Monday, November 8, 2010

Both Young and Old Have Reasons To Want Rail

Today’s selections from the Internet suggest reasons why both the young generation and the elderly will value the addition of Honolulu rail to our community.

Hawaii’s life expectancy is the highest in the nation at 80.0 years, so it figures we’ll have growing numbers of active seniors in the decades ahead. Getting around could be problematic for seniors whose driving skills don’t keep up with their enthusiasm to be mobile, however, and their children at some point will wonder about when it’s time to ask their parents for the keys.

Hawaii also has the highest cost of living among the states, according to a Huffington Post ranking of the states. The cost of owning and maintaining a car can only increase in the decades ahead. Rail transit will give seniors a relatively inexpensive way to move quickly through town without having to rely on a budget-eating private car.

The Generational Shift

What about the youngest generation? You can find plenty of evidence on the 'net (here's some) that the youngest adult Americans value networking and mixing with their peers online and in urban environments more than driving their cars.

Says one member of Generation Y at the Transit for Livable Communities website:

“I think there could be any number of reasons why Gen-Yers aren’t driving as much as previous generations. I think we are more likely to embrace transit-oriented development and the idea of compact living.”

He's just one person, but you can see the shift to Internet-based social networking everywhere you go. With texting by car not only illegal but dangerous, Generation Y members (and whatever they’re called in 20 years) will have “productive” time on the train to network with friends and work associates.

The times are changing, and so are the needs and wants of our bookend generations.


Anonymous said...

Both demographics won't be able to afford the cost of riding the rail.
Unless they're free.
Okinawa has rail. It's been losing money for decades and they're stuck with it because it's already built.

Doug Carlson said...

Thank you for your opinion.