Study ranks Inland Empire poorly in seniors’ access to transit

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Imagine standing at a bus stop waiting for a ride that never shows up. A new national report suggests that Inland Empire seniors are more likely to experience that than their counterparts in most metropolitan areas.

The Riverside and San Bernardino areas rank second-worst in the country for older users’ access to public transit, the study says. Advocacy group Transportation for America concluded that among the largest metro areas, the Inland region places only behind metro Atlanta.

The organization used a complicated metric to determine its findings, and throughout the country the result is the same – that people 65 and older who no longer drive make 15% fewer trips to the doctor, 59% fewer trips to shop or eat out and 65% fewer trips to visit friends and family than drivers in the same age group.

In addition to their fixed bus routes, the Riverside Transit Agency and Omnitrans in San Bernardino County offer dial-a-ride vans to help close that gap.

The report indicates that four of five people older than 65 live in areas that depend heavily on cars – and that even in transit-rich metro New York, 41% of seniors lack easy access to public buses and rail.