Planning Transportation for an Aging Illinois: An Assessment

Infographic one in five5 The report provides population projections for the older adult population, assesses housing, transportation, and mobility characteristics throughout Illinois to identify need, and reviews focused conversations with key stakeholders, offering conclusions and recommendations for improvement.  Communities throughout Illinois will need to make significant revisions to current transportation options, explore more varied housing types and greatly augment health and human services alternatives to meet the day-to-day needs of this increasing Baby Boomer population.  Greater cooperation between state and federal agencies and a concerted commitment by elected officials charged with managing human services is paramount to ensuring the welfare of older adults across Illinois in the years to come.

Principal Investigator(s):

Janet Smith



Lauren Nolan – Economic development planner for data management and analysis.
Brad Winick – Consultant on case studies, policy and planning implications of research.
Max Dieber – Demographic projections.
Janet Smith – Data analysis.




The research team followed this scope of work:

  1. Data analysis to measure need using American Community Survey data and other secondary sources by geography across Illinois.
  2. Housing needs projections to identify need relative to housing conditions in communities.
  3. Transportation and housing attributes that allow aging in community.
  4. Scenarios – push and pull factors – where would people likely be drawn based on transportation and housing conditions.
  5. Review of existing state and local plans and activities aimed at meeting transportation needs of aging population and people with disabilities.
  6. Comparative mapping of HSTP and AAA regions.
  7. HSTP regional planning coordinator site visits/interviews (including discussion of process and involved stakeholders).
  8. AAA site visits/interviews (including discussion of their role in HSTP planning).
  9. Other key stakeholder site visits/interviews – including transportation providers, social service agencies, regional planners, academic researchers, etc.
  10. Review of available regional HSTP data.
  11. Review of available AAA transportation program data.
  12. Comparative data analysis from two selected HSTP and AAA regions (one is likely to be suburban Cook County).
  13. Promising practices reviews – Illinois and nationally – by type (urban, suburban, exurban, rural).
  14. Integrated multi-modal programs – what types of transportation program components are included, and are there other components that might also be included.
  15. Findings report, with charts, tables, graphics, and recommendations.

Expected Results or Products:

This report represents a snapshot of the impact of the intended coordinated Human Services Transportation planning throughout Illinois to date, and discusses promising practices, enduring issues and challenges, and provides recommendations for potential enhancements.



Download the report


P.S. Sriraj
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 South Peoria Street, Suite 340
Chicago, IL 60607
Voice: (312) 996-4713
Fax: (312) 413-0006


Funding for this report was provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative (METSI), which brings together faculty, students, and transportation researchers to address topical issues with the goal to provide thoughtful planning and problem-solving solutions.