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Methodology


 

Transportation / Convenience Indicators

Weights*
Indicator
Methodology
Year
100 large
252 small
Average commute time to work
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data source: Census Bureau
2012 0.142 0.122
Number of passenger trips
Composite score from average per capita and per population 65+ calculations
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: American Public Transportation Association, Milken Institute
2011 0.270 0.180
Mean fare in public transport**
Discounted fare for seniors or disabled
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: American Public Transportation Association, city websites
2011 0.030 -
Investment in public/senior transportation
Section 5310 state spending per 65+ population, divided by corresponding U.S. value
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data sources: Federal Transit Administration, Census Bureau
2012 0.041 0.070
Number of grocery, convenient stores, etc.
Per capita, NAICS codes: 4451, 4461, 8123
The lowest value receives a score of 100
Data source: Census Bureau
2012 0.146 0.238
% seniors near grocery***
Percent nearer than one mile, divided by corresponding U.S. value
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data source: Department of Agriculture

This indicator replaces % of households near grocery
2010 0.120 0.210
% of commuters who walk to work
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data source: Census Bureau

This indicator moved from Wellness
2012 0.150 0.180
Special needs transportation***
Composite score from average per capita and per population 65+ calculations,
NAICS code: 485991
The highest value receives a score of 100
Data source: Census Bureau
2012 0.100 -
* Figures may not add up to 1 due to rounding.
** Used only for large metros.
*** New variable.

Mobility and access to transportation are key factors in the livability of a community. Older adults want to remain independent for as long as possible, and transportation options provide not only mobility, but opportunities to engage in their communities.

This category has been updated. It now includes the percentage of commuters who walk to work, which was previously in the wellness subcomponent. The ability to walk to work provides a way to measure the walkability of a community, which can also encourage more mobility. We also modified a previous indicator that measured the percentage of households within one mile from grocery stores. Because our index focuses on factors specific to older adults, this indicator was replaced with a variable that measures the percentage of older adults who are within one mile of grocery stores.

It is also important to have services available to those who may have physical or other limitations that restrict mobility. As such, we added an indicator, special needs transportation, for the large 100 metros. This variable includes services that provide special needs transportation to the sick, elderly, or handicapped, and includes services that offer specially equipped vehicles to provide transportation. It does not include ambulance transport.

In order to capture state investment in transportation programs for seniors, we updated the latest data for Section 5310 funding. This funding was established in 1975 to provide funds to states for helping private nonprofit organizations serve the needs of elderly and disabled people. Funded projects are required to provide public transit to these population groups.

Go to Community Engagement Indicators