Website/Internet Resource
How Older Workers With a Disability Navigate Commutes
U.S. Census Bureau
December 16, 2020

People with disabilities are prominent in the older workforce and how they get to work is sometimes different from other workers’ commutes.

October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and last month the U.S. Census Bureau released a new report on the commuting behaviors of older workers, including those with disabilities.

The report uses data from the 2013-2017 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year estimates.

In addition to questions about individual characteristics such as age and disability status, the ACS asks workers how they typically travel to work.

In the 2013 to 2017 survey period, the presence or absence of a disability had a notable impact on commuting patterns.

Driving Alone to Work

For example, across all age groups, workers without a disability were more likely than those with one or more disabilities to drive to work alone. However, the gap between workers with and without a disability narrowed among older workers.

Among older workers, 77.1% of those ages 65 and older without any disability drove to work alone, compared to 73.4% of workers of the same age with a disability.

The higher percentage of older workers with disabilities (compared to workers of the same age without disabilities) who carpooled or worked from home shows ways this group substituted for driving alone.

Public Transportation

Workers ages 65 and older with a disability commuted by public transportation at roughly the same rate as those without a disability (3.6% compared to 3.7%, and not significantly different).

This runs counter to patterns among younger workers, among whom public transportation was a more popular option for workers with a disability.

Public transportation appears to be a less popular alternative to driving alone for older workers with a disability. This may relate to the functional limitations of older workers with disabilities and limited access to public transportation in many parts of the United States.

To continue reading the article, please click here.