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Survey says: Millennials just don't care as much about owning a car as their parents

Boston Magazine reports. What does that say about the endless debate about how much parking new residential buildings should have?

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Any Idea what going on in Washington St , by the new dominos some sort of bpd incident , lots of yelling , manhunt possibly

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A suspect in a stabbing somewhere on Friday went into an Archdale apartment. Police surrounded the place, but he managed to escape somehow. The Globe has more.

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People living and working in cities tend not to want to drive. Also says that it's a younger crowd, meaning they're used to being students who don't drive.

I didn't drive in college, and I know many folks who lived in the city through their 20s for school or for work and didn't drive. My unscientific sample of 6 says half of them got cars as they aged out of that period in their lives, and the other half are either still in their 20s or live in Manhattan.

The article's point being taken, the real question that no one has an answer to is how long this will last. There is a similar phenomenon going on in DC, and down there they're wondering out loud how sustainable a population boom of urban-loving twentysomethings will be, and whether or not it will empty out when the echo boom is over.

DC isn't here in that there will always be a stream of young people going into there to fill federal jobs and internships, but it's a question that's worth asking here too: how does the city prevent these careless folks from leaving once they get older? I could well be wrong, and it'll stick (I do see the appeal, believe me), but it's probably a good idea to not get caught flat-footed in about 10 years when the demand for carfree living might wane.

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If they don't have to? Old people. And yes, I know they're not all going to be on bikes but a lot of older people prefer to be somewhere where they can walk or have someone else--cabbie, bus driver--do the driving. I know that when I'm 80 I'd much rather live in some kind of city/village setting than have to drive every time I left the house.

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I agree re bostonians, but if you ever find yourself in Florida, you'll find almost every day on the news a report of an elderly person mowing down a sidewalk full of people or creating their own drive-through establishment (about 100x more often than is reported in UH).

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That doesn't mean they want to drive, necessarily. Maybe just that they have to, because in Florida sprawl they'd be prisoners on their own porches without cars. No sidewalks = no walking.

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The article's point being taken, the real question that no one has an answer to is how long this will last.

The real question that no one has answered is how long will suburban living last? In terms of the long time scale of human development, 2 car households living in a McMansion with a 1 hour commute both ways is the short term fad. Car free in a two bed in the city is the real old fashioned tried and true method (other than subsistence farming). The suburbs are the Pogs of habitation preference, by comparison.

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2 car households living in a McMansion with a 1 hour commute both ways is the short term fad.

Not everybody works in the city, nor do they want to.

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Where did I say that everybody works in the city or that they want to?

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... by the "1 hour commute".

I live in an inner burb, my husband commutes about 15-20 minutes. Rush hour commute to school is 15 minutes; home from school more like 10.

I was carless for years; and when I only worked in town, I left the car at home and T'd in. But then I got older, married, and had a kid. So here we are.

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Implied

lol. Strawman.

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I only see cities growing in the future. In far off places like Africa, governemnts are actually protecting more and more land, as natural resources and unmolested, wooded land becomes more and more valuable as the population booms and resources become scarcer. Eco-tourism is a thing too. Dallas and Fort Worth are practically one giant city now. Humanity needs to build up and not out if it wants to keep earth as its home. Self driving cars, better mass transit systems, cleaner energy are all on the horizon so long as we can keep Republicans out of office. I think the cities should do their best to keep parking available at the levels it's at, as the need or desire for cars shrinks, eventually everyone who does want a car will have a place for it. Removing or privatizing public parking spaces always irks me for this reason...

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The invention of the automobile was a "short term fad"? Right....

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The real question that no one has answered is how long will suburban living last?

When urban public schools can compete with most suburban public schools.
When one can get the same "bang for the buck" for housing in cities compared to suburbs.
When crime rates in urban areas are on par with the suburbs.
I could go on. Regardless, we have to face the fact that urban living isn't for everyone. The hustle and bustle of the big city isn't everyone's cup of tea. Not everyone can tolerate living in a triple decker where the kids upstairs are running around like banshees or the nieghbors are having loud house parties every weekend. Some people like the house with the big yard with distance from their neighbors and prefer the tranquility.

