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Transportation and
   the New Generation
       Why Young People Are Driving Less
and What It Means for Transportation Policy
Transportation and
             the New Generation
       Why Young People Are Driving Less
and What It Means for Transportation Policy




                                   Frontier Group
                      U.S. PIRG Education Fund

                        Benjamin Davis and Tony Dutzik,
                                         Frontier Group
                                     Phineas Baxandall,
                              U.S. PIRG Education Fund


                                         April 2012
Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the following individuals for providing analysis, editorial
assistance, and review for this report: David Burwell, Carnegie Endowment for Interna-
tional Peace; Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute; Adie Tomer, Brookings
Institution; and Clark Williams-Derry, Sightline Institute. A special thanks is extended to
Jordan Schneider at Frontier Group for her editorial assistance.

The authors bear any responsibility for factual errors. The views expressed in this report
are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of those who provided
review.

Copyright 2012 Frontier Group

Frontier Group conducts research and policy analysis to support a cleaner, healthier and
more democratic society. Our mission is to inject accurate information and compelling
ideas into public policy debates at the local, state and federal levels. For more information
about Frontier Group, please visit our website at www.frontiergroup.org.

With public debate around important issues often dominated by special interests pursuing
their own narrow agendas, U.S. PIRG Education Fund offers an independent voice that
works on behalf of the public interest. U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organiza-
tion, works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate prob-
lems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer Americans meaningful opportunities for
civic participation. For more information, please visit our website at uspirgedfund.org.

Cover Photo Credit: Regional Transit System (RTS) for the City of Gainesville, Florida
Design and Layout: Harriet Eckstein Graphic Design
Table of Contents


Executive Summary	                                                              1

Introduction	                                                                   5

The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less and
Use Transportation Alternatives More	                                           7
Today’s Youth Drive Less	                                                       7
Today’s Youth Increasingly Use Transportation Alternatives	                     9
Today’s Youth Avoid or Postpone Buying Cars and Acquiring Driver’s Licenses	   10
Americans Move to More Urban Areas with More Transportation Alternatives	      11


Young People’s Priorities and Preferences Are
Leading Them to Drive Less	                                                    14
Young People Choose to Replace Driving with Alternative Transportation	        14
Young People Want to Live in Places with Transportation Alternatives	          14


The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Among
Young People Is Likely to Persist	                                             19
Communication Technology Substitutes for Driving and Supports	                 19
Alternative Transportation
Driver’s License Restrictions Postpone Young People from Obtaining Licenses	   22
Increased Fuel Prices Push People to Cheaper Transportation Alternatives	      23
Some Young People Reduce Their Driving to Protect the Environment	             24
The Trend Toward Reduced Growth in Driving Will Likely Persist Even 	          24
When the Economy Rebounds


Implications for Transportation Policy	                                        27

Notes	                                                                         29
Executive Summary




F
     rom World War II until just a few         and steady pace. The changing transpor-
     years ago, the number of miles driven     tation preferences of young people—and
     annually on America’s roads steadily      Americans overall—throw those assump-
increased. Then, at the turn of the cen-       tions into doubt. The time has come for
tury, something changed: Americans be-         transportation policy to reflect the needs
gan driving less. By 2011, the average         and desires of today’s Americans—not the
American was driving 6 percent fewer           worn-out conventional wisdom from days
miles per year than in 2004. (See Figure       gone by.
ES-1.)
   The trend away from driving has been
                                               Figure ES-1: Vehicle-Miles Traveled Per Capita Peaked in 2004
led by young people. From 2001 to 2009,
the average 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. The trend away from
steady growth in driving is likely to be
long-lasting—even once the economy re-
covers. Young people are driving less for
a host of reasons—higher gas prices, new
licensing laws, improvements in technolo-
gy that support alternative transportation,
and changes in Generation Y’s values and
preferences—all factors that are likely to
have an impact for years to come.
   Federal and local governments have his-
torically made massive investments in new
highway capacity on the assumption that
driving will continue to increase at a rapid



                                                                                            Executive Summary 
America’s young people are decreasing         •	   Many of America’s youth prefer to
                       the amount they drive and increasing               live places where they can easily walk,
                       their use of transportation alternatives.          bike, and take public transportation.
                                                                          According to a recent study by the
                       •	   According to the National House-              National Association for Realtors,
                            hold Travel Survey, from 2001 to              young people are the generation
                            2009, the annual number of vehicle-           most likely to prefer to live in an area
                            miles traveled by young people (16 to         characterized by nearby shopping,
                            34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300           restaurants, schools, and public trans-
                            miles to 7,900 miles per capita—a             portation as opposed to sprawl.
                            drop of 23 percent.
                                                                     •	   Some young people purposely reduce
                       •	   In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds as a              their driving in an effort to curb their
                            whole took 24 percent more bike               environmental impact. In the KRC
                            trips than they took in 2001, despite         Zipcar survey, 16 percent of 18 to
                            the age group actually shrinking in           34-year-olds polled said they strongly
                            size by 2 percent.                            agreed with the statement, “I want to
                                                                          protect the environment, so I drive
                       •	 In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds walked              less.” This is compared to approxi-
                          to destinations 16 percent more                 mately 9 percent of older generations.
                          frequently than did 16 to 34-year-
                          olds living in 2001.                          The trend toward reduced driving
                                                                     among young people is likely to persist
                       •	 From 2001 to 2009, the number              as a result of technological changes and
                          of passenger-miles traveled by 16          increased legal and financial barriers to
                          to 34-year-olds on public transit          driving.
                          increased by 40 percent.
                                                                     •	 Technology:
                       •	 According to Federal Highway
                          Administration, from 2000 to 2010,              o	 Communications technology,
                          the share of 14 to 34-year-olds                    which provides young people with
                          without a driver’s license increased               new social networking and recre-
                          from 21 percent to 26 percent.                     ational possibilities, has become a
                                                                             substitute for some car trips.
                       Young people’s transportation priori-
                       ties and preferences differ from those             o	 Improvements in technology
                       of older generations.                                 make transportation alternatives
                                                                             more convenient. Websites and
                       •	   Many young people choose to re-                  smart phone apps that provide
                            place driving with alternative trans-            real-time transit data make
                            portation. According to a recent sur-            public transportation easier to
                            vey by KRC Research and Zipcar, 45               use, particularly for infrequent
                            percent of young people (18-34 years             users. Meanwhile, technology has
                            old) polled said they have consciously           opened the door for new trans-
                            made an effort to replace driving                portation alternatives, such as
                            with transportation alternatives—this            the car-sharing and bike-sharing
                            is compared with approximately 32                services that have taken root in
                            percent of all older populations.                numerous American cities.




  Transportation and the New Generation
o	 Public transportation is more              filling up the same tank today costs
        compatible with a lifestyle based          $2,300. While gasoline prices often
        on mobility and peer-to-peer               fluctuate, they are unlikely to return
        connectivity than driving. Bus             to the low levels of 1980s or 1990s.
        and train riders can often talk on         According to the U.S. Energy Infor-
        the phone, text or work safely             mation Administration’s projections,
        while riding, while many state             gas prices are expected to increase by
        governments are outlawing using            26 percent from 2010 to 2020.
        mobile devices while driving.
        Currently, 35 states have out-           The recession has played a role in re-
        lawed texting while driving, and      ducing the miles driven in America, es-
        nine states have outlawed hand-       pecially by young people. People who are
        held cell phone use while driving.    unemployed or underemployed have diffi-
        These bans may not be enough          culty affording cars, commute to work less
        to ensure safety—in December          frequently if at all, and have less disposable
        2011 the National Transportation      income to spend on traveling for vacation
        Safety Board recommended ban-         and other entertainment. The trend to-
        ning cell phone use while driving     ward reduced driving, however, has oc-
        entirely.                             curred even among young people who
                                              are employed and/or are doing well fi-
•	   Changes in driving laws: From 1996       nancially.
     to 2006, every state enacted Gradu-
     ated Drivers’ Licensing (GDL) laws.      •	   The average young person (age 16-
     GDL laws, which are designed to               34) with a job drove 10,700 miles in
     keep young people safe, also make             2009, compared with 12,800 miles in
     obtaining a driver’s license more             2001.
     challenging. Young people must now
     take more behind-the-wheel train-        •	   From 2001 to 2009, young people
     ing (which is more expensive), fulfill        (16 to 34-years-old) who lived in
     additional requirements for permits,          households with annual incomes of
     and once they are allowed to drive,           over $70,000 increased their use of
     they are often restricted to driving          public transit by 100 percent, biking
     in the daytime without passengers.            by 122 percent, and walking by 37
     GDL laws are likely to remain in ef-          percent.
     fect—and continue to be a deterrent
     to young people to apply for licens-        America has long created transportation
     es—because they have been success-       policy under the assumption that driving
     ful in keeping young drivers safe.       will continue to increase at a rapid and
                                              steady rate. The changing transportation
•	   Increased fuel prices: Increased fuel    preferences of young people—and Ameri-
     prices have made driving more ex-        cans overall—throw that assumption into
     pensive, reducing the frequency with     doubt. Policy-makers and the public
     which people—especially younger          need to be aware that America’s cur-
     people with less disposable income—      rent transportation policy—dominated
     travel in cars. The average cost for     by road building—is fundamentally
     filling up the tank in 2001 was $1,100   out-of-step with the transportation
     for the year (in 2011 dollars). With     patterns and expressed preferences
     gasoline prices soaring since then,      of growing numbers of Americans. It




                                                                                               Executive Summary 
is time for policy-makers to consider the     consider a new vision for transportation
                       implication of changes in driving habits      policy that reflects the needs of 21st cen-
                       for the nation’s transportation infrastruc-   tury America.
                       ture decisions and funding practices, and




  Transportation and the New Generation
Introduction




I
   n the years after World War II, Ameri-        highways.1 And that grand road-building
   cans’ love affair with the car reached full   project has continued even up to the pres-
   flower.                                       ent day—since 1980, American road build-
   To the post-war generation, cars were         ers have constructed an average of more
a symbol of maturity, prosperity and free-       than 22,000 new lane-miles every year.2
dom. Acquiring a driver’s license was a              Times have changed, however. The
“rite of passage” for young people—some-         open road that once beckoned to an ear-
thing that was ideally done as close to one’s    lier generation of young people has been
sixteenth birthday as possible. Owning (or       slowly replaced by congested highways
at least having access to) a car was a young     traversing a landscape of suburban sprawl.
person’s ticket to freedom, friends and ad-      Once a symbol of freedom and America’s
venture. For American families, a car was        can-do spirit, the automobile has become
also a ticket to the “good life” in the sub-     for many a financial straitjacket that limits
urbs, away from crowded and increasingly         life options, as well as a symbol of the na-
troubled cities.                                 tion’s enduring dependence on oil. Urban
   America’s post-war leaders—and those          living—whether in cities, older suburbs,
in the generations that followed—satisfied       or new mixed-use neighborhoods—is get-
Americans’ demand for mobility by car by         ting a serious look by many young people
engaging in the greatest road-building en-       anxious to avoid long commutes, be close
deavor the world had ever seen, at great         to friends and activities, and lessen their
public expense. They embarked on the             environmental impact. Meanwhile, the
largest public works project in human his-       emergence of the Internet, mobile tech-
tory up until that point, the construction       nologies and social networking has upend-
of more than 40,000 miles of Interstate          ed the way Americans, especially younger




                                                                                                 Introduction 
Americans, interact with each other and        many of those changes are here to stay.
                       the world.                                         An earlier generation of American lead-
                          There is now little room for doubt:         ers embraced and worked toward a vision
                       many Americans’ transportation needs and       of a more mobile America linked by high-
                       desires are changing. And they are chang-      ways and automobiles. Today, for better
                       ing fastest among the people who have the      and for worse, we are living their legacy.
                       most to gain or lose from the investments          Will America’s policy-makers have the
                       we make in new transportation infrastruc-      dexterity, the vision and the courage to
                       ture: the young. This report documents         meet these changing needs—and by so
                       the many ways in which young people are        doing, put America on a path to a cleaner,
                       changing their transportation behavior and     more resilient transportation system that
                       their desires for the future—and argues that   is less dependent on oil?




  Transportation and the New Generation
The Trends:
              Today’s Youth Drive Less and Use
              Transportation Alternatives More


D
       uring the second half of the 20th cen-      Since the mid-2000s however, the num-
       tury, the total number of miles driv-    ber of miles driven in America—both total
       en in America steadily increased.        and per capita—has fallen. Since 2004, the
Then, at the turn of the century, the trend     average number of vehicle-miles driven
changed. Americans now drive less than          per capita has decreased by 6 percent. (See
we did in the mid-2000s—both in abso-           Figure 1.) And since 2007, when Ameri-
lute and per-capita terms.                      cans’ total vehicle travel peaked, the total
   Today’s youth are leading this decline in    number of miles driven in America has
vehicle-miles traveled. Some young peo-         fallen 2.3 percent. (See Figure 2.) Ameri-
ple do not drive at all because they either     cans as a whole drove fewer miles in 2011
do not own a car or do not have a license.      than they drove in 2004.4
Those who do drive are taking fewer                Today’s youth lead the decline in ve-
trips and driving shorter distances. At the     hicle-miles traveled. While Generation X
same time, more young people are in-            (age 35-49) and the Baby Boomers (age
stead choosing to walk, bike or take public     50-65) have seen modest drops in the dis-
transportation, or to stay connected using      tance they travel in cars, Generation Y
mobile technologies instead of traveling.       (age 16-34) is now driving significantly
                                                less than young generations have in pri-
                                                or decades. According to the National
                                                Household Travel Survey (NHTS), be-
                                                tween 2001 and 2009, the average num-
Today’s Youth Drive Less                        ber of vehicle-miles traveled by young
Between 1970 and 2004, the number of            people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased
vehicle-miles traveled per capita increased     from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per cap-
by an average of 1.8 percent annually, and      ita—a drop of 23 percent.7 The National
the total number of vehicle-miles traveled      Household Transportation Survey shows
increased by an average of 2.9 percent          that this is the result of:
annually.3




                                                                               The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less 
Figure 1: Vehicle-Miles Traveled Per Capita Peaked in 20045




                       Figure 2: Total Vehicle-Miles Traveled Peaked in 20076




  Transportation and the New Generation
•	   Fewer car trips per driver: In 2009,
     young drivers took 15 percent few-
                                                 Today’s Youth Increasingly
     er trips than young drivers took in         Use Transportation
     2001.8                                      Alternatives
                                                 Young people are traveling less in cars,
•	   Shorter car trips: In 2009, the average     but they are increasingly using alternative
     trip length traveled by young drivers       forms of transportation. According to the
     was 9.5 miles—a 6 percent drop from         NHTS, the average young person took 25
     10.1 miles, the average trip length in      more trips and traveled 117 more miles on
     2001.9                                      alternative transportation (including bik-
                                                 ing, transit, and walking) in 2009 than the
   In addition, fewer young people are on        average young person traveled in 2001.14
the road in the first place because fewer
hold licenses. According to the Federal             Biking: In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds as a
Highway Administration, from 2000 to             whole took 24 percent more bike trips than
2010, the percentage of 14 to 34-year-olds       they took in 2001, despite the age group
without licenses increased from 21 percent       actually shrinking in size by 2 percent.15
to 26 percent.10 For more information on
licensing rates for young people, see page          Walking: In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds
11.                                              walked to destinations 16 percent more
                                                 frequently than did 16 to 34-year-olds in
                                                 2001.16




