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Determinants of Elderly Mobility in Hong Kong: Implications for Elderly-Friendly Transport
Yang Linchuan, Cui Xu
Abstract Numerous cities are undergoing the ageing of populations. Developing a transport system that incorporates mobility needs, preferences, and demands of elderly people is crucial to such a demographic shift. Understanding the travel behavior and characteristics of elderly people is the first and foremost step towards this goal. In stark contrast with Western car-dominant places, numerous East Asian modern cities (e.g., Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai) have high levels of public transportation use. Experience gained from existing studies in the West cannot be applied to Hong Kong, a typical transit-dependent city. In light of this, based on the 2011 Travel Characteristic Survey data and Poisson and negative binomial regression models, this study identifies factors that significantly affect the number of daily trips taken by (or trip frequency of) elderly people in Hong Kong. The paper finds that both socio-demographic (e.g., age and housing type) and built environment characteristics significantly affect the trip number of elderly people. Interestingly, it is determined that car availability does not play a significant role in the trip generation process, but public transportation accessibility truly matters. This outcome remarkably differs from findings in Western car-dominant cities. Moreover, to discern whether the elderly are a homogenous group, this study estimates separate models for the young elderly (aged between 60 and 74) and the very old (aged 75 or above). It is observed that the effect of public transportation accessibility on elderly mobility varies among elderly subgroups: public transportation accessibility significantly affects the trip frequency of the young elderly, but not that of the very old. Finally, a multitude of policy measures with the aim of upgrading elderly mobility is proposed.

Keywords elderly mobility; trip generation; public transportation accessibility; transit-dependent city; Hong Kong

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