Newsroom | At the Intersection of Aging and Transportation

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Most of us don’t think twice about being able to go where we want, when we want, or connecting to the people and places that matter most. Imagine losing that freedom.

At the Intersection of Aging and Transportation
Connecting aging, health, and transportation solutions

aging, transportation

Most of us don’t think twice about being able to go where we want, when we want, or connecting to the people and places that matter most. Imagine losing that freedom. The distance to medical care, friends and family seems longer than ever before. Your health suffers. Without regular interaction, people fade away.

Every day, older adults in our communities face the impacts of losing access to transportation, losing access to what they want in life. 

“This is a personal crisis for the adults who lose their independence, and for adult children who cannot meet the needs of their aging parents. It is a community crisis when we lose the time and talents of older adult employees and volunteers. It is a national crisis, bound by our common search for solutions,” says MAG Chair Gail Barney, mayor of Queen Creek.

Greg RodriguezIn March, MAG hosted At the Intersection of Aging and Transportation, a conference that featured solutions that connect aging, health, and transportation through innovative programs. More than 200 people attended.

Aging issues are more relevant than ever before as an age wave of baby boomers swell the older adult population. This massive population shift is often referred to as the “silver tsunami.” 

“A tsunami we’re facing sitting in silos,” explained keynote speaker Greg Rodriguez, an attorney at Best Best and Krieger who specializes in technology and transportation. “However, with the merging of innovation and technology, we have a real opportunity to address the transportation crisis facing older adults. We can do this by enhancing mobility and overcoming silos through cross-sector collaboration. This will ensure that the critical transportation connections to and for our aging populations are solidified and prioritized.”

Rodriguez discussed the critical role of transportation in creating healthy and connected communities, how technology offers opportunities to improve access to transportation, and the important connections between healthcare and aging in place. 

The Federal Highway Administration will share the recommendations and material developed at the conference into a curriculum for training transportation professionals nationwide. Topics in general sessions and breakout workshops included:

  •  The role of transportation in keeping older adults and communities healthy.
  •  Options for meeting the transportation needs of older adults.
  •  Strategies for improving access to transportation in underserved communities.
  •  What can be done at a local, state and national scale to better meet the transportation needs of older adults now and in the future.

This event was made possible through the partnership of AARP AZ, Age Friendly Arizona, and the Vitalyst Health Foundation, with support from the Federal Highway Administration.

Published May 2, 2019

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The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) is a Council of Governments (COG) that serves as the regional planning agency for the metropolitan Phoenix area.

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