     Young People in Other Countries Have Also
     Reduced Their Driving

     D   ecreased driving among young people is not unique to America, but rather a
         phenomenon becoming characteristic of developed countries. In a 2011 study
     by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, researchers found
     that of the 14 countries studied other than the United States, seven developed coun-
     tries—Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Germa-
     ny—showed a recent decrease in the percentage of young people with driver’s li-
     censes. The other seven countries—Finland, Israel, The Netherlands, Switzerland,
     Spain, Latvia and Poland—many of them less developed, showed an increase in the
     percentage of young people with licenses.11
        In addition to licensing rates, driving rates have also fallen in many developed
     countries. Vehicle-miles traveled have either leveled off or fallen in Western Euro-
     pean countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Neth-
     erlands and Spain.12 Although data on driving rates for young people are not eas-
     ily available, the German Income and Expenditure survey shows that the share of
     young households without cars in Germany increased from 20 percent to 28 percent
     from 1998 to 2008.13




                                                                                The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less 
Public transit: Between 2001 and 2009
                       the annual number of passenger miles per
                                                                     Today’s Youth Avoid or
                       capita traveled by 16 to 34-year-olds on      Postpone Buying Cars and
                       public transit increased by 40 percent.17     Acquiring Driver’s Licenses
                       Young people have played a significant
                                                                     Not only are many Americans—includ-
                       role in driving up the total number of
                                                                     ing young Americans—making fewer and
                       passenger miles traveled on transit. From
                                                                     shorter trips in their cars, but an increas-
                       2001 to 2009, the annual number of pas-
                                                                     ing number are not driving at all—either
                       senger miles traveled increased by 10 bil-
                                                                     because they do not have a car or do not
                       lion, more than 60 percent of which came
                                                                     have a license.
                       from 16 to 34-year-olds.18
                          According to the Bureau of Transpor-
                       tation Statistics, heavy rail (subway) and    The Number of Vehicles on the
                       light rail ridership across the country has   Road Has Stagnated
                       been steadily increasing over the last de-    People are putting fewer cars on American
                       cade, even as automobile travel has stag-     roads. Every year, several million Ameri-
                       nated.19 (See Figure 3.)                      cans buy and register new automobiles




                       Figure 3: Heavy and Light Rail Ridership Increases Across the US20




10  Transportation and the New Generation
Figure 4: The Total Number of Vehicles On the Road Has Plateaued Since 200622




while several million simultaneously retire   22.) The percentage of people between the
old ones. Historically, the number of auto-   ages of 20 and 34 without licenses has also
mobiles on the road has steadily increased    increased. The number of 20 to 34-year-
because newly registered automobiles          olds without a driver’s license increased
outnumbered retired automobiles. Since        from 10.4 percent to 15.7 percent between
2006, the number of vehicles on America’s     2000 and 2010. (See Figure 5.)
roads has hit a plateau after decades of
growth.21 (See Figure 4.)

The Number of Young Licensed
Drivers Has Decreased                         Americans Move to More
A growing number of young Americans
do not have driver’s licenses. According      Urban Areas with More
to the Federal Highway Administration,        Transportation Alternatives
from 2000 to 2010, the share of 14 to 34-     Many Americans, including young people,
year-olds without a license increased from    are seeking to move to places that have
21 percent to 26 percent.23 (See Figure 5.)   alternative transportation options. For
   The increase in young people with-         decades, people migrated from central cit-
out driver’s licenses is not limited to age   ies to distant suburbs and exurbs where
groups affected by Graduated Drivers          transportation was dependent on automo-
Licensing (GDL) laws (age 14-19). (For        biles. Recently, however, there has been
more information on GDL laws, see page        an increase in movement back to densely-




                                                                           The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less  11
Figure 5: The Share of Young People Without Driver’s Licenses Has Increased24




                       populated urban cores where people can         strip malls with mixed-use developments
                       walk, bike and take public transit instead     that have access to public transit.26
                       of driving. There has also been an increase       This increase in downtown construc-
                       of interest in walkable, mixed-use devel-      tion is clearly demonstrated by trends in
                       opments in suburban communities. Some          building permits. In the decades before
                       people living in these communities, espe-      this shift back to downtown areas, the
                       cially those in Generation Y, do not own       number of building permits in exurbs and
                       cars. According to the Bureau of Trans-        far-lying suburbs dramatically outnum-
                       portation Statistics, households in urban      bered the number of permits in inner cit-
                       areas are 2.5 times more likely not to pos-    ies. However, a recent study by the U.S.
                       sess a car than households in rural areas.25   Environmental Protection Agency of 50
                          The rising demand for homes in central-     metropolitan areas shows that the pro-
                       ly-located locations is being met through      portion of building permits in central city
                       the revitalization of aging urban areas in     neighborhoods has significantly increased
                       major cities as well as the reconstruction     in recent years. In nearly half of the metro-
                       of downtown and single-use (e.g. retail)       politan areas, the share of new residential
                       areas into mixed-use walkable and tran-        building permits in urban core communi-
                       sit-oriented developments in smaller cit-      ties dramatically increased. For example,
                       ies. This transformation has already taken     in the New York City metropolitan area,
                       place in several cities. Arlington County      the central city’s share of residential build-
                       in Virginia, Bellevue in Washington, and       ing permits increased from 15 percent in
                       Pasadena in California have all replaced       the early 1990s to 48 percent in the mid-



12  Transportation and the New Generation
2000s.27 Over the same time period, the        German Village in Columbus (OH)—
central city’s share of building permits       communities that were all dilapidated 30
in Chicago increased from 7 percent to         years ago.29
27 percent and the central city’s share in        The age groups leading this migration
Portland, Oregon, increased from 9 per-        to inner-cities and mixed-use suburbs are
cent to 26 percent.28                          those nearing retirement (Baby Boomers)
   The increased demand for property in        and young adults (Generation Y). Many
inner cities and mixed-use suburban areas      baby boomers, who no longer need multi-
is also evident in housing prices. Where-      room houses and backyards (because their
as in the late 1990s, the most expensive       children have moved out), have begun
housing was in the outer-lying suburbs,        moving to homes that are smaller and in
today’s most expensive housing has shifted     locations that have easily-accessible soci-
to walkable inner cities and inner sub-        etal amenities.30 Young adults have begun
urbs. According to a real estate analysis by   leaving their parents’ homes to move into
Christopher Leinberger, professor at the       “vibrant, compact, and walkable commu-
Graduate Real Estate Development Pro-          nities full of economic, social, and recre-
gram at the University of Michigan, some       ational activities,” according to the Brook-
of today’s most expensive neighborhoods        ings Institution.31 An estimated 77 percent
in metropolitan areas are walkable multi-      of young people (age 18-35) plan to live in
use communities, such as Capitol Hill in       urban centers.32
Seattle, Virginia Highland in Atlanta, and




                                                                             The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less  13
Young People’s Priorities and
                       Preferences Are Leading Them to
                       Drive Less


                       M
                                 any members of Generation Y have        really important to a lot of the kids in the
                                 reduced their driving because they      culture, but it is not the central focus like
                                 choose to take transportation alter-    it was 25 years ago.” 33 Instead, young peo-
                       natives instead of cars to school, work and       ple choose to spend time on their studies,
                       recreation, and because many have chosen          extracurricular activities and social media.
                       to live in ways that require less time behind        Recent polls have also documented this
                       the wheel of a car. Growing evidence—             shift away from driving and toward alter-
                       both anecdotal and quantitative—suggests          native transportation. According to a re-
                       that some of this change is being driven by       cent survey by KRC Research and Zipcar,
                       shifts in young people’s priorities and pref-     45 percent of young people (18-34 years
                       erences, shifts that could very well persist as   old) reported to have made a conscious ef-
                       Generation Y ages.                                fort in the previous year to reduce their
                                                                         driving—this is compared with approxi-
                                                                         mately 32 percent of the rest of the popu-
                                                                         lation.34 (See Figure 6.)

                       Young People Choose to
                       Replace Driving with
                       Alternative Transportation
                       Across America, a growing number of               Young People Want to Live
                       young people make a conscious effort to
                       take transit instead of cars to get to school,    in Places with Transporta-
                       work and friends’ houses.                         tion Alternatives
                          Many young people do not prioritize            Many people, especially those in Genera-
                       learning to drive. According to Tom Pec-          tion Y, increasingly prefer to live in places
                       oraro, owner of I Drive Smart, a Wash-            where they can get around without getting
                       ington area drivers’ education program,           in a car. People want to move to places
                       quoted in the Washington Post, “Driving is        where they can walk to amenities such as



14  Transportation and the New Generation
Figure 6: Young People Have Made a Conscious Effort to Reduce Their Driving



    In the survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, participants were asked to what extent they
    agreed with the statement, “In the past year, I have consciously made an effort to re-
    duce how much I drive, and instead take public transportation, bike/walk or carpool
    when possible.” The percent of the age group that said they strongly or somewhat
    agreed is displayed below.35




grocery stores, restaurants, and houses of       within walking and biking distance that
worship, and have nearby access to public        makes driving less necessary.36 According
transportation. These preferences con-           to a Chicago Tribune article, what residents
trast with the preferences of older and          enjoy about Arlington Heights, among
past generations, many of whom strongly          other qualities, is its mobility. Residents say
valued living in suburban single family          that Arlington Heights’ “family-friendly
homes with transportation dependent on           melding of top-ranked schools, an out-
automobiles.                                     standing park district, convenient access
    Living in a place that is walkable and       to Chicago and revived downtown repre-
transit-oriented has become increasingly         sent an appealing mix.”37 The city’s Metra
popular in recent years, even outside of city    commuter rail station, located downtown,
centers. For example, Arlington Heights in       is three blocks from the library (which is
Illinois, which moved to transit-oriented        visited by 2,600 people a day38), four blocks
development ahead of many other places in        from a recreational park, and is surrounded
America, has become a cherished place to         by restaurants, shops, schools, theaters and
live. The suburb, located 25 miles north-        other amenities39—and the Metra com-
west of Chicago, has 77,000 residents, a         mute to downtown Chicago takes only 50
combination of single-family and multi-          minutes.40
family homes, and a number of amenities             National surveys and polls have also



                                                                            Young People’s Priorities and Preferences  15
documented the popularity of living in
                                                                         places with smart growth and transit-ori-
                                                                         ented development among young people.

                                                                         •	   According to a survey by the Na-
                                                                              tional Association for Realtors,
                                                                              conducted in March 2011, 62 percent
                                                                              of people ages 18-29 said they would
                                                                              prefer to live in an area with smart
                                                                              growth (defined as a place with a mix
                                                                              of single family houses, apartments,
                                                                              and condominiums, with stores, res-
                                                                              taurants, libraries, schools and access
                                                                              to public transportation nearby) as
         Passengers at Arlington Heights Station on the Union                 opposed to sprawl. The proportion
         Pacific-Northwest Metra Line. Credit: City of Arlington              of young people who preferred to
         Heights                                                              live in smart growth neighborhoods
                                                                              was between four and 11 percent-
                                                                              age points higher than all other age
                                                                              groups.41 (See Figure 7.)


                       Figure 7: Young People Prefer to Live in Smart Growth Neighborhoods



                           In the National Association of Realtors survey, participants were asked if they would
                           prefer to live in an area with smart growth or sprawl. The percent of the age group
                           that said they preferred smart growth is displayed below.




16  Transportation and the New Generation
Figure 8: Young People Most Value Social Amenities within Walking Distance



     In the National Association for Realtors survey, participants were asked to rate the
     importance (on a scale of “very important,” “somewhat important,” “not very
     important,” and “not at all important”) of having nine specific social amenities (e.g.,
     restaurants) within walking distance of their homes. The percentages of participants
     that answered “very important” for each amenity are averaged by age group and
     displayed below.




•	   In a survey by the Urban Land In-                  offices—in walking distance more
     stitute in 2011, nearly two-thirds of              than people in other age groups.43
     18 to 32-year-olds polled said living              (See Figure 8.)
     in communities that were walkable
     was either essential (14 percent) or
     preferable (50 percent).42                    •	   In the same survey, people between
                                                        the ages of 18 and 29 were at least 25
•	   In the National Association for Real-              percent more likely than older popu-
     tors survey discussed above, people                lations to highly value having bus
     between the ages of 18 and 29 valued               routes and rail lines within walking
     having social amenities—such as gro-               distance of their homes. (See Figure 9.)
     cery stores, restaurants and doctors’




                                                                              Young People’s Priorities and Preferences  17
Figure 9: Young People Most Value Bus Routes and Rail Lines within Walking
                       Distance



                           In the National Association for Realtors survey, participants were asked to rate the
                           importance (on a scale of “very important,” “somewhat important,” “not very im-
                           portant,” and “not at all important”) of having (1) bus routes and (2) rail lines within
                           walking distance of their homes. The percentages of participants that answered “very
                           important” for bus routes and rail lines are averaged by age group and displayed below.




18  Transportation and the New Generation
The Trend Toward Reduced
                         Driving Among Young People
                                    Is Likely to Persist


T                                                Communication Technology
      ransportation investments last for de-
      cades. So it is important for transpor-
      tation policy-makers to understand         Substitutes for Driving and
whether trends such as the recent decline        Supports Alternative
in driving are temporary or are likely to be
long-lasting.
                                                 Transportation
   While temporary factors such as the re-       Improvements to and expanded accessibil-
cession have contributed to the decline in       ity of communications technology reduce
driving, the shift in transportation attitudes   the number of trips taken in cars. Social
and behaviors among young people appears         networking technology has become a sub-
likely to persist as they get older and as new   stitute for some types of car trips. Web-
people reach driving age. Social network-        sites and smart phone apps, which did not
ing sites, smart phones and other new com-       exist 20 years ago, provide real-time transit
munications innovations not only provide         data (e.g. Nextbus) and make public trans-
an alternative to driving in their own right     portation easier to use, particularly for
but they also provide a platform for trans-      infrequent users. Meanwhile, technology
portation services such as real-time transit     advances have also facilitated the growth
information and car- and bike-sharing ser-       of car-sharing and bike-sharing services,
vices that did not exist a decade or two ago.    enabling users to reserve, pay for, and lo-
Legal barriers, such as recent Graduated         cate cars or bikes anytime of the day.
Drivers’ Licensing laws that now require            Today’s communications technology
potential drivers to take more behind-the-       used for social networking has become
wheel training and restrict young people’s       a substitute for some car trips. Younger
driving behavior will also likely act as a       people today value constant interconnec-
continued barrier to driving. Other young        tivity to their peers through websites and
people avoid driving because increased fuel      mobile phone applications, social net-
prices have made driving more expensive—         working platforms (Facebook, Twitter,
a situation that is unlikely to change mark-     Foursquare), instant messaging software,
edly in the foreseeable future.                  cell phones and video chatting platforms



                                                                 The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Is Likely to Persist  19
Figure 10: Young People Substitute Driving with Social Networking Platforms


                           In the survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, participants were asked to what extent they
                           agreed with the statement, “With access to social networking sites such as Facebook
                           and Twitter, text messaging and online gaming, I sometimes choose to spend time
                           with friends online instead of driving to see them.” The percent of the age group
                           that said they strongly or somewhat agreed is displayed below.46




                       (Skype). Some young people who spend             survey, 54 percent of young people polled
                       time interacting with friends through            strongly or somewhat agreed with the
                       communications technology have less              statement that “I sometimes choose to
                       time and desire to drive to see someone.         spend time with friends online instead of
                           Communicating through these new              driving to see them.” That compares with
                       technologies has decreased the necessity         only 18 percent of Baby Boomers (age
                       for young people to use cars. Michelle Wei,      55+).45 (See Figure 10.)
                       for example, from Herndon, Virginia, who            Websites and smart phone applications
                       did not get her license until she was a se-      that provide real-time transit data, such as
                       nior, was content without driving because        Nextbus, make public transportation easier
                       of the social media available to her. She        to use, particularly for infrequent users.
                       claims, in an article in the Washington Post,    Real-time transit data allow riders to see
                       “If I couldn’t get a ride to see my friend       when the next bus, train, or subway will
                       who lives a town over, I could talk on IM        arrive, how long the trip will take, and what
                       . . . or Skype.” The digital world, she said,    transfers will be necessary on the journey.
                       “made it very easy not to drive.”44              Twenty years ago, public transportation was
                           Ms. Wei is not alone—a recent sur-           most accessible to experienced riders, who
                       vey by Zipcar and KRC Research found             knew the routes, schedules, and frequencies.
                       that many young people substitute social         Even then, buses, trains and subways that
                       networking for driving. According to the         were late would waste passenger time.



