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If Millennials Drive Less, it's Not All a Matter of Taste

Bill Fulton writes for CP&DR that while some Millennials may be driving less because they've chosen urban, transit-friendly lifestyles, many more young people are driving less simply because they can't afford to.
December 1, 2014, 8am PST | MBridegam
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Elvert Barnes

What explains Millennials' trend toward urban living and reduced auto use? It's a little too easy to suggest they're all "urbanistas" who find it suits their personal tastes to live the urban good life in major cities with plentiful transit.

Bill Fulton has been hearing from academics who are looking a little more carefully at the data picture. Quoting work by researchers Brian Taylor, Celsie Ralph, and Trevor Thomas, he says there aren't so many "urbanistas," proportionally speaking. In more cases, if young people aren't driving it's because they can't afford cars.

Further, the two-tier economy is creating a split in the relationship between poverty and driving, depending on geography and access to transit. He writes, "[the] urban poor can survive a downturn because of public transit service, while the suburban poor are chained to their cars just like everybody else – only they have a much tougher time paying their car bills."

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Published on Sunday, November 23, 2014 in California Planning & Development Report
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