Once upon a time we were told that the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project would attract so-called “Millennials” to Albuquerque. Now, according to a column written by a pro-transit AARP activist, New Mexico should spend more on transit in order to help the elderly get around. No data was provided, just “I’m old. I like transit. We need more transit.”
Of course the reality is that as America’s population ages…transit use nationwide is plummeting. According to the Washington Post “Transit ridership fell in 31 of 35 major metropolitan areas in the United States last year, including the seven cities that serve the majority of riders.” Furthermore, according to the article, “Between 2016 and 2017, ridership fell in each of the seven largest transit markets: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, D.C., San Francisco, Boston and Philadelphia.”
And, as you might already know, older Americans are not flocking to these big transit cities. According to the publication SmartAsset here are the places retirees ARE moving. Hint: think West, spread out, auto-friendly, limited transit, low taxes, and “right to work.”
If Albuquerque were to be more attractive to seniors, I think crime and taxes would be good places to start. Whether ART ever comes to fruition is not likely to matter and I suspect the same could be said for the Rail Runner.
One Reply to “Do older people really value transit?”
ART losing the race for millennials. By the time service begins, the last millennial in Albuquerque will have moved to Austin.
Once you get outside a major city, public transportation is a last resort rather than a matter of choice. Young people use transit because they are broke and cannot afford cars. Retirees don’t use public transportation because we don’t have to.