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Millennials: Driving the Future of Parking

Post on April 13, 2016
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In part four of his 5-part blog series examining the trends driving the future of parking, T2’s VP of Research Blake Laufer explores Millennials.


Previous Posts
Trend #1: Self-driving Cars
Trend #2: The Internet of Things
Trend #3: Smart Cities


Younger people these days are happier with an urban life.  Which is why Millennials are responsible for the recent growth of cities more than any other group. 
 

Just as the Baby Boomers were a defining generation, shaping economics, law and society—the Millennials have taken over to represent the largest demographic in North America.
 

If you were born between 1982 and 2000 then you’re a millennial.  There are 83 million Millennials in the US, versus 75 million Boomers.   And the generation in between, Generation X, has only about 50 million members in its cohort.
 

Millennials now have the ability and the purchasing power to shape their world, and they’re starting to do so.
 

Americans under 30 are 7.2 times more likely to take public transit than Americans over 60.  It’s not that millennials can’t afford cars—they simply don’t want them as much.  A study at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute shows that young people are also less likely to have a driver’s license.  The percentage of persons with a driver’s license for millennials in the US has dropped 18% in the last 30 years.
 

After all, who wants to worry about insurance, oil changes or parking?  If you’re living in a city with a robust multi-modal transit system then you won’t own a car – you’ll rent one by the hour, or take an Uber, or share ownership of a car.
 

Millennials are more technologically savvy than the generations who have preceded them, and this is reflected both in their consumer behaviors and also their work behaviors.  They are an enigma, in that they are super-connected to their friends, and yet prefer self-service kiosks to interacting with humans.
 

What’s the impact to parking?  Obviously there’s reduced demand – fewer cars means fewer parking spaces are needed.  But furthermore, the tech-savvy millennials also have a higher demand for self-service.  They don’t want to deal with a human, they want to work with an app to plan their trip, pay their fares, and save them time.  Our future parking solutions need to facilitate these types of transactions, from any device, for any customer.