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but it's a question that's worth asking here too: how does the city prevent these careless folks from leaving once they get older?

It seems like a good first step would be looking at reasons some people "age out" of the carless lifestyle and addressing those. Based on my unscientific sample size, needing to get out of the walkable carless lifestyle seems to correlate with having a toddler or a job in the sort-of-accessible suburbs (Newton, Waltham, etc) or both.

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..it's that as you get older, at least in Boston, and you don't want to live with 6 other people in a slum house, you get priced out of the neighborhoods that are easily walkable or have good access to the T. I went from Downtown, to Allston, to Brighton, to Southie, to Watertown. After Brighton I brought my car to the city. If you wanna live by yourself in a carless type area, you'd better be a lawyer/doctor/tech guru because blue collar folks and post-college kids cannot afford to live in those place without multiple roomates. Even then their diet is probably mostly Ramen and Pabst if they wanna make rent every month.

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Yes, exactly. Would love to stay in a place as walkable, bikeable, T-able & dense w/ restaurants & shops as my former apartment at Harvard & Comm in Allston, but I could only afford it with a roommate & 5 housemates.

Let's organize for affordable housing in the new dense developments instead of forcing individuals who want to bike/T/walk out to carburbia.

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Regardless of what yet another survey says, how about we let the market decide?

A parking space s 300 square feet. (Because there's the space itself, but there's also the manoeuvering space around it, and the space to exit a property.)

Which means my house has a size of 6 parking spaces, on a lot sized for 16 spaces. Houses this size, on lots this size, regularly sell for 500K in this area.

That's a benchmark of 30K per parking space. Now I challenge you to find a parking space in Boston or Cambridge, one that would not find a more valuable use than storing cars if given to a developer to use at his discretion.

Even if millennials were just as car-minded as Baby Boomers, and watched Dukes of Hazard every week, and wanted their own camaros, it would not be wise or appropriate to warp the market with parking requirements like that.

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Much smaller, room for two, similar trip distances and speeds of a car.

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There were something similar to a motorcycle, capable of greater than average speeds in the city, but lighter so you could store it indoors or upstairs easily, and you could get some exercise while riding it...

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also pay road tax, exicise tax, and registration fees to display a licence plate so they could be tracked and ticketed for being giant douches and taking up entire lanes of traffic while 4000 plus pound steel blocks hurdle at them and around them at twice the speed, who would follow the actual rules of the road, not blow stop lights, cross streets when a no walking sign is lit obstructing cars from taking turns, ride on the sidewalks, etc etc etc

yes, it would be a miracle if such a device existed...

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taking up entire lanes of traffic

is written into the law. bikes can and should do this. it's for safety reasons.
it's the drivers of the "4000 plus pound steel blocks" who are "giant douches" in those instances.

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If i move over 3 feet I might hit a pot hole! Never Mind traffic is backing up a mile to the off ramp because I need my precious space to feel "safe" on the road with automobiles. Unless traffic is stopped at a red light, then I'll just pass all these cars on the shoulder and blow through the red light on my merry way.
GTFO dude....

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Someone sounds bitter about sitting in traffic. Maybe you should stop commuting in from New Hampshire.

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as if you need to live in New Hampshire to sit in traffic for a commute! I only go to NH (the south of the north) for cheap booze.
Dorcester to Charlestown is almost an hour commute some days. Brighton to Southie the same. That WITHIN THE CITY. Like 10 miles or less. All commuter traffic happens well within the 128 circle of death. It's a breeze otherwise. If I could afford paying for the gas or stand the brutal boredom I would move to the burbs. Takes just as long to get to work.

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that drivers get red in the face about how "the bike is in my way waaaahh!" but somehow the eleventy million other cars on the road are not?

Yes, this bicycle, weighing all of 10 pounds is the obstruction - those other "4000 pound blocks" are just fine. Nope, that single bicycle is the real problem.

Okaaaay.

Your obligation as a driver is to share the road safely with other legal users. A bicyclist's obligation is the same - it is not, however, to cater to your every whim when you are runnning late. Do you also scream obscenities at slow farm equipment on the highway?

