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Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation (2018)

Chapter: Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 5 - Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25160.
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47 The future of transit markets will be strongly influenced by the preferences held by the metropolitan population of that time. Several preferences come into play in selecting where one lives and how one travels. Some preferences concern basic, long-term values about urbanism and about the need for the automobile; others concern more short-term attitudes about things people do and do not like about metropolitan travel. To a greater and lesser extent, all these preferences can be examined for their impact on the choice of mode of metropolitan transportation. Chapter 5 presents a detailed analysis of how a wide variety of preferences is associated with separate age groups, separate geographic settings, and separate market-based segments. The analysis is presented in five sections: 1. Transportation mode share by age, geography, and segment; 2. Attitudes about where one prefers to live; 3. Attitudes about car use and reliance; 4. Concerns about the transit experience (safety, crime, and disturbing behavior); and 5. Expectations for personal change. Mode Share by Age, Neighborhood Type, and Market Segment The basic analytical framework applied in Chapter 5 is shown in Table 8. In the table, mode share information is shown as a series of four columns; the 14 rows represent the five age groups; five neighborhood types; and four preference-based market segments. In the remaining tables in the chapter, the columns each represent a statement or question concerning the pref- erence of the respondents, while the rows provide the same categories used in Table 8. The format of the tables in this chapter is designed to reveal variation in preferences by age, neighborhood type, and market segments. In general, the mode shares reported from the 2016 TCRP survey are consistent with the ranking of the categories for their pro-transit characteris- tics. As reported in Chapter 1 (from the larger 2014 TransitCenter survey) transit share fell as age increased, in parallel with the rise of auto share as age increased. Shares of both walking/ biking and transportation network companies (TNCs) fell with increasing age, but not as linearly as in the case of transit or auto use. As expected, the categories reflecting neighborhood transit orientation and market segment both had mode shares that decreased as highway-oriented condi- tions or values increased. C H A P T E R 5 Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel

48 Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation Preferences About Where to Live Preferences for Residential Location Among the 14 subgroups examined, the most extreme contrasts were between those living in the neighborhood type “most transit-oriented” (in their preference for the big city), and those in the market segment “car lover” (in their preference for the suburbs). Table 9 shows variation in preference by age, neighborhood type, and market segment. • Age. Increase in age generally predicted an increase in preference for the suburbs. Overall, preference for the big city fell with age; however, those aged 65 or older preferred the big city more than those aged 50 to 64. • Neighborhood type. When asked where they would live if their choice were unconstrained by cost or other factors, respondents tended to reflect the same priorities evident in their current home location. Those in locations with the highest transit accessibility indicated they would prefer to continue to live in downtown areas and eschew suburban or rural locations, while those in locations with the lowest transit accessibility continued to prefer suburban or rural locations and dislike urban locations. • Market segment. The rank ordering of the four segments by transit use (defined above) is repeated in the ordering of the segments regarding preference for the big city; however, the single millennials had a somewhat higher preference for the suburbs than did the urban commuters. Choice Between the Townhouse and the Suburban House Respondents were asked to put aside issues about what they could afford and indicate which of two housing types they would prefer: the townhouse or the suburban house. As hypothesized, all three of the methods predicted the ranking of the preference for house type. Of the 14 sub groups shown in Table 9, the group with the highest preference for the town Mode Share (%) Characteristic Transit Walking/Biking TNC Car Age group 18–24 17 13 6 64 25–34 14 9 7 70 35–49 8 5 2 84 50–64 7 7 1 86 65 4 5 1 90 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented 27 21 6 46 Transit-oriented 14 9 4 73 Mid 8 6 2 84 Highway-oriented 5 5 2 88 Most highway-oriented 3 3 2 93 Market segment Urban commuters 26 19 3 53 Single millennials 13 11 5 71 Occasional transit users 9 7 2 82 Car lovers 3 4 1 92 Note: Detail may not add to total because of rounding. Table 8. Mode share, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016.

Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel 49 house (“urban house type ideal”) was the neighborhood type “most transit-oriented” (79%); the lowest preference (30%) for the town house came from the market segments “car lover” and “single millennials.” Some variation by gender occurred. (Men had a higher propensity than women to choose the sub urban house.) • Age. Increase in age was associated with increased preference for the suburban house. Those younger than 35 preferred the urban house, while those 35 and older preferred the suburban. • Neighborhood type. Consistent with their residential setting, most respondents in the two most transit-oriented neighborhood types preferred the urban house, while the rest preferred the suburban. • Market segment. All three of the market segments that reported some transit use preferred the urban house, while an overwhelming majority of the car lovers chose the suburban house. Neighborhood Preferences: What Kind of Neighborhood Do You Live in Now, and Why Did You Choose It? Table 10 shows the urban form of the respondent’s present neighborhood, presented as five columns; 14 rows are shown, organized by age, neighborhood type, and market segment. The reasons for the respondents’ choices are presented in Table 11. • Age. The youngest respondents were most likely to reside in the urban downtown, while the older segments were in the suburbs and small towns. Younger persons were more motivated by the desire for a short commute than older persons. • Neighborhood type. Among the neighborhood-based segments, a clear association is seen between the level of transit accessibility and residence within the urban downtown, and this Preference (%) Characteristic Big City Small City Suburbs Urban House Type Ideal Age group 18–24 38 25 29 71 25–34 37 24 29 61 35–49 27 16 43 46 50–64 14 20 45 37 65 18 15 52 40 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented 52 24 16 79 Transit-oriented 36 23 30 63 Mid 23 19 44 48 Highway-oriented 17 18 51 38 Most highway-oriented 13 16 52 34 Market segment Urban commuters 43 25 22 78 Single millennials 34 19 38 30 Occasional transit users 27 21 37 56 Car lovers 13 17 52 30 Note: The respondent was offered five options for location. Preferences for small towns and rural locations are not included in this table. See Chapter 1 for discussion. Table 9. Preference for residential location, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016.

50 Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation association transitions steadily to suburban and single-use locations as the accessibility value declines. Valuing short distances, walking to stores, and using transit are all logically associ- ated with the transit orientation categorization. • Market segment. The segment with the highest transit use is not located disproportionally in the downtown mixed use area but is well represented in the downtown residential only category. Scale and Setting of the Residence: Suburban-ness of the Desired House Table 12 shows the level of importance assigned to three attributes of house scale in the selec- tion of the present residence as well as willingness to commute an extra 45 minutes to attain a larger house, organized by age, neighborhood type, and market segment. Most people in the survey would not trade an additional 45 minutes of driving time to attain a better house setting; only about 14% of the survey respondents said they would make the longer drive. While most people reported valuing a larger house, variation was strongest on the ques- tion of willingness to drive an extra 45 minutes to get there, which was largely explained by age and by market segment. Some variation by gender was seen. Men were more likely to say they Table 10. Urban form of respondent’s present location, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016. Urban Downtown (%) Suburban (%) Mixed UseCharacteristic Residential Mixed Use Residential Only Othera Age group 25 29 28 14 3 27 29 26 15 3 16 23 31 28 2 6 21 29 38 5 18–24 25–34 35–49 50–64 65 6 20 33 39 3 Neighborhood type Most transit- oriented 42 41 11 4 1 Transit-oriented 19 38 28 14 1 Mid 12 24 37 24 3 Highway-oriented 7 19 37 34 3 Most highway- oriented 4 13 33 44 6 Market segment Urban commuters 21 35 25 16 2 Single millennials 25 31 29 14 1 Occasional transit users 12 24 30 30 4 Car lovers 7 19 32 38 4 aSmall towns and rural settings. Only

Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel 51 Table 11. Primary and additional reasons for choice of present location, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016. Primary Reason for Choice (%) Additional Reasons for Choice (%) Characteristic Commute Distance Walk to Stores Near Transit Commute Distance Walk to Stores Near Transit Age group 18–24 27 7 4 28 20 26 25–34 27 5 4 40 24 26 35–49 18 5 3 30 18 16 50–64 16 5 2 27 15 15 65 12 5 2 20 12 12 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented 25 11 7 32 36 41 Transit-oriented 17 9 6 37 27 31 Mid 22 6 3 27 18 20 Highway-oriented 22 2 1 27 12 11 Most highway-oriented 15 2 1 25 10 7 Market segment Urban commuters 21 11 9 37 36 44 Single millennials 19 9 6 26 19 22 Occasional transit users 21 5 2 31 19 22 Car lovers 16 3 1 25 11 8 Note: Only three of five reasons are shown; therefore, the data do not add to 100%. Table 12. Importance of house scale and setting, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016. House Scale and Setting [scale from –3 (strongly disagree) to 3 (strongly agree)] Characteristic Home with Adequate Separation Importance of Larger Home Importance of Large Lot Willingness to Commute an Extra 45 Minutes to Live in a Larger House Age group 18–24 0.48 0.53 –0.21 –0.27 25–34 0.84 0.74 0.11 –0.32 35–49 0.75 0.50 –0.04 –0.87 50–64 0.79 0.07 –0.27 –1.71 65 0.57 –0.32 –0.76 –2.07 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented 0.06 0.10 –0.89 –1.40 Transit-oriented 0.41 0.13 –0.48 –1.34 Mid 0.64 0.20 –0.28 –1.08 Highway-oriented 0.85 0.34 –0.16 –1.04 Most highway-oriented 1.00 0.25 –0.05 –1.12 Market segment Urban commuters 0.10 –0.06 –0.97 –1.89 Single millennials 0.82 0.82 0.39 0.42 Occasional transit users 0.49 –0.10 –0.69 –1.26 Car lovers 0.77 0.12 –0.30 1.91

52 Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation would drive an extra 45 minutes for a bigger house, while women were more likely to say that they expected to drive more in general. • Age. The importance of obtaining a larger and stand-alone house in the most recent resi- dential choice was highest for those in the 25–34 age group. The desire to obtain a bigger home was not seen in those over 50, who might well have obtained an adequately sized house earlier. Age groups appear to explain little about the importance of a large lot until the age of 50, although the older groups disagreed about its importance. Each age group seemed to place value on having a home with adequate separation from the neighbors, with little varia- tion by age. • Neighborhood type. Logically enough, those who lived in an auto-oriented neighborhood placed relatively higher importance on having a large lot and a home with better separation from others. Variation in the importance of the size of the house is less pronounced among these groups, as is variation in the willingness to drive farther to get to a big house. Although it may appear counterintuitive, those living in transit-rich areas tended to be younger persons who were expecting to want a larger house. Persons living in high-transit areas identified their highest priority as being able to walk to activities. • Market segment. Consistent with the observations here, the two pro-transit segments may have unique needs. The traditional transit commuters did not report placing high importance on a bigger house or lot in their last moving decision, whereas the single millennials did. The traditional transit commuting group had no interest in driving more to have a larger house, while the other pro-transit group reported some interest. The car lovers had no problem with the idea of driving more. Car Preferences Auto Use and Auto Dependence Table 13 shows the level of agreement with four statements about auto orientation, organized by age, neighborhood type, and market segment. No disagreement on the “need to drive my car to get where I need to go” was indicated in the average attitude ratings of any of the 14 groupings of respondents in the survey sample.2 Strong levels of agreement were reported by the car lovers (those in the most auto-oriented neighborhoods) and by those 65 years of age or older. Some variation by gender was observed (these data are not included in the table). Women agreed more than men with the statement “Leaving the driving to someone else is desirable for me.” Men were more likely to agree that they loved “the freedom and independence” that comes with owning cars. Men were also more likely than women to report that reducing auto use would be difficult. • Age. Being older makes one more likely to report car dependence and more likely to feel the need for a car “to get where I need to go.” There was surprisingly little variation in car affin- ity by age. Although there was a statistically significant bump for those between the ages of 25 and 34, there was no other age-based pattern. The younger age groups were less likely to feel that they needed a car to travel, feel peer pressure to drive, or worry about leaving the driving to someone else. Interestingly, those aged 25 to 49 were among the most likely to say that it would be hard to reduce their car use or the number of cars they owned. • Neighborhood type. Table 13 reinforces that persons living in the most transit-based and urban settings feel much less need to drive a car to where they need to go and do not believe that it would be difficult either to own fewer cars or reduce their auto mileage or fuel use. These groups are somewhat willing to concede the driving environment to others. 2This question was included twice in the 2016 TCRP questionnaire. These values represent averages between the two responses, which were similar in content.

Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel 53 • Market segment. Only the most transit-oriented market segment, urban commuters, reported no agreement with the need to drive a car to get where one needs to go. Only this attitudinally defined segment was consistent in reporting disagreement with the idea that it would be hard to drive less and own fewer cars. Their responses indicated disagreement with the idea that own- ing several cars provides freedom and independence and agreement with the idea that leaving the driving to someone else would be desirable. The other market segments tended to show expected levels of agreement with concepts of auto orientation. Auto Ownership Versus Auto Sharing Table 14 shows the level of agreement with four statements about auto ownership or the option of sharing, organized by age, neighborhood type, and market segment. The small scale of actual carsharing and bikesharing is reflected in the high level of disagreement with the first two statements reported in Table 14. All segments in all three categories expressed, to varying degrees, their disagreement with sharing a vehicle rather than owning it. The variance in the strength of these statements of disagreement, however, is worthy of further examination. • Age. The near-universal reaction to the idea that one would “prefer to borrow, share, or rent a car just for when I need it” was almost linearly influenced by age, with the highest agreement from those under 25 and the least agreement from those 65 and over. (Men were more likely to prefer to share than were women.) No age group agreed that they had less need for a car because of the new services, and disagreement increased with increasing age. Characteristic I need to drive my car to get where I need to go. It would be hard for me to reduce my auto mileage and usage of gasoline. It would be very difficult for my household to own fewer cars. I love the freedom and independence that owning several cars provides for my household. Age group 18–24 0.85 0.25 0.46 0.67 25–34 1.09 0.53 0.75 0.80 35–49 1.37 0.60 0.74 0.83 50–64 1.43 0.28 0.52 0.65 65 1.56 0.49 0.42 0.45 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented 0.27 –0.13 –0.10 0.00 Transit-oriented 1.03 0.16 0.50 0.36 Mid 1.41 0.48 0.50 0.61 Highway-oriented 1.58 0.63 0.84 0.92 Most highway-oriented 1.72 0.68 0.78 0.93 Market segment Urban commuters –0.01 –0.74 –0.45 –0.47 Single millennials 0.87 0.29 0.25 0.81 Occasional transit users 1.15 0.26 0.47 0.36 Car lovers 1.75 0.62 0.76 0.88 Auto Orientation [scale from –3 (strongly disagree) to 3 (strongly agree)] Table 13. Attitudes toward car use and reliance, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016.

