Speak Up: Transportation Enhancements for Aging Missourians

By Jackson Hotaling

July 8, 2024

MO Department of Health and Senior Services is soliciting feedback to understand how to support the needs of aging Missourians, including for transportation. Learn more below.

Master Plan on Aging

Missouri is a rapidly aging state, and our state government is preparing to respond to these demographic trends to maintain a high quality of life for aging Missourians. In 2023, Gov. Mike Parson signed Executive Order 23-01, which charges the MO Department of Health and Senior Services [DHSS] to develop a Master Plan on Aging to meet the needs of the aging Missourians who are navigating this complex and uncertain landscape. The overarching goal of this 10-year plan is for all Missourians, regardless of age or ability, to have access to person-centered programs and services necessary to help them age in their environment of choice in a safe and healthy manner.

Visit the Master Plan on Aging website via this link:

The Master Plan on Aging features 7 broad goals (transportation relates to most goals and is also a specific area of focus):

  • Daily Life and Employment
  • Family Caregivers
  • Housing and Aging in Place
  • Long-Term Services and Supports
  • Safety and Security
  • Transportation and Mobility
  • Whole Person Health

The next step of the Master Plan on Aging is to gather feedback through a statewide needs assessment survey. The 'Needs Assessment Survey' is your opportunity to share comments directly with MO DHSS, so they can incorporate Missourians' direct feedback into the Master Plan on Aging. The survey was released July 8th, 2024, and closes August 13th, 2024.

You are able to complete the needs assessment survey if you are:

  • an adult age 50 or older
  • an adult age 18 or older with a disability
  • an unpaid caregiver to an adult age 18 or older

If you qualify, share your comments via the link below:

During the most recent MO Complete Streets [MOCS] Advisory Committee meeting on June 20th, 2024, MO DHSS shared the status of the Master Plan on Aging, and how it relates to transportation:

Mindy Ulstad, Chief (Bureau of Senior Programs) for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, delivered a presentation to the Missouri Complete Streets [MOCS] Advisory Committee about the Master Plan on Aging.

Town Halls

MO DHSS conducted 10 in-person Master Plan on Aging town halls in rural and urban areas across the state, with one in each of Missouri's ten Area Agencies on Aging regions. MO DHSS additionally hosted two virtual town halls. MRT had the opportunity to facilitate three in-person town halls, as well as a virtual town hall.

MPA Town Hall #1:
Jefferson City, Feb. 16, 2024
MPA Town Hall #8:
Cape Girardeau, Mar. 6, 2024
MPA Town Hall #10:
Joplin, Mar. 8, 2024

The town halls had more than 1700 in-person and virtual participants, with thousands of comments submitted. For the 'Transportation and Mobility' goal, MO DHSS consolidated the many attendee comments into these specific action areas:

In addition to the takeaways from the 'Transportation and Mobility' goal discourse, transportation was identified as a need across the seven broad goals of the Master Plan on Aging. For instance, the 'Daily Life and Employment' goal is impacted by transportation: for aging Missourians to access employment, they need a way to get there. Other goals such as 'Housing and Aging in Place' are similarly impacted by transportation: it is important for housing to be located near daily destinations such as grocery stores or community centers for aging Missourians–many of whom do not have driver's licenses–to access essential services.

Transportation Subcommittee

In preparation for the public engagement process, MO DHSS developed an Advisory Council, an 'Ad Hoc Lived Experience Advisory Committee, and seven subcommittee groups to reflect the seven broad goals of the Master Plan on Aging. MRT participated in the Transportation Subcommittee, and the committee's initial findings are detailed below:

With clear asks for expanded transportation options through the Master Plan on Aging's community engagement, MRT is encouraged that implementation of transportation choice would yield more transportation access for aging Missourians.

We look forward to further information gathered through the MPA Needs Assessment Survey, so MO DHSS can determine and deliver final recommendations. The Master Plan on Aging is expected to be released by January 1st, 2026.


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