As the saying goes, “age is only a number.” That saying rings truer today among retiring baby boomers than ever before. The 78 million people who make up the largest generation of Americans, work diligently to counteract the inevitability of time. The results are proving to be worth the efforts, as the current generation of elders are living longer, happier and more productive lives. Many industries are affected by this development, none more so than the paratransit industry with senior transportation services.
The “new” elders are used to a more active life and are demanding more transportation services than the elderly of the past. They are also demanding more from their transportation services. It will not be enough to simply get to a destination but to get there on time in order to enjoy active retirement days. These new elders are also more technologically savvy than ever before. Today’s executives and white collar workers are connected together in a “wired society” and nearly every segment of society has embraced mobile cellular technology.
Today older people aren’t waiting for their grandkids to come visit, they are heading out on their own adventures, playing sports and being social. Since their lifestyle is more conducive to that of a younger generation then it stands to reason that their transportation needs will be greater, because they have more places to go, more things to do.
The retiring baby boomers rightfully expect and demand that they have the ability to schedule trips via their phones and the web. The automated, customer-friendly processes such as those seen in Uber or on Expedia and Orbitz set the standard. These riders will expect to receive updates from automated systems that provide them with changed trip times, weather delays and any other information which might impact their travel. Common sense says that change will be required to meet this challenge and the baby boomer generation will be a force for driving this change.
Fortunately, technology has been keeping pace with these issues and planning for the future to adopt these technologies has already begun.
As a generation grows older than ever before, but forget that they are growing old; it’s up to their children to make sure that the world is prepared. The paratransit industry is up to the many challenges that lie ahead and help to ensure that the new elders are able to continue living active and healthy lifestyles.