The Great Debate: Do Millennials Really Want Cars, or Not?

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Why are young people less likely to purchase cars, or even have driver’s licenses nowadays? One theory has it that the generation that came of age with the Internet and smartphones thinks cars are pretty lame. Automakers prefer to see the situation differently — that young people today love cars just as much as any other group, but just can’t afford them right now.

The auto industry has been in recovery mode over the past few years. Automakers sold 14.5 million new cars and trucks in 2012, a 13% increase over the prior year, and the highest total since 2007. Projected auto-sales totals for 2013 should easily beat last year too, topping 15 million. Even so, the comeback has been called a “subpar recovery,” and a prime reason why sales haven’t truly taken off is that younger consumers today aren’t buying cars like younger consumers traditionally have in the car-crazed U.S.

Gen Y has been dubbed Gen N, as in Generation Neutral — which is the way some describe how millennials feel about car ownership. Studies have shown that fewer young adults have driver’s licenses, that this group hates the traditional car-buying process more than other demographics, and that they prefer urban living and socializing online and therefore have less need for cars.

The latest data from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) bolsters the idea that younger Americans are much less interested in car ownership than their older siblings, parents and grandparents. Bloomberg highlighted data from the study showing that while consumers in the 35-to-44-age demographic were the most likely to be purchasing new cars four years ago, today it’s the 55-to-65-age Baby Boomers buying new cars with the most frequency. In 2011, boomers were 15 times more likely to purchase new vehicles than young millennials (ages 18 to 24), and even consumers ages 75 and up have been buying cars at higher rates than groups ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34.

(MORE: Will Millennials Change How Cars Are Bought and Sold?)

The Detroit Free Press focused on UMTRI’s findings regarding young adults who don’t have driver’s licenses. A survey of 600 Americans ages 18 to 39 who don’t drive inquired after the reasons that they don’t have driver’s licenses, and the most popular response (checked by 37%) was that they’re just too busy. Another 32% cited the cost of car ownership as a reason, and 31% said they haven’t bothered to get a driver’s license because of what might be called the “mooch factor”: when necessary, it’s easy for them to catch a ride with someone else. What’s more, 21% of those surveyed said they would never get a driver’s license.

Overall, the impression one gets is that millennials just don’t have the passion for driving and owning a set of wheels that previous generations have had — at least not to the extent that they’ll devote a significant portion of their income to owning a car. “I have a son who lives in San Francisco; when I get a new car and I tell him what I got, he couldn’t care less,” Michael Sivak, author of the UMTRI study, told Bloomberg. “To him, it’s a means of getting from A to B. He goes into great lengths about taking a BART or bus, even though it takes him an hour longer.”

So younger consumers just don’t particularly care for car ownership, right? Wrong, say automakers. “I don’t see any evidence that the young people are losing interest in cars,” Mustafa Mohatarem, GM’s longtime chief economist, said to Automotive News. “It’s really the economics doing what we’re seeing, and not a change in preferences.”

Instead of accepting the premise that millennials see car ownership as “not cool,” automakers are insisting that low rates of driver’s licenses and vehicle purchasing by young people come mainly as a result of car ownership being out of reach financially for this group right now. As the economy improves, and as millennials get a little older and have more need for cars due to work and family responsibilities, auto experts assume that this generation will have to embrace car ownership to a much larger degree. They see the car-ownership alternatives — public transportation, as well as services like ride sharing and car sharing — as having only a negligible impact on the auto-sales business in the future.

(MORE: Big Data Is My Co-Pilot: Auto Insurers Push Devices That Track Driving Habits)

That’s why automakers keep spending millions to market to young consumers at a time when, in the short term at least, the money might be better spent trying to woo customers ages 50 and up. In a Bloomberg story about how automakers aren’t giving up on the millennial market, Ed Kim, an AutoPacific analyst, explained, “It may be a long-term endeavor to appeal to younger drivers because a lot can’t afford new vehicles now, but they will a few years down the road.”