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are able to go the same speed as the rest of traffic. Yes, Me and every other driver also yell at farm/construction equipment slowing down traffic as well.
I have never hit or endangered a biker as a motorist. I have never hit or been hit or endangered a motorist while biking. Others should learn this skill. It's not rocket science. It's self preservation. The 10 lb bike IS the obstruction when it is blocking a wide swath of real estate other vehicles could pass through if they MOVED OVER A COUPLE OF FEET.
If a single man was blocking the Red Line train while walking on the tracks into Boston from Quincy, would we not call him a douchebag, arrest and fine him? Yes, we would. Despite his size, he would be an obstruction.

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Except for the fact that people are not allowed to walk on the Red Line tracks, and there is no reason for them to be there. A road is a shared resource, and bicyclists are legal users of the road. It sounds to be like you're just impatient. Well that's just too bad. You're not more important than anyone else.

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> You're not more important than anyone else.

... that at least 30 percent of the folks living in Boston (and its environs) are absolutely certain that he (or she) is the most important person in the world -- and gets annoyed when other people fail to recognize her (or his) self-proclaimed importance.

(note: I made up 30 percent -- but it certainly seems like a significant minority).

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the example wasmeant to illustrate that size isn't the problem....I am well aware that wlaking on tain tracks is not allowed.

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I'm not sure what you were trying to illustrate by that example, actually. Please try again...

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I would love to see a case where a bike is significantly backing up traffic. I've never seen it. Will a bike on a narrow road sometimes cause traffic behind it to slow a bit? Sure. But no more than for a few seconds. And if the drivers just end up at a red light anyway, those few seconds "lost" aren't really lost at all.

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I'm pretty 'bike-positive', but it's ridiculous to claim that cyclists do not often slow traffic. I regularly encounter mini-jams behind cyclists on Washington street between Rosi square and Forest Hills, and on Huntingdon east of the JWay - and those roads even have explicit bike lanes.

Now, it could be quite reasonably argued that the auto traffic on those roads shouldn't be going faster than typical bike speed (15-20mph) in the first place - but the fact on the ground is that in the absence of bikes, they do/would.

(Also, your 'it all evens out at the next red light' argument is false if the slow element (aka cyclist/ancient driver/horse-drawn wagon/etc) increases the travel time between lights to longer than the period between reds. Again, if this is 'bad' or simply inconvenient is a matter of opinion.)

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— there is simply not enough room to accommodate them all, even though many streets are morbidly obese with lanes dedicated to automobiles.

If you insist on driving your private vehicle in the city, you should expect to wait your turn amidst bicyclists and pedestrians.

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Roads were "morbidly obese" as you call them back when there were horses and wagons on streets, not automobiles (or bicycles) !!!

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Shared travel lanes removed to put in bike lanes. Similar done elsewhere including Mass Ave Arlington.

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That's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about cars being measurably delayed because they have to wait behind a bicycle.

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...

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I'll gladly pay the excise tax.

For my bike it would be:

$500 list price from Felt in 2009 * 10% = $50 value

$50 value * ($25/$1000 value) = $1.25/year

and WTF is road tax?? Some imaginary tax that does not exist?

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when you purchase fuel. Home heating fuel is diesel, same stuff, with dye in it. Its way cheaper because there is no road tax associated with it. Truckers that get pulled over and show red dye in their fuel face huge fines.I forgot to mention tolls, which bicyclists also do not pay....
They pay nothing to use the same road (and all of it, legally I guess, as someone above noted) that people with cars, motorcycles, and mopeds all pay to use.
For the record, I also bike in the city. And walk. And use the train/bus. And drive a car. I happen to think the bicyclists have it easy, overstep their bounds, show little in the way of common courtesy or respect for the law, and do it all for free. Hence I have no sympathy for their "cause"
It's bullshit maaaannnnnn......

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Even people without cars play plenty of road taxes (especially considering that they do no damage to the roads).

That's because gas tax + all fees + all tolls + all other taxes on a vehicle amount to 60% of the total cost.

That means that if you are paying income tax and paying property taxes (or rent and indirectly pay property taxes), you are paying for roads.

http://taxfoundation.org/blog/how-your-state-s-road-spending-funded

As for the tired trope about cyclists and road rules, guess what - drivers are every bit as bad! Of course, they are drawn from the same populations, so no surprise there ... http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-18/survey-finds-bicyclists-and-motori...

