GM Inside News Forum banner
1 - 20 of 95 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·


A raft of recent research indicates that young adults just aren’t as into driving as their parents were. Young people today are walking, biking, and riding transit more while driving less than previous generations did at the same age. But the vast majority of state DOTs have been loathe to respond by changing their highway-centric ways.

A new report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group points out the folly of their inaction: If transportation officials are waiting for Americans born after 1983 to start motoring like their parents did, they are likely to be sorely disappointed.

Though some factors underlying the shift in driving habits are likely temporary — caused by the recession, for instance — just as many appear to be permanent, the authors found. That means American transportation agencies should get busy preparing for a far different future than their traffic models predict.

“The Millennial generation is not only less car-focused than older Americans by virtue of being young, but they also drive less than previous generations of young people,” write authors Tony Dutzik, Jeff Inglis, and Phineas Baxandall.

There’s a good deal of evidence that the recession cannot fully explain the trend away from driving among young people. Notably, driving declined even among millennials who stayed employed, and “between the recession years of 2001 and 2009, per-capita driving declined by 16 percent among 16 to 34 year-olds with jobs,” the authors write.


Even as the economy has rebounded, car commuting has declined, and the drop is most pronounced among younger workers. According to the Census, between 2006 and 2013, the share of commutes by driving or carpooling dropped 1.5 percent among workers 16 to 24, 1.3 percent among workers 25 to 44, and 0.5 percent among workers 45 and older. The drop in car commuting among 16- to 24-year-olds continued after the recession ended, though at a slower pace, falling 0.5 percent between 2009 and 2013.

There’s also a big mismatch between the places where the recession hit hardest and the places where driving is dropping the fastest. ”The states and urban areas that experienced the biggest increases in unemployment during the recession were generally not those that experienced the greatest declines in VMT,” the authors write.

While economic factors can’t be completely discounted, the authors argue that they are not as significant as longer-term shifts in attitudes. A survey by Deloitte, for example, found that millennials are three times more willing to give up their cars than their parents’ generation. The National Association of Realtors found that today’s young adults are more likely to view a car as “just transportation” and not inherently superior to other modes.

Driving rates peak between the ages of 35 and 55, and millennials will likely drive more as they reach that stage of life, but they will still drive less than their parents did during those years, the authors conclude. Standard traffic models that guide transportation spending decisions and forecast steadily increasing driving rates for years on end fail to account for these shifts.

Dutzik, Inglis, and Baxandall say policy makers need to respond immediately to prepare for a future where Americans aren’t driving more every year. They recommend incorporating a greater degree of uncertainty to projections about how many cars are going to be on the road in the distant future.

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/10/...icans-wont-start-motoring-like-their-parents/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,723 Posts
On one hand, I do think demographics will radically alter car use. Baby Boomers, who tend to default to the car, are starting to retire. Even if they maintain their current use patterns, not driving to work everyday will likely mean annual miles driven falls somewhat. Even a relatively small decline over such a large population group will have a significant impact.

As younger people move to more urban areas, the need for cars also declines. Keep in mind that car ownership in North America is essentially at saturation point: there is a car for almost every person! As you add car sharing services and Uber, you may see the single car family become more prominent.

Both trends could create a situation where car ownership and miles driven declines over a long period of time. That would have significant impacts on congestion, fuel and road taxes, what might happen to crumbling infrastructure and the cost of fuel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,898 Posts
Not one of these articles again...same thing every month or so. I'm 27 and I think I've racked up 300k miles so far
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neanderthal

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Sure, young adults are more cash-strapped than ever. But the bigger problem is that they just don’t think driving is cool — or even necessary — anymore. They are more into smart phones, baby boomers were more into cars in there era, doing up some ole kool Chevy truck or muscle car buying that latest must have tune-up add-on to make them go a bit faster. Places like the EU have very few classics that could be regarded as kool these days, and the EU economy is in a bit of a stagnant sink mode, piling up debt on the nations credit card, kicking the debt can down the road for future generations to deal with.

I think children are being green washed at schools more today.

With most of what used to the US higher paid manufacturing base jobs being shifted over to China, with just more Service Sector lower paid jobs replacing higher pad jobs of the past, l guess being green suit young peoples agenda more these days.

Would not want be around in 2050 doing 28,000 km/a year in the EU with whats on their agenda, you have gotta be super fit in the future if you wanna travel.

EU Euro Nazi green agenda





I will be meeting maker hopefully before 2050, thank God.

Hopefully with cars like the Mustang arriving in Europe it might get youngsters back interested cars like generations that come before enjoyed something to inspire the soul a bit more (not that they will ever be able to afford to run one, but its a dream to aspire to), motoring will become interesting again rather than a dull chore in a anodyne ecnobox that even the owners hate are forced to do at great expense and taxation. Car just have to have short overhang, constrained rounded off front-ends be law in places like the EU that has made car shapes in general very dull. I can see where the disconnect is with the youth.

Funny enough in a recent survey US Millennial Generation prefer Mopar products more like Fiat, Dodge & Jeep and thats starting to reflect in higher sales at Mopar every month in the US.

Fiat 500 must have lifted the young persons sprit made them a bit more pro-car given the young something worth getting up out of bed in morning, worth getting out of bed and working for as a first car...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Neanderthal

·
Registered
2014 Chevrolet Camaro
Joined
·
586 Posts
Meh… I'm 24, and I drive almost 20,000 miles a year. I think that's a considerable amount more than my parents ever did.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Meh… I'm 24, and I drive almost 20,000 miles a year. I think that's a considerable amount more than my parents ever did.
Most of us on this site are anomalies to these trends. I ride my motorcyles 20,000 miles a year average, and my truck another 10,000.

But the statistics don't lie. Trends are definitely changing, and I see it everyday here in DC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,318 Posts
Can you please post the 2001 - 2009 per capita change in 16 - 34 year olds that are still living in their mom's basement?

Speaking of 2001 to 2009, if I recall 2009 was pretty-much the epicenter of the down turn? - Now that many have now got a job, what's it look like today, my hunch, 2001 - 2014 is nowhere near this dramatic.

For the most part I enjoy and find your "social propaganda" interesting, but sometimes, you try to push it a bit too much, this might be one of those times, especially with an almost 5 year old chart.

Sincerely,
Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,723 Posts
Here's how I look at it: we tend to assume current trends will continue into the future. Traffic congestion will get worse. Demand for energy will push the price of transportation ever upwards. People will continue to want and need cars and be frustrated by the rising costs and increased travel times.

But, what if we've reached peak car usage in North America? What if car usage is about to settle into a lower, but still significant, part of how people get around? What are the implications of that?

Maybe the car business will be driven even more by the race to win growing markets like China. Maybe we'll become a secondary consideration when it comes to product development.

Maybe energy prices won't go through the roof as miles driven per capita drops at the same time the fuel economy increases.

Maybe we've reached peak congestion as miles driven drops and dense urban areas offer more choices for transportation. Conversely, if lifestyles become more diversified, perhaps it's too early to predict the death of the suburb, particularly as urban land values increase as more people move into cities again.

If we drive less, what happens to the existing road infrastructure, much of which needs to be rebuilt? With less fuel tax revenue, do some roads become underused and go away? How do we fund the needed rebuilding.

Lots of interesting implications here for those of us who love to drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Can you please post the 2001 - 2009 per capita change in 16 - 34 year olds that are still living in their mom's basement?

Speaking of 2001 to 2009, if I recall 2009 was pretty-much the epicenter of the down turn? - Now that many have now got a job, what's it look like today, my hunch, 2001 - 2014 is nowhere near this dramatic.

For the most part I enjoy and find your "social propaganda" interesting, but sometimes, you try to push it a bit too much, this might be one of those times, especially with an almost 5 year old chart.

Sincerely,
Ed
That's a fair assessment.

Here's some more recent charts for you:




The St Louis Fed also has interactive charts that go all the way to September 2014:
http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/M12MTVUSM227NFWA

The trend line of VMT has been steadily increasing at the same rate since WWII. VMT declined in the recession and has since flat-lined.

Like it or not, peak motoring is likely behind us. Nobody can predict the future, but given all the other trends, it looks extremely likely. VMT declined in most past recessions, but as soon as the recovery happened, VMT went back to trend. This time is different. Instead of calling it "social propaganda", let's have an intelligent discussion on what is happening.

Car makers are likely going to ever be competing for the dwindling market, and only the best, most efficient will survive. Will GM be ready?

Sincerely,
Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,218 Posts
Most of us on this site are anomalies to these trends. I ride my motorcyles 20,000 miles a year average, and my truck another 10,000.

But the statistics don't lie. Trends are definitely changing, and I see it everyday here in DC.
In terms of my personal experience my driving has been significantly cut back in the last few years due to moving closer to our downtown core (office). I'm 31 and have owned my vehicle since Sep 2005. In that time, it has accumulated just under 78,000 miles (mostly driven by me) which is just over 8,500 miles per year. Driving other vehicles in my household probably gets me pretty close to 10,000 miles per year on average. In the last two or three years I'm actually probably closer to 5,000 or 6,000 miles per year though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
But, what if we've reached peak car usage in North America? What if car usage is about to settle into a lower, but still significant, part of how people get around? What are the implications of that?
Mounting evidence suggests exactly this.

Maybe energy prices won't go through the roof as miles driven per capita drops at the same time the fuel economy increases.
I tend to think energy prices will hold fairly steady. People driving less and living more energy efficient lifestyles reduces the domestic demand. However growing demand in the rest of the world will counter that. It's hard to know for sure.

Maybe we've reached peak congestion as miles driven drops and dense urban areas offer more choices for transportation. Conversely, if lifestyles become more diversified, perhaps it's too early to predict the death of the suburb, particularly as urban land values increase as more people move into cities again.
Suburbs won't die. The successful ones in the future will be retooled as walkable communities along transit lines and bike paths. This is already happening in the DC area, and a lot of places in the U.S. Traditional suburbs that lack these options will be rendered obsolete, especially the ones furthest from employment centers.

