Access to MBTA influences where millennials work, live

The MBTA may not be perfect, but it plays a big role in young professionals’ living decisions, according to a new survey.


Access to public transit is hugely important to young people in and around Boston as they decide where to live, according to a survey from MassINC Polling Group and the Urban Land Institute of Boston.

Eighty percent of millennials surveyed said access to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is very important when choosing a town or neighborhood to call home. Another 16 percent said it is somewhat important.

The survey polled 660 people aged 20 to 37 who live in the greater Boston area.

Seventy-eight percent said it was very important that their workplace be located near public transportation, 15 percent ranked that factor as somewhat important.


That’s in line with 81 percent who said ease of commute is important in determining where they live.

The survey found that 49 percent of respondents take the MBTA subway to work for at least part of their normal commute, 24 percent take the bus, and 13 percent take the commuter rail. Thirty-nine percent walk and 22 percent bike, compared to 24 percent who drive solo.

While driving was not a popular commuting choice, most of those surveyed said they have access to a car. Forty-five percent either have permanent access to a car and 27 percent share one with a partner or their family. Another 18 percent use on-demand car rental services like Zipcar.

In a sign of how technology is changing transit habits, 6 percent said they take ride share services like Uber and Lyft to commute, compared to just 1 percent who utilize traditional taxis.

The survey was conducted online and was designed to screen out undergraduate students. It is meant to reflect the preferences of young professionals in and around the city, according to MassINC.

Gallery: The busiest stops on the MBTA

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