, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 429-446

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Getting by with a little help from my friends…and family: immigrants and carpooling

  • Evelyn BlumenbergAffiliated withUCLA Institute of Transportation Studies
  • , Michael SmartAffiliated withUCLA Institute of Transportation Studies Email author 


While much of the scholarly literature on immigrants’ travel focuses on transit use, the newest arrivals to the United States make over twelve times as many trips by carpool as by transit. Using the 2001 National Household Travel Survey and multinomial logit mode choice models, we examine the determinants of carpooling. In particular, we focus on the likelihood of carpooling among immigrants—carpooling both within and across households. After controlling for relevant determinants of carpooling, we find that immigrants are far more likely to form household carpools than native-born adults and also are more likely than the native-born to form external carpools (outside the household). Moreover, when faced with the options of carpooling and public transit, immigrants—even recent arrivals—appear to prefer carpools over transit more strongly than the native born.


Immigration Carpooling Mode choice modeling Travel demographics