More Young People Using Transit

“From World War II until just a few years ago, the number of miles driven annually on America’s roads steadily increased. Then, at the turn of the century, something changed: Americans began driving less. By 2011, the average American was driving 6 percent fewer miles per year than in 2004.

The trend away from driving has been led by young people. From 2001 to 2009, the average annual number of vehicle- miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita—a drop of 23 percent. The trend away from steady growth in driving is likely to be long-lasting—even once the economy recovers. Young people are driving less for a host of reasons—higher gas prices, new licensing laws, improvements in technology that support alternative transportation, and changes in Generation Y’s values and preferences—all factors that are likely to have an impact for years to come,” according to a study titled Transportation and the New Generation by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund.

The Y Generation is the biggest population bulge since boomers. As Businessweek notes, marketing is beginning to understand “The boomer brands won’t get off so lightly with Gen Y. This is the first generation to come along that’s big enough to hurt a boomer brand simply by giving it the cold shoulder–and big enough to launch rival brands with enough heft to threaten the status quo.”

The report is chock-full of interesting information and insights on how to speak to a new generation that “responds to humor, irony, and the (apparently) unvarnished truth.”
Here is a taste:
“Many young people choose to replace driving with alternative transportation. According to a recent survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, 45 percent of young people (18-34 years old) polled said they have consciously made an effort to replace driving with transportation alternatives—this is compared with approximately 32 percent of all older populations.”

“Many of America’s youth prefer to live places where they can easily walk, bike, and take public transportation.”

“Some young people purposely reduce their driving in an effort to curb their environmental impact.”

“Public transportation is more compatible with a lifestyle based on mobility and peer-to-peer connectivity than driving.”

If 45% of Austin’s Gen Y population took transit 1x per week that would be over 125,000 drive alone trips averted! Imagine the positive impacts on traffic that would have.
2010 Census data) Click here for the full report.

GoingMyWay Swings for the Stars

GoingMyWay Swings for the Stars

GoingMyWay is an Austin, TX based technology start-up developing a mobile app that integrates social aspects of ride sharing with all other public and private transportation options, so drivers can fill empty seats and riders can get where they need go hassle-free. The startup made a recent splash securing much of the seed funding needed to accelerate the development of its mobile app and include additional social features. CEO Joseph Kopser expects to launch version 1.0 of this app by the start of the fall semester at UT in August 2012. Kopser says, “There are few cities in the United States better suited to launch a new idea for transportation than Austin, Texas. From students, to commuters to downtown residential and businesses– we could all benefit from GoingMyWay.”

“GoingMyWay is poised to change how we make transportation decisions,” said Bob Metcalfe, Professor of Innovation at UT-Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering. “GoingMyWay is leading the Internet’s innovative disruption of transportation. It will create ride-sharing communities as well as make public transportation more transparent and reliable, ensuring that each consumer’s individual needs are met with efficiency and reliability.”
At SXSW Interactive 2012, GoingMyWay placed second in the Houston Technology Center’s HATCH Pitch Contest and was selected last week as a regional semi-finalist for the 2012 CleanTech Open national competition. GoingMyWay is a member of the Austin Technology Incubator- University, and the company is continuing to raise seed money here in Austin. Click here to find out more.

Why Green is Good for Bicycling … For Everyone

Austin was recently selected as one of only 6 cities to take part in the first ever National Green Lane Project. The project provides resources to build state of the art bicycle infrastructure over a 2-year period. Green Lane Project staff will work with City of Austin staff to design and implement infrastructure that fits the needs of Austin. Director of Public Works, Howard Lazarus explains, “Health and fitness are key parts of the Austin personality.  They are not only essential components of our lifestyle, but they also support business and tourism.  Being part of the Green Lane project continues to place Austin among the nation’s most innovative and progressive cities, and will enable us to develop a connected bicycle network that supports key industries and a superior quality of life.”

Lazarus sees Austin’s participation in the Green Lanes Project as an opportunity that “will result in safer, more connected bicycle facilities being constructed and will enhance overall mobility and contribute to improved health and air quality.”

Bikes Belong Video Introduction to the Green Lanes Project