Unlike their parents, Gen Y-ers don’t feel the need to invest their money in cars, despite the efforts of companies like Ford to market specifically to millennials.
Derek Thompson and Jordan Weissmann of The Atlantic Monthly argue that the popularity of smartphones has paved the way for changes in the transportation economy.
Companies like Zipcar allow Gen Y-ers to take advantage of transportation options without suffering the inconvenience of public transit, and without spending the big bucks that ownership of a vehicle requires. Smartphones have, of course, become especially relevant for companies like Uber and Lyft.
As an Uber user, I’ve noticed that many millennials have taken jobs behind the wheel, making money as they steer the ride-sharing community.
Thompson and Weissman acknowledge another benefit of the sharing economy. They write that, as Gen Y-ers continue to share rides, homes, office spaces, and more, “there’s a lot to be gained by increasing the odds that smart people might bump against each other.” In other words, sharing a car could lead to a sharing of ideas.
As noted in the article, the rise of transportation-sharing — and the efficiency of its technology — may signal temporary bad news for blue-collar workers in the auto industry.