As a baby boomer myself, I confess to feeling a bit like, enough with all this talk about “the millennials” already. But the reality is, those born roughly between 1982 and 2001 form a huge demographic cohort of some 80 million Americans.

Last month, two public opinion polls were released that revealed some interesting details about the millennial generation.

The Rockefeller Foundation and Transportation for America released a survey that found that Millennials are looking to move to cities with efficient public transportation systems.

The survey found:

  • 54 percent of Millennials surveyed would consider moving to another city if it had more or better options for getting around,
  • 66 percent said access to high quality transportation is one of the top three criteria they would weigh when deciding where to live.
  • Nearly half of those who owned a car said they would consider giving it up if they could count on public transportation options,
  • 86 percent said it was important for their city to offer opportunities to live and work without relying on a car.

The American Planning Association released the second survey, which surveyed both Millennials and Baby Boomers–and found that both generations generally desired the same things:

  • Technology-enabled cities,
  • Walkable communities,
  • residential areas that allowed citizens to “age in place”.

Millennials and Boomers translates to roughly 160 million Americans, who are essentially the present and future customers of metropolitan regions.

Cities that don’t invest in effective transportation options stand to lose out in the long-run.  Times are changing.  As we move from a car-centric model of mobility to a nation that embraces more efficient and sustainable transportation options, public officials need to take note!