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Old 31st July 2013, 21:56   #1
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Default Americans driving lesser, using public transportation more

Car culture shock: Americans putting brakes on driving

The Washington D.C. region's Metro Transit Agency, the nation's second busiest, transports more than 1 million people on an average weekday. New research shows Americans are driving less and one reason may be that they are using public transport more

It may not seem like there are fewer traffic jams, and the gas station probably looks busier than ever every time you stop to fill up.

But a new study shows that Americans are actually driving less. We're seeing a steady shift in how people get around, with more people leaving their keys at home and finding other ways to get around.

"This is an important change," said Michael Sivak, who conducted the study at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. "This is the first time we've ever seen a drop

According to the study, driving in the U.S. reached a peak in 2004 and has been declining steadily ever since.

"When you look at the distance-driven rate, we are where we were back in the mid-90s," Sivak said.

In 2011, the most recent year for which data are available, the average licensed driver racked up 12,492 miles behind the wheel. That's down 1,221 miles, or 8.9 percent, from the peak seven years earlier.

The fact that the number of miles driven began falling four years before the recession indicates that people changed their driving habits for reasons that go beyond saving money, Sivak said.

Though the recession and slow recovery contributed to people cutting back on driving—or cutting it out altogether—the study pointed to four other reasons we're getting out of cars and trucks.

"The trends in these underlying factors suggests a major societal change with respect to personal transportation,"

1) Telecommuting and improved telecommunications

More people are working from home or attending meetings via Skype and other new technologies. As telecommunication becomes more sophisticated and reliable, more people are realizing they don't need to hit the road.

2)Increased use of public transportation

More people are taking trains, buses, subways, and ferries. While that's partly because there are more options available, many find that public transit is more economical than owning and maintaining a vehicle.

3)The urbanization boom

More people are moving into or near cities where they have greater access to public transportation for work as well as recreation.

4)The nation is aging, and older people drive less

As more baby boomers retire, fewer members of that generation go to work every day. In addition, studies show that people drive less as they get older.

No license? No problem

Over the last decade, auto executives have been trying to solve a problem few ever thought they would confront. Teens, even young people in their 20s and 30s, have decided they don't want a driver's license, let alone a car.

While that may sound puzzling to the millions who remember the excitement of turning 16 and getting their license, researchers said there has been a fundamental shift in young people's attitudes.

Now, nine years after we reached a peak in miles driven, some wonder if a country defined by the automobile in the last century is on a different road.

The economic implications could be enormous.

What will happen to auto sales in the future? Will gas tax revenue, the primary source of funding to maintain roads and bridges, start to decline? Are government leaders, from the federal to the local level, prepared to spend more money on building and maintaining public transportation?

So what will happen in India .....

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Source Added by moderator: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/car-...ing-6C10772549

Last edited by Samurai : 31st July 2013 at 22:44.
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Old 31st July 2013, 22:12   #2
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Default re: Americans driving lesser, using public transportation more

What will happen in India? Well, nothing. It's getting crazier by the day. If US is an ageing country then India is a budding one. Baby-boomers are adding by the millions. But yes, there is one trend here, too. Many of new gen kids just do not show interest in things automotive. It was unthinkable when I was 17-18. I would sneak out my father's uncle's scooter, car whatever I could lay my hands on. But many of today's kids stay glued to their laptops/desktops/tablets/mobiles and do not look up for anything. May be we were different because back then we did not have these elctronic gadgets.
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Old 31st July 2013, 22:34   #3
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Default re: Americans driving lesser, using public transportation more

Sagar, that's an interesting observation, when we were young we didn't have so much of laptops, mobiles etc.

In Japan, young generation doesn't want to buy a car, they are happy with public transport.

Our country should focus more on public transport. May be they can tie up with these auto manufactures for infra spend, and these companies can maintain and manage...

Maruti can take care of public transportation in Delhi
Hyundai or ford in Chennai
Toyita in Bangalore
Mahindra and Tata: Mumbai

Last edited by Rehaan : 2nd August 2013 at 01:26. Reason: Post edited. Please check your PM.
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Old 13th August 2013, 12:14   #4
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Default re: Americans driving lesser, using public transportation more

Here's another reason: Young Americans would rather use the $500 - 700 automotive expense a month (example) toward iPhones, gadgets, clothes & lifestyle (going out, travel) than a car. Owning a car is no longer as "cool" as earlier, it seems.

Of course, good public transportation is key. I recently spent a couple of days in downtown USA and didn't even bother with renting a car. Parking was too expensive & inconvenient (located far from the places we wanted to visit). Found it far cheaper + easy to use public transportation and hop in / out of cabs.

Drove in California though. Was a must there.
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Old 17th August 2013, 15:57   #5
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Default Re: Americans driving lesser, using public transportation more

Additional information from this article : from Fortune.com

Quote:
However Honda (HMC) may have tried to hook in young drivers, the company learned it wasn't working; the Element quickly became a hit with baby boomers in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. This wasn't exactly bad news for Honda. A sale is a sale, after all, but the outcome highlights a bigger -- and growing -- dilemma for the broader U.S. auto industry: How to sell to millennials?
Quote:
Last year, buyers 55 and older accounted for more than 40% of all new car sales, up from 33% in 2008, according to Edmunds.com, an online auto industry information provider. Older drivers have long dominated sales, but fewer young people are buying cars. Last year, 18- to 34-year-olds represented only 12% of new car purchases, down from 14% five years ago.
Quote:
More than a third of young adults who don't drive say they are too busy to get a driver's license, and more than a fifth don't plan to ever learn to drive, according to a new study released Wednesday by the University of Michigan.
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