Our once rural and agricultural world has progressively transformed into a predominantly urbanized society, with more than 80% of today’s U.S. population living in cities and suburbs. With a growing number of people moving away from rural life and into the cities, one might assume that more cars are hitting the streets, but I’m here to tell you that’s actually not the case.
Transportation trends are changing in America’s biggest urbanized areas (including good ol’ Indy!) and you’ll never guess who’s driving the surge.That’s right, recent studies have shown that young Americans are changing the game for public transportation. Our tech-driven, social network loving Millennials are actually showing a shift in preferences from car ownership to walking, biking, public transport, and shared mobility services.
I know what you’re thinking: “This has to be a result of the economy, there’s NO WAY this trend will last…”
But according to a study done by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), changes in the economy don’t appear to be responsible for the shift in driving trends. Although the desire to save money is a plus, young people’s flexibility towards transportation is also driven by the need to create community and stay connected while they travel. Think about it. The millennial generation is known for their ability to embrace new technologies and adapt to our ever changing society. Smartphones have stepped up to the plate and are helping facilitate this trend by creating applications that make public transportation more accessible, enabling users to be more spontaneous with their travel plans.
Now it’s time to embrace this trend and be proactive in making sure it continues. These studies have further proven that investing in long-term public transportation systems is a sensible and beneficial route for cities to take. We should also encourage the digital industry to continue creating tools and applications that contribute to the success of this trend.
The time has come to shift our focus towards the development of new transportation choices… we’re on board! Are you?
Get started this month, June 19 is the American Public Transportation Association’s, Annual National Dump the Pump Day. This year, IndyGo is celebrating Dump the Pump in June, with 14 days of events, 2,800 free 10-trip passes and cool prizes; click here to check it out!