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Life on Transit: Young people choosing public transit over a driver’s license

Life on Transit: Young people choosing public transit over a driver’s license

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For March/April 2013, we’re spotlighting Life on Transit—observing and illuminating the quirks and habits of daily transit rides around our region!

What choices have you made when it comes to transit?
What choices have you made when it comes to transit?

Data from our most recent Trip Diary Survey was included in a recent Vancouver Sun article. In short, the article is about how many young people in the region are choosing transit over a driver’s license.

The article includes some of our findings about travel mode preferences in the region, as well as some interesting insights from a young woman from Surrey who says, “It’s just easier and faster for me to take transit.” As Maria Su, senior manager of research analytics with TransLink, points out,

“It used to be when people got out of school, the first thing they did was get a used car because it was a sign of freedom… Now you can meet up with a friend without a car.”

We’ve known for a while that transit ridership numbers are up. The most recent figures show that, transit ridership in Metro Vancouver has increased by 57 per cent over the past decade. While the Vancouver Sun article points towards shifts in the preferred modes of transport for younger populations in Metro Vancouver, others are looking at wider shift across all ages.

The Price Tag blog has also been weighing in on a shift towards increased use of public transit. This post by Gordon Price points to the change in vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. starting in 1987 to today and into the near future.

Personally, I know people of different ages who only use transit, others who only use private vehicles and those who use both in varying degrees and for various reasons.

Have you made the choice for transit like the woman quoted in the Vancouver Sun article, or is your experience and those you know different? We’d love to know!