20  Transportation and the New Generation
With real-time transit technology, public          Technology has also led to the creation
transportation is just as accessible to the     of transportation options that did not exist
first-time traveler as the experienced rider,   15 or 20 years ago. With car-sharing ser-
and people waste less time waiting for their    vices such as Zipcar, for example, the In-
bus, train or subway.                           ternet and smart phone applications allow
    Real-time transit data have become in-      users to reserve, pay for and locate cars
creasingly accessible in recent years. Not      easily, at any time of the day. Then, Radio
only have transit operators made available      Frequency Identification (RFID) technol-
real-time transit data, but some companies      ogy allows car-sharing users to open the
(e.g. Nextbus, Google through Google            car doors with digital cards, removing the
Maps) have begun to aggregate the real-         hassle and cost of having to pick up keys.49
time data from different systems into one       The availability of car-sharing services
location. Nextbus, for example, has aggre-      such as Zipcar enables some people to
gated real-time transit data from systems       avoid purchasing a vehicle of their own—
across the country, and over the past few       saving money that can then be spent on
years they have expanded rapidly. From          commutes and trips via alternative trans-
1996, when Nextbus was founded, to 2008,        portation and reducing the temptation to
the company was able to grow to cover 40        drive at times other than when it is strictly
transportation systems. In the past three       necessary.
years, Nextbus has rapidly expanded and            Technology also makes bike-sharing
now covers 82 transportation systems.47         programs possible and convenient. In
Today, passengers can use Nextbus, both         the past two years, numerous cities, in-
on the Internet and on a smart phone,           cluding Boston, Chicago, Denver, Des
to find their next ride in cities across the    Moines, Honolulu, Miami Beach, New
country, from Seattle to Los Angeles to         York, San Antonio and Washington D.C.
Boston.48 (See Figure 11.)                      have launched bike share programs.50


Figure 11: Nextbus Provides Real-Time Transit Data




                                                                The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Is Likely to Persist  21
These programs have been made possible
                       and convenient by the advent of different
                                                                      Driver’s License Restrictions
                       technological applications. With technol-      Postpone Young People
                       ogy that is now widespread and common,         from Obtaining Licenses
                       bike-sharers can look up the availability of
                       bikes near them, ride to work, school or to    Between 1996 and 2006, every state one
                       go shopping, and be automatically billed       but one enacted Graduated Drivers’ Li-
                       for their ride time with their key signa-      censing (GDL) laws.53 GDL laws, which
                       ture.                                          are designed to keep young people safe,
                          On the other hand, despite efforts by       also make obtaining a driver’s license more
                       automakers to integrate new technology         challenging. To get a license today, young
                       into new vehicles, mobile technology and       people must take more behind-the-wheel
                       driving still often don’t mix. GPS systems     training (which is more expensive), fulfill
                       have made it somewhat easier for driv-         additional requirements for permits, and,
                       ers to find their way to their destinations    once they are allowed to drive, they often
                       and avoid traffic, and voice recognition       are restricted to driving in the daytime and
                       software integrated with cars’ computer        without passengers.
                       systems make it somewhat easier to make           Over the past 15 years, states have put
                       calls and text while driving, but the uni-     restrictions on young people acquiring li-
                       verse of interactive activities available      censes. Up until the mid-1990s, acquiring
                       to drivers is necessarily limited by the       a license was relatively simple—drivers
                       fact that they need to pay attention to        could get their licenses when they were 16
                       the road. Bus and train riders can typi-       or younger, with only a short restrictive
                       cally talk, text or work safely while rid-     period (permit), and a few hours of train-
                       ing. Driving while talking on a cellphone,     ing. Then in 1996, to keep young drivers
                       texting or working on a laptop or smart-       safe, Florida enacted the first comprehen-
                       phone, however, can be dangerous. States       sive Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL)
                       are increasingly enacting laws that make       program.54 GDL programs have three
                       driving while talking on the phone or text     stages of licensing (learner’s permit, inter-
                       messaging a misdemeanor. Currently, 35         mediate license, full licensure) to gradually
                       states have outlawed texting while driv-       introduce driving privileges to young driv-
                       ing, 12 of which were enacted recently         ers, ensuring that they have all the skills
                       in 2010, and nine states have outlawed         to drive safely once they are on the road.55
                       handheld cell phone use while driving.51       In the five years after Florida enacted its
                       Some safety experts believe that even          GDL law, 42 other states enacted simi-
                       these measures do not go far enough—in         lar laws, and by 2006, all states had some
                       December 2011, the National Trans-             GDL rules in place.56
                       portation Safety Board recommended                GDL laws have become a deterrent for
                       a complete ban on cell phone use while         some young people contemplating acquir-
                       driving, due to the dangers of distracted      ing a license. Not only do GDL laws de-
                       driving.52                                     crease young people’s mobility in the first
                          The technological changes of the last 20    months and years when they start driving,
                       years—particularly the advance of mobile       but the process of getting a full license
                       communications technology—have made            is longer and more expensive—up to 60
                       transportation alternatives more appeal-       hours of driving practice with an adult and
                       ing relative to driving, especially for the    $600 for driving courses.57 According to
                       younger people who have embraced those         Rob Foss, director of the Center for the
                       technologies with enthusiasm.                  Study of Young Drivers at the University




22  Transportation and the New Generation
Will GDL Laws Lead to a Prolonged Reduction
    in Driving?

    G
           DL laws reduce young people’s driving during the first few years they are
           eligible to drive. But GDL laws may have a longer lasting impact. Recent re-
           search at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found
    that the percentage of licensed drivers among people who were 20 to 44 years old in
    1983 did not increase as those people aged—in other words, according to the study,
    “for all practical purposes, for the cohorts born between 1939 and 1963, all those who
    wanted to get a driver’s license did so by age 20.”62 (emphasis in original)
       Should this finding prove to be true for today’s young people—which is very
    uncertain—changes in driver’s licensing laws that delay the acquisition of a license
    could potentially have long-lasting repercussions for driving behaviors later in life.




of North Carolina, these hurdles and re-         Increased Fuel Prices Push
strictions have caused much of the decline
in the number of licensed 16-year-olds.58
                                                 People to Cheaper
To many teenagers, studying and extracur-        Transportation Alternatives
ricular activities are a greater priority than   Increased fuel prices have made driving
the tens of hours of behind-the-wheel            more expensive, reducing the frequency
practice and high cost necessary to receive      with which people—especially younger
a license.59                                     people with less disposable income—travel
    GDL laws are likely to remain in effect      in cars. The average cost for filling up the
because they have been successful in keep-       tank in 2001 was $1,100 for the year (in
ing young drivers safe. From the years           2011 dollars).63 With gasoline prices soar-
between 1993 and 1995, to the years be-          ing to $3.50 on average since then, filling
tween 2003 and 2005, fatal crashes involv-       up the same tank today costs $2,300—
ing 16-year-old drivers decreased 23 per-        more than twice as expensive and a seri-
cent.60 According to a report by Preusser        ous deterrent for drivers to get behind the
Research Group, the most effective provi-        wheel.64
sion in keeping young drivers safe is the           While gasoline prices will fluctuate in
extension of the time period in which they       the future, they are unlikely to return to
must be supervised, which restricts young        the low levels of 1980s or 1990s, and unless
drivers’ mobility and deters them getting a      the United States accelerates its adoption
license.61 Since GDL laws’ successes make        of electric vehicles, it will likely be more
them unlikely to be rolled back by state         expensive to fill up the tank in the future
legislatures, they will likely continue to be    than it is today. According to the U.S. En-
a deterrent for young people considering         ergy Information Administration’s projec-
applying for licenses.                           tions, gas prices are expected to increase
                                                 by 26 percent (adjusted for inflation) from
                                                 2010 to 2020.65 (See Figure 12.)




                                                                 The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Is Likely to Persist  23
Figure 12: Gasoline Prices Will Remain High Or Increase In the Future66




                       Note: “High Oil Prices” refers to $200 per barrel (in 2009 dollars). “Medium Oil Prices” refers
                       to $125 per barrel. “Low Oil Prices” refers to $50 per barrel.




                       Some Young People Reduce                           The Trend Toward Reduced
                       Their Driving to Protect the                       Growth in Driving Will Likely
                       Environment                                        Persist Even When the
                       Some young people purposely live in ways           Economy Rebounds
                       that reduce their driving as a way to fulfill
                       their personal commitment to a cleaner             The recession has played a role in reduc-
                       environment. Driving in cars releases dan-         ing the miles driven in America, especially
                       gerous gases that cause global warming,            by young people. People who are unem-
                       create smog and make ambient air dirty             ployed or underemployed have difficulty
                       and unsafe to breathe. In a survey by Zip-         affording cars, commute to work less fre-
                       car and KRC Research, 16 percent of 18             quently (if at all), and have less disposable
                       to 34-year-olds polled said they strongly          income to spend on traveling for vacation
                       agreed with the statement “I want to pro-          and other entertainment.
                       tect the environment, so I drive less.” This          It is possible that driving will increase
                       is compared to approximately 9 percent of          somewhat as the economy rebounds. But
                       older generations.67 (See Figure 13.)              the long-term, sustained, upward growth
                                                                          in vehicle travel that characterized the
                                                                          United States for decades is likely at an
                                                                          end—economic recovery or not—due to




24  Transportation and the New Generation
the fundamental shifts in external condi-         •	   According to the same Pew report,
tions and consumer preferences detailed                the proportion of 18 to 29-year-olds
in this report.                                        employed full time fell 9 percent
   The current recession has hit young                 (from 50 percent to 41 percent) from
adults the hardest. Many statistics and re-            2006 to 2010, whereas the propor-
ports document the recession’s particular              tion of 30 to 64-year-olds employed
impact on Generation Y:                                full time fell only marginally (65
                                                       percent to 63 percent for 30-45 year
•	   According to the Bureau of Labor                  olds, and 54 percent to 53 percent for
     Statistics, in 2011 the unemployment              46-64 year olds).71
     rate was 24.4 percent among 16 to
     19-year-olds, 14.6 percent among 20          •	   According the Project on Student
     to 24-year-olds, and 10.3 percent for             Debt, two-thirds of college seniors
     25 to 29-year-olds, as compared to 8.9            who graduated in 2010 had student
     percent for the country as a whole.69             loan debt, averaging $25,250.72

•	   According to a 2010 report by the            •	   According to Fidelity Investments,
     Pew Research Center, young people                 the typical member of Generation Y
     are more likely than older people to              holds at least three credit cards, and
     have recently lost a job (10 percent              one in five cards has a balance of over
     for people 29 and younger, 6 percent              $10,000.73
     for people 30 and older).70

Figure 13: Young People Reduce Their Driving to Protect the Environment68


     In the survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, participants were asked to what extent
     they agreed with the statement, “I want to protect the environment, so I drive less.”
     The percent of the age group that said they strongly or somewhat agreed is dis-
     played below.




                                                                   The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Is Likely to Persist  25
The economic recession has conse-           •	   Young people who have jobs today
                       quently pushed car ownership outside the             drive less than young people who
                       economic reach of many young adults.                 had jobs before the recession. The
                       In America, the average annual cost of               average young person (ages 16 to
                       owning and operating an automobile is                34) with a job drove 10,700 miles in
                       $8,776.74 With such a high percentage of             2009, compared with 12,800 miles in
                       young people unemployed, and many of                 2001.77
                       those employed still struggling to make
                       ends meet, car ownership is simply not vi-      •	   Young people who have jobs today
                       able. In the Zipcar/KRC Research survey,             take public transportation more than
                       80 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds stated              young people who had jobs before the
                       that the high cost of gasoline, parking and          recession. Among young people who
                       maintenance made owning a car difficult              are employed, the number of miles
                       (in comparison, approximately 72 percent             traveled via public transit has increased
                       of people ages 35 and older found owning             25 percent from 2001 to 2009.78
                       a car difficult).75
                           However, many young Americans who           •	   Americans started to drive less before
                       cannot afford cars would continue to drive           the recession. The miles driven per
                       less and take alternative transportation even        capita in America first dropped in
                       if they could, for the following reasons:            2005—three years before the start of
                                                                            the recession.79
                       •	   Young people who have the funds to-
                            day to afford cars are still increasing       The economic recession has forced a
                            their use of transportation alterna-       large number of young people to delay
                            tives. From 2001 to 2009, young            purchasing an automobile and/or reduce
                            people (16-34 years old) who lived         the amount they drive. Economic recov-
                            in households with incomes of over         ery will bring some of those young people
                            $70,000 per year increased their use       back onto the roads. But the fundamental
                            of public transit by 100 percent, bik-     forces that are driving many Americans—
                            ing by 122 percent, and walking by         especially young people—to change their
                            37 percent.76                              transportation behaviors will remain.




