transportation

How to Think Like a Millennial

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

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If you were born after 1980, you’re a Millennial. But if you live in an urban area, you probably think like one, regardless of your age.

That is the takeaway from the fifth annual survey of Millennials from Zipcar. Released this month, Zipcar’s report confirms something many of us have expected for quite a while: that city dwellers across all generations have a Millennial mindset. This suggests, according to Zipcar, that where one lives is as important as age in determining attitudes and behaviors towards transportation.

Zipcar, the company credited with inventing “the sharing economy” before that term had even been coined, is in the business of hourly car rentals. The company primarily operates in dense urban locations where car ownership is expensive or inconvenient. Millennials are a large subset of Zipcar’s customers, explaining the company’s preoccupation with this age cohort.

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Major U.S. DOT Study Emphasizes Need for More Transit, Biking, Walking

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

Transit, bicycling, and pedestrian programs will be increasingly important in order to meet the country’s future transportation needs.

That’s one conclusion that can be drawn from a new report by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) called Beyond Traffic.

The report, currently still in draft form, is the Obama administration’s 30-year framework of our transportation challenges in the U.S. The picture it paints isn’t pretty. Crumbling infrastructure, coupled with big population increases in the south and west, will result in a transportation system in the coming decades unable to support the demands placed upon it.

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Fully Driverless Cars Will Be Ready in 2060, Report Finds

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

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The impact of autonomous – driverless – vehicles is still a ways in the future, according to projections made in a new report by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI).

As for autonomous vehicles’ impacts on traffic congestion, automobile accidents, and car ownership, the VTPI report projects that driverless vehicles will have only a modest impact on these areas in the next few decades. But autonomous cars will change mobility in dramatic ways in the far future.

In the near future, driverless cars will not be a panacea or cure-all for our transport problems, despite the hype they’ve received in the press.

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Yes, America, Transit is Safe

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

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Transit is a very safe form of transportation, not only in terms of safety from accidents, but also in terms of personal security from crimes and theft.

new study authored by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute argues that the narrative for transit needs to be changed to emphasize this fact.

Litman’s study reports that transit travel has about one-tenth the traffic injury and death rate as automobile travel. Furthermore, residents of transit-oriented communities have about one-fifth the per capita crash casualty rate as those in automobile-oriented communities.

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The Federal Government is Making Your Commute Worse

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

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There are a lot of reasons to be frustrated with the gridlocked federal government, but when it comes to transportation, this headline probably hits home the hardest. And it is the primary claim of a report released today, Subsidizing Congestion, by TransitCenter and The Frontier Group, that describes the numerous ways in which a relatively obscure U.S. tax policy impacts commuters.

The commuter tax benefit is a subsidy that allows employees to withhold money from their paychecks, tax-free, to spend on transit usage, parking fees, and other commute-related expenses.

From 2009 through 2013, the benefit was equal for all employees regardless of whether they drove or took transit. About a year ago, however, Congress decreased the cap on transit benefits from $245 to $130 per month. At the same time, the cap was increased for drivers, capped at $250 per month.

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Washington, D.C. is known for its multimodal transportation options, such as Metrobus and Capital Bikeshare, pictured here.

As Driving Habits Change, Places That Cater to Millennials Thrive

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[By Paul Goddin for Mobility Lab]

An employment opportunity brought Matt Smith (above right), a 30-year old business-development manager, to the Washington D.C. area from Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania in 2009.

He chose to live in Arlington because of its urban feel and plethora of transportation options. “Arlington feels like D.C. to me, but it’s cleaner and greener,” said Smith, who works at goDCgo in the same suite as Mobility Lab. “I hear people complain about the Metro here and I just don’t get it. We don’t have anything like that where I’m from.”

Smith’s appreciation for transit is aligned with those of his peers, as furthered in yet another new study, this one from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) and the Frontier Group, linking Millennials with changing attitudes and habits around the automobile.

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