Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Abdul R. Pinjari


Baby Boom, Cohort Analysis, NHTS, Senior Travel, Socio-Demographics


Over the past several decades, the senior age group has become the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States (Warner, 2011). This study seeks to contribute to the ongoing discussion of the impacts that the increases in senior travel will have on the future transportation systems and planning efforts. The main objective of this research is to conduct an explorative analysis of the changes in senior travel behavior over the past two decades and discuss the implications of these changes to transportation planning in the future. This thesis seeks to further understanding of this topic by providing a detailed analysis and consideration of relevant contexts through a review of previous studies and the author's background in the field of transportation.

Results indicate significant changes in travel behaviors and make-up of the senior population. Over the three (1990, 2001, and 2009) survey periods, senior travel changed as a result of increased activity and a need to maintain their typical way of life well into older age.

As the baby boom generation continues to out travel each previous generation, there is no evidence to assume that as they reach retirement age that trend will end. Seniors today are remaining active and working well into their older age and the age group has continued to increasingly contribute to total travel. These increases will be echoed by the baby boom generation and must be considered by traffic forecasters, researcher and policy makers in the future.