157 comments
obalangku
obalangku

automakers are insisting that low rates of driver’s licenses and vehicle purchasing by young people come mainly as a result of car ownership being out of reach financially for this group right now. As the economy improves, and as millennials get a little older and have more need for pelangsing herbal due to work and family responsibilities, auto experts assume that this generation will have to embrace car ownership to a much larger degree.

selnari
selnari

Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. its was really valuable automakers are insisting that low rates of driver’s licenses and vehicle purchasing by young people come mainly as a result of car ownership being out of reach financially for this group right here. As the economy improves, and as millennials get a little older and have more need for cars due to work and family responsibilities.

fumikagawa
fumikagawa

I don’t see any evidence that the young people are losing interest in cars. Those guidelines additionally worked to become a good way to recognize that other people buy kosmetik online have the identical fervor like mine to grasp great deal more around this condition

yahyoubetchaa
yahyoubetchaa

What about leasing? There's a big difference. I'm a millenial and I'm thinking about leasing instead of buying. I mean you can get a brand new car for cheap and the repairs are taken care of. Many of my friends lease as well. After several bad experiences, I am never buying a car again unless I have a ton of money saved up for potential repairs. Even then, it's a total waste.

theclawnhammer
theclawnhammer

i own a new car, I HATE IT.  i bike to work; which is a biz i own since 07 that is about 2 miles from my house.   I often think how wasteful and stupid, owning my car is.  EVEN, in summer here, where it got to almost 120 degrees last year.  With lyft, and ever improving public transportation; my car payment and insane insurance that are both based on credit and not my driving history NOR actual income, make owning this car a total sham. 

EnyaPark
EnyaPark

Just know that the decline of the automobile industry will hurt the economy in more ways than one.

A lot of people are complaining about the cost of gas and insurance and citing those as reasons why they don't drive. It's actually more expensive to live in a big city like SF and NYC and use public transit than it is to live in the burbs and drive. (And it's safer in the burbs too).

For gas - use GasBuddy app. You can fill up your tank for like $20.

For insurance - use 4AutoInsuranceQuote or Insurance Panda... i've found full coverage car insurance there for $25/month.

Just know that if you live in NYC, for example, you will pay $3000 to rent a one bedroom, have to pay the New York City tax, pay outrageous amounts for groceries, and on top of that, still have to pay $100/month to use the subway or bus (MTA card). If you live in Long Island or Upstate, you can rent a room for $1000/month, drive, and be much more comfortable.

Eva_fate
Eva_fate

i have a car, I'm in the age group, and I hate cars. 
I don't want one, but I can't afford to move, and I can't have a decent job in my area without having a car. 
Walking=exercise, and not having a horrific several hour commute.
Why is it hard to understand?

Jazzypaul
Jazzypaul

"Hipsters who don't want to drive never got behind the wheel of a BMW"  THIS.


Keep building beige-mobiles that do nothing other than act as tools to get from point A to point B, and there ends up being no reason NOT to take public transportation instead.  I've had plenty of cars, most of them fun to drive cars with tons of character, and I will tell you, there is no anti-depressant on the planet that can work as well as stomping on the skinny pedal on an open stretch of road, or twisting and turning through a West Virginia mountain chain in a car with good handling (bonus points for a clutch pedal).  I'm all good with bikes and public transit, but most of the time?  Give me a fun car (note: they're not all expensive - one of the great recent driving joys of my life was a Mazda 2, which was definitely built by car people for car people on a tight budget) and I'll be happy as a clam.  If I'm doing it right, my kids will be the same way.


JenniferBonin
JenniferBonin

"They see the car-ownership alternatives — public transportation, as well as services like ride sharing and car sharing — as having only a negligible impact on the auto-sales business in the future."

Well, yeah.  Because in most places, there IS no quick, efficient public transportation!  So even if you don't really WANT to drive, you don't have much of a choice, at least if it's winter time or too far to bike.  But does this mean young people really want cars, or just really want ANY way to get from point A to B affordably and quickly?

