Millennials, Mobility, and Multi-Modality
Posted October 1, 2013
It no longer takes a transportation planner to see the shift occurring in the travel habits of the millennial generation, which is the largest and most diverse in American history. We’re driving less, walking and biking more, and gravitating towards more vibrant and compact communities that facilitate car-free lifestyles. In doing so, millennials are helping push American transportation preferences in a new direction.
Two new reports released today by APTA and U.S. PIRG dig deeper into this trend. APTA’s report, entitled Millennials & Mobility: Understanding the Millennial Mindset, found through polling that millennials are increasingly multi-modal, with 69% of respondents using multiple transportation options to reach a destination a few times a week or more. The report found that on average, three different transportation options are used on a typical trip (this includes walking), mainly due to the lower cost and convenience of traveling this way.
In essence, this polling demonstrates the potential behind the mobility hubs and technology-enabled transportation services that I’ve blogged about previously. Millennials aren’t wedded to using a single mode to get where they’re going, and the polling shows that they would like to see real-time updates, a more-user friendly experience, and amenities like Wi-Fi to allow them to travel the way a lot of them probably live: spontaneously.
What can cities and planning agencies do to further this trend away from car dependence and the pollution and congestion associated with it? As U.S. PIRG’s new report A New Way to Go highlights, quite a lot.
The report recognizes that outdated, mode-specific “silos” within transportation agencies can present barriers to technology-enabled transportation services. By modernizing regulations to embrace multi-modality, transportation planners can help to spread more and better transportation choices to Americans, whether they live in cities or suburbs.
Photo: Diego Torres Silvestre, Flickr
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