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Transportation is a building block of strong, integrated communities. With a global vision and deep local knowledge, our experts play a key role in the strategic planning and design of sustainable transit systems across Canada.

 
 

Millennials

July 14, 2015
 

Millennials (or Generation Y, born 1983-2000) are driving less today than their counterparts were 15 years ago, according to a paper published in 2014 by the Pew Research Center[1]. Many of us were born holding iPads (or, maybe Discmans) and evolved with technology instead of adapting to it, hence the label of ‘digital natives’.[2] The desire to constantly be connected is satisfied when we can spend idle time (ie, going to work or en route to meet a friend) multitasking on our phones or e-readers.

 

While technology has allowed Millennials to multitask and has improved service quality for public transit agencies, the same cannot be said for its effects on driving. Most importantly, from a safety perspective, technology use and driving do not mix. According to the Pews report, communications technology has been detrimental to the driving culture, as people have less time and desire to drive and see someone.

Millennials prefer to live close to public transit and many of us have never owned a car. Why? Firstly, Millennials have higher levels of student debt and unemployment compared to personal income than our parents did. But cost isn’t the only factor. Many Millennials are environmentally conscious, and many factor in convenience and exercise. [3]

The Millennial generation has been a significant driver for change in the realm of personal and public transportation. In 2013, The US PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group published a paper[4] that discusses the end of the driving boom and considers a new vision for transportation policy. Firstly, it argues that mass transit should be personalized. Millennials consider a wide variety of transportation options, all of which can be catered to. In addition, priorities and preferences will most likely persist as Generation Y ages, so governments may consider investing in research to evaluate mass transit demands relative to the decline in car trips. Millennials should also be supported in their decision to drive less by being accommodated in terms of connectivity and instant transit data.[5]

Cars were once seen as a ‘rite of passage’ and a symbol of freedom. Today, the ability to read, listen to music or chat while getting somewhere is seen as the new symbol of freedom and convenience. Generation Y or not, what is your preferred mode of transportation and why? Do you foresee that your preferences may change in the future?

By Ivana Velickovic


Sources

 

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