You might want to look these things called "facts" up before your little "me me me me me" chant goes skidding off the road, hits a pole, rolls over and explodes.

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Cyclists do, as a matter of fact blow by traffic on the right and selectively act like jaywalkers when it suits them. And I have seen more than one of them decide it's in his (mostly his, not that many females on bikes in Brookline and Brighton) best interest to become a car and take up the whole lane when it slows down the column of cars behind him.

Facts are stubborn things. Cars acting like bikes get ticketed. Bikes acting like whatever is convenient at the time get a free pass. In fact, I have only ever seen a bike get stopped once, on Mass ave by MIT when the cops were issuing verbal warnings for people riding without lights at night. Different set of rules.

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Many of your complaints are about LEGAL use of the roads? Probably not, given your brief, but clearly loose relationship with reality in these parts.

Also, cars acting like bikes get ticketed? Oh, that is the funniest fucking thing I've heard all day. Really?? REALLY? They don't even get ticketed when they DRIVE DOWN THE BIKE LANE.

I suggest heading over to massrmv.com and downloading a manual? Or, better yet, go see a shrink about that entitlement complex that makes you think that somehow, someway, Car = special rights.

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As an employed, house owning, car owning citizen, that means I pay road tax out of my property AND income taxes, and then all the taxes and fees associated with the car and gassing it up, right? Last I checked 60% is more than the 0% EXTRA that the pedestrian is paying. And those who don't use cars/motorcyles STILL benefit greatly from the upkeep of roads. Their food gets delivered to the grocery store on public roads. As does their home heating oil, cords of wood, boxes from UPS and FedEx carrying all the trinkets they order on Amazon. Their mail gets delivered over public roads, their pizza. Meals on wheels brings elderly people their meals via public roads. I could go on but you get the point. So I pay the same as everyone else PLUS 60% more. Then I have to crawl behind a biker taking up a whole lane, backing up traffic, when all they need to do is move over a few feet. And they get all smug about it. Before the whole "cyclist movement" I biked everywhere through the city...ON THE SHOULDER OF THE ROAD.This was like 10 years ago, no bike lanes. After about 5 years of this I had ONE flat tire and ZERO accidents. I see kids, all the time, biking around with f%#*king EAR BUDS in listening to music, which amounts to about the most dangerous thing I've seen people doing on the roads in the city.
I am NOT anti-bike. I still bike through town. A lot. I am FOR sensible use of the roads, reasonable laws, and general COMMON COURTESY when biking. All things I do when on two wheels. No matter what your stance is, PHYSICS WINS EVERY TIME. Ride the middle of the lane if you want. All its gonna take is one asshole who is pissed off/in a rush to send you to the hospital. 10 lb bike vs 4000+lb car. Car wins every time. That's just reality.

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It is perfectly legal and often safer for bicyclists to ride in the middle of the lane rather than hugging the side of the road, where there are often parked cars (and possible doors opening), road debris, potholes, etc. Riding too far to eh right in many cases can also entice drivers to squeeze by when there isn't room to safely pass. A bike is a vehicle according to state law and a bicyclist is allow to use as much or as little of the lane as needed for their safety.

(Are some bicyclists rude and do they flout the laws? Yes, some do. But that's not unique to bicyclists. See: jaywalking into traffic, cars running red lights or turning from the wrong lane, without signaling, etc. That seems to be a Bostonian thing more than anything.)

Car drivers pay more than everyone else because cars put a lot more wear and tear on roads than both pedestrians and bicyclists. It's the same reason taxes and fees for commercial trucks are even more than passenger cars, because they are even harder on the roads. And note that we all pay for these commercial truck costs indirectly through the cost of goods. If all we had to build were sidewalks and bike paths, we'd be spending a lot less money. And please note that just because someone pays more taxes than someone else doesn't make them more important or give them extra rights.

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four legs g--wait. I'll come in again.

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Motorcycles are not as practical in wet, snowy, and cold weather. And any little accident on a two-wheeler can really mess you up. A typical car accident might total your $25,000 car, but any accident on a motorcycle or bicycle can leave you with tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills and a lifetime of back pain. When you're young and feel invincible, you may not fully appreciate that.

