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Seniors transportation concerns surveyed
With the number of seniors expected to surpass children and youth before 2030 in the Tri-Cities, efforts to make the region an age-friendly community are growing and accessible transportation is one key issue.
Like most suburbs, the Tri-Cities were developed with the car as the main form of transportation. But as people age, they may have to give up their cars — and, thus, much of their independence and self-sufficiency.
Those who do give up their vehicles may become isolated and inactive, unless transportation can be developed with seniors’ needs in mind.
To that end, the Tri-Cities Seniors Planning Network is organizing a forum that will make seniors’ transportation concerns a key topic.
But before the forum can be organized, the network is canvassing seniors — in fact everyone who’s over 50 or cares about someone over 50 — to find out their needs and concerns.
“Once we finish the survey, we will know what the issues are for them,” said King Lum of the Tri-Cities Seniors Planning Network. “Once we know what the issues are for them, we will design a forum around them and invite seniors and see if we can solve that gap.”
Among the topics likely to be addressed at the forum will be understanding B.C.’s driver’s licensing rules and recognizing signs that you shouldn’t be driving. Beyond that, topics could include:
• understanding TransLink’s Compass card;
• avoiding social isolation when you don’t have a car;
• using Taxisavers;
• and learning about the public transit system or volunteer driver services as well as HandyDart.
In addition, there are other practical considerations, including budgeting for driving alternatives, preventing falls and understanding seniors’ discounts for transportation.
The survey will be available at local libraries and community centres by the end of the month and is currently online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/seniorstransport.