Mind the Age Gap

This project investigates how public transport services affect older people’s social activities and wellbeing. It aims to improve the travel experience for public transport users, especially for seniors during periods of congestion.

The transport data analysis aims to identify unique travel patterns of seniors compared with other types of users, in both spatial and temporal dimensions. The semi-structured interview helps to understand older people’s travel experience and concerns, which are not able to be identified from transport data.

This project will aim to answer research questions including, 'Does senior travel within peak times really cause urban disruption?' and, 'How can we improve the travel experience for public transport users, especially for seniors even in periods of congestion?'.

If the answer to the first question is “no”, this suggests that public blaming of seniors should be replaced by considering how to improve public transport services during peak hours. If the answer is “yes”, then the qualitative understanding of seniors’ travel concerns will help to propose potential changes that might improve both seniors’ and other passengers’ travel experience.




The team

Dr Bo Du (EIS) has strong expertise in transport modelling and transportation data analytics. He has highly relevant project experience using smart card data in Singapore. He will be the lead investigator, also responsible for data mining and choice behaviour modelling.

Dr Michal Strahilevitz (BAL) has more than 15 years’ research experience on consumer psychology and behavioural economics. Her research is highly cited and focuses on how emotions affect behaviour in various contexts including health related behaviours. She will investigate on how older people could benefit from better transport service and be protected from isolation.

Dr Thomas Birtchnell (ASSH) is an expert in mobilities and urban transitions. His research engages with socio-technological innovation and social futures with recent forays into additive manufacturing, drones, urban green infrastructure and vastu compliance.

Dr Jun Ma (EIS) is a data scientist with over 15 years of experience on data and decision analysis with applications. He will provide data analytics support for this project.

Sn Prof Pascal Perez (EIS) brings his comprehensive experience in transportation and infrastructure modelling to this research. He will be a senior advisor in this project.

Sn Prof Pauline McGuirk (ASSH) is an urban political geographer and has been working with policy makers in state and local governments for many years. She will be a senior advisor in this project.

Mr Rafael Benavent is a Research Assistant under supervision by Dr Du at SMART. He contributes to the relevant transport data analysis work in this project.

Dr Theresa Harada (ASSH) is a Research Associate with expertise in human geography, mobility and identity. She is responsible for the semi‐structured interview design and implementation. 


This project is working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing   Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.  Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals