The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) released this research study conducted among Millennials in late 2013. It shows that while car sharing, bike sharing, walking, and car ownership will all play a part in the multi-modal network, public transportation is ranked highest as the best mode to connect to all other modes, according to 54 percent of Millennials surveyed. APTA officials note that the recent trend of smartphone applications allow public transit users to be increasingly spontaneous and flexible with their travel decisions. Millennials are leading a trend of Americans who are returning to walkable cities and suburbs with multiple transportation options that include public transportation.
According to the study, conducted among Millennials in Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco, the top five reasons and motivations for choosing public transportation are pragmatic, as 46 percent state that a need to save money drives their choices, 46 percent note convenience, 44 percent want exercise, and 35 percent say they live in a community where it just makes more sense to use public transportation.
Millennials say the key advantages of public transportation are the ability to pay-per-use (58 percent), protecting the environment (50 percent), the ability to socialize online (44 percent), and creating community (44 percent). Because of the future demands of this generation, transportation systems and public transportation systems in particular, will be built around the smart phone. APTA anticipates adoption of features such as: smartphone charging stations on vehicles and facilities; fare collection via smartphone; Wi-Fi, 4G and 3G access; apps that connect public transit access to local amenities; and seamless multimodal connections such as bike and car share options; and improved pedestrian access to public transit stations.
The report includes detailed findings across a range of issues — awareness, motivation, barriers; lifestyle factors; and trends. In addition, it provides a good list of key takeaways for transportation planners.
How to Use
Local government officials and transportation planners can use this new study to gain a deeper understanding of how the Millennial generation views and used public transportation (in large metropolitan areas). The detailed findings can be helpful to planners trying to make a business case for specific action steps under consideration in their market (like adding Wi-Fi and other connectivity options).
View Full Report: Millennials and Mobility 2013 (PDF – 1.1 MB)