26  Transportation and the New Generation
Implications for Transportation Policy




A
       merica’s transportation policies have    Information Administration projected that
       long been predicated on the as-          by 2010, the total number of vehicle-miles
       sumption that driving will continue      traveled on America’s roads would reach
to increase. The changing transportation        3.4 trillion.80 However, in 2010, decreased
preferences of young people—and Ameri-          driving rates caused the vehicle-miles
cans overall—throw that assumption into         traveled to total just less than 3 trillion
doubt. Transportation decision-makers at        miles—a difference of 11 percent.81
all levels—federal, state and local—need           The shift away from six decades of in-
to understand the trends that are leading       creasing vehicle travel to a new reality of
to the reduction in driving among young         slow-growing or even declining vehicle
people and engage in a thorough recon-          travel has potentially seismic implica-
sideration of America’s transportation          tions for transportation policy. It calls
policy-making to ensure that it serves both     into question the wisdom of our current
the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s young       transportation investment priorities as
Americans and moves the nation toward           well as the sources of revenue used to pay
a cleaner, more sustainable and economi-        for those priorities. It creates both a mul-
cally vibrant future.                           titude of new opportunities as well as dif-
   Transportation infrastructure decisions      ficult challenges.
have long-lasting implications. Highways,          The data in this report suggest a pos-
transit lines and sidewalks have useful lives   sible future in which:
measured in decades—and sometimes cen-
turies. To make the best of limited resourc-    •	   The demand for transportation
es, transportation planners must anticipate          overall stagnates due to the substi-
trends 10, 20 or 40 years into the future.           tution of mobile technologies for
   Since World War II, the vision the U.S.           some transportation services and the
government has had of the future has been            emerging consumer preference for
one of consistent increases in driving.              walkable, less auto-dependent forms
In 2000, for example, the U.S. Energy                of development.




                                                                             Implications for Transportation Policy  27
•	   The demand for automobile trans-           transit, government officials would need
                            portation—both absolutely and as           to ensure that land-use and transporta-
                            a share of overall transportation          tion policies were aligned to support the
                            demand—stagnates or declines due           development of these communities. To
                            to the improved competitive posi-          compensate for the declines in gas-tax rev-
                            tion of transportation alternatives on     enues, decision-makers would need to find
                            measures of quality, convenience and       alternative sources of funding for road and
                            cost.                                      bridge maintenance or boost the gasoline
                                                                       tax to levels that may further discourage
                       •	   The demand for transportation              driving.
                            alternatives increases for the same           Again, it is far too early to say that this
                            reasons.                                   vision will become reality. As the old say-
                                                                       ing goes, it’s difficult to make predictions,
                           It is much too early to conclude that       especially about the future.
                       this vision of the future will become real-        But policy-makers and the public need
                       ity. But it is at least as plausible a vision   to be aware that America’s current trans-
                       of the future as one based on an expecta-       portation policy-making and financing
                       tion that the trend toward ever-increasing      structure is fundamentally out-of-step
                       amounts of driving that has characterized       with both the nation’s current needs
                       the last 60 years will resume.                  and the expressed preferences of grow-
                           Such a shift in future transportation       ing numbers of Americans. It is well be-
                       trends would shake the foundations of           yond the scope of this report to address
                       transportation policy-making. For ex-           the policy implications of shifting youth
                       ample, to meet the demand for alterna-          transportation trends in detail—though
                       tive transportation, federal, state and lo-     we hope to return to this issue in future
                       cal governments would need to prioritize        work. It is clear, however, that we urgently
                       investment in public transportation, bike       need to consider a new vision for trans-
                       lanes, sidewalks and other transportation       portation policy that reflects the needs of
                       alternatives. To meet the demand for walk-      21st century America.
                       able neighborhoods in close proximity to




28  Transportation and the New Generation
Notes



1 Federal Highway Administration,                 Administration, Traffic Volume Trends,
Interstate FAQ, downloaded from www.              December 2011.
fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.htm, 7 March
2012.                                             5 2010 and prior: Federal Highway
                                                  Administration, Historical Monthly VMT
2 Federal Highway Administration,                 Report, 3 May 2011; 2011: Federal Highway
Highway Statistics 2009, Table VMT-422, 29        Administration, Traffic Volume Trends,
February 2012.                                    December 2011; Note: The vehicle-miles
                                                  traveled per capita in 2004 and 2005 are
3 Vehicle-miles traveled: Federal Highway         nearly the same, and the peak year may
Administration, Historical Monthly VMT            vary between 2004 and 2005 depending on
Report, 3 May 2011; Note: for all references      which datasets within the Federal Highway
in this report to population and per capita       Administration are used.
statistics, the following citations are used.
For population data for 1900-1999 see             6 See note 4.
U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Population
Estimates: July 1, 1900 to July 1, 1999, 28       7 10,300 miles in 2001 and 7,900 miles
June 2000. For population data for 2000-          in 2009 were derived by dividing the total
2010 see U.S. Census Bureau, GCT-T1:              vehicle miles traveled by the total number
Population Estimates, downloaded from             of persons age 16-34 for 2001 and 2009,
factfinder2.census.gov, 17 November 2011.         per the Federal Highway Administration,
For population data for 2011 see U.S.             National Household Travel Survey,
Census Bureau, Monthly Population Estimates       downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21
for the United States: April 1, 2010 to January   November 2011.
1, 2012, downloaded from www.census.
gov/popest/data/national/totals/2011/index.       8 15 percent fewer trips derived by
html, 10 February 2012.                           dividing the number of vehicle trips
                                                  per driver in 2009 by the number of
4 2010 and prior: Federal Highway                 vehicle trips per driver in 2001 for 16 to
Administration, Historical Monthly VMT            34-year-olds, per the Federal Highway
Report, 3 May 2011; 2011: Federal Highway         Administration, National Household Travel




                                                                                               Notes  29
Survey, downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det,      the total number of bike person trips,
                       21 November 2011. The vehicle trips per         transit person trips and walk person trips
                       driver in 2001 and 2009 were derived by         for 16 to 34-year-olds per the NTHS. The
                       dividing the total number of vehicle trips      total number of alternative transportation
                       by the total number of drivers for 16 to 34-    trips for each year was then divided by
                       year-olds for each year.                        the number of 16 to 34-year-olds for each
                                                                       year, which gives the total number of
                       9 The average trip lengths in 2001 (10.1        alternative transportation trips per person.
                       miles) and in 2009 (9.5 miles) were derived     117 more miles was derived by subtracting
                       by dividing the total vehicle miles traveled    the number of miles traveled on alternative
                       by the total number of vehicle trips for        transportation per person in 2001 from the
                       each year for 16 to 34-year-olds, per the       number of miles traveled on alternative
                       Federal Highway Administration, National        transportation per person in 2009. For both
                       Household Travel Survey,downloaded from         2001 and 2009, the total number of miles
                       nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 November 2011.            traveled on alternative transportation was
                                                                       calculated by adding the miles traveled by
                       10 Federal Highway Administration,              bike, transit and walking for 16 to 34-year-
                       Highway Statistics 2010—Table DL-20,            olds per NTHS. The total number of miles
                       September 2011.                                 traveled on alternative transportation for
                                                                       each year was then divided by the number
                       11 Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle,         of 16 to 34-year-olds for each year, which
                       University of Michigan Transportation           gives the alternative transportation miles
                       Research Institute, Recent Changes in the       per person.
                       Age Composition of Drivers in 15 Countries,
                       October 2011.                                   15 24 percent more bike trips was derived
                                                                       by dividing the number of bike trips taken
                       12 Todd Litman, Victoria Transport              in 2009 by the number of bike trips taken
                       Policy Institute, The Future Isn’t What         in 2001 for 16 to 34-year-olds, per the
                       It Used To Be: Changing Trends and their        Federal Highway Administration, National
                       Implications For Transport Planning, 6          Household Travel Survey, downloaded from
                       November 2011.                                  nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 November 2011.

                       13 Tobias Kuhnimhof, Institute for              16 16 percent more frequently was derived
                       Mobility Research, Matthias Wirtz,              from dividing the trips taken per capita in
                       Institute of Transport Studies, Karlsruhe       2009 by the trips taken per capita in 2001,
                       Institute of Technology, and Wilko Manz,        using data from the Federal Highway
                       STRATA GmbH, Lower Incomes, More                Administration, National Household Travel
                       Students, Decrease of Car Travel by Men, More   Survey, downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det,
                       Multimodality: Decomposing Young Germans’       21 November 2011. The trips taken per
                       Altered Car Use Patterns, 2012.                 capita in 2001 and 2009 were derived by
                                                                       dividing the total number of person trips
                       14 25 more trips was derived by                 walked by the total number of persons for
                       subtracting the trips on alternative            that year for 16 to 34-year-olds, per the
                       transportation made per person in 2001          NHTS.
                       from the trips made per person in 2009
                       for 16 to 34-year olds using data from          17 40 percent increase in the number of
                       the Federal Highway Administration,             miles traveled on public transit is derived
                       National Household Travel Survey (NHTS),        by dividing the number of miles traveled on
                       downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21           transit per capita in 2009 by the number of
                       November 2011. For both 2001 and 2009,          miles traveled on transit per capita in 2001
                       the total number of trips on alternative        for 16 to 34-year-olds, using data from the
                       transportation was calculated by adding         Federal Highway Administration, National




30  Transportation and the New Generation
Household Travel Survey, downloaded from        Administration, Bureau of Transportation
nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 November 2011.            Statistics, Figure 32 – Proportion of
The number of miles traveled on transit         Households Without Vehicles by Household
per capita for 2001 and 2009 is derived         Type: 2001, 2003.
by dividing the total number of person
miles traveled on transit by the number of      26 Christopher Leinberger, “The Death
persons for 16 to 34-year-olds for that year.   of the Fringe Suburb,” New York Times, 25
Note: the number of trips taken by young        November 2011.
people on public transit did not increase
dramatically.                                   27 U.S. Environmental Protection
                                                Agency, Residential Construction Trends in
18 10 billion derived by subtracting the        America’s Metropolitan Regions, 2010 Edition,
total passenger miles traveled in 2001          January 2010.
from the total passenger miles traveled in
2009 for all ages, per Federal Highway          28 Ibid.
Administration, National Household Travel
Survey, downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det,      29 See note 26.
21 November 2011. More than 60 percent
derived by subtracting the total passenger      30 Patrick Doherty and Christopher
miles traveled in 2001 from the total           Leinberger, “The Next Real Estate Boom;
passenger miles traveled in 2009 for 16 to      How housing (yes, housing) can turn the
34-year-olds, and dividing the difference by    economy around,” Washington Monthly,
10 billion, per the NHTS.                       November 2010.

19 The Bureau of Transportation Statistics      31 Ibid.
also reports on the ridership rates for bus
lines, which has stayed relatively constant     32 Ibid.
over the past ten years. Research and
Innovative Technology Administration,           33 Donna St. George, “Teens not the
Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transit    driving force they used to be; Able to
Ridership, February 2012.                       connect in ways that don’t involve four
                                                wheels, many are postponing licenses,” The
20 Research and Innovative Technology           Washington Post, 24 January 2010.
Administration, Bureau of Transportation
Statistics, Transit Ridership, February 2012.   34 KRC Research, Millennials  Driving;
                                                A Survey Commissioned by Zipcar, November
21 National Automobile Dealers                  2010.
Association, NADA Data: State of the
Industry Report 2011, downloaded from           35 Ibid.
www.nada.org/nadadata, 26 March 2012;
National Automobile Dealers Association,        36 Jeffrey Steele, “A family-friendly burb;
Economic Impact of America’s New-Car and        Arlington Heights lively, walkable with a
New-Truck Dealers 2002, downloaded from         diverse housing stock,” Chicago Tribune, 2
www.nada.org/nadadata, 26 March 2012.           April 2010.

22 Ibid.                                        37 Ibid.

23 See note 10.                                 38 Ibid.

24 Ibid.                                        39 “Four blocks from a recreational park,
                                                and is surrounded by restaurants, shops,
25 Research and Innovative Technology           schools, theaters and other amenities” is




                                                                                                Notes  31
deduced from Google Maps, downloaded            52 National Transportation Safety Board,
                       from maps.google.com, 15 January 2012.          No call, no text, no update behind the wheel:
                                                                       NTSB calls for nationwide ban on PEDs while
                       40 Metra, Union Pacific/Northwest Line          driving (press release), 15 February 2012.
                       (schedule), downloaded from metrarail.
                       com/metra/en/home/maps_schedules/               53 Barry Sweedler, “History and Effects of
                       metra_system_map/up-nw/schedule.full.           Graduated Licensing and Zero Tolerance,”
                       html, March 6 2012.                             in Transportation Research Board of
                                                                       National Academies, Transportation Research
                       41 Beldon Russonello  Stewart LLC,             Circular: Young Impaired Drivers: The Nature
                       The 2011 Community Preference Survey;           of the Problem and Possible Solutions, Number
                       What Americans are looking for when deciding    E-C132, June 2009.
                       where to live, prepared for the National
                       Association of Realtors, March 2011.            54 Allan Williams, “The Fall and Rise of
                                                                       Graduated Licensing in North America”
                       42 M. Leanne Lachman and Deborah L.             in the Transportation Research Board of
                       Brett, Urban Land Institute, Generation Y:      National Academies, Transportation Research
                       America’s New Housing Wave, 2011.               Circular: Implementing Impaired Driving
                                                                       Countermeasures: Putting Research into Action:
                       43 See note 41.                                 Number E-C072, January 2005.

                       44 See note 33.                                 55 National Highway Traffic Safety
                                                                       Administration (NHTSA), Traffic Safety
                       45 See note 34.                                 Facts: Laws: Graduated Driver Licensing
                                                                       System (fact sheet), April 2004.
                       46 See note 34.
                                                                       56 See notes 53 and 54.
                       47 Note: Nextbus covers transportation
                       systems in America and Canada.                  57 See note 33.

                       48 Nextbus, Company History, downloaded         58 Ibid.
                       from news.nextbus.com/about-us-2/
                       company-history, 6 March 2012.                  59 Ibid.

