The Emerging Mobility Trends of Generation Y: Learning to Drive, Car Dependency, and Information Communication Technologies.


Over the past decade there has been rising interest on the mobility trends of generation Y, with indications that the youngest generation (born 1980 onwards) are moving away from car-dependence. This has been evidenced by declining rates of licensing, car ownership and vehicle kilometres travelled in industrialised countries, globally. In this seminar, I will present the findings of a qualitative study of generation Y in New Zealand. Between July and September 2014, 51 interviews were conducted in urban and rural New Zealand to examine the mobility demands and practices of this cohort. Both drivers and non-drivers were included in the research in order to explore both traditional and emergent norms. Participants were asked to consider motivations and barriers to learning to drive, car dependence, perceptions of transport modes, and the use of information communication technologies. Key findings include the different motivations between short-term and long-term non-drivers, differences between traditional and emergent mobility norms, and the use of ICT to facilitate rather than substitute physical travel. The presentation draws from a report titled ‘Generation Y Mobilities’ which will be publically available from late April.


Debbie is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Sustainability, working on the Energy Cultures research programme. Her research examines low-carbon mobility transitions in a range of contexts, focusing on the socio-cultural and environmental geographies of travel and transportation, and geographies of mobility. Debbie has specific research interests in generational mobility trends, virtual mobilities, collaborative consumption, and academic travel.