Informed and engaged young people are key to moving transportation issues forward, bringing future advocates, citizens and practitioners into the next wave of transportation issues and smart transportation planning.
This is especially important considering that the majority of youth – 85 percent – lives in developing countries. They will be the ones to face the impacts of poor planning for cities. Youth are more mobile and less likely to have the funds to purchase a car. Thus, it’s critical to have this population engaged in sustainable transportation. The International Association of Public Transport (UITP) is working to promote the links between youth and public transportation. The organization says:
Young people are heavily dependent on public transport, it is often their only way to reach school, working places, sports facilities and any other locations where they live and build their future. And through their views, we can predict how public transport will evolve.
UITP is also supporting Youth Parliaments around the world where young people, aged 15 to 24, are invited to speak at events and act as formal ambassadors.
Increasingly, through the internet, video, shared photo sites like Flickr and Facebook, youth have more opportunities to develop their own voice, speak their concerns and find a forum to participate.