AlphaD
AlphaD

I'm confused.  Is this just a phenomenon in larger cities with good mass transit systems?  In the small city I live in,  there really is no practical way to get around town without a car. Mass transit is limited here, and  the weather, especially in the winter, makes walking or biking to work impractical at best and impossible at worst.  And if you live in a small town or rural area (yes, some people do still live in those places!) living without a car would be impossible.  I wish the article had said if this was a nationwide trend or just one seen in larger cities.

Scott_Brian_B
Scott_Brian_B

According to cumulative data[1] by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) the number of motor vehicles has also increased steadily since 1960, only stagnating once in 1997 and declining from 1990 to 1991. Otherwise the number of motor vehicles has been rising by an estimated 3.69 million each year since 1960.


Guess all those cars are being bought by Gen X and Boomers to run over the Millenials. :)


Hipsters who don't want to drive never got behind the wheel of a BMW

EricPrescott
EricPrescott

For the annual cost of even the cheapest of cars, along with gas, insurance, and even parking, one can experience an amazing international vacation instead, with money left over for charitable contributions, etc.

CrimsonWife
CrimsonWife

With ZipCar and other alternatives, it has become far easier for my husband and I to share a single car than it was for my parents when they were in their 30's. 

Cars are also more reliable than they were two decades ago, so we have held onto our car far longer than my parents used to. My parents used to get a new car every 3 years or so, replacing the older of their two vehicles. I don't think they ever held onto a car much past 100k miles., the point where it started needing a lot of repairs. Our car is 9 1/2 years old and has 205k miles on it. Knock on wood, it has only needed minor repairs.

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

Since people seem to be having a really hard time comprehending what the article is actually saying, instead of having a knee-jerk response to perceived persecution, let me summarize for you:

The article does NOT say that Millenials hate cars and think they should all be destroyed.

The only thing the article says is that Millenials do not see cars as a status symbol anymore.  We don't see them as inherently "cool."

Millenials see cars as a convenient, though expensive and sometimes grudgingly necessary, means of getting from Point A to Point B.  That's it.

It's just a tool, nothing more.  Having a car doesn't make someone automatically better than anyone else.  Some people need them, some people don't.

It certainly doesn't make you automatically more "responsible" than anyone else.  In this economy, responsibility is about setting priorities and getting the biggest bang for your buck.  If you're a young Millenial living in an area with good mass transit and limited parking, and you can walk or ride you bicycle to most places you need to go, you might realize that you don't really need a car.  If you can afford one and decide to get one, that's fine.  No one is looking down on you for that...well, looks like one user below is, but the majority will just nod happily and move on with their own lives.  Walking, mass transit, and bicycling have the added bonus of providing exercise, which is a very good thing in this era of obesity epidemics.

I really don't think anyone can deny that owning a car is expensive.  From the Millenial perspective, why spend money on something you, as an individual, might not need?  Convenience is great, but it's not enough to justify spending that much money for it.

If car manufacturers want to encourage Millenials to buy cars, they need to adjust their focus.  Millenials generally want cars that are compact (so they fit in cramped parking spaces), affordable, get good gas mileage, are easy to maintain, and focus on function over form.  We don't want a gas-guzzling SUV-in-name-only that gets crappy gas mileage, takes up way too much room, has a bunch of fun but ultimately useless features (like butt-warming seats, unless you live in a really snowy area), and has a ridiculous price tag.  The few Millenials that do want an SUV want it for actual sports and recreation, which most of the SUVs on the market aren't built to handle anymore.

We don't want cars that are fancy, we want cars that are useful and actually worth the price tag.

JenniferBonin
JenniferBonin

@RekkaRiley  I absolutely agree.
I'd add also that, even for those of us younger people who DO own cars, we'd still appreciate a more functional public transportation system.  A lot of us have been to large cities in Europe and Asia and KNOW high quality, affordable, quick mass transit CAN happen.  Even if we'd like to maintain a car for trips to other cities/states, we'd still be interested in taking a light rail into work or downtown to the bars on a Friday night.  Right now, even for those of us living in areas with dense enough populations, that's rarely practical.  

joemomma4real
joemomma4real

cars are dumb and should just die off

go burn gas  i hate you car driving fools all of you

such a wastful   way of living   get out bus and  walk

fat and lazy car driving fools

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

@joemomma4real 

Dude, calm your tits.

