Young people are also making more use of transit, bikes, and foot power to get around. In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds took 24 percent more bike trips than they took in 2001. They walked to their destinations 16 percent more often, while their passenger miles on transit jumped by 40 percent.
Part of the reason for this shift is financial. The report calculates the average cost of owning and operating a car as north of $8,700 dollars a year, and that was before gasoline passed $4.00 per gallon. In the wake of the financial crisis, many underemployed young people have decided that they either can’t afford a car or would rather spend their money on other things. The report cites a Zipcar/KRC Research survey, which found that 80 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds stated that the high cost of gasoline, parking, and maintenance made owning a car difficult.
But money doesn’t explain everything. Sixteen to 34-year-olds in households with incomes of more than $70,000 per year are increasingly choosing not to drive as well, according to the report. They have increased their use of public transit by 100 percent, biking by 122 percent, and walking by 37 percent.
The shift away from the car is part and parcel of a new way of life being embraced by young Americans, which places less emphasis on big cars or big houses as status symbols or life’s essentials.
Read more at The Atlantic Cities. [Image: Shutterstock]
Nearly 130 years ago today, the premier event in astrophysics involved watching a tiny dot slowly sail across the surface of the sun. That dot was our sister planet, Venus, and observing its transit as it passed directly between the Earth and sun was a momentous scientific undertaking.
A transit of Venus is one of the rarest astronomical phenomena, occurring every 243 years. Because of the positions of Earth and Venus around the sun, the transit usually happens twice in close succession, such as the pair in 1761 and 1769 or 1874 and 1882.
The above image comes from 1882, when astronomers were very keen to make accurate measurements of the occurrence. That’s because, until this time, they did not know the exact size of the solar system. Since the 1600s, scientists had been able to calculate the relative positions of the planets but no one knew the specific distance between them.