Comparing the car travel of Millennials and Generation X

A new study in the Journal of Planning Education and Research compares the 2017 VMT patterns of Millennials to the 2001 patterns of Generation X. Both groups were at a similar age at the time of the surveys. Previous commentary has proposed that Millennials’ driving patterns would approach those of the previous generation once they aged into child rearing and more fully recovered from the recession of 2008. This study concludes that Millennials are not as likely to drive, even as they reach these traditional milestones.

Millennials are driving more, but only those making the least money

The new 2017 National Household Travel Survey gives us our first look at changing travel habits since the recession. From what we can tell, the average American drives less in 2017 than eight years earlier. Driving also seems to have increased considerably among Millennials—but mostly among those with the lowest incomes—bucking expectations. The results may indicate that those with higher incomes are now choosing to live where they need to drive less.

Millennials & Mobility: Understanding the Millennial Mindset (APTA, 2013)

Recent news reports and studies have outlined changes in how Millenials travel and live. These have focused on the implications for all transportation modes as well as land use and economic activity. This APTA/TCRP report seeks to further understand the mindsets behind the trends and understand their implications for public transportation in the United States. This study utilizes a mixture of in-depth interviews in five cities and a survey of 1,000 people in six cities that are representative of the types of cities Millennials find attractive.

VMT Inflection Point: Factors Affecting 21st Century Travel (SSTI, 2013)

For many decades, transportation planning has assumed continued increases in automobile use. Now, in a major reversal, the average American is driving considerably less. No one can predict the future with certainty, but there are many reasons to think that VMT trends will not revert to the 20th century trend. This paper lists some of those reasons, with references to supporting literature.

Ready. Transit. Go: Lining up development to meet current and future transportation demands

A recent study by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota considers the perspective of developers and business leaders interested in developing TOD sites in the Twin Cities. The study finds that there is an unmet demand for TOD and other walkable, multimodal transportation infrastructure. However, encouraging walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods will require the different actors involved—developers, business owners, and municipalities—to work together to develop a new suite of policies, zoning codes, and other ordinances that will foster this type of development.