Public Transportation Shapes Where Millennials...
Michael Myers

Michael Myers Managing Director, The Rockefeller Foundation

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April 23, 2014

Public Transportation Shapes Where Millennials Decide to Live

Outbound Train - Charles Nadeau
Photo credit: Charles Nadeau

KEY TAKEAWAYS

SHARE THIS 54 percent of Millennial respondents would consider moving if another city had more and better transit options.
SHARE THIS 47 percent of Millennials would give up their cars if their city had robust public transportation.
SHARE THIS Cities that don’t invest in effective transit solutions today stand to lose out in the long-run.

 

The Rockefeller Foundation and Transportation for America just released a new survey that explores Millennials’ perceptions and attitudes toward transportation. Millennials in 10 major U.S. cities were surveyed across three ‘tiers’ of transportation systems—”mature” (Chicago, New York City, and San Francisco),”growing” (Charlotte, Denver, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis-St. Paul) and “aspiring” (Indianapolis, Nashville, and Tampa-St. Petersburg). The findings show that public transportation plays a major role in shaping where Millennials choose to live and spend time.

“Public transportation plays a major role in shaping where Millennials choose to live and spend time.”

54 percent of the participants said they would consider moving to another city if it had more and better options for getting around, and 66 percent said that access to high-quality transportation would be one of their top three priorities when considering a move. Indeed, according to the survey, Millennials aspire to be less reliant on cars. Almost half (46 percent) of the surveyed vehicle owners would seriously consider giving up their cars if they could count on a range of transportation options, and a large majority say it is important for a city to offer opportunities to live and work without a car. In cities with “aspiring” transportation systems—those engaged in exploring ways to improve transit options for their citizens—82 percent say it is very important to have regular access to a car or truck, compared to 28 percent in cities with “mature” public transit systems.

Commute - Kevin Utting
Photo credit: Kevin Utting

Young people are the key to advancing innovation, economic competitiveness, and business growth, and this survey reinforces the notion that cities that don’t invest in effective transit solutions today stand to lose out in the long-run. Providing public transportation options has moved from a nicety to a necessity. As we move from a car-centric model of mobility, and become a nation that embraces more equitable and sustainable transportation options, Millennials are leading the way.

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