                       49 Zipcar, after one year, zipcar drives        60 See note 53.
                       transportation change in Baltimore (press
                       release), 6 March 2012.                         61 David Preusser and Julie Tison, “GDL
                                                                       then and now,” Journal of Safety Research,
                       50 Boston, Chicago, Denver, Des Moines,         2007.
                       Honolulu, Miami Beach, New York, and
                       San Antonio: Wendy Koch, “Cities roll           62 Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle,
                       out bike-sharing programs,” USA Today,          University of Michigan Transportation
                       May 9 2011; Washington D.C.: Capital            Research Institute, Recent Changes in the
                       Bikeshare, District of Columbia and Arlington   Age Composition of U.S. Drivers: Implications
                       Launch Regional Bike Sharing Program (press     for the Extent, Safety, and Environmental
                       release), 21 May 2010.                          Consequences of Personal Transportation, June
                                                                       2011.
                       51 National Highway Traffic Safety
                       Administration (NHTSA), Distraction.            63 $1,100 to fill up the tank in 2001
                       gov, State Laws, downloaded from www.           derived by multiplying the average price
                       distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/state-    of gasoline on 15 October 2001 ($1.309
                       laws.html, 5 February 2012.                     dollars/gallon, per Research and Innovative




32  Transportation and the New Generation
Technology Administration, Bureau of             69 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment
Transportation Statistics, Multimodal            Calculator, downloaded from www.bls.gov/
Transportation Indicators, Motor Fuel            data/#employment, 6 March 2012. Note:
Prices: Retail Gasoline Prices, October 2011)    “8.9 percent for the country as a whole”
by average amount of fuel consumed per           pertains to workers above the age of 16. All
vehicle per year, (661 gallons, per Federal      percentages are not seasonally adjusted.
Highway Administration, Highway Statistics
2009, Table VM-1, April 2011), which             70 PewResearchCenter, Millennials;
equals $865.25 (2001 dollars). $865.25 in        A Portrait of Generation Next: Confident.
2001 dollars is equivalent to $1,048.15          Connected. Open to Change., February 2010.
in 2011 dollars, per the Bureau of Labor
Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator, available   71 Ibid.
at www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.
htm, 19 March 2012.                              72 Project on Student Debt, Student Debt
                                                 and the Class of 2010, November 2011.
64 $2,300 to fill up the tank today derived
from multiplying the average price of            73 Christine Dugas, “Generation Y’s steep
gasoline on 17 October 2011 ($3.476              financial hurdles: Huge debt, no savings,”
dollars/gallon, per Research and Innovative      USA Today, 23 April 2010.
Technology Administration, Bureau of
Transportation Statistics, Multimodal            74 Research and Innovative Technology
Transportation Indicators: Motor Fuel Prices:    Administration, Bureau of Transportation
Retail Gasoline Prices, October 2011) by         Statistics, National Transportation
the average amount of fuel consumed per          Statistics, Table 3-17: Average Cost of Owning
vehicle per year (661 gallons; see note 63),     and Operating an Automobile, 13 April 2011.
which equals $2,297.64.
                                                 75 See note 34.
65 U.S. Energy Information
Administration, Annual Energy Outlook            76 100 percent increase for public transit
2011: Components of Selected Petroleum           derived by dividing the person miles
Product Prices, United States, Reference         traveled in 2009 by the person miles
case, downloaded from www.eia.gov/oiaf/          traveled in 2001 for 16 to 34-year-olds in
aeo/tablebrowser, 12 March 2012. Note:           households with incomes above $70,000,
“Gas Prices” refers to what the Energy           per Federal Highway Administration,
Information Administration defines as            National Household Travel Survey,
End-User Price for Motor Gasoline (All           downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21
Sectors).                                        November 2011; 122 percent increase for
                                                 biking derived by dividing person miles
66 U.S. Energy Information                       traveled by bike in 2009 by the person miles
Administration, Annual Energy Outlook            traveled by bike in from 2001 for 16 to 34-
2011: Components of Selected Petroleum           year-olds in households with incomes above
Product Prices, United States, Reference case,   $70,000, per NHTS; 37 percent increase for
High oil price, Low oil price, downloaded        walking derived by the dividing the person
from www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/tablebrowser,          miles traveled by walking from 2009 by the
12 March 2012. Note: “Gasoline Prices”           person miles traveled by walking in 2001
refer to what the Energy Information             for 16 to 34-year-olds in households with
Administration defines as End-User Price         incomes above $70,000, per NHTS.
for Motor Gasoline (All Sectors).
                                                 77 Miles driven by young people with
67 See note 34.                                  jobs in 2001 and 2009 calculated by
                                                 dividing the total vehicle miles traveled
68 Ibid.                                         by the number of 16 to 34-year-olds with




                                                                                                  Notes  33
jobs for each year, per Federal Highway         79 Robert Puentes and Adie Tomer,
                       Administration, National Household Travel       Brookings Institution, The Road . . . Less
                       Survey, downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det,      Traveled: An Analysis of Vehicle Miles Traveled
                       21 November 2011.                               Trends in the U.S., December 2008.

                       78 25 percent derived by dividing the total     80 Energy Information Administration,
                       person miles traveled on transit in 2009 by     Annual Energy Outlook 2000: With Projection
                       the total person miles traveled on transit in   to 2020, December 1999.
                       2001 for 16 to 34-year-olds with jobs, per
                       Federal Highway Administration, National        81 Federal Highway Administration,
                       Household Travel Survey, downloaded from        Historical Monthly VMT Report, 3 May 2011.
                       nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 November 2011.
                       Note: while the number of miles traveled
                       via public transit has increased, the number
                       of trips has decreased 16 percent.




34  Transportation and the New Generation
Notes  35
36  Transportation and the New Generation

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Transportation and the New Generation: Why Young People are Driving Less and What it Means for Transportation Policy

