New Report Shows Mounting Evidence of Millennials’ Shift Away from Driving

Author: Phineas Baxandall

A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) Education Fund and the Frontier Group shows mounting evidence that the Millennial generation’s dramatic shift away from driving is more than temporary. While the 2000s saw a marked decrease in the average number of miles traveled by young Americans, the study explains that those trends appear likely to continue even as the economy improves – in light of the consistency of Millennials’ surveyed preferences, a continued reduction of Millennials driving to work, and the continued decreases in per-capita driving among all Americans.

“Millennials are different from their parents, and those differences aren’t going away,” said Phineas Baxandall, Senior Analyst at U.S. PIRG and co-author of the report. “After five years of economic growth with stagnant driving, it’s time for federal and state governments to wake up to growing evidence that Millennials don’t want to drive as much as their parents did. This change has big implications and policy makers shouldn’t be asleep at the wheel.”

“Millennials are trying to send a message to policy-makers: We want convenient, walkable neighborhoods with many options for how to get around,” said Tony Dutzik, Senior Analyst at the Frontier Group and co-author of the report. “Unfortunately, many of our nation’s transportation policies work to ensure just the opposite result.”

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Millennials in Motion

Over the last decade – after 60-plus years of steady increases – the number of miles driven by the average American has been falling. Young Americans have experienced the greatest changes: driving less; taking transit, biking and walking more; and seeking out places to live in cities and walkable communities where driving is an option, not a necessity.

Academic research, survey results and government data point to a multitude of factors at play in the recent decline in driving among young people: socioeconomic shifts, changes in consumer preferences, technological changes, efforts by state governments and colleges to limit youth driving, and more.

Millennials (those born between 1983 and 2000) are the nation’s largest generation, making their transportation needs particularly important. They have the most to gain or lose from the transportation investment decisions we make today, as they will be affected by those investments for decades to come. If Millennials drive fewer miles than previous generations as they age – and if future generations of young people follow suit – America will have an opportunity to reap the benefits of slower growth in driving. These include reduced traffic congestion, fewer deaths and injuries on the roads, reduced expenditures for highway construction and repair, and less pollution of our air and climate.

Several indicators – including continued decreases in per-capita driving across the whole U.S. population, the continued shift away from the use of cars for commuting by Millennials, and the consistency of Millennials’ stated preferences for housing and transportation – suggest that it is unlikely that the trend toward less driving among Millennials during the 2000s has reversed thus far in the current decade. Moreover, many of the factors that have contributed to the recent decline in driving among young Americans appear likely to last. Now is the time for the nation’s transportation policies to acknowledge, accommodate and support Millennials’ demands for a greater array of transportation choices.

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What is Mobilities (WIM)?

Author: David Madden

In May 2013, scholars from around the world gathered in Montreal for Differential Mobilities: Movement and Mediation in Networked Society. The international conference, hosted by the Mobile Media Lab (MML) in the Communication Studies department at Concordia University, brought together researchers, artists, community organizers, activists and students concerned with issues, questions and articulations connected to what Mimi Sheller and John Urry (2006) have coined, the “new mobilities” paradigm. This paradigm has been described as a turn within humanities and social science research. It focuses on contemporary social, cultural, spatial, and technological practices within an increasingly mobile world. It opens frameworks for critical inquiry and, simultaneously urges the question: what is mobilities?

In order to explore this very question, members of the MML spoke to conference participants about their research practices and trajectories. This collection of interviews presents a range of answers from a diversity of scholars, media practitioners and activists.



Spark’s Eighth Annual Official Call For Entry is live

The Spark Transport Awards are part of a series of eight exciting competitions created to promote great design and designers. They invite you to join the Spark Community and enter your best designs.

In this, one of their most exciting new competitions, they will explore innovative transportation developments that exemplify a commitment to using natural resources more efficiently. This unique perspective will shine a spotlight on audacious designs and technologies that challenge the current state of the art. We hope all participants in these many fields and disciplines will tilt their windmills into the wind and send us their Sparks.

Spark Transport includes all modes of transportation design, from vehicles to transit stations, aircraft to electronics.

The Spark Transport competition continues Spark’s core Mission and basic Criteria. All Spark events are international in scope and accept entries from all designers, everywhere.

They invite everyone to participate—student concept and professional transportation designers, art directors, engineers, teachers, design firms, manufacturers, institutions, ad and PR agencies and entrepreneurs—anyone with a great new transport design solution.

See for more information.


Of Carts and Horses, Cars and Smarts

Author: John DeCicco

The motor vehicle is at the cusp of being transformed by two threads of technology advancement. One is electrification, replacing gasoline and other liquid fuels with the direct use of electrons, enabling cars to plug in for some or all of their power. The other is intelligence, relieving humans of the error-prone task of driving through connectivity, sensing and increasing automation, leading to vehicles that will one day drive themselves.

These parallel developments raise a strategic question about which of the two pathways deserves extra policy support. Simply saying “both” ignores the real world of limited resources. A careful look at the many considerations involved suggests that environmentally led efforts to jump-start the market for electric cars amount to putting the cart before the horse.

Given the vast market value and safety gains that will follow from vehicle automation, those concerned about climate and other environmental impacts should redirect their enthusiasm to accelerating the adoption of connected and automated transportation systems. Even as cars become able to partly drive themselves (including to wireless charging stations), the hurdles to electrification can be leapt and the more powerful horse of automated mobility can pull transportation toward greater sustainability.

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MTAM Launches Statewide ‘Mobile in Transportation’ Advisory Council

The Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) is pleased to announce the launch of its ‘Mobile in Transportation’ statewide advisory council. The first meeting of the council will take place on Thursday, October 9th from 11:30 am – 1:00 p.m. at Visteon headquarters in Van Buren Township. Those interested in participating should contact MTAM at

Leading the recently launched ‘Mobile in Transportation’ advisory council will be Tim Yerdon, Vice-president of Design, Marketing and Connected Services at Visteon. Heading Visteon’s strategic marketing organization, Yerdon also supports the firm’s collaborative efforts with technology partners, government agencies and industry partners to advance growth beyond traditional automotive electronics into the Internet-of-Things, and he supports the electronics business’ expansion into the connected-vehicle and services market.

Yerdon states, “Mobile technologies are impacting every sector of the transportation industry, and as a result they are creating jobs, business opportunities, and positive economic impact throughout the State. Michigan has tremendous potential in this sector and I’m excited to work with MTAM’s ‘Mobile in Transportation’ Advisory Council to help make Michigan a leader in the use of mobile and connected technologies.”

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