I was tipped off to a Financial Times article on why young folks are choosing to drive less – though not forgo altogether getting a license – by Drudge via Twitter, but the article requires a free but annoying subscription.
So I found another one published recently by the Denver Post likely inspired by some of the same background research. It documents how people roughly in their twenties (16-34) are driving less over time. Apparently this group drove 20% less in 2009 than their peers in 2001. And citing the Federal Highway Administration’s National Household Travel Survey, the article states that the youthful took “24 percent more bike trips in 2009 than they took in 2001,” and that “the number of passenger miles traveled by the same group on public transit increased by 40 percent.”
This recalls a post of mine from last year, ruminating on what’s going on with menfolk and their standard of living. Of course that post was about guys of all ages (sort of), not both guys and girls of a younger age. In any case, be it the economy, immaturity or shifting values – and the Denver Post article seems to lean upon the latter – youth are getting away from cars.
A 24 year old quoted in the article offers what I’d describe as a combination of immaturity and shifting values, giving away her educated self-selection into a more progressive lifestyle in the process:
I would rather have good public transportation options than the hassle and expense of driving a car. Our leaders should focus on building a 21st-century transportation network that provides lots of alternatives to driving.
Indeed. Patching a bike tire is a breeze compared to changing one on a car. (Took me an hour once.)