F.A.S.T Track – innovative transportation solutions for Canadian seniors


Thursday, November 25, 2021

OTTAWA, Nov. 25, 2021 — HelpAge Canada launches the first initiative in Canada to accelerate the development of innovative transportation solutions for seniors.

F.A.S.T. Track, a Funding Accelerator for Seniors Transportation, arises out of a desperate need to create forward-thinking transportation solutions for older Canadians. Many seniors in Canada don’t have access to public transit and, of those who do have access, fewer than 6% are able to use it.

Through a cross-country call to communities large and small, F.A.S.T. Track seeks to identify the service gaps that limit how older people get around, as well as identify innovative solutions to fill those gaps.

“Lack of appropriate transportation options is a critical concern for Canada’s fastest-growing demographic”, says Gregor Sneddon, Executive Director of HelpAge Canada. “Older people who can’t get around easily suffer isolation and loneliness—primary barriers to physical and mental health, as well as quality of life. F.A.S.T. Track will accelerate the launch of innovative transportation solutions for seniors across Canada.”

F.A.S.T. Track will be delivered by leading national non-profit organizations in collaboration with thought-leaders and experts in the fields of aging and transportation, including CanAge: Canada’s National Seniors Advocacy Organization.

“Transportation is the key to a vibrant, healthy and connected life. Without adequate transportation seniors can’t get to clubs, activities, doctors or families. There is just no point in creating services that people can’t get to” says Ms. Tamblyn Watts. “This innovative project tackles this problem head-on.”

F.A.S.T. Track transportation expert Aislin O’Hara warns “Canada can no longer approach the lack of seniors’ transportation through patchwork or ad-hoc projects. This leaves many communities a transportation desert for older Canadians in a super-aging country.”

Who can participate in F.A.S.T. Track?

Transportation providers of all types, sizes and systems, and those who provide various supports to seniors transportation in Canada, are invited to build their community profile at fasttrackcanada.org. Respondents will answer questions about the current services that are available in their community, and will be asked to identify what gaps and barriers exist.

Those interested in testing or scaling an innovative transportation solution in their community, are encouraged to apply for a national innovation award.

Winners will be announced during the first-ever National Conference on Seniors Transportation; a dynamic online knowledge exchange event in April, 2022. Winning submissions will receive national recognition, a cash prize of $5,000, a consultation package to refine their solution, and the potential to connect with funders who can make these innovations a reality for seniors.

“We know there is already great work being done at the local levels. The goal of F.A.S.T. Track is to give the sector something it has never seen before: a national snapshot of the gaps in seniors transportation and a menu of identified innovative solutions that can be replicated and scaled,” says Sneddon. “We can’t do it alone. Communities know their needs best—we need all parties at the table.”

Submissions are currently being accepted online at fasttrackcanada.org. The deadline for applications is January 21, 2022.