Today, large resources are being invested in getting us to park the car and instead choose bicycles and public transport as means of transport. This in order to support the transition to a more sustainable society and many people hope that the younger generation will make better choices than the older one. Today, a new report about young people’s mobility was presented at SAFER and it shows that young people prefer the car more than cycling and public transport. They also prefer transports to take place "on demand".
In collaboration with NTF Väst and Ungdomsbarometern a survey among young people (15-24 years) in western Sweden has been conducted to find out what young people think about their travel, driving behaviors and their need for mobility. The report shows, among other things, the following:
4 out of 10 young people rarely, or never, use a bicycle while walking is a common part of everyday life and as many like to do when the distance are shorter. A large proportion of young people would like to cycle more, but experience that there are obstacles to do so, such as poor cycling roads. Several youngsters also state that it is too strenuous to cycle.
Almost 7 out of 10 use a car daily or several times per week, while only 4 out of 10 young people state that they travel by public transport. At the age of 18, when many people take their driving license, it becomes even clearer that the car is preferred instead of public transport. How often you use a certain mean of transport depends on where you live. Young people in big cities travel to a much greater extent by public transport, while in rural areas they to a greater extent choose a car.
"If the young people get to choose, it is mainly speed, accessibility and convenience that determines which kind of transport they use. Speed is what makes the car preferred. Accessibility and convenience are also something that is to a large extent associated with using a car", says Cecilia Friis, project manager at NTF Väst.
Cycling is positive for the environment at the same time as it is cheap and healthy, which are generally three factors that are highly valued by young people. Nevertheless, several young people opt out cycling.
"What we see in this study is that environmental consciousness is seen as a bonus, it is not a primary or decisive factor when it comes to young people's choice of transport. Cycling requires effort, access to storage and preferably good weather, which means that many people prefer other modes of transport", Cecilia Friis continues.
For young people, it is also important to be able to travel spontaneously, and to travel without having to wait too long, to avoid thinking about timing or where the bike should be parked to prevent theft. They want to be able to be in constant motion, spontaneous and is looking for transport on demand.
"Young people today are used to products and services being delivered on demand such as Netflix and Foodora. This is most noticeable among urban young people, but also among those who live in smaller towns. Services should be fast, comfortable and seamless. These are needs and wishes that are good to take into account in societal planning for more sustainable transport", says Cecilia Friis.
NTF Väst conducted the survey together with Ungdomsbarometern as a digital survey with a panel sample comprising 1,026 responding young people (15-24 years) in Västra Götaland and Halland as well as qualitative in-depth study through three focus groups. The project has been carried out in collaboration with SAFER and Halmstad Municipality.