Transit Tuesday

Transportation Matters for Seniors

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This month is the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. It's also the 80th anniversary of Social Security and the 50th anniversary of Medicare. All of these came together Monday as the White House presented a conference on aging. This is especially important as one of the fastest growing demographics in the country is the 65+ age group.

The Fast Lane blog of the U.S. Department of Transportation shared yesterday what this means in terms of transportation. While the WH conference focused on services and health, the DOT pointed out that, "Healthy aging and long-term services are critical challenges facing us as we age. But without transportation, the availability of those services won't matter. Access to transportation is essential for helping older adults stay active; connect with family, friends, and community; and seek medical care and other necessary health services."

In San Francisco, we understand how important easy, accessible transit and safe, walkable streets are to seniors (and the rest of us!).

The DOT blog post highlights efforts at the national level. At home, Muni's had senior discount fares for decades (as evidenced in the picture below). More recently, we have added free Muni service for low-to-moderate income seniors, in addition to youth and people with disabilities. This hugely successful program has meant that more than 45,000 seniors have better access to transit — and better access to the services and people they want to connect with.

Three years ago, Muni celebrated 35 years of accessible services in San Francicso and on our transit system. Check back this month for more reflections on the importance of the landmark ADA law and transportation in our fair city.

Black and white photo of a billboard and other signs on a large, square building. Billboard reads, "From Muni with Love..., Fast Pass $11.00, Senior Pass $2.50"

This billboard from 1975 shows a senior discount from 40 years ago! The discount senior fast pass was introduced in October 1974. Photo taken: August 13, 1975