Don't get caught in the same stupid Trolling trap as some other people on here.

There are still areas where cars are required, especially in certain newer suburbs and rural areas.

The mass transit infrastructure in those areas is often nonexistent, and amenities are too spread out to make walking or riding a bicycle an option.

That being said, if you live in an urban center with a steady supply of mass transit, and amenities within walking distance, a car is more often than not more inconvenient than the other transit options.  You've got traffic, lack of parking, car thieves, etc.

Instead of trolling, perhaps you could do something more constructive, like setting up a petition to get better funding for high-speed rail or campaigning against negative stereotypes about mass transit?

Insulting people is a terrible way to try and get your point across.  All it does is make people stop listening altogether.

Cascade
Cascade

Strangely enough most of this countries wealth is also in those older demographics.  In my own opinion I feel the reason younger folks aren't buying new cars is because companies aren't paying them enough to own them.  Heck, for many one college degree isn't enough to find a decent job these days.  How do you expect people to buy things with no buying power?   

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

@Cascade 

That's part of it.  A lot of feel that cars just aren't worth the money.

The other part is that some of us who live in areas where amenities are close by and reliable mass transit is available have realized that cars really aren't all that convenient in those areas.  Lack of parking, traffic, you usually have to pay through the nose for the parking that does exist, car thieves, the grocery store is less than half a block away anyway...

Check out a map of downtown Seattle, you'll see exactly I mean.  It's this tiny bottleneck, filled with steep hills (thankfully not as bad as San Francisco), sandwiched between Puget Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east.  It flares out into University District, Wallingford, etc. to the North, and south Seattle and Federal Way to the south, so we're stuck trying to channel all of those commuters through the tiniest possible bottleneck, from both ends.

The best infrastructure in the world can't change geography that drastically.

Add to that, we have Mt. Rainier.  Which is expected to go off any time within the next hundred years.  Could be decades from now, or it could be tomorrow.  We'll be lucky if we get maybe 24 hours of warning, MAXIMUM.  Tacoma is in more direct danger, but Seattle itself is still in range of lahars and pyroclastic flows.  Half of downtown is built on ground created from Mt. Rainier's previous eruptions.

(Mt. Rainier is on the Decade Volcano list.  That means it's considered one of the 25 most lethal and devastating volcanoes in the world, due to its potential for explosive eruptions, ash, lahars and mud flows, and its proximity to highly concentrated urban centers.  If you want to find a more deadly volcano, you have to go Naples, Italy, and have fun learning that Mt. Vesuvius is the LEAST of your troubles there.)  

Single occupancy cars are the single worst way of evacuating large urban centers.  That's a big part of why Hurricane Katrina was such a disaster, and they had a lot more warning than we will.  Having a car doesn't help when all the roads are clogged.  High-speed, high-occupancy mass transit, on the other hand, works much better.  You can fit a lot more people and supplies on a train and get them farther away in less time than you could if everyone was driving their own car.

In a lot of urban areas, the "convenience" of having a car really isn't that great.  Having a car might be necessary if you live further out, but here in the urban areas it's seen as just not worth it.

88bgt88
88bgt88

I am a thirty something who LOVES not owning a car.  I moved my family to Europe a few years back for many reasons, but one of the big reasons was to NOT own a car and my family member's lives are so much better for it.  We walk, scooter, bike, and use the amazingly efficient public transportation options.  We just got back this morning from a 4 day bus trip to France and we walked everywhere and took several bus trips into the Lorraine countryside.  We don't miss our car and have almost forgotten what life was like with one.  

