Claire Thompson at Grist references an old Times article about the declining interest today’s youth have in cars and observes today’s youth don’t seem to mind riding the bus so much.
It’s impossible for me to determine trends, but I think I see more youth riding the buses and trolleys in Santa Cruz and the South Bay. Groups of three or four hop on as much to socialize as to get somewhere. My generation cruised main street or met at shopping malls; today’s teens seems at least a little inclined to ride the bus to hang out with their friends.
To encourage transit use by youth, Santa Clara VTA (serving the SF South Bay) and SamTrans (serving the SF Peninsula) have offered summer youth passes, heavily discounted summer transit passes for youth that include incentives like discounts for Great America and Raging Waters, and coupons for free goodies from movie theaters and pizza places.
Out Task produced this video showing a group of teenagers using transit and their feet to get around.
Finally, the Times reports on GM’s efforts to turn around flagging interest in cars among today’s youth.
[Youth marketing consulting Ross Martin] and his team are trying to help General Motors solve one of the most vexing problems facing the car industry: many young consumers today just do not care that much about cars.
That is a major shift from the days when the car stood at the center of youth culture and wheels served as the ultimate gateway to freedom and independence. Today Facebook, Twitter and text messaging allow teenagers and 20-somethings to connect without wheels. High gas prices and environmental concerns don’t help matters.
“They think of a car as a giant bummer,” said Martin. “Think about your dashboard. It’s filled with nothing but bad news.”