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Forced to Drive or Loving Driving?

In rural America, young people overwhelmingly prefer driving to using other forms of transit, whether that's a function of the options available or natural preference is subject to debate.
January 28, 2017, 7am PST | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Vasilyev Alexandr

A recent study from Montana State University found that, unlike their peers in suburban and urban communities, Millennials in rural areas prefer to drive. According to this study, 87% of Millennials from rural areas and small towns prefer to travel by car. "Just 0.5 percent of rural America uses public transportation to get to work, compared to 6.2 percent of urbanites," according to reporting from Aarian Marshall in Wired. The tendency to use automotive transport was not just a product of long work commutes, "Even among Millennials still in school, just one in five want to use the bus, while three quarters are still all about cars," Marshall writes.

What causes this stated preference is debatable, it could be that the infrastructure doesn't exist and so it's hard for Millennials in these communities to express a preference for something they haven’t experienced, or it could be that this is a deeply rooted value. The authors of the study tell Marshall that the transit options of rural communities is an area that hasn't been studied enough, and that they hope the question of what causes the car preference will motivate future study.

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Published on Thursday, January 26, 2017 in Wired
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