Per the United States Census Bureau, the year 2030 will mark a critical demographic turning point in United States history. Based on its population projections, in 2030 all Baby Boomers will be older than age 65. This will significantly increase the size of the U.S. population at or above the typical retirement age. If you fast forward to the year 2035, there will be 78 million people who are age 65 years or older.
And as the U.S. population ages, we will experience an increase in demand for services for seniors. Indeed, this trend is already underway. Case in point: rising demand for safe, reliable senior citizen transportation.
As many adults age, they begin to experience sight or medical problems that prevent them from being able to drive themselves. Instead, they will rely on alternative transportation such as shuttle buses, medical vans, hybrid electric vehicles, and touring vans.
If you are the manager of an assisted living facility, independent living residences, or a nursing home, you must ensure that you have a large enough fleet. Without the right vehicles for senior transportation, you will not be able to provide the transportation your guests and prospective customers need.
There are two important factors to consider when expanding the size of your fleet.
Gas Power Or Hybrid: The first important factor to consider is whether to purchase traditional gas-powered vehicles or hybrid electric vehicles.
A hybrid electric vehicle uses two or more engines. It combines a conventional, internal combustion engine with an electric propulsion system. The electric engine fuels the vehicle at lower speeds and the gas engine fuels the car at faster speeds.
There are many benefits of hybrid electric vehicles. They help conserve fuel and are better for the environment because they emit fewer carbon emissions. They are also known to have a higher resale value. You may also be eligible for credits and tax incentives in some states. Per Market Watch, the hybrid bus industry is experiencing a strong annual growth rate and is expected to reach over $1 billion in sales by 2022.
The disadvantages of going hybrid are that these cars and buses are not as powerful. The initial cost of the vehicle may be higher than a gas powered vehicle. They are also known to have higher maintenance costs.
Access and Wheelchair Lifts: The second important factor to consider is related to access. When you expand your fleet and purchase additional cars or buses, it is wise to invest in vehicles with ADA wheelchair ramps and lifts.
Your aging population or any handicapped travelers may need them in order to board and exit your vehicle safely and comfortably. From 2017 to 2018, more than 45% of fleet managers reported that their clientele with special needs increased.
The rapidly expanding aging population provides a great opportunity for companies offering housing, services, and transportation for seniors. Be sure that your fleet is ready when your demand increases.