Adapting to the Transportation Needs of an Aging Population

Transport Canada has asked the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to undertake an expert panel assessment on the role of innovation and technology in adapting Canada's national transportation system to suit the needs of an aging population. In Canada, the national transportation system includes air, rail, marine, and inter-city bus modes of transportation. Municipal transit, which is the responsibility of each province and territory, does not fall into the scope of this assessment.

The Question

How can technology and innovation help the Canadian transportation system (under the legislative authority of Parliament) adapt to the needs of an aging population?

Progress Report

The Expert Panel on the Transportation Needs of an Aging Population held its fifth and final panel meeting August 17 to 18 in Ottawa. During this final meeting, the Panel considered the results from the peer review process, polished the report’s conclusions, and tasked CCA staff with implementing any final changes arising from the meeting. The report will be released on December 14, 2017.


Canada’s aging baby boomer generation is changing the demographic profile of this country, matching a worldwide trend. According to Statistics Canada, by 2036 it’s anticipated that there will be 9.8 million Canadians age 65 years and older. These shifting demographics will have an impact on the national transportation system, presenting a range of challenges and opportunities for decision-makers.

Many seniors value their mobility and are active volunteers and avid travellers. Access to transportation is essential to connecting them with services, supports, and activities. As more and more Canadians enter the senior demographic, reliance on the national transportation system is expected to grow. This shift provides a strong motivation to explore innovative strategies that can help encourage and facilitate the use of the transportation system, while also making it more accessible for all Canadians.

The results of this assessment will not only be relevant to Transport Canada, but will also provide other interested parties with a valuable evidence-base to on which to make decisions on transportation policy and management.

Expert Panel

The Chair of the Expert Panel on the Transportation Needs of an Aging Population is Dr. Neena L. Chappell, C.M., FRSC, FCAHS, Professor Emeritus at the Institute on Aging & Lifelong Health and at the Department of Sociology at the University of Victoria. For a complete list of panel members visit the Expert Panel page.

For further information, please contact:

Emmanuel Mongin, Project Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 284 or

For media inquiries, please contact:

Samantha Rae Ayoub, Communications and Publishing Director at 613-567-5000 ext. 256 or

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