On November 2, the online magazine Urbanful put out an article on how millennials’ transportation habits are changing the way cities plan for the future. On November 5, it became clear that millennial’s voting habits have an equally profound effect on public policy, in the opposite direction.
High profile ballot initiatives on a proposed light rail in Austin, TX, and increased funding for transit projects in St. Petersburg and Gainesville, FL went down to defeat amid low voter turnout from 18-29 year olds. Overall, it was a mixed night for such measures in cities across the country, and results were similarly ambivalent on the state level.
This equivocal outcome for transportation policy would be of little note on an eventful election night had it not conflicted with the trend documented at the beginning of this article as well as preliminary polling.
Access to multimodal transportation and reliable public infrastructure are priorities for millennials. “More than half (54%) of millennials surveyed say they would consider moving to another city if it had more and better options for getting around,” according to a recent report, “and 66% say that access to high quality transportation is one of the top three criteria they would weigh when deciding where to live.”
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