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I have no other point to my comment other than wanting to point out that there's a whole generation of people in between Boomers and Millennials who often get overlooked. I have no idea whether or not Gen X likes or doesn't like to drive, but I would suspect that it's somewhere in between. I'm an Xer and I haven't driven a car in over a year.

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We live in Boston. Between walking, bikes and trains, we get around just fine.

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If you haven't noticed, we're invisible because we're (relatively) small, and in a majority rules setup, that's a dangerous place to be. I could go on at some length on that general proposition and the implications thereof (becoming clearer by the day), but I'll stay closer to this thread for now.

I'm on the latter side, but comfortably within Gen X. I feel the same way about much of this as the so-called Millennials (I despise driving, except in rural areas) - and it was perfectly easy to live that car-free (or, at least, non-car-dependent) life.

And then...children. Most millennials have not reached this life changing point yet.

Yes there are people with children who are living and loving the car free life (see below), but it appears to me that those people are a small minority. I, personally, know of no one who has been willing to sustain that lifestyle past 1 child, and most folded shortly after the first was born.

As I have said time and again, the two biggest things that people consider when thinking about whether they will use public transit are frequency and reliability. The T offers relatively little of both. Unless and until that changes, or people stop having children, there will (unfortunately) be plenty of cars around here because most people are just disinclined to take chances with their children (whether that means getting to daycare on time, or whether it means playing a lottery on schooling, and thereby influencing where they live).

If you doubt this, here is a fun exercise that I have been doing. Go to an open house for a 3 bedroom house in the near suburbs. Count the number of cars parked in front, and then count the number with currently valid Boston resident stickers affixed thereto. My numbers are consistently in the 60-70% range. Most of the cars with stickers have car seats (or, based on the appearance of at least one occupant thereof, will soon).

My point is that I know that millennials love the car-free urban lifestyle and want to do it forever. I wanted to do that also, but then life happened and things changed. We should be careful about how much weight we accord to things that 20-somethings say, because as all of the rest of us know, and despite what some stupid store name implies, no one lives in the halcyon days of their 20s forever.

We absolutely need a better T across all modes - but the notion that millennials are going to stay put where they are for the next 30 or 40 years just seems silly to me.

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Got rid of my car in 2010. It's so freeing to not have a car!

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Great but, judging by the photo, they still haven't learned to take off the f*ing backpacks when riding on the T!!

--gpm

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Not needing a car is awesome. I experienced it when living in natick and took the commuter into Boston for work during the week, and there was an express train so it took twenty minutes :-) now I drive the nine miles (45 minutes) to work so I don't have to be on the mbta's schedule as my office isn't close to the commuter rail stop and I don't like to have to leave work and walk twenty five minutes through Newmarket past all the issues that area has right now. Developers can build less parking spaces but he state isn't building more public transit so there isn't long term hope for reduced car use in the Boston area, especially given how people value the convenience of getting in a car and not having to deal with all the issues the mbta brings.

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Amazingly enough as old as I am.. I am one. (I'm like RIGHT on the edge).

I don't care about owning a car, and always look at transit options from where I live

I haven't owned a car since 1998... and counting.

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I'll be 30 in a couple of weeks. I don't drive. I don't ever want to drive. There's nowhere I want to be that I can't get to with my own two legs or public transit. I'm very lucky to be in that position, and I have every intention of keeping it that way for as long as possible.

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Same. I've rode the T everywhere during my entire stay in Boston. I do borrow roommates car to head to Market Basket on the weekends but other than that, I really don't miss having a car on a daily basis. (except the ability to just in a car and go somewhere on a whim that is out of the T's service area)

Plus every time I'm in a position to buy a car, gas shoots up to over 3 bucks a gallon and it becomes a waste of money. A waste for a car I wouldn't drive to work (no parking at work), and would sit on my street all week just to go to the grocery store. Colossal waste of money.

My roommate is out of town for two weeks and I have the keys to his car. A week later it still sits at his work in the garage (to show you how much I want to drive a car..)

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and I don't drive so much either. Most days I don't drive at all. With a Dunks practically across the street and Arlington center a few blocks away, I have plenty to easily walk to. But for longer distances and crappy weather, I'm glad the car is right here in my garage.

