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Millennials are Buying Cars

Over on Parknews.biz, Astrid has posted an article from the The Atlantic Magazine. The article posits that millennials are buying cars. Yes, this group that shunned personal vehicles are buying them in very large numbers. Although the person quoted in the article (its actually a podcast interview where an Atlantic writer is interviewed, for some reason) claims to dislike car ownership and is concerned about the future of our cities because of it, he bought a car anyway.

This can only be good for the parking industry.

What I found interesting was the reason for these auto purchases: FEAR!!!

Yes, these healthy young people, all under 35, are afraid to ride in rapid transit, trains, Uber or Lyft or even rent a car, for fear of catching covid. Their progressive politics, environmental causes, anger at congestion and air pollution, were all put aside due to the fear of possibly catching the virus.

I wonder what has happened to our younger generation. When I was that age, I was invincible. I was heading out to slay dragons as were my friends. Now it appears they are cowed by a virus that from all information we can find, is not a true threat to those in that age group. The vast majority of those succumbing to the disease are those nearing 80 or those who have certain preexisting conditions. Are there 25 year olds in perfect health that have died of the virus, I’m sure there is. But that number is approaching zero. The media has driven fear into the hearts of the young. But that’s a discussion for another time.

In the Atlantic interview, this young man didn’t mince words. He was afraid.

For those of us who make a living dealing with the storage of cars, there is an upsides to this epidemic of fear that has the younger generation in its grip. The more cars, the more that need to park.

For instance, according to the article, they are finding that if they own a car, they can partake in more activities than they could without one. Visiting the country for picnics or hiking is difficult on rapid transit. Making a quick decision to go to the beach might be impossible if your only way to get there was through a car rental. It also turns out that owning a car means that you have more flexibility in your choice of jobs, and therefore you might be able to find a more lucrative or interesting position that was outside walking distance of the metro or bus stop. In every case, you have to park your car somewhere.

These folks actually discovered that purchasing and owning a ‘used’ car costs very little more than taking Uber or Lyft or renting when necessary.

Perhaps they will find, as their parents and grandparents did, that car ownership is actually a good thing. The freedom and flexibility having transportation at your fingertips far outweighs a crowded bus, train, or the “who rode here last’ Uber.

Plus, as Malcolm Gladwell pointed out, “It’s fun to drive.’

Welcome to car ownership, my friend. You are gonna love it.

JVH

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