  • 1. Transportation and the New Generation Why Young People Are Driving Less and What It Means for Transportation Policy
  • 2. Transportation and the New Generation Why Young People Are Driving Less and What It Means for Transportation Policy Frontier Group U.S. PIRG Education Fund Benjamin Davis and Tony Dutzik, Frontier Group Phineas Baxandall, U.S. PIRG Education Fund April 2012
  • 3. Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank the following individuals for providing analysis, editorial assistance, and review for this report: David Burwell, Carnegie Endowment for Interna- tional Peace; Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute; Adie Tomer, Brookings Institution; and Clark Williams-Derry, Sightline Institute. A special thanks is extended to Jordan Schneider at Frontier Group for her editorial assistance. The authors bear any responsibility for factual errors. The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of those who provided review. Copyright 2012 Frontier Group Frontier Group conducts research and policy analysis to support a cleaner, healthier and more democratic society. Our mission is to inject accurate information and compelling ideas into public policy debates at the local, state and federal levels. For more information about Frontier Group, please visit our website at www.frontiergroup.org. With public debate around important issues often dominated by special interests pursuing their own narrow agendas, U.S. PIRG Education Fund offers an independent voice that works on behalf of the public interest. U.S. PIRG Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organiza- tion, works to protect consumers and promote good government. We investigate prob- lems, craft solutions, educate the public, and offer Americans meaningful opportunities for civic participation. For more information, please visit our website at uspirgedfund.org. Cover Photo Credit: Regional Transit System (RTS) for the City of Gainesville, Florida Design and Layout: Harriet Eckstein Graphic Design
  • 4. Table of Contents Executive Summary 1 Introduction 5 The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less and Use Transportation Alternatives More 7 Today’s Youth Drive Less 7 Today’s Youth Increasingly Use Transportation Alternatives 9 Today’s Youth Avoid or Postpone Buying Cars and Acquiring Driver’s Licenses 10 Americans Move to More Urban Areas with More Transportation Alternatives 11 Young People’s Priorities and Preferences Are Leading Them to Drive Less 14 Young People Choose to Replace Driving with Alternative Transportation 14 Young People Want to Live in Places with Transportation Alternatives 14 The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Among Young People Is Likely to Persist 19 Communication Technology Substitutes for Driving and Supports 19 Alternative Transportation Driver’s License Restrictions Postpone Young People from Obtaining Licenses 22 Increased Fuel Prices Push People to Cheaper Transportation Alternatives 23 Some Young People Reduce Their Driving to Protect the Environment 24 The Trend Toward Reduced Growth in Driving Will Likely Persist Even 24 When the Economy Rebounds Implications for Transportation Policy 27 Notes 29
  • 5.
  • 6. Executive Summary F rom World War II until just a few and steady pace. The changing transpor- years ago, the number of miles driven tation preferences of young people—and annually on America’s roads steadily Americans overall—throw those assump- increased. Then, at the turn of the cen- tions into doubt. The time has come for tury, something changed: Americans be- transportation policy to reflect the needs gan driving less. By 2011, the average and desires of today’s Americans—not the American was driving 6 percent fewer worn-out conventional wisdom from days miles per year than in 2004. (See Figure gone by. ES-1.) The trend away from driving has been Figure ES-1: Vehicle-Miles Traveled Per Capita Peaked in 2004 led by young people. From 2001 to 2009, the average 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. The trend away from steady growth in driving is likely to be long-lasting—even once the economy re- covers. Young people are driving less for a host of reasons—higher gas prices, new licensing laws, improvements in technolo- gy that support alternative transportation, and changes in Generation Y’s values and preferences—all factors that are likely to have an impact for years to come. Federal and local governments have his- torically made massive investments in new highway capacity on the assumption that driving will continue to increase at a rapid Executive Summary 
  • 7. America’s young people are decreasing • Many of America’s youth prefer to the amount they drive and increasing live places where they can easily walk, their use of transportation alternatives. bike, and take public transportation. According to a recent study by the • According to the National House- National Association for Realtors, hold Travel Survey, from 2001 to young people are the generation 2009, the annual number of vehicle- most likely to prefer to live in an area miles traveled by young people (16 to characterized by nearby shopping, 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 restaurants, schools, and public trans- miles to 7,900 miles per capita—a portation as opposed to sprawl. drop of 23 percent. • Some young people purposely reduce • In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds as a their driving in an effort to curb their whole took 24 percent more bike environmental impact. In the KRC trips than they took in 2001, despite Zipcar survey, 16 percent of 18 to the age group actually shrinking in 34-year-olds polled said they strongly size by 2 percent. agreed with the statement, “I want to protect the environment, so I drive • In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds walked less.” This is compared to approxi- to destinations 16 percent more mately 9 percent of older generations. frequently than did 16 to 34-year- olds living in 2001. The trend toward reduced driving among young people is likely to persist • From 2001 to 2009, the number as a result of technological changes and of passenger-miles traveled by 16 increased legal and financial barriers to to 34-year-olds on public transit driving. increased by 40 percent. • Technology: • According to Federal Highway Administration, from 2000 to 2010, o Communications technology, the share of 14 to 34-year-olds which provides young people with without a driver’s license increased new social networking and recre- from 21 percent to 26 percent. ational possibilities, has become a substitute for some car trips. Young people’s transportation priori- ties and preferences differ from those o Improvements in technology of older generations. make transportation alternatives more convenient. Websites and • Many young people choose to re- smart phone apps that provide place driving with alternative trans- real-time transit data make portation. According to a recent sur- public transportation easier to vey by KRC Research and Zipcar, 45 use, particularly for infrequent percent of young people (18-34 years users. Meanwhile, technology has old) polled said they have consciously opened the door for new trans- made an effort to replace driving portation alternatives, such as with transportation alternatives—this the car-sharing and bike-sharing is compared with approximately 32 services that have taken root in percent of all older populations. numerous American cities.   Transportation and the New Generation
  • 8. o Public transportation is more filling up the same tank today costs compatible with a lifestyle based $2,300. While gasoline prices often on mobility and peer-to-peer fluctuate, they are unlikely to return connectivity than driving. Bus to the low levels of 1980s or 1990s. and train riders can often talk on According to the U.S. Energy Infor- the phone, text or work safely mation Administration’s projections, while riding, while many state gas prices are expected to increase by governments are outlawing using 26 percent from 2010 to 2020. mobile devices while driving. Currently, 35 states have out- The recession has played a role in re- lawed texting while driving, and ducing the miles driven in America, es- nine states have outlawed hand- pecially by young people. People who are held cell phone use while driving. unemployed or underemployed have diffi- These bans may not be enough culty affording cars, commute to work less to ensure safety—in December frequently if at all, and have less disposable 2011 the National Transportation income to spend on traveling for vacation Safety Board recommended ban- and other entertainment. The trend to- ning cell phone use while driving ward reduced driving, however, has oc- entirely. curred even among young people who are employed and/or are doing well fi- • Changes in driving laws: From 1996 nancially. to 2006, every state enacted Gradu- ated Drivers’ Licensing (GDL) laws. • The average young person (age 16- GDL laws, which are designed to 34) with a job drove 10,700 miles in keep young people safe, also make 2009, compared with 12,800 miles in obtaining a driver’s license more 2001. challenging. Young people must now take more behind-the-wheel train- • From 2001 to 2009, young people ing (which is more expensive), fulfill (16 to 34-years-old) who lived in additional requirements for permits, households with annual incomes of and once they are allowed to drive, over $70,000 increased their use of they are often restricted to driving public transit by 100 percent, biking in the daytime without passengers. by 122 percent, and walking by 37 GDL laws are likely to remain in ef- percent. fect—and continue to be a deterrent to young people to apply for licens- America has long created transportation es—because they have been success- policy under the assumption that driving ful in keeping young drivers safe. will continue to increase at a rapid and steady rate. The changing transportation • Increased fuel prices: Increased fuel preferences of young people—and Ameri- prices have made driving more ex- cans overall—throw that assumption into pensive, reducing the frequency with doubt. Policy-makers and the public which people—especially younger need to be aware that America’s cur- people with less disposable income— rent transportation policy—dominated travel in cars. The average cost for by road building—is fundamentally filling up the tank in 2001 was $1,100 out-of-step with the transportation for the year (in 2011 dollars). With patterns and expressed preferences gasoline prices soaring since then, of growing numbers of Americans. It Executive Summary 
  • 9. is time for policy-makers to consider the consider a new vision for transportation implication of changes in driving habits policy that reflects the needs of 21st cen- for the nation’s transportation infrastruc- tury America. ture decisions and funding practices, and   Transportation and the New Generation
  • 10. Introduction I n the years after World War II, Ameri- highways.1 And that grand road-building cans’ love affair with the car reached full project has continued even up to the pres- flower. ent day—since 1980, American road build- To the post-war generation, cars were ers have constructed an average of more a symbol of maturity, prosperity and free- than 22,000 new lane-miles every year.2 dom. Acquiring a driver’s license was a Times have changed, however. The “rite of passage” for young people—some- open road that once beckoned to an ear- thing that was ideally done as close to one’s lier generation of young people has been sixteenth birthday as possible. Owning (or slowly replaced by congested highways at least having access to) a car was a young traversing a landscape of suburban sprawl. person’s ticket to freedom, friends and ad- Once a symbol of freedom and America’s venture. For American families, a car was can-do spirit, the automobile has become also a ticket to the “good life” in the sub- for many a financial straitjacket that limits urbs, away from crowded and increasingly life options, as well as a symbol of the na- troubled cities. tion’s enduring dependence on oil. Urban America’s post-war leaders—and those living—whether in cities, older suburbs, in the generations that followed—satisfied or new mixed-use neighborhoods—is get- Americans’ demand for mobility by car by ting a serious look by many young people engaging in the greatest road-building en- anxious to avoid long commutes, be close deavor the world had ever seen, at great to friends and activities, and lessen their public expense. They embarked on the environmental impact. Meanwhile, the largest public works project in human his- emergence of the Internet, mobile tech- tory up until that point, the construction nologies and social networking has upend- of more than 40,000 miles of Interstate ed the way Americans, especially younger Introduction 
  • 11. Americans, interact with each other and many of those changes are here to stay. the world. An earlier generation of American lead- There is now little room for doubt: ers embraced and worked toward a vision many Americans’ transportation needs and of a more mobile America linked by high- desires are changing. And they are chang- ways and automobiles. Today, for better ing fastest among the people who have the and for worse, we are living their legacy. most to gain or lose from the investments Will America’s policy-makers have the we make in new transportation infrastruc- dexterity, the vision and the courage to ture: the young. This report documents meet these changing needs—and by so the many ways in which young people are doing, put America on a path to a cleaner, changing their transportation behavior and more resilient transportation system that their desires for the future—and argues that is less dependent on oil?   Transportation and the New Generation
  • 12. The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less and Use Transportation Alternatives More D uring the second half of the 20th cen- Since the mid-2000s however, the num- tury, the total number of miles driv- ber of miles driven in America—both total en in America steadily increased. and per capita—has fallen. Since 2004, the Then, at the turn of the century, the trend average number of vehicle-miles driven changed. Americans now drive less than per capita has decreased by 6 percent. (See we did in the mid-2000s—both in abso- Figure 1.) And since 2007, when Ameri- lute and per-capita terms. cans’ total vehicle travel peaked, the total Today’s youth are leading this decline in number of miles driven in America has vehicle-miles traveled. Some young peo- fallen 2.3 percent. (See Figure 2.) Ameri- ple do not drive at all because they either cans as a whole drove fewer miles in 2011 do not own a car or do not have a license. than they drove in 2004.4 Those who do drive are taking fewer Today’s youth lead the decline in ve- trips and driving shorter distances. At the hicle-miles traveled. While Generation X same time, more young people are in- (age 35-49) and the Baby Boomers (age stead choosing to walk, bike or take public 50-65) have seen modest drops in the dis- transportation, or to stay connected using tance they travel in cars, Generation Y mobile technologies instead of traveling. (age 16-34) is now driving significantly less than young generations have in pri- or decades. According to the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), be- tween 2001 and 2009, the average num- Today’s Youth Drive Less ber of vehicle-miles traveled by young Between 1970 and 2004, the number of people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased vehicle-miles traveled per capita increased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per cap- by an average of 1.8 percent annually, and ita—a drop of 23 percent.7 The National the total number of vehicle-miles traveled Household Transportation Survey shows increased by an average of 2.9 percent that this is the result of: annually.3 The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less 
  • 13. Figure 1: Vehicle-Miles Traveled Per Capita Peaked in 20045 Figure 2: Total Vehicle-Miles Traveled Peaked in 20076   Transportation and the New Generation
  • 14. Fewer car trips per driver: In 2009, young drivers took 15 percent few- Today’s Youth Increasingly er trips than young drivers took in Use Transportation 2001.8 Alternatives Young people are traveling less in cars, • Shorter car trips: In 2009, the average but they are increasingly using alternative trip length traveled by young drivers forms of transportation. According to the was 9.5 miles—a 6 percent drop from NHTS, the average young person took 25 10.1 miles, the average trip length in more trips and traveled 117 more miles on 2001.9 alternative transportation (including bik- ing, transit, and walking) in 2009 than the In addition, fewer young people are on average young person traveled in 2001.14 the road in the first place because fewer hold licenses. According to the Federal Biking: In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds as a Highway Administration, from 2000 to whole took 24 percent more bike trips than 2010, the percentage of 14 to 34-year-olds they took in 2001, despite the age group without licenses increased from 21 percent actually shrinking in size by 2 percent.15 to 26 percent.10 For more information on licensing rates for young people, see page Walking: In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds 11. walked to destinations 16 percent more frequently than did 16 to 34-year-olds in 2001.16 Young People in Other Countries Have Also Reduced Their Driving D ecreased driving among young people is not unique to America, but rather a phenomenon becoming characteristic of developed countries. In a 2011 study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, researchers found that of the 14 countries studied other than the United States, seven developed coun- tries—Sweden, Norway, Great Britain, Canada, Japan, South Korea and Germa- ny—showed a recent decrease in the percentage of young people with driver’s li- censes. The other seven countries—Finland, Israel, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Latvia and Poland—many of them less developed, showed an increase in the percentage of young people with licenses.11 In addition to licensing rates, driving rates have also fallen in many developed countries. Vehicle-miles traveled have either leveled off or fallen in Western Euro- pean countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Neth- erlands and Spain.12 Although data on driving rates for young people are not eas- ily available, the German Income and Expenditure survey shows that the share of young households without cars in Germany increased from 20 percent to 28 percent from 1998 to 2008.13 The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less 
  • 15. Public transit: Between 2001 and 2009 the annual number of passenger miles per Today’s Youth Avoid or capita traveled by 16 to 34-year-olds on Postpone Buying Cars and public transit increased by 40 percent.17 Acquiring Driver’s Licenses Young people have played a significant Not only are many Americans—includ- role in driving up the total number of ing young Americans—making fewer and passenger miles traveled on transit. From shorter trips in their cars, but an increas- 2001 to 2009, the annual number of pas- ing number are not driving at all—either senger miles traveled increased by 10 bil- because they do not have a car or do not lion, more than 60 percent of which came have a license. from 16 to 34-year-olds.18 According to the Bureau of Transpor- tation Statistics, heavy rail (subway) and The Number of Vehicles on the light rail ridership across the country has Road Has Stagnated been steadily increasing over the last de- People are putting fewer cars on American cade, even as automobile travel has stag- roads. Every year, several million Ameri- nated.19 (See Figure 3.) cans buy and register new automobiles Figure 3: Heavy and Light Rail Ridership Increases Across the US20 10  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 16. Figure 4: The Total Number of Vehicles On the Road Has Plateaued Since 200622 while several million simultaneously retire 22.) The percentage of people between the old ones. Historically, the number of auto- ages of 20 and 34 without licenses has also mobiles on the road has steadily increased increased. The number of 20 to 34-year- because newly registered automobiles olds without a driver’s license increased outnumbered retired automobiles. Since from 10.4 percent to 15.7 percent between 2006, the number of vehicles on America’s 2000 and 2010. (See Figure 5.) roads has hit a plateau after decades of growth.21 (See Figure 4.) The Number of Young Licensed Drivers Has Decreased Americans Move to More A growing number of young Americans do not have driver’s licenses. According Urban Areas with More to the Federal Highway Administration, Transportation Alternatives from 2000 to 2010, the share of 14 to 34- Many Americans, including young people, year-olds without a license increased from are seeking to move to places that have 21 percent to 26 percent.23 (See Figure 5.) alternative transportation options. For The increase in young people with- decades, people migrated from central cit- out driver’s licenses is not limited to age ies to distant suburbs and exurbs where groups affected by Graduated Drivers transportation was dependent on automo- Licensing (GDL) laws (age 14-19). (For biles. Recently, however, there has been more information on GDL laws, see page an increase in movement back to densely- The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less  11
  • 17. Figure 5: The Share of Young People Without Driver’s Licenses Has Increased24 populated urban cores where people can strip malls with mixed-use developments walk, bike and take public transit instead that have access to public transit.26 of driving. There has also been an increase This increase in downtown construc- of interest in walkable, mixed-use devel- tion is clearly demonstrated by trends in opments in suburban communities. Some building permits. In the decades before people living in these communities, espe- this shift back to downtown areas, the cially those in Generation Y, do not own number of building permits in exurbs and cars. According to the Bureau of Trans- far-lying suburbs dramatically outnum- portation Statistics, households in urban bered the number of permits in inner cit- areas are 2.5 times more likely not to pos- ies. However, a recent study by the U.S. sess a car than households in rural areas.25 Environmental Protection Agency of 50 The rising demand for homes in central- metropolitan areas shows that the pro- ly-located locations is being met through portion of building permits in central city the revitalization of aging urban areas in neighborhoods has significantly increased major cities as well as the reconstruction in recent years. In nearly half of the metro- of downtown and single-use (e.g. retail) politan areas, the share of new residential areas into mixed-use walkable and tran- building permits in urban core communi- sit-oriented developments in smaller cit- ties dramatically increased. For example, ies. This transformation has already taken in the New York City metropolitan area, place in several cities. Arlington County the central city’s share of residential build- in Virginia, Bellevue in Washington, and ing permits increased from 15 percent in Pasadena in California have all replaced the early 1990s to 48 percent in the mid- 12  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 18. 2000s.27 Over the same time period, the German Village in Columbus (OH)— central city’s share of building permits communities that were all dilapidated 30 in Chicago increased from 7 percent to years ago.29 27 percent and the central city’s share in The age groups leading this migration Portland, Oregon, increased from 9 per- to inner-cities and mixed-use suburbs are cent to 26 percent.28 those nearing retirement (Baby Boomers) The increased demand for property in and young adults (Generation Y). Many inner cities and mixed-use suburban areas baby boomers, who no longer need multi- is also evident in housing prices. Where- room houses and backyards (because their as in the late 1990s, the most expensive children have moved out), have begun housing was in the outer-lying suburbs, moving to homes that are smaller and in today’s most expensive housing has shifted locations that have easily-accessible soci- to walkable inner cities and inner sub- etal amenities.30 Young adults have begun urbs. According to a real estate analysis by leaving their parents’ homes to move into Christopher Leinberger, professor at the “vibrant, compact, and walkable commu- Graduate Real Estate Development Pro- nities full of economic, social, and recre- gram at the University of Michigan, some ational activities,” according to the Brook- of today’s most expensive neighborhoods ings Institution.31 An estimated 77 percent in metropolitan areas are walkable multi- of young people (age 18-35) plan to live in use communities, such as Capitol Hill in urban centers.32 Seattle, Virginia Highland in Atlanta, and The Trends: Today’s Youth Drive Less  13
