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Research Report 569 Public transport and the next generation

Published: | Category: Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

There is an increased use of public transport among Generation Y compared with previous generations, but there is limited information on the specific factors related to this trend and whether demand is temporary, sustained, or growing.

A multi-method approach was undertaken to better understand travel demand for Generation Y with:

  • an analysis of New Zealand datasets to examine historical travel behaviour trends
  • in-depth qualitative focus groups to better understand some of the drivers, barriers, and key life stages where travel changes are likely to occur
  • a national quantitative survey of 1,191 travellers to identify predicted future use of public transport and the prioritisation of targeted service improvements to better inform policy direction and investment strategies.¬†

Findings indicate there will be large, sustained growth in public (and active) transport use, particularly among Generation Y.

Key service priorities for Generation Y and older travellers are very consistent, indicating improvements in well-known convenience factors like frequency and coverage are critical. Once these basics are delivered more specific improvements desirable for Generation Y include smarter pricing mechanisms (such as free transfers) and improved real-time information.

Key life stage changes, such as moving home or starting a family, are opportunities for positive travel interventions.


Key words: adolescent, attitudes, car, forecasts, future behaviour, Generation Y, millennial, mobility, mode, multimodal, New Zealand, patterns, predictions, projections, public transport, teenager, transport, travel, trends, vehicle, young adult, youth

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: June 2015
  • Reference: 569
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-478-44509-1