Emerging technologies and shared mobility services are quickly changing transportation. The popularity of these services is particularly high among millennials and those living in the dense central parts of cities. Still, the reasons behind the adoption of these services and their impacts on the use of other transportation modes and on total travel demand are largely unclear. How are shared mobility services changing transportation demand and supply? This report provides useful insights to answer this question. The research explores the use of various types of shared mobility services in California, focusing in particular on the factors affecting the adoption and frequency of use of ridehailing services (such as those provided by Uber and Lyft), and the impacts that the use of these services has on other components of travel behavior. The authors analyze a dataset that they collected with a detailed online survey in fall 2015 as the first round of data collection in a panel study of emerging transportation trends and adoption of technology in California. More than 2,000 respondents, including millennials (i.e., young adults born between 1981 and 1997) and members of Generation X (i.e., middle-aged adults born between 1965 and 1980), completed the survey.
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Young adults (“millennials”, or members of “Generation Y”) are increasingly reported to have different lifestyles and travel behavior from previous generations at the same stage in life. They postpone the time at which they obtain a driver’s license, often choose not to own a car, drive less if they own one, and use alternative non-motorized means of transportation more often. Several explanations have been proposed to explain the behaviors of millennials, including their preference for urban locations closer to the vibrant parts of a city, changes in household composition, and the substitution of travel for work and socializing with telecommuting and social media. However, research in this area has been limited by a lack of comprehensive data on the factors affecting millennials’ residential location and travel choices (e.g. information about individual attitudes, lifestyles and adoption of shared mobility is not available in the U.S. National Household Travel Survey and most regional household travel surveys).