A new report from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has cast a spotlight on what the ‘Millennial Generation’ (those born between 1982 and 2003) desire and value within a transit network. The results offer a number of interesting points and underline how social media, portable communication along with environmental concerns and the economy are playing a key role in growing mass transit usage. APTA officials note that the recent trend of smartphone applications allow public transit users to be increasingly spontaneous and flexible with their travel decisions - considered a game changing element because it closes the gap with the perceived benefit of the use of a car.
“Public transportation is the backbone of a multi-modal transportation system because it provides the opportunity to multi-task and socialize online while travelling,” said Peter Varga, APTA Chair and CEO for The Rapid in Grand Rapids, MI. “This study shows that millennials are leading a trend of Americans who are returning to walkable cities and suburbs with multiple transportation options that include vibrant public transportation. This data is proof positive that America’s future is riding on public transportation.”
According to the study published in October 2013, the top five reasons and motivations for choosing public transportation are pragmatic, as 46 percent state that a need to save money drives their choices, 46 percent note convenience, 44 percent want exercise, and 35 percent say they live in a community where it just makes more sense to use public transportation.
“Now is the time to be pro-active in creating this multi-modal transportation system to address the millennial generation’s demands and lifestyles,” said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. “This generation wants the pragmatic benefits of having multiple ways to get around. The solution is investment in a long-term transportation bill that includes strong investments in a variety of modes including public transportation.”
Millennials say the key advantages of public transportation is the ability to pay-per-use (58 percent), protecting the environment (50 percent), the ability to socialize online (44 percent), and creating community (44 percent).
Because of the future demands of this millennial generation, transportation systems and public transportation systems in particular, will be built around the smart phone. APTA anticipates adoption of features such as: smartphone charging stations on vehicles and facilities; fare collection via smartphone; Wi-FI, 4G and 3G access; apps that connect public transit access to local amenities; and seamless multimodal connections such as bike and car share options; and improved pedestrian access to public transit stations.
To read the report the fascinating full report in full for free click here