08 Feb

The upcoming US generational shift few are paying attention to

Chris Mims notes on twitter:

Gen-Y-ers asked if they preferred 25 minute drive, or 50 min. bus-ride, WITH WIFI. 80% chose latter. 80% of Boomers chose car.

Boomers, of course, dominate politics and choices about infrastructure. For all their talk of planning for the future, it’s quite clear this is one of the most massive breaks with Gen-Y and boomers. Gen-Y has different expectations about what ‘freedom’ means. Freedom is the freedom to play/socialize/work while going somewhere.


pic via Flickr user jpott

Boomers believe that the monthly cost of a car, insurance, infrastructure cost of roads, and the time cost (and loss of cognitive surplus spent by hours of commuting) are freedom.

Boomers are going to get old and retire soon, and find it harder and harder to drive around the world they created. They’ve left most of their parents to sit in retirement homes, often with limited access to a wider world because they can’t drive as it is.

Gen-Y already mostly rejects the car-centric world they created. Driving licenses are the on the decline. Miles driven are on the decline.

Once boomers start getting bunged into retirement home and Gen-Y has the reigns of politics, the change will accelerate. And it will be interesting.