Such is the title of a new report that shows young Americans are forgoing cars for bikes and buses.
The report, issued by the U.S. Public Interest Group shows that from 2001 to 2009, the annual number of vehicle miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita—a drop of 23 percent.”
And in turn, in 2009, 16- to 34-year-olds as a whole took 24 percent more bike trips than they took in 2001, despite the age group actually shrinking in size by 2 percent.
And the report notes that between 2001 and 2009, higher income young Americans (16- to 34-year-olds who lived in households with annual incomes of over $70,000), increased their use of public transit by 100 percent, biking by 122 percent, and walking by 37 percent.”
Given the continuing debate in both our national and state capitol over how to fund transportation and for what uses, the report shows that policy makes need to be aware of the shifts taking place and the preferences of growing numbers of Americans to have other options available aside from the automobile.
The report once again shows that the strategies and tools being advanced through the League's "Center for 21st Century Communities" program, toward creating communities that are walkable and contain multi-modal transportation options are indeed rooted in what the market is calling for.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail