Transport Connections: supporting older people to use transport apps

Leeds Older People’s Forum has been awarded a grant through the Department for Transport’s ‘Tackling loneliness with transport’ fund to lead Transport Connections, a project focussing on improving older people’s access and experiences with transport across the city. 

100% Digital Leeds has partnered with Leeds Older People’s Forum and our Leeds Older People’s Digital Inclusion Network to deliver a key project as part of this fund which is focused on supporting older people to use taxi and bus apps. 

The project has six key delivery partners that are supporting older people to use digital to help them to navigate around the city, increasing their independence and improving their access to services. The partners are:

  • Holbeck Together
  • Morley Digital
  • Leeds Irish Health and Homes
  • Your Backyard
  • Age UK Leeds
  • Cross Gates and District Good Neighbours

Aims and objectives

This pilot project is working to trial new and innovative ways of increasing access to transport services in the city and increasing opportunities for older people to engage with these services in the right way for them.  The project will take a holistic approach building upon older people’s individual motivations and delivery partners are gathering insights into which tools are most appropriate for older people, ensuring they meet their individual needs.

Ideal outcomes we’re working to achieve:

  • older people are aware of which transport apps are available and accessible to use in the city.
  • older people are supported to use transport apps to increase independence and social connections, reduce isolation, and be more confident to interact with the full range of services available across Leeds.
  • older people develop their digital skills and confidence, and have greater access to devices and connectivity
  • staff and volunteers across organisations feel skilled and confident in supporting older people in using transport apps.

“I’m really keen to find out more about these apps. I sometimes stand outside in the rain and don’t know how long my taxi will be and if it’s stuck in traffic.”

Steering group member and older person

Hearing the voices of older people

Older people’s voices will be central to the development of this project. A steering group made up of delivery partners, transport services and older people has been formed to help delivery partners gain a greater understanding of the barriers older people face in using these digital tools and services. 

The delivery partners are scoping which transport apps are currently available and accessible for older people in Leeds, such as Uber, Amber Cars, Bus Tracker, First Bus app.  The organisations are then going to be working with 100% Digital Leeds and the Older People’s Digital Inclusion Network to produce a toolkit with ‘how to’ guides and crib sheets to help older people develop their skills and confidence in using these apps. 

The delivery partners will be meeting monthly to share best practice, challenges, and resources, working to build the toolkit that will benefit both staff and older people. 

“I use the bus tracker app now to know when my bus is on its way and I also use it on the bus so I know when and where to get off. When it’s dark or raining I struggle to see out of the window when my stop is but I watch it on the app and then press the button at the right stop. It’s really reduced my anxiety around using buses.”

Steering group member and older person.

Digital inclusion sits at the heart of the project

The project will work to identify and overcome further digital inclusion barriers faced by older people. Funding will support partner organisations to improve and increase opportunities for older people to access the connectivity and devices they need to make best use of transport apps. 

Delivery partners are working with 100% Digital Leeds to gain a greater understanding of the digital inclusion barriers older people face and are looking at which devices are most accessible to support older people to use transport apps.

In the initial conversations with older people there were many that expressed their concerns over inputting their bank details into the apps and that they wanted to feel more confident in using them. The delivery partners are building support around online safety into the toolkit and resources, ensuring older people are fully aware of what information is held in the apps. They will also be supporting older people with the setup process to remove some of the initial barriers to using transport apps.   

Digital skills sessions will be delivered themed around specific apps, and these will be delivered in group settings, one-to-one sessions in the community, and home visits for those that need it.

“It was great to track my taxi. I used to wonder where it was but, on the app, I can see where it is, and I can see the colour of the taxi, the reg and the drivers name, which has really put me at ease.  I’ve had help to set it up and use it and now I feel good with it, all my locations are saved so I just click ‘Book’!”

Steering group member and older person.


This project will be evaluated with Leeds Older People’s Forum, collecting case studies of older people’s experiences. Organisations are monitoring how many people they are supporting and attending the sessions. 

The resources and toolkit produced through the project will be shared wider with partners across the city, and other partners are welcome to join the conversation and attend a steering group. 

For more information get in touch with