I say almost because I DO remember the endless frustration of sitting in the same traffic jam every day, paying huge gas and repair bills and the feelings of cultural and societal isolation whenever we were driving somewhere and our scenery was the endless drudgery of roads, gas stations and angry heads from other car windows.  We have said good riddance to car ownership. My kids are growing up with a dream that doesn't match what the countless car commercials will tell you is the American dream of owning the newest most feature laden car. 

bharvey67
bharvey67

@88bgt88 I agree that owning a car isn't really that necessary in Europe.  Their public transportation is second to none.  It would never catch on in the U.S. because 50% of the country doesn't want to pay taxes on stuff like that and would rather drive their Canyonero to the local Costco and stock up on 5000 rolls of Toilet Paper. 

blakeNaustin
blakeNaustin

This doesn't play out in my home or in that of others I know.

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

@blakeNaustin 

Of course it doesn't.

People are individuals.  We all have different circumstances, and different priorities.

Some Millenials have just decided that they don't need or want a car.  Others do need or want a car, and that's okay.

I really don't get why some people on this forum think that someone who chooses not to own a car is automatically judging them...it's a personal choice.

ahandout
ahandout

@RekkaRiley @blakeNaustin  I don't really care if you own a car or not.  It won't make a bit of difference to the universe.

Just don't call me at 2 am to give you a ride.  I am responsible, and can take care of myself.  You will be dependent on others.  

Maybe you can do without a car.  I think that you will find that you cannot. 

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

How is owning a car automatically a sign of responsibility?

I'm honestly curious.

I have not said that I will never own a car. I might at some point, but not right now. It's just not necessary for me right now. I can walk, ride a bicycle, or take the bus most places that I need to go. On the occasion that I do need a ride from someone, I pay at least half of the cost of gas for that trip.

I don't understand the attitude that depend ending on others is always inherently wrong. Humans are social creatures; depending on others is how societies are supposed to function. It's not about being lazy or making others do all the work. It's about the principle of "I scratch your back, you scratch mine."

The whole point of the article is that there is a trend that Millenials do not see cars as "cool." That does not mean they hate cars or actively avoid them. Speaking from experience, it simply means that many of my peers see cars as a useful tool rather than a status symbol. We'd rather have a compact vehicle with good gas mileage, that prioritizes function over looks.

There are exceptions to every rule, but most of the Millenials I've met who own cars do so out of the need to get from Point A to Point B, not because they think it will enhance their social standing. That's what the article was about, though it appears that many of the readers either didn't read the whole thing or for whatever reason took it mean some kind of judgement against them them on a personal level and had a knee-jerk response of decrying people without cars as everything from stupid to actively malicious.

I don't see how me not owning a car marks me as irresponsible in any way. As I've said before, several times, at this point in my life I have weighed the pros and cons of owning a vehicle under my current circumstances and come to the conclusion that the expense outweighs the benefits. It's not a judgment on anyone else, so the insults, name-calling, and hate is completely unnecessary. When circumstances change, I may revisit this decision and perhaps change my mind.

But for now, I don't need a car, and I would rather use the money saved by not owning one to pay other expenses, such as tuition, student loans (before the interest begins to build), saving for a home or retirement (the earlier one starts, the better), perhaps a nicer apartment or a new desktop PC, etc.

Is it really so surprising that young adults are sometimes capable of rationally considering the full consequences of their choices before parting with their money? I know some that spend frivolously, but I know just as many members of Gen X and the Boomers that do the same thing. Clearly, bad budgeting is not exclusive to any single generation.

JillBeattie-Green
JillBeattie-Green

@ahandout @RekkaRiley @blakeNaustin 

I didn't have a car for years, and loved it. I was not dependent on others. I just used public transportation for longer trips, and walked or biked the rest of the time. I only bought a car when I moved to an region with less accessible public transportation and the necessity for commuting to different cities regularly. I miss those days. It was much simpler, and so much cheaper. 

boyziggy
boyziggy

I love not owning a car!  I walk, bike, or bus to work, and I use zipcar or citycarshare when I need a car. I have access to a fleet of vehicles where my home and work are, which I can access anytime I want with my smartphone.  My car-sharing bills are a fraction of what it would cost me to own a car.  I have a much higher standard of living by not buying and maintaining my own personal car.   

