various mobility facilities (e.g. regional taxi, targeted transport, individual means of transport), in combination with a differentiated fare policy for the elderly.
In addition to an effect on mobility, the ageing population will have an impact on road safety as well. Because the vulnerable group of the over 65 will increase in size, their share in traffic fatalities will go up over the next decades. In 2000, they had a 22% share in these; in 2010 this is predicted to go up to 24%, and it is expected to further increase to 26% in 2020. The majority of the fatalities will affect the vulnerable groups in traffic: pedestrians, cyclists and moped riders.