  • 19. Young People’s Priorities and Preferences Are Leading Them to Drive Less M any members of Generation Y have really important to a lot of the kids in the reduced their driving because they culture, but it is not the central focus like choose to take transportation alter- it was 25 years ago.” 33 Instead, young peo- natives instead of cars to school, work and ple choose to spend time on their studies, recreation, and because many have chosen extracurricular activities and social media. to live in ways that require less time behind Recent polls have also documented this the wheel of a car. Growing evidence— shift away from driving and toward alter- both anecdotal and quantitative—suggests native transportation. According to a re- that some of this change is being driven by cent survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, shifts in young people’s priorities and pref- 45 percent of young people (18-34 years erences, shifts that could very well persist as old) reported to have made a conscious ef- Generation Y ages. fort in the previous year to reduce their driving—this is compared with approxi- mately 32 percent of the rest of the popu- lation.34 (See Figure 6.) Young People Choose to Replace Driving with Alternative Transportation Across America, a growing number of Young People Want to Live young people make a conscious effort to take transit instead of cars to get to school, in Places with Transporta- work and friends’ houses. tion Alternatives Many young people do not prioritize Many people, especially those in Genera- learning to drive. According to Tom Pec- tion Y, increasingly prefer to live in places oraro, owner of I Drive Smart, a Wash- where they can get around without getting ington area drivers’ education program, in a car. People want to move to places quoted in the Washington Post, “Driving is where they can walk to amenities such as 14  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 20. Figure 6: Young People Have Made a Conscious Effort to Reduce Their Driving In the survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, participants were asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, “In the past year, I have consciously made an effort to re- duce how much I drive, and instead take public transportation, bike/walk or carpool when possible.” The percent of the age group that said they strongly or somewhat agreed is displayed below.35 grocery stores, restaurants, and houses of within walking and biking distance that worship, and have nearby access to public makes driving less necessary.36 According transportation. These preferences con- to a Chicago Tribune article, what residents trast with the preferences of older and enjoy about Arlington Heights, among past generations, many of whom strongly other qualities, is its mobility. Residents say valued living in suburban single family that Arlington Heights’ “family-friendly homes with transportation dependent on melding of top-ranked schools, an out- automobiles. standing park district, convenient access Living in a place that is walkable and to Chicago and revived downtown repre- transit-oriented has become increasingly sent an appealing mix.”37 The city’s Metra popular in recent years, even outside of city commuter rail station, located downtown, centers. For example, Arlington Heights in is three blocks from the library (which is Illinois, which moved to transit-oriented visited by 2,600 people a day38), four blocks development ahead of many other places in from a recreational park, and is surrounded America, has become a cherished place to by restaurants, shops, schools, theaters and live. The suburb, located 25 miles north- other amenities39—and the Metra com- west of Chicago, has 77,000 residents, a mute to downtown Chicago takes only 50 combination of single-family and multi- minutes.40 family homes, and a number of amenities National surveys and polls have also Young People’s Priorities and Preferences  15
  • 21. documented the popularity of living in places with smart growth and transit-ori- ented development among young people. • According to a survey by the Na- tional Association for Realtors, conducted in March 2011, 62 percent of people ages 18-29 said they would prefer to live in an area with smart growth (defined as a place with a mix of single family houses, apartments, and condominiums, with stores, res- taurants, libraries, schools and access to public transportation nearby) as Passengers at Arlington Heights Station on the Union opposed to sprawl. The proportion Pacific-Northwest Metra Line. Credit: City of Arlington of young people who preferred to Heights live in smart growth neighborhoods was between four and 11 percent- age points higher than all other age groups.41 (See Figure 7.) Figure 7: Young People Prefer to Live in Smart Growth Neighborhoods In the National Association of Realtors survey, participants were asked if they would prefer to live in an area with smart growth or sprawl. The percent of the age group that said they preferred smart growth is displayed below. 16  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 22. Figure 8: Young People Most Value Social Amenities within Walking Distance In the National Association for Realtors survey, participants were asked to rate the importance (on a scale of “very important,” “somewhat important,” “not very important,” and “not at all important”) of having nine specific social amenities (e.g., restaurants) within walking distance of their homes. The percentages of participants that answered “very important” for each amenity are averaged by age group and displayed below. • In a survey by the Urban Land In- offices—in walking distance more stitute in 2011, nearly two-thirds of than people in other age groups.43 18 to 32-year-olds polled said living (See Figure 8.) in communities that were walkable was either essential (14 percent) or preferable (50 percent).42 • In the same survey, people between the ages of 18 and 29 were at least 25 • In the National Association for Real- percent more likely than older popu- tors survey discussed above, people lations to highly value having bus between the ages of 18 and 29 valued routes and rail lines within walking having social amenities—such as gro- distance of their homes. (See Figure 9.) cery stores, restaurants and doctors’ Young People’s Priorities and Preferences  17
  • 23. Figure 9: Young People Most Value Bus Routes and Rail Lines within Walking Distance In the National Association for Realtors survey, participants were asked to rate the importance (on a scale of “very important,” “somewhat important,” “not very im- portant,” and “not at all important”) of having (1) bus routes and (2) rail lines within walking distance of their homes. The percentages of participants that answered “very important” for bus routes and rail lines are averaged by age group and displayed below. 18  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 24. The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Among Young People Is Likely to Persist T Communication Technology ransportation investments last for de- cades. So it is important for transpor- tation policy-makers to understand Substitutes for Driving and whether trends such as the recent decline Supports Alternative in driving are temporary or are likely to be long-lasting. Transportation While temporary factors such as the re- Improvements to and expanded accessibil- cession have contributed to the decline in ity of communications technology reduce driving, the shift in transportation attitudes the number of trips taken in cars. Social and behaviors among young people appears networking technology has become a sub- likely to persist as they get older and as new stitute for some types of car trips. Web- people reach driving age. Social network- sites and smart phone apps, which did not ing sites, smart phones and other new com- exist 20 years ago, provide real-time transit munications innovations not only provide data (e.g. Nextbus) and make public trans- an alternative to driving in their own right portation easier to use, particularly for but they also provide a platform for trans- infrequent users. Meanwhile, technology portation services such as real-time transit advances have also facilitated the growth information and car- and bike-sharing ser- of car-sharing and bike-sharing services, vices that did not exist a decade or two ago. enabling users to reserve, pay for, and lo- Legal barriers, such as recent Graduated cate cars or bikes anytime of the day. Drivers’ Licensing laws that now require Today’s communications technology potential drivers to take more behind-the- used for social networking has become wheel training and restrict young people’s a substitute for some car trips. Younger driving behavior will also likely act as a people today value constant interconnec- continued barrier to driving. Other young tivity to their peers through websites and people avoid driving because increased fuel mobile phone applications, social net- prices have made driving more expensive— working platforms (Facebook, Twitter, a situation that is unlikely to change mark- Foursquare), instant messaging software, edly in the foreseeable future. cell phones and video chatting platforms The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Is Likely to Persist  19
  • 25. Figure 10: Young People Substitute Driving with Social Networking Platforms In the survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, participants were asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, “With access to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, text messaging and online gaming, I sometimes choose to spend time with friends online instead of driving to see them.” The percent of the age group that said they strongly or somewhat agreed is displayed below.46 (Skype). Some young people who spend survey, 54 percent of young people polled time interacting with friends through strongly or somewhat agreed with the communications technology have less statement that “I sometimes choose to time and desire to drive to see someone. spend time with friends online instead of Communicating through these new driving to see them.” That compares with technologies has decreased the necessity only 18 percent of Baby Boomers (age for young people to use cars. Michelle Wei, 55+).45 (See Figure 10.) for example, from Herndon, Virginia, who Websites and smart phone applications did not get her license until she was a se- that provide real-time transit data, such as nior, was content without driving because Nextbus, make public transportation easier of the social media available to her. She to use, particularly for infrequent users. claims, in an article in the Washington Post, Real-time transit data allow riders to see “If I couldn’t get a ride to see my friend when the next bus, train, or subway will who lives a town over, I could talk on IM arrive, how long the trip will take, and what . . . or Skype.” The digital world, she said, transfers will be necessary on the journey. “made it very easy not to drive.”44 Twenty years ago, public transportation was Ms. Wei is not alone—a recent sur- most accessible to experienced riders, who vey by Zipcar and KRC Research found knew the routes, schedules, and frequencies. that many young people substitute social Even then, buses, trains and subways that networking for driving. According to the were late would waste passenger time. 20  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 26. With real-time transit technology, public Technology has also led to the creation transportation is just as accessible to the of transportation options that did not exist first-time traveler as the experienced rider, 15 or 20 years ago. With car-sharing ser- and people waste less time waiting for their vices such as Zipcar, for example, the In- bus, train or subway. ternet and smart phone applications allow Real-time transit data have become in- users to reserve, pay for and locate cars creasingly accessible in recent years. Not easily, at any time of the day. Then, Radio only have transit operators made available Frequency Identification (RFID) technol- real-time transit data, but some companies ogy allows car-sharing users to open the (e.g. Nextbus, Google through Google car doors with digital cards, removing the Maps) have begun to aggregate the real- hassle and cost of having to pick up keys.49 time data from different systems into one The availability of car-sharing services location. Nextbus, for example, has aggre- such as Zipcar enables some people to gated real-time transit data from systems avoid purchasing a vehicle of their own— across the country, and over the past few saving money that can then be spent on years they have expanded rapidly. From commutes and trips via alternative trans- 1996, when Nextbus was founded, to 2008, portation and reducing the temptation to the company was able to grow to cover 40 drive at times other than when it is strictly transportation systems. In the past three necessary. years, Nextbus has rapidly expanded and Technology also makes bike-sharing now covers 82 transportation systems.47 programs possible and convenient. In Today, passengers can use Nextbus, both the past two years, numerous cities, in- on the Internet and on a smart phone, cluding Boston, Chicago, Denver, Des to find their next ride in cities across the Moines, Honolulu, Miami Beach, New country, from Seattle to Los Angeles to York, San Antonio and Washington D.C. Boston.48 (See Figure 11.) have launched bike share programs.50 Figure 11: Nextbus Provides Real-Time Transit Data The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Is Likely to Persist  21
  • 27. These programs have been made possible and convenient by the advent of different Driver’s License Restrictions technological applications. With technol- Postpone Young People ogy that is now widespread and common, from Obtaining Licenses bike-sharers can look up the availability of bikes near them, ride to work, school or to Between 1996 and 2006, every state one go shopping, and be automatically billed but one enacted Graduated Drivers’ Li- for their ride time with their key signa- censing (GDL) laws.53 GDL laws, which ture. are designed to keep young people safe, On the other hand, despite efforts by also make obtaining a driver’s license more automakers to integrate new technology challenging. To get a license today, young into new vehicles, mobile technology and people must take more behind-the-wheel driving still often don’t mix. GPS systems training (which is more expensive), fulfill have made it somewhat easier for driv- additional requirements for permits, and, ers to find their way to their destinations once they are allowed to drive, they often and avoid traffic, and voice recognition are restricted to driving in the daytime and software integrated with cars’ computer without passengers. systems make it somewhat easier to make Over the past 15 years, states have put calls and text while driving, but the uni- restrictions on young people acquiring li- verse of interactive activities available censes. Up until the mid-1990s, acquiring to drivers is necessarily limited by the a license was relatively simple—drivers fact that they need to pay attention to could get their licenses when they were 16 the road. Bus and train riders can typi- or younger, with only a short restrictive cally talk, text or work safely while rid- period (permit), and a few hours of train- ing. Driving while talking on a cellphone, ing. Then in 1996, to keep young drivers texting or working on a laptop or smart- safe, Florida enacted the first comprehen- phone, however, can be dangerous. States sive Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) are increasingly enacting laws that make program.54 GDL programs have three driving while talking on the phone or text stages of licensing (learner’s permit, inter- messaging a misdemeanor. Currently, 35 mediate license, full licensure) to gradually states have outlawed texting while driv- introduce driving privileges to young driv- ing, 12 of which were enacted recently ers, ensuring that they have all the skills in 2010, and nine states have outlawed to drive safely once they are on the road.55 handheld cell phone use while driving.51 In the five years after Florida enacted its Some safety experts believe that even GDL law, 42 other states enacted simi- these measures do not go far enough—in lar laws, and by 2006, all states had some December 2011, the National Trans- GDL rules in place.56 portation Safety Board recommended GDL laws have become a deterrent for a complete ban on cell phone use while some young people contemplating acquir- driving, due to the dangers of distracted ing a license. Not only do GDL laws de- driving.52 crease young people’s mobility in the first The technological changes of the last 20 months and years when they start driving, years—particularly the advance of mobile but the process of getting a full license communications technology—have made is longer and more expensive—up to 60 transportation alternatives more appeal- hours of driving practice with an adult and ing relative to driving, especially for the $600 for driving courses.57 According to younger people who have embraced those Rob Foss, director of the Center for the technologies with enthusiasm. Study of Young Drivers at the University 22  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 28. Will GDL Laws Lead to a Prolonged Reduction in Driving? G DL laws reduce young people’s driving during the first few years they are eligible to drive. But GDL laws may have a longer lasting impact. Recent re- search at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that the percentage of licensed drivers among people who were 20 to 44 years old in 1983 did not increase as those people aged—in other words, according to the study, “for all practical purposes, for the cohorts born between 1939 and 1963, all those who wanted to get a driver’s license did so by age 20.”62 (emphasis in original) Should this finding prove to be true for today’s young people—which is very uncertain—changes in driver’s licensing laws that delay the acquisition of a license could potentially have long-lasting repercussions for driving behaviors later in life. of North Carolina, these hurdles and re- Increased Fuel Prices Push strictions have caused much of the decline in the number of licensed 16-year-olds.58 People to Cheaper To many teenagers, studying and extracur- Transportation Alternatives ricular activities are a greater priority than Increased fuel prices have made driving the tens of hours of behind-the-wheel more expensive, reducing the frequency practice and high cost necessary to receive with which people—especially younger a license.59 people with less disposable income—travel GDL laws are likely to remain in effect in cars. The average cost for filling up the because they have been successful in keep- tank in 2001 was $1,100 for the year (in ing young drivers safe. From the years 2011 dollars).63 With gasoline prices soar- between 1993 and 1995, to the years be- ing to $3.50 on average since then, filling tween 2003 and 2005, fatal crashes involv- up the same tank today costs $2,300— ing 16-year-old drivers decreased 23 per- more than twice as expensive and a seri- cent.60 According to a report by Preusser ous deterrent for drivers to get behind the Research Group, the most effective provi- wheel.64 sion in keeping young drivers safe is the While gasoline prices will fluctuate in extension of the time period in which they the future, they are unlikely to return to must be supervised, which restricts young the low levels of 1980s or 1990s, and unless drivers’ mobility and deters them getting a the United States accelerates its adoption license.61 Since GDL laws’ successes make of electric vehicles, it will likely be more them unlikely to be rolled back by state expensive to fill up the tank in the future legislatures, they will likely continue to be than it is today. According to the U.S. En- a deterrent for young people considering ergy Information Administration’s projec- applying for licenses. tions, gas prices are expected to increase by 26 percent (adjusted for inflation) from 2010 to 2020.65 (See Figure 12.) The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Is Likely to Persist  23
  • 29. Figure 12: Gasoline Prices Will Remain High Or Increase In the Future66 Note: “High Oil Prices” refers to $200 per barrel (in 2009 dollars). “Medium Oil Prices” refers to $125 per barrel. “Low Oil Prices” refers to $50 per barrel. Some Young People Reduce The Trend Toward Reduced Their Driving to Protect the Growth in Driving Will Likely Environment Persist Even When the Some young people purposely live in ways Economy Rebounds that reduce their driving as a way to fulfill their personal commitment to a cleaner The recession has played a role in reduc- environment. Driving in cars releases dan- ing the miles driven in America, especially gerous gases that cause global warming, by young people. People who are unem- create smog and make ambient air dirty ployed or underemployed have difficulty and unsafe to breathe. In a survey by Zip- affording cars, commute to work less fre- car and KRC Research, 16 percent of 18 quently (if at all), and have less disposable to 34-year-olds polled said they strongly income to spend on traveling for vacation agreed with the statement “I want to pro- and other entertainment. tect the environment, so I drive less.” This It is possible that driving will increase is compared to approximately 9 percent of somewhat as the economy rebounds. But older generations.67 (See Figure 13.) the long-term, sustained, upward growth in vehicle travel that characterized the United States for decades is likely at an end—economic recovery or not—due to 24  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 30. the fundamental shifts in external condi- • According to the same Pew report, tions and consumer preferences detailed the proportion of 18 to 29-year-olds in this report. employed full time fell 9 percent The current recession has hit young (from 50 percent to 41 percent) from adults the hardest. Many statistics and re- 2006 to 2010, whereas the propor- ports document the recession’s particular tion of 30 to 64-year-olds employed impact on Generation Y: full time fell only marginally (65 percent to 63 percent for 30-45 year • According to the Bureau of Labor olds, and 54 percent to 53 percent for Statistics, in 2011 the unemployment 46-64 year olds).71 rate was 24.4 percent among 16 to 19-year-olds, 14.6 percent among 20 • According the Project on Student to 24-year-olds, and 10.3 percent for Debt, two-thirds of college seniors 25 to 29-year-olds, as compared to 8.9 who graduated in 2010 had student percent for the country as a whole.69 loan debt, averaging $25,250.72 • According to a 2010 report by the • According to Fidelity Investments, Pew Research Center, young people the typical member of Generation Y are more likely than older people to holds at least three credit cards, and have recently lost a job (10 percent one in five cards has a balance of over for people 29 and younger, 6 percent $10,000.73 for people 30 and older).70 Figure 13: Young People Reduce Their Driving to Protect the Environment68 In the survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, participants were asked to what extent they agreed with the statement, “I want to protect the environment, so I drive less.” The percent of the age group that said they strongly or somewhat agreed is dis- played below. The Trend Toward Reduced Driving Is Likely to Persist  25
