Carpools and cashless payments impact older Queenslanders – Griffith News


Dr Kelly Bertolaccini is an expert in equity and transportation planning for vulnerable communities.

Limited transport options, poor smartphone ownership, and fewer people to offer rides mean Queensland’s older people, especially those outside major cities, struggle to do their shopping, access health services. health and socialize, according to a Griffith University report.

More than 130 older Queenslanders from major cities, regional towns and remote areas were asked about their transport behaviors and attitude towards the use of transport-related technologies in a study led by Dr Kelly Bertolaccini of the Cities Research Institute.

The report makes eight recommendations, including prioritizing the construction of safe and accessible pedestrian networks, restructuring and expanding door-to-door transport options, and the responsibility of local councils to disseminate clear and accurate information on services. of transportation that Queensland seniors can expect as they age.

Dr Bertolaccini says the push for cashless payment and app-based services, accelerated by the pandemic, will become a major hurdle for the elderly in Queensland in the future.

“Among older people who were tech-savvy, there is still a reluctance to use online banking or use banking information to pay for things online or through apps,” she said.

“Older Queenslanders need resources and instruction on safe online banking and neutral, trustworthy spaces to ask questions about technology.

She said while transportation is difficult for older people who don’t drive across the state, there was an aggravating effect for older Queenslanders in regions and remote areas.

“They reported that smartphones are expensive, that internet services are often unreliable and not essential to their lives.”

“We recommend that all government-run transportation services continue to accept cash payments for people who are uncomfortable with smartphone apps for the foreseeable future.”

Concern for online payment security means taxis trump ride-sharing apps

Older Qlders are reluctant to use online payments to pay for services like Uber. Photo: Austin Distel.

Participants also expressed a strong preference for taxis over carpooling services. Almost all said they hired taxis by dialing a call center and paid for in-vehicle service, which is not offered by Uber.

“Taxi services are mainly used as a back-up plan when a planned trip fails or public transport is unreasonable, but the high cost of taxi fares is a barrier,” she said.

“Most of the taxi rides were for medical travel, and many people in major cities and regional towns have said they want the taxi subsidy program to be extended to include all those who are no longer on the road. able to drive. “

The lack of community and public transport options in regional and remote areas has left many people dependent on someone else or resorting to dangerous choices like driving themselves, sometimes against the advice of others. ‘doctor.

“Access to healthcare is particularly difficult and expensive for non-drivers. It is not possible to make a return to the regional hospital in a single day by public transport and many have to pay for several nights of accommodation in addition to the cost of transport.

Recommendations from the report on age, transportation and technology

  1. Prioritize the construction of safe and accessible pedestrian networks.
  2. Restructure and expand affordable door-to-door transport options for older Queenslanders.
  3. Explicitly consider the location of retirement and elderly care facilities when designing
    transport routes.
  4. Consider a restricted license rather than removing the license altogether.
  5. Provide older Queenslanders with clear and accurate information about transport services
    they can expect to receive as they age.
  6. Provide older Queenslanders with accurate information on protecting sensitive information
    secure online banking and online.
  7. Create neutral and reliable spaces where older Queenslanders can ask questions about technology
    face to face.
  8. Educate government and relevant healthcare workers about disparities in the use of technology
    and availability between urban and rural areas.


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