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American Public Transportation Association

 Demographic Shifts

Who Rides Public Transportation?​

​Public transit riders are part of the engine that powers America’s economy, with 87% of public transit trips directly impacting the economy through connecting people to employers needing workers and to retail and entertainment venues. Seventy-one percent of public transportation riders across the country are employed, and another 7% are students.

89% of transit riders are in the most economically active age group - ages 25-64, compared with 53% of the U.S. population.
63% of transit riders ride five days a week, and another 13% ride six or seven days a week.

This study, authored by the CJI Research Corporation for APTA, is the most extensive demographic report of public transit riders ever, with nearly 700,000 passenger surveys.​​



The Millennial Generation, those born between 1982 and 2003, is the most diverse generation in American history. They will also be one of the most consequential.

Millennials are living through times of economic and technological change. History shows that the combination of technological change, such as the advent of smartphone technology, television, or radio; combined with macro forces that shape behaviors, such as the Great Recession, the Great Depression, or World War II can lead to indelible societal change.

It is in this context that Millen​nials, with their relative propensity for an urban lifestyle, dexterity with technology, and their coming of age during economically constrained times, will drive future trends.

On this page you can find the best information available on the impact this generation is having on mobility and the built environment.

Take the 'How Millennial are Your Local Travel Habits?' Quiz

Report: Millennials and Mobility


Millennials & Mobility: Understanding the Millennial Mindset

This report seeks to understand the mindsets behind the decline in driving among millennials and understand the implications of this and other trends for public transportation in the United States, utilizing a mixture of in-depth interviews and a survey of 1,000 people in six cities that are representative of the types of cities Millennials find attractive.

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