If we drive less, what happens to the existing road infrastructure, much of which needs to be rebuilt? With less fuel tax revenue, do some roads become underused and go away? How do we fund the needed rebuilding.

Lots of interesting implications here for those of us who love to drive.
Difficult times lie ahead for suburbs. And it's not just about roads. Sewer lines and all suburban infrastructure are nearing their end of life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,896 Posts
Meh… I'm 24, and I drive almost 20,000 miles a year. I think that's a considerable amount more than my parents ever did.
Most of your generation and slightly older don't own cars, my daughter has a circle of friends none of which drive, l offered to pay for driving lessons for free, and she and her 30-35 year old friends are just not one bit interested in cars just don't want to be saddled with owning car. I don't think they will ever change personally.



This is probably all that interests youngsters, who has got the best smartphone, cars are something Mum & Dad have to run you somewhere if needed if its a bit more than in the local area away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In terms of my personal experience my driving has been significantly cut back in the last few years due to moving closer to our downtown core (office). I'm 31 and have owned my vehicle since Sep 2005. In that time, it has accumulated just under 78,000 miles (mostly driven by me) which is just over 8,500 miles per year. Driving other vehicles in my household probably gets me pretty close to 10,000 miles per year on average. In the last two or three years I'm actually probably closer to 5,000 or 6,000 miles per year though.
Me personally, I drove the most when I was in school from 1998-2003. I took a lot of road trips, gas was cheap, around a dollar a gallon. Ah, the good old days. I averaged around 40k/year back then.

Got out of school, moved to the DC area. Lived in a traditional suburb and van-pooled to work. Grew tired of the long commutes, so I moved into the city and started riding a bicycle to work. Still drove on the weekends to get out and go places.

After I bought my house, the commute on bicycle was a little more than I wanted to do so I got a scooter. I enjoyed motoring on two wheels so much, I traded up to more powerful bikes until I got to where I'm at now, on one of the most powerful bikes available.

I enjoy riding my bikes and do so every chance I can. But it's purely pleasure. My work even gives me Metro benefits, which I turn down every month because I'd rather ride my bike.

I like being in a position where I have options. Driving or riding my bikes is purely optional. If gas went to $10/gallon tomorrow, it would have zero direct impact on me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Most of your generation and slightly older don't own cars, my daughter has a circle of friends none of which drive, l offered to pay for driving lessons for free, and she and her 30-35 year old friends are just not one bit interested in cars just don't want to be saddled with owning car. I don't think they will ever change personally.
That's the way it seems to be in DC. Just curious, where does your daughter live? It must be a major city where driving is not required?

I love riding my bikes, and I love the utility of my truck. But like I said previously, I love not being dependent on them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,190 Posts
I noticed something similar. Both my kids and their friends seem to have little to no interest. Not a single one of them own their own car either. They borrow their Mom and Dads car when or if they need it. Outside of that, they seem content on taking public transit or their own two feet. I for one, think thats pretty cool.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,566 Posts
Me personally, I drove the most when I was in school from 1998-2003. I took a lot of road trips, gas was cheap, around a dollar a gallon. Ah, the good old days. I averaged around 40k/year back then.

Got out of school, moved to the DC area. Lived in a traditional suburb and van-pooled to work. Grew tired of the long commutes, so I moved into the city and started riding a bicycle to work. Still drove on the weekends to get out and go places.

After I bought my house, the commute on bicycle was a little more than I wanted to do so I got a scooter. I enjoyed motoring on two wheels so much, I traded up to more powerful bikes until I got to where I'm at now, on one of the most powerful bikes available.

I enjoy riding my bikes and do so every chance I can. But it's purely pleasure. My work even gives me Metro benefits, which I turn down every month because I'd rather ride my bike.

I like being in a position where I have options. Driving or riding my bikes is purely optional. If gas went to $10/gallon tomorrow, it would have zero direct impact on me.

I think this post sums it up nicely

I believe it is the COST of car ownership/usage with the cheapest NEW car costing 10K and 2+K per year insurance + 1.20 +/- per litre petrol
near as imposable financing on older cars not to mention the 2-3K used "beater" have disappeared


when I was young publics transit consisted of ONE old bus once an Hour on week ends about a 1KM walk away to get down town and the "school run" took 2 busses and about 45 MIN a direction
VS a $1500 dollar car and 15 MIN to/from school and 33 Cent L petrol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,449 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,449 Posts
I love riding my bikes, and I love the utility of my truck. But like I said previously, I love not being dependent on them.
I think most car enthusiasts (and motorcycle enthusiasts, to an extent) - including members of GMI Forums - would consider steinravnik's situation to be close to ideal. Unfortunately, transportation planning that took place in 20th century USA produced the rather perverse result of making citizens excessively dependent on cars. This is bad news not only for quality of life in general, but also to the viability of the automotive enthusiast community.
 
  • Like
Reactions: steinravnik

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,225 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's not a problem!
It's a generational thing. I'm sort of on the line, being age 38. I grew up driving, but now I'm in a situation where I don't need to. I hate the traffic here being in a car. It's not freedom when it takes you an hour to go a few miles. My motorcycles give the freedom that I used to get from driving a car.
 
1 - 20 of 95 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top