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Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:18 AM

WP: 2001-09 - Miles Driven By 16-34-Year-Olds Down 23%

EDIT

But another huge part of the story is that young Americans are driving much, much less. Between 2001 and 2009, the average yearly number of miles driven by 16- to 34-year-olds dropped a staggering 23 percent. The Frontier Group has the most comprehensive look yet of why younger Americans are opting out of driving. Public transportation use is up 40 percent per capita in this age group since 2001. Bicycling is up 24 percent overall in that time period. And this is true even for young Americans who are financially well off. Here are five big hypotheses:

–The cost of driving has gone up. In some ways, it’s become more expensive to drive a car over the years. Rising gas prices are the most visible factor, but there are others. As I noted last week, there’s evidence that high student debt is hampering some younger borrowers from buying cars. And auto-insurance rates have soared in recent years, driven by a boom in commodity prices (which make repairs more expensive) and higher health care costs.*

–The recession. This is a big one. If fewer people have jobs, fewer people will commute. That said, unemployment can’t explain the entire drop. The Frontier Group notes that driving is down “even among young people who are employed and/or are doing well financially.”

–It’s harder to get a license. From 1996 to 2006, every state enacted graduated driving laws that make it more cumbersome for young people to get licenses. “Young people must now take more behind-the-wheel training (which is more expensive), fulfill additional requirements for permits, and once they are allowed to drive, they are often restricted to driving in the daytime without passengers.” The number of younger Americans without a driver’s license has risen from 21 percent to 26 percent since 2001.

EDIT

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/04/22/why-arent-younger-americans-driving-anymore/

On edit: comments at the WP website on this pretty interesting, FYI.

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Reply WP: 2001-09 - Miles Driven By 16-34-Year-Olds Down 23% (Original post)
hatrack Apr 2013 OP
rightsideout Apr 2013 #1
Arugula Latte Apr 2013 #2

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:33 AM

1. Interesting they didn't mention social networking as a cause

The fact that kids are glued to the screens talking to each other through cyber space instead of in person may have something to do with it as well.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Sat Apr 27, 2013, 12:46 AM

2. I know a lot of high school kids who are in no hurry to get their licenses.

 

Very different from when I was a teen in the 80s.

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