Colorado’s Aging Population, Transportation and Hyperloops

Colorado’s population is 6th in the nation for growth. But the growth of 65 and older Coloradans is far more dramatic.

“We’ve been talking with our local governments,” said senior planner Brad Calvert. “People are struggling with the immensity of the issue, how broad and deep the challenges are. The topic is so big, they don’t know where to start. ”

Between 2000 and 2010, for the first time in state history, the 65-plus population grew at a faster rate than the state population: 32 percent compared with 17 percent.

Nationally, about 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 every day until 2030. In Colorado, long home to a young population, the impact will be dramatic.

States like Hawaii and Minnesota have already created strategic plans for the aging population, but Colorado has not.

“There’s not been a long-term strategic plan on how we’re going to meet the needs that are already coming up with this aging population,” said Rich Mauro, senior policy and legislative analyst at DRCOG. “It’s not something we can put off any longer.”

Read more: Colorado’s cities and counties prepare for the “Silver Tsunami” – The Denver Post

Thus, more people will be using all kinds of transportation for the foreseeable future. In order to accommodate this trend, we must reimagine transportation for all kinds of population, but especially for the aging.

Initiatives like MIT’s AgeLab is doing exactly that. They take a systems perspective to make sure all groups are accounted for in predicting the future. The AgeLab found that  the vehicle and the driver must be enabled for a future of increasing immobility as drivers get older.  So in the video below they focus on infrastructure being the the most important and challenging thing to change for aging drivers.

How could the Hyperloop fit into this infrastructure? Autonomous cars will fill the gaps for aging people to commute to hyperloop hubs. But as mentioned in the video, people learning, adapting and trusting the new tech will be a major challenge.

Behaviour of people has the be the center piece for a hyperloop, not just the Colorado Hyperloop.  Luckily, Colorado is “home to one of the smartest, most productive and healthiest workforces in the nation, we have a strong economy with room for professional growth and our economic and business opportunities are diverse in industry and size.