Lawmakers Consider Transit for the Elderly
By Huma Munir
Texas lawmakers are spending the next few months studying a handful of topics related to the state’s elderly population. A joint committee today heard suggestions for better transportation models for the elderly.
The elderly need a reliable transportation infrastructure to get around. State Rep. Elliott Naishtat, D-Austin, head of the Joint Committee on Aging, says transportation safety models and policies should be a top priority.
“If we create this infrastructure of reliable transportation for seniors, it would also provide seniors who could no longer drive with opportunities of social interaction,” Naishtat said.
But there are some trips that even the best bus system just can’t help with. Joyce Lauck, executive director of Austin Group for the Elderly, says that’s where volunteers come in. Especially in Austin, she says, having alternatives to riding the bus is very important.
“The problem we have here is that we are so car-dependent that even if someone is able to give up their keys, give up their car, there still may not be good access to public transportation,” Lauck said.
Naishtat says the committee will continue to hear options for better models and policies until the 2013 legislative session.