By David Cummins
Nearly 1 in 7 Americans is over the age of 65, according to the latest Census data. Social isolation continues to be a threat to senior health and wellbeing, in large part because many older Americans aren’t driving. In fact, more than twenty percent of seniors do not drive at all, for a variety of reasons that include cost of car ownership, age and physical limitations.
As the senior population continues to increase, cities everywhere are tasked with accommodating this population segment’s unique mobility needs.
The case for Centennial
In Centennial, Colorado, at least 30 percent of the city’s population will be over the age of 65 within 15 years. A relatively new city founded just 15 years ago, Centennial quickly realized it needed to cater its transportation services to the aging population. What’s more, the city’s heavily populated suburbs make it a challenge for citizens to get on board with mass transit and ride-sharing.
In 2014, Centennial was selected as one of 12 U.S. cities to participate in the $45 million expansion of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Innovation Team program, which aims to improve the capacity of city halls to design and implement new approaches that improve citizens’ lives. Centennial’s Innovation Team worked with Xerox to develop the pilot concept for the Go Centennial program, which launched today. An extension of the Go Denver app, Go Centennial is part of a suite of urban mobility apps launched this year by Xerox, including Go LA and Go Denver in the United States, and Go Bangalore in India.
Centennial residents can hop on board now
Go Centennial is now available for iOS and Android systems at go.centennialco.gov and the Apple and Google Play stores. Download the Go Denver app and select Go Centennial from within the app.
Xerox’s “Go” apps are unlike others on the market because they capture the universe of transportation options, and compute the shortest, cheapest or most sustainable ways to reach a destination. The U.S. apps are also the first to introduce in-app booking with the ride-sharing service Lyft.
Getting the aging population on board
— City of Centennial (@CentennialGov) May 11, 2016
Members of the City’s Innovation Team recently climbed aboard Regional Transportation District (RTD) buses to demonstrate the new program for Centennial’s Senior Commission. The city has also partnered with nonprofit Via Mobility Services to provide accessible transportation services to passengers who require the use of wheelchairs or other mobility devices.
To jumpstart participation, free Lyft Line rides will be offered to and from the Dry Creek Light Rail Station to Centennial residents of all ages for six months. Centennial and Denver South Transportation Management Association have partnered to offer these rides to those who live or work within the existing Dry Creek Call-n-Ride service area.
@Xerox and @CentennialGov cater mass transit for senior citizens. http://ctt.ec/kyjwb+ #iteams #MassTransit
Using data to drive further improvements
Xerox shares anonymized data on riders’ destinations and preferred travel modes with cities that use the Go apps. This data provides valuable insights on how people get around, and helps cities redesign and update their transit systems while optimizing capital spend.