Publication Detail

Is the Rise of the E-Society Responsible for the Decline in Car Use by Young Adults? - Results from the Netherlands

UCD-ITS-RP-15-42

Reprint

National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Available online at: DOI: 10.3141/2496-04

Suggested Citation:
Kroesen, Maarten and Susan L. Handy (2015) Is the Rise of the E-Society Responsible for the Decline in Car Use by Young Adults? - Results from the Netherlands. Transportation Research Record 2496, 28 - 35

Trends in decreased car use and car-licensing rates have been observed in several industrialized countries in the past decade. This study assessed whether and to what extent this decline may (partially) be attributed to the latest trends in the digitalization of society, in particular the growing use of mobile Internet devices (smartphones and tablets) and online services such as social network sites, especially among young people. These technologies and services enable and encourage people to be connected anytime and anywhere and may thereby reduce (car) travel by partly replacing face-to-face contacts with friends and relatives. From a representative sample of Dutch respondents, the results were found to be inconsistent with this expectation and indicated that the use of the new technologies and services was associated with more (instead of fewer) social activities out of the home. However, among young adults, the use of social network sites was found to be associated with a more favorable attitude toward public transport. Overall, the results suggest that, among the Dutch, the latest trend in the digitalization of society does not play a major role in the downward trend in automobility.