54 Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation • Neighborhood type. The level of support for carsharing and bikesharing programs decreases directly with the auto orientation of the neighborhood. Moderate agreement for a decreased level of auto dependence was expressed by the most urban neighborhood group. • Market segment. As before, variation between the market segments was more nuanced, as the single millennials showed somewhat less dislike for carsharing and bikesharing programs, which often save money in trip making. The two highest transit-using market segments showed moderate agreement with the idea that new services are making them less auto dependent. Concerns About Transit: Safety, Crime, and Disturbing Behavior Many aspects of the public transportation trip caused concern, to varying degrees, to the participants in the sample, as shown in Table 15. The statement in the first column establishes that the transit trip might cause one to be with people with unpleasant behavior. There was little variation in the response to this statement; subsequent statements revealed a higher level of variation in the response. The single millennial market segment had a high level of concern about unpleasant people, at about the same level as that of the car lovers. Relevant variation was found here for gender. (Men were more likely to agree that they felt safe during the transit trip. Women were more likely to worry about crime or other disturbing behavior.) • Age. Age proved a good explanatory variable for feeling uncomfortable traveling with people one does not know. Those under 35 did not disagree with the statement, while those above 35 Table 14. Attitudes toward car ownership and sharing, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016. Attitude Toward Car Ownership and Sharing [scale from –3 (strongly disagree) to 3 (strongly agree)] Characteristic I am a person who likes to participate in programs such as carshare and bikeshare. Rather than owning a car, I would prefer to borrow, share, or rent a car just for when I need it. Because of new services helping me make trips, I feel less need to own a car. I feel I am less dependent on cars than my parents are/were. Age group 18–24 –0.31 –0.50 0.05 0.24 25–34 –0.34 –0.64 –0.01 0.24 35–49 –1.11 –1.10 –0.55 –0.45 50–64 –1.73 –1.68 –1.12 –0.89 65 –2.05 –1.93 –1.37 –1.16 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented –0.67 –0.49 0.32 0.66 Transit-oriented –1.11 –1.07 –0.52 –0.16 Mid –1.22 –1.19 –0.63 –0.46 Highway-oriented –1.47 –1.60 –1.09 –0.97 Most highway-oriented –1.56 –1.70 –1.17 –1.03 Market segment Urban commuters –0.47 –0.15 0.63 0.65 Single millennials –0.11 –0.34 0.51 0.30 Occasional transit users –1.33 –1.46 –0.95 –0.57 Car lovers –2.13 –2.18 –1.63 –1.31

Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel 55 did disagree. Persons aged 65 or more did not report being uncomfortable when being on transit with others. Strong agreement with the “might be unpleasant” statement did not vary in the youngest three age groups, but it decreased with increasing age after 50. Persons aged 65 or more did not seem to have much concern about simply being with unpleasant people. The younger groups were more likely to agree that the transit trip might be unsafe, while those aged 50 or more tended to feel that the trip was not unsafe. When crime was specifically included in the survey question, the pattern of responses showed a higher level of worry, with variation largely consistent with that of the responses to the previous two statements: little variation in the level of agreement by those under age 50, with those age 50 or more having less concern about crime and disturbing behavior.3 • Neighborhood type. The persons in the two transit-oriented neighborhoods were less likely to feel that being on the bus with people they did not know was “uncomfortable” and less likely to report that they worried about crime and disturbing behavior than those in the high- way-oriented neighborhoods. The tendency to “feel safe when riding public transportation” Table 15. Concerns about public transportation trips, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016. Concern About Public Transportation Trips [scale from –3 (strongly disagree) to 3 (strongly agree)] Characteristic If I take a trip by transit, I might have to be with people whose behavior I find unpleasant. The idea of being on a train or a bus with people I do not know is uncomfortable. It might be unsafe to make a trip by public transportation. I worry about personal safety/disturbing behavior on a bus or train. I worry about crime or other disturbing behavior on public forms of transportation. Age group 18–24 0.97 0.12 0.33 0.42 0.55 25–34 0.97 0.09 0.31 0.46 0.65 35–49 0.98 –0.06 0.17 0.39 0.65 50–64 0.74 –0.45 0.05 0.35 0.52 65 0.42 –0.80 –0.23 –0.03 0.14 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented –0.70 –0.20 0.01 0.20 Transit-oriented –0.36 –0.07 0.20 0.45 Mid –0.26 0.16 0.39 0.56 Highway-oriented –0.18 0.23 0.39 0.57 Most highway-oriented –0.24 0.11 0.33 0.50 Market segment Urban commuters –1.46 –0.93 –0.47 –0.25 Single millennials 0.17 0.40 0.42 0.63 Occasional transit users –1.11 –0.55 –0.36 –0.07 Car lovers 0.75 0.84 0.87 0.75 0.70 0.49 0.84 0.44 0.82 0.01 0.37 0.60 0.72 3The pattern of agreement and disagreement with the statement “I feel safe when riding public transportation” was different, with those aged 25 to 34 having the highest propensity to say transit is safe. This is somewhat surprising, given that this group had a distinctively higher propensity to worry about crime or disturbing behavior while on board public transportation. This implies that concerns for unpleasant and disruptive behavior did not rise to the level of con- cluding transit to be unsafe.

