Estimating social travel demand of senior citizens in the Netherlands


Berg, van den, P.E.W., Arentze, T.A. & Timmermans, H.J.P. (2011). Estimating social travel demand of senior citizens in the Netherlands. Journal of Transport Geography, 19(2), 323-331. In Scopus Cited 47 times.

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Like many other countries, the Netherlands is experiencing a sharp rise in the ageing population. As age increases, people’s mobility may decrease. However, older people have more leisure time compared to their younger (working) counterparts, and potentially spend more time on social activities. Therefore, this group can possibly increase social travel demand. However, to date, the travel demand for social activities of senior citizens has received only little attention. This paper studies trip-making for social purposes, with a special focus on the demographic ageing factors. Using social activity diary data, models are estimated to predict the number of social trips, the travel distance and mode of transport for social trips. The results indicate that the elderly of today seem to be as mobile as their younger counterparts with respect to the number of social trips. High education and involvement in clubs on average result in more social trips and full time work is found to result in fewer social trips. With regard to trip distance the results show that the average travel distance does not decrease as people get older. Full time work is found to result in longer social trips. Shorter trips were found for people in urban as well as rural areas. Trips for the purpose of visiting or joint activities tend to be longer than average. With regard to transport mode choice the results indicate that older seniors (75+) are less likely to choose the bicycle, relative to driving. No other significant age effects were found. Significant effects were found for gender, household structure, education level, car ownership, having a disability, urban density, distance and the purpose of the social activity.