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Decrease in licensed drivers; its implications

A just released study by The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute shows that there has been a continuous decrease in the number of people with a driver’s license across all age groups over the past three decades.

Decrease in licensed drivers

The younger the age group, the greater the decline. For 20- to 24-year-olds, the decline has been from 92% holding a license in 1983 to only 77% in 2014, a one-sixth (-16%) decline. The age 25 to 29 age group saw a 11% decline to 85% licensed in 2014 and the 30-34 age group saw a 10% decline to 87% licensed. And remember, this data precedes any impact that could be attributed to the recent Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing options.

This 20-34 age group, basically what are called Millennials, is a prime target market for many types of location-based leisure and entertainment venues. This trend of declining licensed drivers has implications for location-based businesses. Fewer people driving means fewer people with easy access to visiting location-based business. Of course, in some situations this may be offset by improvements in public transportation and now by the ride sharing services.

A more important implication is that the decline in licensed drivers is a result of where people chose to live, especially the younger adults, so it is affecting where many LBEs need to be located to capture that market. Our Leisure eNewsletter that will be emailed out next Monday includes an article that discusses research findings on the migration of young adults to new living locations due to their desire to reduce their commuting time and gain more leisure time. Make sure to check it out.

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About Randy White

Randy White is CEO and co-founder of the White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group. The 31-year-old company, with offices in Kansas City, Missouri, has worked for over 600 clients in 37 countries throughout the world. Projects the company has designed and produced have won seventeen 1st place awards. Randy is considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on feasibility, brand development, design and production of leisure experience destinations including entertainment, eatertainment, edutainment, agritainment/agritourism, play and leisure facilities.

Randy was featured on the Food Network's Unwrapped television show as an eatertainment expert, quoted as an entertainment/edutainment center expert in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Times and Time magazine and received recognition for family-friendly designs by Pizza Today magazine. One of the company's projects was featured as an example of an edutainment project in the book The Experience Economy. Numerous national newspapers have interviewed him as an expert on shopping center and mall entertainment and retail-tainment.

Randy is a graduate of New York University. Prior to repositioning the company in 1989 to work exclusively in the leisure and learning industry, White Hutchinson was active in the retail/commercial real estate industry as a real estate consultancy specializing in workouts/turnarounds of commercial projects. In the late 1960s to early 1980s, Randy managed a diversified real estate development company that developed, owned and managed over 2.0 million square feet of shopping centers and mixed-use projects and 2,000 acres of residential subdivisions. Randy has held the designations of CSM (Certified Shopping Center Manager) and Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

He has authored over 150 articles that have been published in over 40 leading entertainment/leisure and early childhood education industry magazines and journals and has been a featured speaker and keynoter at over 40 different conventions and trade groups.

Randy is the editor of his company's Leisure eNewsletter, has a blog and posts on Twitter and Linkedin.

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