56 Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation was strongest for the two most transit-oriented neighborhood types and weakest for the two most highway-oriented neighborhood types. Implicitly, the more experience one has with transit, the more one reports feeling safe. • Market segment. The urban commuters and the occasional transit users tended to think alike, with opinions that were less concerned about unpleasant activities and more positive about transit. Both the urban commuters and the occasional transit users had a higher-than-average propensity to report feeling safe while on transit. On the other hand, the single millennials tended to view the situation in a manner such as the car lovers; that is, although the single millennials do indeed use transit, they worry about it. Expectations for Personal Change Attributes for the Next Home Location In the next phase of life, preferences for the future home location are influenced by age and market segment. When the results reported in 2016 are compared with those reported in 2004, the reasons for choosing a house look quite similar: commute distance, price, and more living space. All three reasons involve the trade-off between wanting to minimize the commute distance while valuing the variety of home and price combinations that increased distance would provide. The user chooses the next home location in a high-stakes trade-off between desired attributes (short distance) and constraining realities (price for a given set of home features). With regard to the question of the attributes desired in the next home, the most extreme pattern of variation was seen in the importance of minimizing the commute (see Table 16, bottom half, “Other Reasons”): 47% of the youngest group supported the premise versus 2% of the oldest group. • Age. As the primary reason for choosing the next house location, having a short commute distance decreased directly as age increased; 23% of those under 25 reported this as their pri- mary reason, compared with less than 2% of those 50 years of age or older. Logically enough, the same was true for schools: while relocating for better schools was the primary reason for 16% of those between the ages of 25 and 34, this reason dropped suddenly to 7% for those between 35 and 49 and dramatically to 0% for those older than that. A similar pattern was seen concerning the motivation to move to get more living space, with young persons giving this explanation more than older persons. The same pattern was seen even more dramatically as a secondary motivation for choosing the location of the next house: 40% of the young- est group identified more living space as a reason to move, compared with 6% of the oldest group. In contrast, reference to having the ability to walk to shops and services as a primary reason for choosing the location of the next house increased with increasing age. • Neighborhood type. Neither the desire to minimize the commute distance nor the impor- tance of price varied much by neighborhood type. Increasing levels of the highway orien- tation of the neighborhood were associated with a decrease in the value placed on either walking to stores or proximity to transit. • Market segment. Of all the analysis segments, the urban commuters showed the great- est loyalty to transit, particularly with their mention of closeness to transit (47%) as a secondary reason for the next home location, while only 20% of the single millennials even mentioned proximity to transit as a consideration for the next move. Consistent with their patterns, only 9% of the car lovers mentioned this reason. Some 50% of the urban commuters mentioned nearness of stores and services—again, considerably more than the single millennials (27%).

