Teenage Travel Behavior in Connecticut

The CTSRC conducted a research study that sought to examine the travel behavior and potential mobility barriers of Connecticut teenagers. The motivation for this study partially stemmed from the effects of Graduated Driver’s Licensing, which has some teens deferring getting a driver’s license until they face fewer restrictions. This also highlighted that not much is known about how teenagers who don’t or can’t drive travel around the state. Census data reveals that only two percent of Connecticut residents under the age of 18 are licensed drivers, but they represent almost a quarter of the entire state population. As teenagers face specific age and legal restrictions related to some forms of travel, such as the increasingly popular ride-sharing, it is important to ensure that this population’s transportation needs are not overlooked. 

Students attending the University of Connecticut and Manchester Community College were surveyed about their travel behavior as teens (13-17 years old), peer travel behavior, neighborhood characteristics, and attitudes and opinions related to different modes of transportation. Results of the retrospective survey revealed that teenagers who reside in rural areas and come from households with lower household incomes face particular issues with regards to their mobility. Most notably, participants spoke frequently about the lack of continuous sidewalks and access to public transportation in their neighborhoods. These restrictions were said to prevent respondents from finding employment and accessing amenities and businesses outside of their immediate area.

Teen Graphic 1

Predicted probability of participants identifying accessibility as a cause for not using public transit

 

Teen Graphic 2

Predicted probability of participants identifying neighborhood layout as a cause for not walking or biking

The findings also revealed driving as the most common and well-liked travel mode among respondents, when available. It may be that the preference for traveling in a personal vehicle is the result of the lack of alternative transportation options, as many respondents resided in rural areas as teens. Suggestions for promoting existing public transportation options and creative alternatives to increase teenage mobility were provided. This full manuscript, “More sidewalks, more bus stops”: Travel Behaviors and Opinions of Connecticut Teenagers, has been published in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives.

Citation: Auguste, M.E., Tucker, A., & Jackson, E. (2020). “More sidewalks, more bus stops”: Travel Behaviors and Opinions of Connecticut Teenagers. Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trip.2020.100238

The CTSRC’s Marisa Auguste and Andrew Tucker, Ph.D. were the lead investigators for this project. Ms. Auguste obtained a masters in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven and a bachelors in Sociology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her previous research includes an observational study of pedestrian crossing behaviors, distracted driving, and marijuana use and driving. Dr. Tucker received a doctorate in Psychological Sciences from the University of Connecticut. Experienced in advanced quantitative analyses, Dr. Tucker has previously researched app-based distracted driving interventions, human interaction with automated vehicles, and the use of haptic information by first responders in navigating unfamiliar and unsafe environments.

For more information about Ms. Auguste and Dr. Tucker’s projects, visit ctsrc.uconn.edu

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