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For her independent research project, Wei Li studied transportation services for the region’s aging population. She gathered data on the characteristics of transit services for seniors in Westchester County through interviews and data analysis. Her research was supervised by her academic advisor, Professor Cynthia Chen, and by Joel Ettinger, Executive Director of NYMTC, who also served as her professional advisor. Her report was titled: “A Typology of Senior Transportation Services in Westchester County.”

The research objectives and tasks of this study were to identify all the services available for the senior population within Westchester County; select and describe the essential supply characteristics of these services; identify limitations and obstacles of existing services; and identify innovative senior transportation programs and possible directions for future efforts. The methodology utilized a survey which was conducted in 35 Westchester County municipalities.

Wei Li’s analysis showed that all the existing programs (fixed route public transit, paratransit, and community transportation services) played important roles in seniors’ daily travel, but that there were limitations and obstacles to each. Recommendations were based on overcoming or minimizing these obstacles. It was advised that efforts for public transit service should focus on attracting more senior riders by diverting them from driving to public transit, modifying routes or adding stops favored by seniors, and educating non-users on bus use. For paratransit, simplification of the procedures for eligibility was recommended as well as providing door-to-door or curb-to- curb service. For community programs, an expansion of programs was recommended.


Wei Li has reported that her experiences in the September 11th Memorial Program have greatly encouraged her to pursue transportation forecasting using more systematic tools and statistical methodologies. She is now a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Statistics and Biostatistics at Rutgers University and has been involved in various types of inter-disciplinary research projects with statistical tools. These projects include conducting violation and crash recidivism analysis among drivers in New Jersey; building predictive modeling for safe landings of aircrafts; longitudinal study on treatment effects for patients with depression/anxiety disorders; and methodology development on non-parametric statistical testing. She has also served as a consultant in the Office of Statistical Consulting at Rutgers, helping and collaborating with clients from different fields. Wei hopes to pursue more study in solving inter-disciplinary problems via statistical analysis in the future, and also to contribute in the development of theories and methodologies.

Wei Li
Civil Engineering