Taco Trucks and the ‘Mobility Patterns’ of Young Urbanites

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  07.22.09 | 1:37 PM ET

By now most people have heard of the L.A. Twitter taco truck phenomenon that is Kogi. Well it seems that Kogi’s success has spawned a slew of other food trucks in Southern California, from the Coolhaus ice cream sandwich truck to the Franken Stand hawking vegan sausages.

And the trend is going national, so if you’re in the U.S., look out for a gourmet food truck coming soon to a neighborhood near you.

Today’s Los Angeles Times story on the phenomenon includes an interesting bit of sociology.

James Rojas, founder and co-chairman of the Latino Urban Forum and a transportation planner for L.A. County’s MTA, believes the rising popularity of the trucks is a result of, as the paper put it, a “significant change in the mobility patterns of young, middle-class urbanites known as ‘millennials.’”

He told the Times:

“Traditionally, taco trucks were very working class—janitors, secretaries, people on public transit—but now they’ve been adopted by the middle class as a legitimate way to buy and sell food. I think people under 30 want to bike and walk and take transit. These aren’t Latinos that have to take transit. These are privileged, middle-class kids. So taco trucks are targeting this group.”

Given that this phenomenon is occurring in L.A., the car cultural capital of the world and a place that can only benefit from fewer would-be diners on the road, I’d say that’s a good thing.

3 Comments for Taco Trucks and the ‘Mobility Patterns’ of Young Urbanites

Hal Amen 07.22.09 | 2:24 PM ET

I’ll be in LA serendipitously in three weeks. Can’t WAIT to hit up the Kogi truck. World Hum was the first to introduce it to me, so thanks for that!

TambourineMan 07.23.09 | 4:20 AM ET

Wow, these silly twitter-foodies are hilarious. Before my illustrious/lucrative travel writing career took off, I worked in construction all over LA and San Diego counties. When the “La Cucaracha” horn sounded, we RAN from the roach coaches (pardon me, “Taco Trucks”) fearing a long night in the John. Oh, I devoured my share of tasty tacos, but they were crap compared to the goodness you get at taquerias in East LA or Downtown LA or Highland Park or South Gate or even lame Long Beach. Our man Jim champions a great San Diego joint called Mama Testa. Kogi? Vegan sausage? Please.

Migration Mark 07.23.09 | 8:06 AM ET

I think it is a fantastic idea and would be happy for other mobile eateries.  I’m quite disappointed I haven’t yet been able to experience the Kogi Truck.  I will definitely schedule a full day for the event next time I’m in LA!

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