What are the benefits of free transit for seniors?

One of the drawbacks of aging is decreased eyesight, and many seniors across North America find that, due to their age, driving is no longer possible. For these seniors, the availability of public transit, and the frequency of free or discounted transit passes helps them stay active and lets them travel to where they want to go, whether it's from their assisted living community or the local grocery store.

As reported recently by MedPage Today, a British academic has found that seniors who live in cities which offer free or discounted public transportation tend to use it more often, and are also more physically active and walk more frequently.

“A key purpose of the concessionary scheme is to increase bus use as a means of reducing social exclusion among older people and, in particular, to ensure access to travel among those on limited incomes,” wrote Sophie Coronini-Cronberg, of Imperial College London.

Another benefit of giving free transit passes to seniors is an economic one. According to the news source, Coronini-Cronberg and the other authors found that for every dollar that free transit costs the British economy, nearly ten times as much money is saved in healthcare costs by keeping seniors more physically active, because the more active they are, the healthier they are.