Decreasing Driving Licence Rates Among Young People ? Consequences for Local Public Transport
A Ruud, S Nordbakke, Institute of Transport Economics, NO
In the 90?s, the driving licence rates among young people decreased both in Norway and in Sweden. The objective of this paper is to identify the main challenges for future travel behaviour among young people.
Driving licence and access to a car traditionally have been among the most significant determinants for mode choice. In the 80?s, driving licence rates among young people increased in Norway and Sweden. In the 90?s, trend changed. The driving licence rates among young people between 18 and 24 years decreased both in Norway and in Sweden.The same trend has appeared in the big cities in Finland and also in the UK.
At the same time, there has been a decline in young people?s access to a car (defined as access to a car whenever you need one) in Norway and Sweden.
A review of existing literature and analyses of transport use and attitudes to transport modes among young people have been undertaken. The objective is to identify the most important barriers and determinants connected to transport mode choice today and identify the main challenges for future travel behaviour among young people. In what way will the trends among youth affect the use of local public transport, and how can the public transport sector meet these challenges?
The findings indicate that the car dooes not have the same symbolic value as before among young people in the city areas. The car is not in the same degree as before regarded as a gadget you need to have to state how 'cool' you are. Even though car still is important as a status symbol among some groups of younger people, newer technological gadgets, as for example cell phones and iPods, also has become important as status symbols.
The development in the population?s travel patterns show that we travel more, and our pattern of travel is becoming ever more differentiated.When young people choose transport mode, they look for a convenient way to organize their everyday life. The everyday life of many young people are structured consists of a set of different travel destinations; University, part time job, training, meeting friends at a café etc.
Public transport users are not a homogenous group. Public transport users belong to groups in all categories, in all layers of society, with different needs and requirements with regard to travel and with different levels of willingness and capability to pay. Thus, public transport presents a major challenge with regard to developing a service which will meet the demands of these different groups.
Developing a standard service designed to satisfy the needs of all groups may result in a poor service for the majority. If young people experience an inflexible and uncomfortable public transport supply not adjusted to their needs they will aquire a driving licence and buy a car as soon as they feel that their everyday trips are too complicated with public transport.
Association for European Transport