Generational Patterns of Modal Shares Across Megaregions

There have been widespread concerns about transportation-related Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Many studies have examined the GHG contributions of daily travel. The role of long-distance travel to GHG emissions has been acknowledged but inadequately investigated, mainly due to the lack of long-distance travel-focused surveys and related data. The proposed study aims to fill the knowledge gap. Millennials are the largest generation in the current U.S. population (The Council of Economic Advisers, 2014). They have attracted much attention and have been seen as the keys to the future travel industry. However, existing studies have shown diverse and conflicting findings in terms of Millennials' travel distance/time patterns. Being born to be the first generation to grow up with the rapid development of information and communication technology (Pedró, 2011), Millennials are reported to own few vehicles, delay to obtain a driver's license, and travel fewer miles and make fewer trips than the previous generations of the same life stage (Blumenberg et al., 2012). The relatively low level of auto usage by the Millennials, however, resulted from decreasing trip rates rather than from the shift to other transportation modes or shorter travel distance (McDonald, 2015). On the other hand, news media has reported that Millennials would more like to conduct long-distance trips or travel to another city/country for vacation. The average U.S commute time gets longer, increasing from 25.1 to 26.9 min between 2005 and 2017. The proportion of workable laborers (16+) who commute over one-hour one-way increases from 7.9% to 9.3% during the same period (Mitra & Saphores, 2019). Motivated by the conflicting findings reported by existing studies, this study addresses the following questions: (1) How and to what extent do the Millennials' travel distance/time patterns for long-distance travel differ from those of other older generations? (2) What variables affect the travel distance/time of the members belonging to each generation (cohort)? This study assembles a dataset on long-distance travel from six U.S. National Household Travel Surveys (NHTS) and Nationwide Personal Transportation Surveys (NPTS) from 1983 to 2017. Specifically, the study compares the travel distance/time pattern for long-distance travel (50+ miles one-way) between Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. Trip distance/time will be regressed against cohort and period (year) predictors along with a set of socioeconomic and spatial variables. The study's findings are expected to shed light on generational characteristics of long-distance travel and to inform policy deliberations on travel demand management strategies and travel-related GHG emission reduction policies.

    Language

    • English

    Project

    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $15000
    • Contract Numbers:

      69A3551747135

    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Performing Organizations:

      Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2)

      University of Texas at Austin
      Austin, TX  United States  78712
    • Principal Investigators:

      Zhang, Ming

    • Start Date: 20210101
    • Expected Completion Date: 20220731
    • Actual Completion Date: 20220527
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers Program

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01847469
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2)
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747135
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: May 28 2022 10:22AM