In a first-of-its-kind study by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group, WISPIRG, has found that app technology, as used by Metro Transit has helped spark a national trend making it easier for Americans to drive less.
A report released by WISPIRG entitled “A New Way to Go: The Apps, Maps, and New Technologies that are Giving More Americans Freedom to Drive Less" examines new evidence on how this is changing travel behavior.
According to Bruce Speight at WISPIRG, personal auto ownership used to be the clear ticket to mobility.
"For Baby Boomers, driving your car represented freedom and spontaneity," Speight said in a release. "But today–especially for younger people–owning a car increasingly represents big expenses and parking hassles.
Technology and vehicle-sharing services have started to make it easier not to own a car or for households to own fewer. Public transit systems, especially with onboard wi-fi and real-time apps, can be the backbone of this new mobility.”
Among the findings cited in the report:
- Public transit enhancements—A majority of U.S. transit systems make scheduling publicly available for developers to produce smartphone apps to help riders navigate systems. Smartphone-based tools enable riders to find the best route and track the progress of trains and buses in real time.
- Young Americans have consistently been the first to adopt and test these new technologies and practices. As of September 2012, young adults were six times more likely to have a smartphone than their grandparents’ generation, and twice as likely as Americans 50 to 64 years of age.
For more information, read WISPIRG's news release and complete report at the links below.