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Poor transit options predicted for retirees in Duluth

Older folks in Duluth may have trouble getting around town in coming years, according to a national report that predicts that 64 percent of the Duluth-Superior population aged 65 to 79 will have poor transit access in 2015.

Duluth-Superior area was ranked behind other Minnesota metropolitan areas in the report, “Aging in Place, Stuck Without Options,” released by Transportation for America.

It says that the nation as a whole is ill-prepared to provide public transit service for the elderly just as baby boomers reach their retirement years, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Dennis Jensen, general manager of the Duluth's transit agency, said it won't be that bad, at least within the Duluth and Superior city limits. He said much of the agency's service area has bus stops within a quarter-mile of where senior citizens live.

“What they’re looking at is a range of about 20 miles out, which includes a lot of St. Louis and Douglas County,” Jensen told the paper. “And when you take that into consideration, their numbers may well be right, but if you’re looking within the city limits of both Superior and Duluth, I think that number is probably overstated.”

Andrea Kiepe, Minnesota field organizer for Transportation for America, said access to transit for retirees is a concern in the state.

“You’ve got boomers who have spent their entire lives in the suburbs, and that’s where they intend to age. And that is where our transit coverage is poor,” she said.

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