Young people lead surprising trend: they’re driving less

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DENVER -- The open road was once a symbol of freedom for newly licensed teenagers, but according to a new study, it’s now a congested afterthought.

Danny Katz is the Director of the Colorado Public Interest Research Group and says the recent study shows, ”young people are turning away from driving, and they’re actually leading the trend in our country away from driving.”

According to COPIRG, the average 16-34 year old drives 20% less than they did five years ago. One reason is gas prices, another is technology.

“More and more young people are giving up that trip to see their friend because they can talk to them online …via Skype and Facebook.”

FOX31 Denver wanted to find out if young people are in fact driving less, so we hit the 16th Street Mall in downtown, and it turns out many are taking advantage of more public options. Like 23 year old Ilya Nudelman. “Now I’m just taking the bus to work every day. I practically don`t use my car.”

But for the past ten years,  it’s not just public transportation on the rise. While the study shows a 40% increase in young people using public transit, it also shows a 24% increase in biking, and a 14% increase in walking. Katz believes, “this isn`t a short term trend that’s going to turn around when the economy turns around. We think this is a long term trend.”

Follow the link to view the study

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