Millennials and Public Transport — An Unlikely Match

For all the criticisms that older generations love to bestow upon millennials, one thing is becoming very clear: after growing up during the Great Recession, this younger generation has an acute sense of what it means to budget and save. They also have an eye on the future — they’re the ones who are going to be living in it, after all — and they’re much more concerned with environmental preservation than older generations tend to be. And as research is starting to show, both of these factors are making millennials more interested in public transport than previous generations. Not just ‘interested,’ in fact, but rather, ‘demanding’ better public transport.

This trend hasn’t been publicized much, but it’s actually been happening for a while. Back in October 2013, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) reported that 54% of millennials agree that public transportation is the best way to get around — and this percentage is the highest number of public transport advocates in any age group.
And now, a year later, the same phenomenon is being reported: millennials still believe that public transportation is the best way to save money, protect the environment, and create safe, community-centered environments.

The Illinois Public Interest Research Group recently released a project called “Millennials in Motion,” which examined how Chicago’s public transportation system is steadily gaining more passengers. Not surprisingly, most young adults preferred to take public transportation because it’s much cheaper and more convenient than buying a car (especially for those who in live in cities).

How Will This Affect the Coach Bus Industry?

Although most studies focus on how people choose to get around for their daily commute, it’s likely that the entire travel and tourism industry will be affected by this shift. For example, despite decreasing fuel prices, plane tickets don’t seem to be going down — and young passengers are clearly not willing to pay these prices, especially when regular coach bus companies and for-rent charter bus services are readily available. These passengers are willing to spend some extra time on the road, because they know how much money they’ll save. They see news reports about eco-friendly coach bus engines being developed, and they know that bus companies are in a pretty stable place.