Is transit industry ready for Generation Y?

Posted on May 25, 2012 by Alex Roman - Also by this author

I am working on our annual Consultant Roundtable for the July issue. One interesting point that has been brought up by many in the industry is the optimism that ridership will continue to grow as baby boomers exit the workforce and are replaced by the younger generation who are more used to utilizing public transportation.

Recently, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor conducted a study on the driving habits of 16 to 39 year olds. The study found that the number of 17-year-olds that had a driver’s license dropped significantly over a period of 25 years, from 69% in 1983 to 50% in 2008. Meanwhile, American aged 20 to 24 saw a drop as well, from 92% in 1983 to 82% in 2008.

Further research conducted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) found that “Generation Y,” which refers to the generation aged 16 to 34, is driving less. According to the data, primarily culled from Census Bureau and other federal agency findings, between 2001 and 2009 the number of miles young people drove dropped from 10,300 on average to 7,900.

Conclusions drawn from the U.S. PIRG study are that young adults are driving less because of the increased cost of driving and a greater interest in environmental stewardship and personal fitness.

This is all good news for the public transportation industry. For years, the struggle for many agencies is making public transit a preferable option, rather than a last resort. Now, with many from Generation Y entering the workforce, the question seems to be are public transportation agencies prepared to handle and maintain the growth?

In case you missed it...

Read our METRO blog, "Rural transit getting a closer look," here.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More From the Editor's Blog Posts

October 15, 2019

Transit can't ignore the benefits linked to offering free fares

Six years ago, Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, became “the world's first" to introduce free public transport for all its residents.

July 31, 2019

Safeguard my personal data — our democracy depends on it

“Cities and private companies must take steps to safeguard data and ensure that individual privacy — a foundation of democratic society — is protected.”

July 17, 2019

Fighting against human trafficking is everyone's duty

U.S. traffickers have been shown to use all modes of transportation to find their next victims. Initiatives are being placed to combat trafficking and empower operators to act. 

June 26, 2019

Focusing on ‘abilities’ gives those with disabilities a ‘sense of purpose’

I recently learned about a program offered by Transport for London that provides “people with mild to moderate learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum the chance to gain skills and work experience.”

February 12, 2019

Come Together to Shut Down the Shutdown, Fund a Transit Bill

As I write this, we are a few days away from another potential government shutdown if negotiations on border security are not hammered out.

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation