October 8, 2014

Millennials and Mobility: A silent revolution that could get noisy

 From Spacing National, a silent revolution that will only get louder – by Melissa Bruntlett.



Moving Millennials: how a generation is changing mobility


… aside from education and employment, the largest drivers of change for mobility in cities are the inherent life choices made by Millennials.
Because they are young, many still single, they are incredibly social and need the city to facilitate their need to feel connected to their peers. Living in city centres is one way they achieve this, by staying “close the action” and able to enjoy getting together with friends after work, relaxing on the weekends at local parks, and enjoying the sociability only city living can provide. Their mobility choices reflect this greatly.
In general, Millennials are pragmatic  they will choose the housing and transportation options that are most convenient and meet their needs. This explains why many enjoy multi-modal transportation options instead of relying on just one. …
While one of the main motivations for a young person to choose public transportation is the financial implications, their need is creating a silent revolution. The next step will be maintaining and promoting these patterns as they start families, and their needs change once again.


Full article here.


I’m struck by this photo of B-line crowding: all those Millennials, each one with a U-Pass.  

What are the political consequences if the transit referendum fails?  Imagine telling that queue of users that not only are there no longer any plans for rapid transit on Broadway but that current service may well be cut back. Revolution might not be too strong a word. 

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  1. I’m struck by Chris Bruntlett’s photo of B-line crowding…
    Chris Bruntlett’s photo? …it is what read the spacing article…
    I have used this very same photo to illustrate this post written in…2011:
    Since I consider that not giving appropriate credit for picture is bad enough,
    (Not thinking too much of people taking credit for someone else work…), I had credited this flickr user who has posted that probably circa 2008-2009:

  2. I should take some pictures of SFU’s bus loop around 5:30, when I finish class, today.
    At this time of day, the 145 bus leaves 50 people behind every time it departs. The 143 (my bus) is a similar story. There is no queuing system, so passive people can get left behind indefinitely as aggressive people jostle to the front.
    I always just assume ‘the authorities’ know about the situation. But maybe not… perhaps pictures are necessary. This is my fifth year at the school, and it seems like the situation hasn’t changed at all since my first day. In the morning I’m forced to drive BACKWARDS, away from the campus, so I can board the bus before it is full, so I can get up the mountain.
    I can’t help but feel like students are not given the same priority as other commuters. Maybe because their fares are fixed and heavily subsidized so there is little incentive to relieve crowding. Maybe because young people are so politically disengaged.

  3. I’m struck by the fact that they use transit despite the hurdles and inconveniences the current system poses. This picture shows them lining up on a sunny day. Imagine this same scene in late November when it is dark, rainy and chilly. That seems to me to be a message about their commitment to transit or their lack of other options. Either way, I wish they didn’t have to face long lineups and waits in bad weather only to board a massively crowded bus. I feel like we are failing them and so many others when we can’t figure out a way to support a better functioning system. It’s bursting at the seams and needs a solution fast!

    1. Couldn’t agree more. We taught them in school that sustainability is important and the consequence of fossil fuel burning is climate change, then purposefully starve the low carbon transport options of cash so we can fund more infrastructure for cars.
      No wonder they’re disengaged. The whole political system must just seem like total hypocrisy to them. Especially since the most major consequences of climate change will come in their lifetimes, not ours.