LilianaVess
LilianaVess

I'm saving up for a car now. I'm not worried about the cost of the car, I'm worried about car insurance and upkeep. Those things are expensive, and contribute to what makes owning a car so unrealistic for so many young people.

MCWest
MCWest

@LilianaVess But not being able to afford it and not owning one are two different scenarios. I don't plan on allowing the Asian corporate slaveholders to try and take my inheritance (land) to build any boondoggle. I live in walking distance from work in a sublet room so I can save for a car, and my mom drives me when I need it since the bus is not time efficient and if I minus the $10 per hour to take a bus for a 15 minute ride its cost effective to call a cab instead since I work. Public trans is for people in severe poverty, or the hours they are losing per wage would make it obsolete.

MCWest
MCWest

@LilianaVess I say cost effective because what take 15 minutes in a car takes 2 hours on the bus. Add $20 for lost wage plus $5 fare, the cab costs $15, decision made..

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

@MCWest @LilianaVess 

I'm not in severe poverty, and I don't want a car if I can help it.

There is nothing wrong with public transportation, provided it is built correctly.

Seriously, what's the point in getting a car when I can either carpool, walk, or take the bus to wherever I need to go?

I can count on one hand the number of occasions or situations in which I would actually "need" a car...and even then, I can usually just carpool with someone and split the cost of the gas.

I get a bus pass either through my school (about $100 per quarter) or through Metro (about $80 a month), and it gets me completely free, unlimited rides as long as it's valid.

If the bus or carpooling can't get me where I need to go, there's the train system, which uses the same pass.

There are plenty of things I'd rather spend money on then a car.  Like building a new desktop PC.  That desktop PC is a lot more useful than a car where I live.

MCWest
MCWest

@RekkaRiley @MCWest @LilianaVess There's people in tribal Africa in huts and with filthy water who circumcise women so the infant doesn't kill the mother upon exit of the canal, who don't want a house or running water or a toilet or hospital sterility.. Ignorance is bliss. Have you ever owned a car and had the funds at your disposal to enjoy it without looking at your bank account? If you have not the means you are probably in poverty but are not aware of it. I have trouble believing you enjoy the elements, being crammed like a sardine in standing room only, adjusting your outings to a public schedule, waiting at a bus stop while homeless men with no teeth leer and picking through unsavory sticky wet spots on the sidewalk while you walk where the bus does not go and that you don't wish that time was spent on more constructive pursuits..

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

@MCWest @RekkaRiley @LilianaVess 

So, really this is about your own personal fear of a personal fantasy about "evil, dirty poor people" who are all out to destroy you and everything you hold dear.

I've never had a problem with the public schedule, or the people on the bus.

Hell, half the folks I've ridden the bus with in my city are lawyers, doctors, students, young professionals.  None of them fit your bigoted stereotype of "people who ride public transportation."

My city is built in the center of an hourglass, where driving just isn't feasible no matter how much money you have.  It's far cheaper and faster to park at a park-and-ride and take the bus or the express train in.

You clearly feel threatened by people in general, given your attitude towards the idea of sharing air with anyone, and I pity you for it.

MCWest
MCWest

@RekkaRiley @MCWest @LilianaVess Why do I get the feeling that 'you' not being in poverty but you tout the bus as something fun, when it is not fun at all or convenient, that your parents whom you live with have plenty of money and you have no idea what you're talking about? I think that maybe they are at work and you're a latchkey kid who managed to circumvent the firewall your mom keeps trying to put parental controls on!!!!

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

@MCWest @RekkaRiley @LilianaVess 

What makes you think I live with my parents?

I haven't lived with either of them in years.  They don't support me in any financial way.

I wasn't a latchkey kid either.  

I just wasn't overburdened with after school activities that hinder mental development.

My parents taught me to be a productive, INDEPENDENT adult, capable of taking care of myself.

Clearly, I can't say the same of you.

Seriously, you are posturing and making assumptions about some random, anonymous person on the Internet.

