Trend Continues – Next Gen Drives Less On Campuses
Higher gas prices, new licensing laws, improvements in technology that support alternative transportation are contributing to young people driving less, as well as changes in this generation’s values and preferences are all factors that will likely have an impact for years to come.
Generation Z (or the iGeneration)’s growing concern for the environment and, perhaps more importantly, the need to save schools big money on parking has led colleges and universities to find ways to make life easier for students and staff to find sustainable transportation.
One option, growing more prevalent on campuses throughout the country, is on- or off-campus transit. In particular, bus riders can often talk on the phone, text, or work safely while riding – becoming compatible with a lifestyle based on peer-to-peer connectivity.
Exemplified in 2014’s study, reducing solo car commuting, Stanford University estimates saving $100 million by not having to pay for construction and maintenance of parking facilities. Free transportation services by college campuses, offering students, in some cases, the quickest way to get from dorm to class or part-time job across campus. Additionally, many colleges offer late-night services for students who may otherwise have to cross campus alone or simply need a safe ride back to the dorm.
Additionally, the trend of teens and young adults choosing not to obtain a driver’s license has continued to grow. Many students feel they can live without a car on campus. This influx of a generation of non-driving students has only added pressure to colleges and universities to find alternative transportation solutions. Although many universities typically collect a fee from students or gain revenue from parking permit sales, UNC Chapel Hill took it one step further in 2011 making transit free for everyone – more than doubling the student riders. These programs have a spillover effect that helps promote transit beyond campus boundaries, getting young people in the habit of taking the bus.
This trend in less driving is challenging institutions of higher education to create residential facilities and the supporting campus transit programs that recruit higher caliber students and provide a foundation for academic success.
For more information about trends impacting college and university transportation, please contact one of the Davey Coach Transportation Sales Consultants at (800) 873-1856 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.