Independent mobility is an important component of healthy ageing. Public transit may be an affordable way to achieve independent mobility, and yet little is known about older adults’ transition to public transit. This paper addresses this research gap by providing an exploration of older adults’ experiences transitioning to public transit use, and by comparing these experiences to those of older people who have always travelled using transit. Twenty-four older adults (65+) living in Hamilton, Canada, who use public transit completed semi-structured interviews during which they discussed their experiences when they first began to use transit. These experiences are framed herein with the concept self-efficacy,
i.e.how one's belief in their ability to complete a task shapes their ability to complete said task. Results indicate that most older adults acquire skills to transition to public transit, such as trip planning, boarding, knowing where to sit and exiting the bus. These skills are developed through practice. As one gains experience, one becomes more confident in their ability to meet their daily travel needs using transit. Therefore, the transition to public transit as an older adult can be more challenging for those with little experience using public transit. This paper highlights the danger of assuming all older adults will effortlessly take up transit and stresses the importance of older adults gaining experience using public transit.