Managers of municipal transit should consider the latest transportation news when planning changes and expansions to their systems. Millennials - those born between 1982 and 2003 - are not fleeing to the suburbs like their parents and grandparents. They want to live in urban communities where they can walk to local stores and take a bus or train to destinations farther away. This age group cites available transit opportunities as key to where they decide to live and work.
Economics, technology, and convenience are driving this trend. Millennials want to avoid the cost burden of owning a car - avoiding maintenance, insurance premiums, and parking fees.
Public transit makes it easier to negotiate the urban landscape they prefer. A study by the American Public Transportation Association shows that millennials are multi-modal and will chart each trip using the best transportation mode for that particular outing. The always-connected generation also wants to stay tuned in while in transit. They want to catch up on email or finish some work during their daily commute.
Technology makes public transit more accessible. Gone are the days of unwieldy fold-out bus schedules or standing in the bus door yelling a question to the driver. Millennials pull up bus schedules on their smart phones and some cities allow them to track buses in real-time. GPS alerts the modern traveler to the quickest bus routes.
Municipalities planning for the newest members of the work force and community should consider expanding their bus fleets. If your community is one of those seeing a surge in construction of apartments and condos in and near downtown, help fill those residences by offering a robust transit system to attract millennials who want to work, live, and travel in your town.
Start the new year right and contact us for information about growing your municipal bus fleet to meet the needs of a new generation.