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Don’t Forget the Senior Citizens When it Comes to School Busing

As conversations continue industry wide on the best available options for increasing student ridership, a newly-released report indicates that the aging Baby Boomer set is faced with poor mobility options over the next several years.

The Center for Neighborhood Technology and Transportation 4 America published “Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options” to highlight the growing reliance of senior citizens on public transport that is lacking in such places as Atlanta, where, by 2015, 90 percent of seniors are forecast to live in neighborhoods with few options besides driving themselves. Following Atlanta on this worst-transportation-options list were the Riverside-San Bernardino metro area in Southern California, Houston, Detroit and Dallas.

Kansas City topped the list for metropolitan areas consisting of 1 million to 3 million people, followed by Oklahoma City, Fort Worth, Texas, Nashville, Tenn., and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

The research uncovered more and more older Americans are flocking to “naturally occurring retirement communities,” many of which exist in suburban or rural communities that are largely car-dependent. According to research, this effects four out of five seniors. As noted in this month’s edition of School Transportation News magazine, many school districts and private bus companies nationwide engage in weekend and non-school hour transportation for community groups, which can include seniors.down immediately. This past week we used our Imminent Hazard authority to shut down 3 companies, including one in Michigan that put passengers in the cargo hold. This behavior by a few is outrageous and must be stopped.”

Meanwhile, even as a bill has been reintroduced in the Senate, FMCSA and NHTSA are developing motorcoach safety plans that include the installation of Electronic Onboard Recorders, better use of inspection datea, a ban on texting and cell phone use by drivers, and stronger oversight of driver medical qualifications and drug and alcohol testing. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called for zero tolerance of unsafe motorcoach operators nationwide.

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