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Older single people tend to live alone, and there is much about more suburban living that makes car access necessary - like distance to grocery stores. That said, my older single aunt, who lives in another city, uses carshare programs to fill that gap. Car share and rentals can meet the needs of many people.

When the youngsters are out of the nest, "keep or ditch car" will be a serious debate between my husband and I. We will be easily able to meet most of our grocery needs with a Bob trailer.

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Dinah Shore "See the USA in your Chevrolet" - 1953

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boertpylK0M

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Someone needs to show the old timers in Southie this report. Not that they'll believe it anyway...

I'm an older Millennial and have been living in Boston since 2004. I have a car but barely use it; usually 2-3 times a month, if that. I bike, walk, or take transit everywhere. Most of the time, it stays parked in the off-street space that came with my condo. (Ironically, if my condo didn't have a parking space with it, I would have sold the car years ago. It's a 2001 and has been paid off for 10 years.) I won't even consider taking a job where I have to drive to work. It's not worth the hassle or the frustration.

Boston (and MA as a whole) needs to improve public transit and continue to make all of our cities more walkable and bikeable, for a variety of reasons: equity, attracting top talent, housing affordability, etc. People of all ages are looking to reduce their car use. This is a good thing. It also allows us to build up more without adding a lot of additional traffic and should reduce the need for parking in our cities.

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Despite all the rumors of Millennials eschewing cars, there seems to be quite the parking shortage in Southie and you could make some money.

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I've definitely been considering that!

(I live in Somerville BTW, and parking is also valuable there too!)

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Many people have no car at all.

Then there are those of us who were once considered oddities: the single car family in the suburbs. Once upon a time, meaning 20 years ago, that was not the case.

The family that we bought our house from had three cars - one for each licensed driver. The family that used to live next door had four cars - one for each person, including two high school students who each drove 1/2 mile to a campus that is only 1/4 mile on foot.

We now have four people of driving age, and drive less in a year than the aggregate bike mileage for the household. It becomes a way of life to not drive, particularly for our sons. Their standard answer is "why would we want to do that?". Bear in mind that everyone is employed. When my husband was laid up for a time, it felt downright strange to drive everywhere. The car is used for four main purposes: cyclist rescue, road trips, kayak transport, and groceries. We did commute last winter, which generally meant leaving the property with 3-4 people aboard.

When we returned from our honeymoon in 1990 and gas prices had doubled, my husband and I started thinking differently about how we were living, and what it was doing to us. We moved closer to our jobs, and sold one of our two cars and drove the other less than half as much. We lost a combined 70 lbs in the process.

We did have a second car when the kids were tiny and my job required moving lab supplies around, but sold it when that project ended (and no longer paid $0.50 a mile for an '87 Volvo). By 2010 we had had a single car for so long that when our neighbors had a car die and faced replacing it, they looked across the street and said "Wait a minute! They have kids, they don't work in the same building, they work more than 1.5 miles away ... " and did the math. Now they take awesome vacations instead of making car payments on a second car.

Another neighbor recently asked us for our advice when one of their cars went to the great scrapyard (long may you run!). We suggested that they give it two months to see if it works out for them (it won't for everyone), since you can always buy a car later.

Cars are so expensive and debt is so serious, particularly for younger folks, that I suspect that more people will give having a car or a second car a second and third thought. Most younger people seem to be putting a higher priority on owning a place before owning a guaranteed-loss item.

From what I'm seeing, that single car family in the inner 'burbs is becoming pretty common. Millennials may eventually buy cars, but it looks to me that the elder ones are finding that one per household is enough.

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Among my peers, I'm carrying a pretty average student loan debt: $30,000 or so. Nothing exceptionally high, but it will still take me a while to pay off - and with that chipping off a pound of flesh each month, I can't imagine trying to factor myriad car payments (expected and otherwise) into my budget. I'd much rather slowly pay off my debt and sock away what I can for a house, a big vacation, laser eye surgery, whatever - not a car.

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USPIRG released a study on this topic months ago. They are based right downtown.

Pick one... http://www.uspirg.org/page/usp/changing-transportation

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