Young People Are Driving Less Today Than They Did a Decade Ago

Just a few weeks ago, a study was released that called out young people, specifically Millennials, on not being as into saving the environment as generations before them – ie, the Boomers and Gen X. But a new study redeems the Youngs by finding that they are actually driving 23% less than they did in 2001 all the while choosing to live in areas that are easily walkable, bikeable, and have plenty of access to public transportation.

Below are some interesting and uplifting tidbits the study found:

  • According to the National House- hold Travel Survey, from 2001 to 2009, the annual number of vehicle- miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita—a drop of 23 percent.
  • Some young people purposely reduce their driving in an effort to curb their environmental impact. In the KRC Zipcar survey, 16 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds polled said they strongly agreed with the statement, “I want to protect the environment, so I drive less.” This is compared to approximately 9 percent of older generations.
  • From 2001 to 2009, the number of passenger-miles traveled by 16 to 34-year-olds on public transit increased by 40 percent.
  • Many of America’s youth prefer to live places where they can easily walk, bike, and take public transportation. According to a recent study by the National Association for Realtors, young people are the generation most likely to prefer to live in an area characterized by nearby shopping, restaurants, schools, and public trans- portation as opposed to sprawl.

The best news about these finding is that the trend towards driving less is likely to persist due to economic factors (like increasing gas prices), improvement of public transportation, and the increased use of apps. Apps that provide real-time transit information and car and bike sharing services (which did not exist a decade ago) are being used as platforms for alternatives to driving.

Read the full study here: Transportation & the New Generation vUS_0

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