Archive for February, 2014

What’s different about Millenials? Transportation

Source: U.S. PIRG Education Fund Frontier Group, Spring 2013Millenials are not driving cars at the rate of past generations.  But their use of other types of transport is much higher.

  • The percent of young people with a driver’s license has been dropping for years.  In 2011, the percent of 16 − 24 year-olds with driver’s licenses dipped to 67%—the lowest percent since 1963 (see graph).
  • In 2009 compared with 2001, when the 16 − 34 year- olds declined in size by 2%, they took 24% more total bike trips and traveled +40% more passenger-miles per capita on public transit.

These changes are often blamed on the recession.  But the numbers point to more attitudinal changes and adaptive behavior.  Several of these trends started well before the recession  (owning a driver’s license and per capita vehicle miles) and   Millenials with jobs also show similar declines in vehicle travel.  This generation desires a less auto-focused lifestyle and wants to live in urban areas.   As the most  mobile-connected group,  they find non-driving travel options  more appealing can find work situations that require less traditional auto-commuting.  And as a group they are taking on less auto debt, a very smart adaptive behavior.

For more information, see A New Direction:  Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s Future, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Frontier Group, Spring 2013.



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