Boarding the train at Union Station, the Amtrak gatekeeper called for seniors to pre-board as is their usual policy. Approximately half the waiting crowd got on, mostly very able-bodied far-from-elderly people who looked to be in their mid-50s and early 60s. One very non-old woman even said to her companion, “I love being a senior!”

As baby boomers get older, more and more of the population is going to consist of “seniors” even though most of them won’t be any less able than a 45-year-old. And on Amtrak at least, there’s no check for who is a senior, nor even a sign or announcement about what age is eligible.

I’m all for having aging people of declining mobility pre-board, but do we really mean to give all the baby boomers preference over everyone else? What’s the fair thing to do?

Tagged: amtrak

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.