Public Transit and Young Commuters

Public Transit and Young Commuters


Cities that give people a choice to use public transit attract young workers, strengthen the local economy, improve public health, promote social equity, and protect the environment.  

In cities with accessible public transportation services, young job seekers are more likely to find jobs and utilize the transit system the most for commuting.  

Owning and maintaining a reliable car is expensive for young workers who sometimes take-home lower wages. Not surprisingly, young people are about twice as likely to use public transit than older workers. Public transit services allow workers to expand the geographic scope of their job search and commute to work. For this reason, public transit can be crucial for bridging and connecting young workers to jobs. Moreover, by reducing the need for people to drive private vehicles, public transit helps to ease the congestion and environmental impact caused by commuting.  

Younger riders are attracted to using public transit because of the benefits of the transit system: 

  • Increases worker satisfaction and productivity by reducing commuting times. 
  • Protects family budgets by enabling households to get by with one car or no car instead of two or three. 
  • Softens the impact of high gasoline costs on working families. 
  • Reduces traffic and thereby lessens air pollution. 
  • Lowers highway maintenance costs by reducing road wear and tear. 
  • Encourages people to do more walking and thereby reduces obesity.
  • Expands job opportunities for workers who cannot afford a car. 


Public transit should be seen as an important part of the local labor market – and an excellent way to make work accessible to young people. As new private transportation services rapidly grow, city leaders may be less likely to provide affordable public transportation. Private services will do little to ensure that all workers have access to affordable public transit. It is important that the community encourage city leaders to invest in the frequency and coverage of public transportation. Public transportation not only creates a healthier environment; it is crucial for getting Americans to work, especially for the young. 




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