Preferences About Where We Live and How We Travel 57 Table 16. Reasons for selecting the next home location, by age, neighborhood type, and market segment, 2016. Reason to Select Next Home Location (%) Commute Distance Price Schools Walk to Stores Close to Transit Close to Family and Friends More Living SpaceCharacteristic Primary Reason Age group 18–24 23 21 11 6 2 5 9 25–34 17 21 16 7 2 5 9 35–49 14 26 7 7 2 7 6 50–64 2 25 0 13 4 17 4 65 0 19 0 12 4 27 2 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented 16 25 9 9 4 4 9 Transit-oriented 9 26 9 9 3 11 6 Mid 13 21 8 10 4 15 5 Highway-oriented 10 23 6 9 1 12 7 Most highway-oriented 8 21 5 10 2 16 5 Market segment Urban commuters 15 24 9 15 5 6 6 Single millennials 12 12 15 7 6 7 9 Occasional transit users 11 23 6 10 4 15 4 Car lovers 7 24 4 8 1 16 7 Other Reasons Age group 18–24 47 50 39 36 25 33 40 25–34 50 57 39 31 24 40 38 35–49 33 51 12 25 19 23 22 50–64 8 47 2 31 19 26 10 65 2 49 1 29 22 34 6 Neighborhood type Most transit-oriented 40 53 27 43 36 31 33 Transit-oriented 32 55 19 37 29 38 26 Mid 23 51 18 32 19 36 19 Highway-oriented 19 52 15 26 17 32 17 Most highway-oriented 19 51 13 24 17 30 19 Market segment Urban commuters 45 53 25 50 47 36 33 Single millennials 25 39 25 27 20 31 26 Occasional transit users 27 57 17 39 32 38 23 Car lovers 19 52 11 22 9 29 19 Expectations About How One’s Life Will Change Major Events Expected? Those under 35 fully expected major changes in their lives over the next 10 years, with about 75% expecting to get married and about 66% expecting to have children. Logically, the percent- age of respondents reporting this expectation decreases linearly with increasing age. Expectations by Age More than 50% of millennials live in cities now versus less than 40% of the older age groups (Table 17). When respondents looked 10 years into the future, a slightly smaller percentage in all age groups except the oldest (65 years and older) expected to live in a city.

58 Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation Table 17 shows that millennials expected a large reduction in their use of public transit, whereas the older two age groups expected an increase. For the sample overall, there was an expectation of a small reduction in using transit, from approximately 1.1 days per week currently to 1 day per week in the future. The expectations of the youngest millennials, however, went from current use of transit 2.1 days per week to future use of 1.3 days per week; the expectations of the older millennials went from 2 days per week currently to 1.6 days per week in the future. The expectations of using transit of the group aged 65 or more, however, increased from current use of 0.4 days per week to future use of 0.6 days per week. The members of the millennial generation seem to understand that changes lie ahead in their path through the life cycle. The youngest age group knows that more auto orientation is coming; 65% agreed that they expect to drive more as they get older. While a majority of the group aged 25 to 34 indicated that they expect that more driving is coming, this percentage fell sharply at middle age and beyond. A total of 64% of the 25- to 34-year-olds indicated that they believed they would end up valuing the suburban setting more than they do now, with a full 56% responding that they would end up in a house like their parents’. While some 56% of this age group reported living in the city at the time of the survey, only 44% expected to live there in a decade. Expectation (%) Live in City (%) Age As I get older, I expect I’ll have to drive more than I do now. As I get older, I expect to value the suburban setting more than I do now. As I get older, I think that I will eventually want to settle in the kind of house and neighborhood that my parents had. At Time of Survey Expect to Do So in Future 18–24 65 59 50 54 49 25–34 54 64 56 56 44 35–49 28 50 36 39 35 50–64 11 43 21 28 25 65 7 41 15 25 27 Total 27 50 32 38 33 Table 17. Expectations for change in location and transportation 10 years in the future, by age, 2016.

Next: Chapter 6 - Understanding How the Factors Fit Together: Integrated Modeling »
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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Research Report 201: Understanding Changes in Demographics, Preferences, and Markets for Public Transportation explores how changes in demographics, traveler preferences, and markets for public transportation affect transit ridership in the present and the future. The report explores how an individual’s demographics affect their long-term values, their current attitudes, and the type of neighborhood they choose to live in. Each of these factors also affects their likelihood to ride transit.

Accompanying the report are seven technical appendices:

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