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Survey: Millennials consider public transit a top criterion for deciding where to live


A large majority of millennials would consider moving for better transit options and aspire to be less reliant on cars, according to a new survey by The Rockefeller Foundation and Transportation America.

Fifty-four percent of millennials — defined as those born between 1980 and 2000 — surveyed in 10 major U.S. cities said they would consider moving to another city if it had more and better options for getting around, and 66 percent said that access to high-quality transportation is one of the top three criteria they would weigh when deciding where to live, according to a press release issued by the foundation.

Conducted by Global Strategy Group, the survey looked at millennials' perceptions and attitudes toward public transportation in 10 major U.S. cities across three "tiers" of transportation systems: "mature" (Chicago, New York City, San Francisco); "growing" (Charlotte, N.C., Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul); and "aspiring" (Indianapolis, Nashville, and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.). The survey was funded by the foundation and supported by Transportation for America.

About 46 percent survey respondents who owned a car said they would seriously consider giving it up if they could count on a range of transportation options.

"Young people are the key to advancing innovation and economic competitiveness in our urban areas, and this survey reinforces that cities that don't invest in effective transportation options stand to lose out in the long-run," said Michael Myers, a managing director at The Rockefeller Foundation. "As we move from a car-centric model of mobility to a nation that embraces more equitable and sustainable transportation options, millennials are leading the way."

Saving money was a key driver for many millennials looking for more public transportation options. Among low-income respondents: 70 percent said they can't afford to live in an area without access to public transportation; 86 percent said it is important that their city offers public transportation with affordable fares; and 64 percent said the expense of owning a car is a major reason they want to be less reliant on one.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/24/2014