Insights into public transit use by Millennials: The Canadian experience
Authors: K. Bruce Newbold and Darren M. Scott
Recent evidence suggests that millennials (individuals born following Generation X and between the early 1980s and early 2000s) are characterized by different automobility characteristics, including being less likely to have a valid driver’s license, less likely to drive, and being more likely to take public transit than their older counterparts. But will their greater use of public transit persist as millennials age and their life status situations change? Using data from Statistics Canada’s 1998, 2005 and 2010 General Social Survey (GSS) ‘Time Use’ cycles, this paper explores the use of public transit by millennials and contrasts their use with older cohorts over time in order to gauge whether differences are due to cohort or life cycle effects. Descriptive statistics are used to characterize public transit use, and multivariate analysis explores the factors associated with use of public transit. Findings suggest that millennials are more likely to use public transit than older cohorts. Moreover, the results suggest that cohort differences, which tend to persist over time, and not life cycle effects, are responsible for greater use of public transit by millennials.
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