  • 31. The economic recession has conse- • Young people who have jobs today quently pushed car ownership outside the drive less than young people who economic reach of many young adults. had jobs before the recession. The In America, the average annual cost of average young person (ages 16 to owning and operating an automobile is 34) with a job drove 10,700 miles in $8,776.74 With such a high percentage of 2009, compared with 12,800 miles in young people unemployed, and many of 2001.77 those employed still struggling to make ends meet, car ownership is simply not vi- • Young people who have jobs today able. In the Zipcar/KRC Research survey, take public transportation more than 80 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds stated young people who had jobs before the that the high cost of gasoline, parking and recession. Among young people who maintenance made owning a car difficult are employed, the number of miles (in comparison, approximately 72 percent traveled via public transit has increased of people ages 35 and older found owning 25 percent from 2001 to 2009.78 a car difficult).75 However, many young Americans who • Americans started to drive less before cannot afford cars would continue to drive the recession. The miles driven per less and take alternative transportation even capita in America first dropped in if they could, for the following reasons: 2005—three years before the start of the recession.79 • Young people who have the funds to- day to afford cars are still increasing The economic recession has forced a their use of transportation alterna- large number of young people to delay tives. From 2001 to 2009, young purchasing an automobile and/or reduce people (16-34 years old) who lived the amount they drive. Economic recov- in households with incomes of over ery will bring some of those young people $70,000 per year increased their use back onto the roads. But the fundamental of public transit by 100 percent, bik- forces that are driving many Americans— ing by 122 percent, and walking by especially young people—to change their 37 percent.76 transportation behaviors will remain. 26  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 32. Implications for Transportation Policy A merica’s transportation policies have Information Administration projected that long been predicated on the as- by 2010, the total number of vehicle-miles sumption that driving will continue traveled on America’s roads would reach to increase. The changing transportation 3.4 trillion.80 However, in 2010, decreased preferences of young people—and Ameri- driving rates caused the vehicle-miles cans overall—throw that assumption into traveled to total just less than 3 trillion doubt. Transportation decision-makers at miles—a difference of 11 percent.81 all levels—federal, state and local—need The shift away from six decades of in- to understand the trends that are leading creasing vehicle travel to a new reality of to the reduction in driving among young slow-growing or even declining vehicle people and engage in a thorough recon- travel has potentially seismic implica- sideration of America’s transportation tions for transportation policy. It calls policy-making to ensure that it serves both into question the wisdom of our current the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s young transportation investment priorities as Americans and moves the nation toward well as the sources of revenue used to pay a cleaner, more sustainable and economi- for those priorities. It creates both a mul- cally vibrant future. titude of new opportunities as well as dif- Transportation infrastructure decisions ficult challenges. have long-lasting implications. Highways, The data in this report suggest a pos- transit lines and sidewalks have useful lives sible future in which: measured in decades—and sometimes cen- turies. To make the best of limited resourc- • The demand for transportation es, transportation planners must anticipate overall stagnates due to the substi- trends 10, 20 or 40 years into the future. tution of mobile technologies for Since World War II, the vision the U.S. some transportation services and the government has had of the future has been emerging consumer preference for one of consistent increases in driving. walkable, less auto-dependent forms In 2000, for example, the U.S. Energy of development. Implications for Transportation Policy  27
  • 33. The demand for automobile trans- transit, government officials would need portation—both absolutely and as to ensure that land-use and transporta- a share of overall transportation tion policies were aligned to support the demand—stagnates or declines due development of these communities. To to the improved competitive posi- compensate for the declines in gas-tax rev- tion of transportation alternatives on enues, decision-makers would need to find measures of quality, convenience and alternative sources of funding for road and cost. bridge maintenance or boost the gasoline tax to levels that may further discourage • The demand for transportation driving. alternatives increases for the same Again, it is far too early to say that this reasons. vision will become reality. As the old say- ing goes, it’s difficult to make predictions, It is much too early to conclude that especially about the future. this vision of the future will become real- But policy-makers and the public need ity. But it is at least as plausible a vision to be aware that America’s current trans- of the future as one based on an expecta- portation policy-making and financing tion that the trend toward ever-increasing structure is fundamentally out-of-step amounts of driving that has characterized with both the nation’s current needs the last 60 years will resume. and the expressed preferences of grow- Such a shift in future transportation ing numbers of Americans. It is well be- trends would shake the foundations of yond the scope of this report to address transportation policy-making. For ex- the policy implications of shifting youth ample, to meet the demand for alterna- transportation trends in detail—though tive transportation, federal, state and lo- we hope to return to this issue in future cal governments would need to prioritize work. It is clear, however, that we urgently investment in public transportation, bike need to consider a new vision for trans- lanes, sidewalks and other transportation portation policy that reflects the needs of alternatives. To meet the demand for walk- 21st century America. able neighborhoods in close proximity to 28  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 34. Notes 1 Federal Highway Administration, Administration, Traffic Volume Trends, Interstate FAQ, downloaded from www. December 2011. fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.htm, 7 March 2012. 5 2010 and prior: Federal Highway Administration, Historical Monthly VMT 2 Federal Highway Administration, Report, 3 May 2011; 2011: Federal Highway Highway Statistics 2009, Table VMT-422, 29 Administration, Traffic Volume Trends, February 2012. December 2011; Note: The vehicle-miles traveled per capita in 2004 and 2005 are 3 Vehicle-miles traveled: Federal Highway nearly the same, and the peak year may Administration, Historical Monthly VMT vary between 2004 and 2005 depending on Report, 3 May 2011; Note: for all references which datasets within the Federal Highway in this report to population and per capita Administration are used. statistics, the following citations are used. For population data for 1900-1999 see 6 See note 4. U.S. Census Bureau, Historical Population Estimates: July 1, 1900 to July 1, 1999, 28 7 10,300 miles in 2001 and 7,900 miles June 2000. For population data for 2000- in 2009 were derived by dividing the total 2010 see U.S. Census Bureau, GCT-T1: vehicle miles traveled by the total number Population Estimates, downloaded from of persons age 16-34 for 2001 and 2009, factfinder2.census.gov, 17 November 2011. per the Federal Highway Administration, For population data for 2011 see U.S. National Household Travel Survey, Census Bureau, Monthly Population Estimates downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 for the United States: April 1, 2010 to January November 2011. 1, 2012, downloaded from www.census. gov/popest/data/national/totals/2011/index. 8 15 percent fewer trips derived by html, 10 February 2012. dividing the number of vehicle trips per driver in 2009 by the number of 4 2010 and prior: Federal Highway vehicle trips per driver in 2001 for 16 to Administration, Historical Monthly VMT 34-year-olds, per the Federal Highway Report, 3 May 2011; 2011: Federal Highway Administration, National Household Travel Notes  29
  • 35. Survey, downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, the total number of bike person trips, 21 November 2011. The vehicle trips per transit person trips and walk person trips driver in 2001 and 2009 were derived by for 16 to 34-year-olds per the NTHS. The dividing the total number of vehicle trips total number of alternative transportation by the total number of drivers for 16 to 34- trips for each year was then divided by year-olds for each year. the number of 16 to 34-year-olds for each year, which gives the total number of 9 The average trip lengths in 2001 (10.1 alternative transportation trips per person. miles) and in 2009 (9.5 miles) were derived 117 more miles was derived by subtracting by dividing the total vehicle miles traveled the number of miles traveled on alternative by the total number of vehicle trips for transportation per person in 2001 from the each year for 16 to 34-year-olds, per the number of miles traveled on alternative Federal Highway Administration, National transportation per person in 2009. For both Household Travel Survey,downloaded from 2001 and 2009, the total number of miles nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 November 2011. traveled on alternative transportation was calculated by adding the miles traveled by 10 Federal Highway Administration, bike, transit and walking for 16 to 34-year- Highway Statistics 2010—Table DL-20, olds per NTHS. The total number of miles September 2011. traveled on alternative transportation for each year was then divided by the number 11 Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, of 16 to 34-year-olds for each year, which University of Michigan Transportation gives the alternative transportation miles Research Institute, Recent Changes in the per person. Age Composition of Drivers in 15 Countries, October 2011. 15 24 percent more bike trips was derived by dividing the number of bike trips taken 12 Todd Litman, Victoria Transport in 2009 by the number of bike trips taken Policy Institute, The Future Isn’t What in 2001 for 16 to 34-year-olds, per the It Used To Be: Changing Trends and their Federal Highway Administration, National Implications For Transport Planning, 6 Household Travel Survey, downloaded from November 2011. nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 November 2011. 13 Tobias Kuhnimhof, Institute for 16 16 percent more frequently was derived Mobility Research, Matthias Wirtz, from dividing the trips taken per capita in Institute of Transport Studies, Karlsruhe 2009 by the trips taken per capita in 2001, Institute of Technology, and Wilko Manz, using data from the Federal Highway STRATA GmbH, Lower Incomes, More Administration, National Household Travel Students, Decrease of Car Travel by Men, More Survey, downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, Multimodality: Decomposing Young Germans’ 21 November 2011. The trips taken per Altered Car Use Patterns, 2012. capita in 2001 and 2009 were derived by dividing the total number of person trips 14 25 more trips was derived by walked by the total number of persons for subtracting the trips on alternative that year for 16 to 34-year-olds, per the transportation made per person in 2001 NHTS. from the trips made per person in 2009 for 16 to 34-year olds using data from 17 40 percent increase in the number of the Federal Highway Administration, miles traveled on public transit is derived National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), by dividing the number of miles traveled on downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 transit per capita in 2009 by the number of November 2011. For both 2001 and 2009, miles traveled on transit per capita in 2001 the total number of trips on alternative for 16 to 34-year-olds, using data from the transportation was calculated by adding Federal Highway Administration, National 30  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 36. Household Travel Survey, downloaded from Administration, Bureau of Transportation nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 November 2011. Statistics, Figure 32 – Proportion of The number of miles traveled on transit Households Without Vehicles by Household per capita for 2001 and 2009 is derived Type: 2001, 2003. by dividing the total number of person miles traveled on transit by the number of 26 Christopher Leinberger, “The Death persons for 16 to 34-year-olds for that year. of the Fringe Suburb,” New York Times, 25 Note: the number of trips taken by young November 2011. people on public transit did not increase dramatically. 27 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Residential Construction Trends in 18 10 billion derived by subtracting the America’s Metropolitan Regions, 2010 Edition, total passenger miles traveled in 2001 January 2010. from the total passenger miles traveled in 2009 for all ages, per Federal Highway 28 Ibid. Administration, National Household Travel Survey, downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, 29 See note 26. 21 November 2011. More than 60 percent derived by subtracting the total passenger 30 Patrick Doherty and Christopher miles traveled in 2001 from the total Leinberger, “The Next Real Estate Boom; passenger miles traveled in 2009 for 16 to How housing (yes, housing) can turn the 34-year-olds, and dividing the difference by economy around,” Washington Monthly, 10 billion, per the NHTS. November 2010. 19 The Bureau of Transportation Statistics 31 Ibid. also reports on the ridership rates for bus lines, which has stayed relatively constant 32 Ibid. over the past ten years. Research and Innovative Technology Administration, 33 Donna St. George, “Teens not the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transit driving force they used to be; Able to Ridership, February 2012. connect in ways that don’t involve four wheels, many are postponing licenses,” The 20 Research and Innovative Technology Washington Post, 24 January 2010. Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transit Ridership, February 2012. 34 KRC Research, Millennials Driving; A Survey Commissioned by Zipcar, November 21 National Automobile Dealers 2010. Association, NADA Data: State of the Industry Report 2011, downloaded from 35 Ibid. www.nada.org/nadadata, 26 March 2012; National Automobile Dealers Association, 36 Jeffrey Steele, “A family-friendly burb; Economic Impact of America’s New-Car and Arlington Heights lively, walkable with a New-Truck Dealers 2002, downloaded from diverse housing stock,” Chicago Tribune, 2 www.nada.org/nadadata, 26 March 2012. April 2010. 22 Ibid. 37 Ibid. 23 See note 10. 38 Ibid. 24 Ibid. 39 “Four blocks from a recreational park, and is surrounded by restaurants, shops, 25 Research and Innovative Technology schools, theaters and other amenities” is Notes  31
  • 37. deduced from Google Maps, downloaded 52 National Transportation Safety Board, from maps.google.com, 15 January 2012. No call, no text, no update behind the wheel: NTSB calls for nationwide ban on PEDs while 40 Metra, Union Pacific/Northwest Line driving (press release), 15 February 2012. (schedule), downloaded from metrarail. com/metra/en/home/maps_schedules/ 53 Barry Sweedler, “History and Effects of metra_system_map/up-nw/schedule.full. Graduated Licensing and Zero Tolerance,” html, March 6 2012. in Transportation Research Board of National Academies, Transportation Research 41 Beldon Russonello Stewart LLC, Circular: Young Impaired Drivers: The Nature The 2011 Community Preference Survey; of the Problem and Possible Solutions, Number What Americans are looking for when deciding E-C132, June 2009. where to live, prepared for the National Association of Realtors, March 2011. 54 Allan Williams, “The Fall and Rise of Graduated Licensing in North America” 42 M. Leanne Lachman and Deborah L. in the Transportation Research Board of Brett, Urban Land Institute, Generation Y: National Academies, Transportation Research America’s New Housing Wave, 2011. Circular: Implementing Impaired Driving Countermeasures: Putting Research into Action: 43 See note 41. Number E-C072, January 2005. 44 See note 33. 55 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Traffic Safety 45 See note 34. Facts: Laws: Graduated Driver Licensing System (fact sheet), April 2004. 46 See note 34. 56 See notes 53 and 54. 47 Note: Nextbus covers transportation systems in America and Canada. 57 See note 33. 48 Nextbus, Company History, downloaded 58 Ibid. from news.nextbus.com/about-us-2/ company-history, 6 March 2012. 59 Ibid. 49 Zipcar, after one year, zipcar drives 60 See note 53. transportation change in Baltimore (press release), 6 March 2012. 61 David Preusser and Julie Tison, “GDL then and now,” Journal of Safety Research, 50 Boston, Chicago, Denver, Des Moines, 2007. Honolulu, Miami Beach, New York, and San Antonio: Wendy Koch, “Cities roll 62 Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, out bike-sharing programs,” USA Today, University of Michigan Transportation May 9 2011; Washington D.C.: Capital Research Institute, Recent Changes in the Bikeshare, District of Columbia and Arlington Age Composition of U.S. Drivers: Implications Launch Regional Bike Sharing Program (press for the Extent, Safety, and Environmental release), 21 May 2010. Consequences of Personal Transportation, June 2011. 51 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Distraction. 63 $1,100 to fill up the tank in 2001 gov, State Laws, downloaded from www. derived by multiplying the average price distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/state- of gasoline on 15 October 2001 ($1.309 laws.html, 5 February 2012. dollars/gallon, per Research and Innovative 32  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 38. Technology Administration, Bureau of 69 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Transportation Statistics, Multimodal Calculator, downloaded from www.bls.gov/ Transportation Indicators, Motor Fuel data/#employment, 6 March 2012. Note: Prices: Retail Gasoline Prices, October 2011) “8.9 percent for the country as a whole” by average amount of fuel consumed per pertains to workers above the age of 16. All vehicle per year, (661 gallons, per Federal percentages are not seasonally adjusted. Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2009, Table VM-1, April 2011), which 70 PewResearchCenter, Millennials; equals $865.25 (2001 dollars). $865.25 in A Portrait of Generation Next: Confident. 2001 dollars is equivalent to $1,048.15 Connected. Open to Change., February 2010. in 2011 dollars, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator, available 71 Ibid. at www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator. htm, 19 March 2012. 72 Project on Student Debt, Student Debt and the Class of 2010, November 2011. 64 $2,300 to fill up the tank today derived from multiplying the average price of 73 Christine Dugas, “Generation Y’s steep gasoline on 17 October 2011 ($3.476 financial hurdles: Huge debt, no savings,” dollars/gallon, per Research and Innovative USA Today, 23 April 2010. Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Multimodal 74 Research and Innovative Technology Transportation Indicators: Motor Fuel Prices: Administration, Bureau of Transportation Retail Gasoline Prices, October 2011) by Statistics, National Transportation the average amount of fuel consumed per Statistics, Table 3-17: Average Cost of Owning vehicle per year (661 gallons; see note 63), and Operating an Automobile, 13 April 2011. which equals $2,297.64. 75 See note 34. 65 U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 76 100 percent increase for public transit 2011: Components of Selected Petroleum derived by dividing the person miles Product Prices, United States, Reference traveled in 2009 by the person miles case, downloaded from www.eia.gov/oiaf/ traveled in 2001 for 16 to 34-year-olds in aeo/tablebrowser, 12 March 2012. Note: households with incomes above $70,000, “Gas Prices” refers to what the Energy per Federal Highway Administration, Information Administration defines as National Household Travel Survey, End-User Price for Motor Gasoline (All downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 Sectors). November 2011; 122 percent increase for biking derived by dividing person miles 66 U.S. Energy Information traveled by bike in 2009 by the person miles Administration, Annual Energy Outlook traveled by bike in from 2001 for 16 to 34- 2011: Components of Selected Petroleum year-olds in households with incomes above Product Prices, United States, Reference case, $70,000, per NHTS; 37 percent increase for High oil price, Low oil price, downloaded walking derived by the dividing the person from www.eia.gov/oiaf/aeo/tablebrowser, miles traveled by walking from 2009 by the 12 March 2012. Note: “Gasoline Prices” person miles traveled by walking in 2001 refer to what the Energy Information for 16 to 34-year-olds in households with Administration defines as End-User Price incomes above $70,000, per NHTS. for Motor Gasoline (All Sectors). 77 Miles driven by young people with 67 See note 34. jobs in 2001 and 2009 calculated by dividing the total vehicle miles traveled 68 Ibid. by the number of 16 to 34-year-olds with Notes  33
  • 39. jobs for each year, per Federal Highway 79 Robert Puentes and Adie Tomer, Administration, National Household Travel Brookings Institution, The Road . . . Less Survey, downloaded from nhts.ornl.gov/det, Traveled: An Analysis of Vehicle Miles Traveled 21 November 2011. Trends in the U.S., December 2008. 78 25 percent derived by dividing the total 80 Energy Information Administration, person miles traveled on transit in 2009 by Annual Energy Outlook 2000: With Projection the total person miles traveled on transit in to 2020, December 1999. 2001 for 16 to 34-year-olds with jobs, per Federal Highway Administration, National 81 Federal Highway Administration, Household Travel Survey, downloaded from Historical Monthly VMT Report, 3 May 2011. nhts.ornl.gov/det, 21 November 2011. Note: while the number of miles traveled via public transit has increased, the number of trips has decreased 16 percent. 34  Transportation and the New Generation
  • 41. 36  Transportation and the New Generation