Publication Detail

The Multimodal Behavior of Millennials: Exploring Differences in Travel Choices between Young Adults and Gen Xers in California

UCD-ITS-RR-17-54

Research Report

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Suggested Citation:
Circella, Giovanni, Farzad Alemi, Rosaria M. Berliner, Kate Tiedeman, Yongsung Lee, Lewis Fulton, Susan L. Handy, Patricia L. Mokhtarian (2017) The Multimodal Behavior of Millennials: Exploring Differences in Travel Choices between Young Adults and Gen Xers in California. Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, Research Report UCD-ITS-RR-17-54

Millennials are increasingly reported to behave, and travel, differently from previous generations at the same stage in life. Among the observed changes, they postpone the time they obtain a driver’s license, often live in urban locations and do not own a car, drive less if they own one, and use alternative travel modes more often. However, the reasons behind these trends, and their long-term impacts on travel demand and the future growth of cities, are still largely unclear. This study investigates millennials’ mobility through the analysis of a comprehensive dataset collected among 2,155 young adults and members of the preceding Generation X who live in California, as part of a panel study of millennials’ residential choices, lifestyles, travel behavior and adoption of new technologies. This paper presents an overview of the research, and discusses preliminary results from the analysis of the California Millennials Dataset. The authors focus on the adoption of multimodality among the members of the two generations, and compare it to measures of accessibility by various travel modes of the respondents’ residential location. The study highlights differences in travel behavior between those that travel by car by necessity (e.g. 16 because they live in locations where few travel options are available) and those that do so by choice (e.g. despite the availability of other modes). The study provides useful insights for planners and policy-makers, through improving the understanding of millennials’ choices and the impact of lifecycle, period and generational effects on future travel.
Presented at Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 8-12, 2017