You expect me to take someone like you seriously?

kinolurtz
kinolurtz

@MCWest @LilianaVess I America public transport is for those in poverty maybe. Not here in Europe. Is your public transport really that terrible? 

CrimsonWife
CrimsonWife

@MCWest @RekkaRiley @LilianaVess  

My husband and I have the cash in our savings account to buy a 2nd vehicle new, and pay the registration, insurance, gas, etc. Why don't we? Because we don't really need it. He takes the light rail to work and it's fine. The traffic and trying to find parking near his office actually would make driving in longer. Plus on the light rail he is able to read, which he obviously couldn't do while driving (yes, there are audiobooks but the selection is limited and the cost a lot higher). 

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

The American transit system is terrible only because so many people living in the suburbs are fighting against it because they don't want "those people" riding through their neighborhoods.

It's really sad, because they are terrified of this fantasy they have of who rides mass transit. The fantasy isn't real, it's a useless old stereotype, but they are still scared of it.

Americans have also had to deal with nearly a century of propaganda from car manufacturers who were banking on how spread out America is. Now some urban centers are realizing that, similar to Europe, they just don't have the room for all of those cars.

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

They just started expanding the light rail network in my city (about thirty years late), and I am really enjoying it!

So far, the main line connects to the main airport, and it runs underneath the main downtown area. Most of the passengers are tourists, students, or professionals who park at a park and ride and take the light rail the rest of the way. Traffic downtown is terrible, and you have to sell your firstborn child for parking, so the convenience of driving is completely negated.

Oh, and then there's the tourists who try to drive through pedestrian-heavy Pike Place Market. They see the delivery trucks for the farmers who work there and think it's okay to go through and block everybody, and it takes over an hour to go half a block there...seriously, if you're ever visiting Seattle, park elsewhere (like Seattle Center) and take the bus. Or light rail. Or walk.

So far, the light rail has been very safe and clean, and very efficient. The next expansion is taking it north to Capital Hill and the University of Washington, south to connect with the Tacoma line, and east across Lake Washington to downtown Bellevue, Microsoft, and Redmond Town Center. I can't wait!

KeithKlapperich
KeithKlapperich

@kinolurtz @MCWest @LilianaVess  I live in Bellingham and we have a great public transport system that is used by all sorts of people. I've even seen a good share of people in suits on the bus. Sure you might run into some interesting people now and then but it isn't that bad. I've been using it for years and haven't had any severe problems yet

MCWest
MCWest

Oh yes and if anyone is wondering why no 'millenials' are venting their own opinion on here, just go for a walk and see that the youth unemployment IE Homeless rate unless their parents decide to support them (unlikely!) Now ask yourself how they plan to post on here when they are busy walking around looking for their next meal. The birth rate for non immigrants is plummeting, all the old retirees or old owners are chucking their money on overseas travel instead of supporting the local economy, and the cops are making sure every kid spends their money on lawyers, psych docs, court fees, or all three all while the 'baby boomer' and 55ers enjoy spending their earnings in places that wont even hire their own kids because they need everify and to stop employing immigrants! Go FIGURE! Now all these miscreant senile jerks are gonna act like we don't WANT cars? Do YOU WANT A CAR? if the answer is yes, maybe you should assume that is 'YES WE WANT CARS' for us too, but that we see it as an unlikely and unattainable goal when the lot of us are either shacked up into 1 bedroom or studio or sublets together working our butts off to eat, nevermind cars and marriage when you don't know what you are going to eat. It is a planned purchase, but Its hard!

RekkaRiley
RekkaRiley

@MCWest 

Why are you so afraid of everything?

You seem to think the entire world is somehow stacked against you on a personal level.

Are you Gen Y yourself?  Your earlier comments heavily implied that you were not, so I'm not sure where you are getting this "we" bit from.

JillBeattie-Green
JillBeattie-Green

@MCWest 

Man, you are delusional. Not everybody is afraid to mingle with other people. It can be fund, and its a different way of life. For some, the convenience of getting where you're going immediately is not worth all the hassle.