Mobility of the youth – Open discussion

How do young adults (18-35 years old) conceive mobility? We discussed the results from the Movin’On & Kantar study with three of them.

Virginie Cohen, Head of Qualitative Innovation and Brand at Kantar, led an interview to discuss the results with young adults involved in the Movin’On ecosystem. Here are some key takeaways.

THE CONCEPT OF MOBILITY VS PREVIOUS GENERATIONS

Young people associate mobility with multi-modal transport: it’s not just cars and busses anymore, but also electric scooters, cycling and walking.

For older generations, they are impressed with the evolution of mobility options, green or sustainable, to reduce carbon footprint and save cost. Until now, owning a car was a major step in life, especially when living in rural areas. It represented more freedom and the possibility to go to work.

Although modes of transport have evolved and multiplied, youth travels much more nowadays than their elders do.

MOBILITY AS A SERVICE

  • For younger generations, mobility must be sustainable, which means it should not only be green, but accessible, safe, fast and efficient. They identify a remaining challenge to reach this sustainable mobility goal, especially on infrastructures: there should be more charging stations for hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • The Movin’On study showed that 18-35-year-olds today are more pragmatic than idealistic, more engaged than utopian. For our panel, the dilemma is that youth want to travel more, at a time when the planet is threatened by mass tourism. With globalisation, people want to keep in touch with their eventual international relations. Thus, it makes an idealistic standpoint untenable, how can we make smarter travel choice? What is the compromise?  Some start already with carbon-offsetting schemes when traveling by plane.
  • With the mobility as a service approach, public authorities, cities and business definitely have a key role to play when it comes to infrastructures and public acceptance of shared transport. There is a need of shift in behaviour. Electric vehicle charging stations and shared bicycle systems require infrastructure investments. Facilitating the people flow from home to office in a sustainable and efficient way concerns everyone, and youth is expecting all the stakeholders to play their part in the change for a greener planet.

COVID AND ALTERNATE MODES OF MOBILITY

In all the effects COVID-19 had, mobility was part of the changes. Employers changed their approach and made sustainable mobility solutions accessible more easily for their employees (BNP Paribas CIB made electric vehicles and a fleet of bicycles available to its employees for their commute from home to office thanks to its subsidiary Arval, and pushed for safe car-pooling solutions).

Homeworking also gave more options for transporting children to and from school, which was a win-win situation for employees, for employers and for the planet.

ABOUT OUR PANELISTS: A GLIMPSE AT THE REAL-LIFE CHOICES OF YOUTH

Jean-François Deldon is a 34 year-old intrapreneur and data leader at Michelin where he has worked for the past 10 years. He lives in the Auvergne region of France and is the father of two young children. For him, mobility rhymes with necessity, whether you’re carrying people, goods or data.

Anna Thay is a 34 year-old mother of a four-year-old daughter. She has been working at BNP Paribas for the past 15 years. She drives a hybrid vehicle and lives in Paris. For her, there is a human component to mobility (a personal choice between the subway, tram, car, train or plane) as well as a logistical component involving the movement of goods.

A native of France, Théo Viala is a 23 year-old graduate of McGill University in Montreal who prefers moving around with the tramway. For him, mobility means getting from point A to point B. It is also a human right, whether you’re traveling to visit family, work, go shopping or travel. Mobility is everywhere, which is why it should be as sustainable as possible.