There's been a flurry of articles on Gen Y (also called millennials, born 1980 to 2000) not being as interested in owning cars as prior generations. Examples include:
Business Week's Gen Y Eschewing V-8 for 4G Threatens Auto Demand. Key quote:
"The rate of U.S. auto sales to 18-to-34-year-old buyers declined to 11 percent in April 2012, down from 17 percent for the same age group in April 2007, before the recession, according to Southfield, Michigan-based R.L. Polk & Co."
Time's Will Millennials Change How Cars Are Bought and Sold. Key quote:
"Gen Y doesn’t seem to care much for cars. Based on sales and survey data, it’s clear that young Americans are far more interested in iPhones than cars."
"They also are environmentally conscious and embrace bikes and public transportation."
The quick summary of these article is Gen Y doesn't view cars as a necessity like prior generations. Also, Gen Y doesn't link auto ownership with freedom to the same degree as prior generations.
These are big shifts and will have a major impact on transportation and related industries.