Advertisement

Car-deficit households: determinants and implications for household travel in the U.S.

  • Evelyn Blumenberg
  • Anne Brown
  • Andrew Schouten
Article
  • 76 Downloads

Abstract

In the U.S., households with less than one car per driver (auto-deficit households) are more than twice as common as zero-vehicle households. Yet we know very little about these households and their travel behavior. In this study, therefore, we examine whether car deficits, like carlessness, are largely a result of financial constraint or of other factors such as built environment characteristics, household structure, or household resources. We then analyze the mobility outcomes of car-deficit households compared to the severely restricted mobility of carless households and the largely uninhibited movement of fully-equipped households, households with at least one car per driver. Data from the California Household Travel Survey show that car-deficit households are different than fully-equipped households. They have different household characteristics, travel less, and are more likely to use public transit. While many auto-deficit households have incomes that presumably enable them to successfully manage with fewer cars than adults, low-income auto-deficit households are—by definition—income constrained. Our analysis suggests that low-income car-deficit households manage their travel needs by carefully negotiating the use of household vehicles. In so doing, they travel far more than carless households and use their household vehicles almost as much as low-income households with at least one car per driver. These results suggest that the mobility benefits of having at least one car per driver are more limited than we had anticipated. Results also indicate the importance of transportation and employment programs to ease the potential difficulties associated with sharing cars among household drivers.

Keywords

Automobile ownership Car-deficit households Travel behavior 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Funding was provided by the University of California Center on Economic Competitiveness in Transportation (UCCONNECT). 

Authors’ Contributions

E. Blumenberg: developed funding proposal including research question and analytical approach, supervised all research, editing. A. Brown: helped guide research, manuscript writing, editing. A. Schouten: data analysis, manuscript writing, editing.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Adams, W., Einav, L., Levin, J.: Liquidity constraints and imperfect information in subprime lending. Am. Econ. Rev. 99(1), 49–84 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.1257/aer.99.1.49 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. American Automobile Association: Your Driving Costs. How much are you really paying to drive? Heathrow, FL: AAA Association Communication (2017). http://exchange.aaa.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/17-0013_Your-Driving-Costs-Brochure-2017-FNL-CX-1.pdf. Accessed 2017
  3. Anggraini, R., Arentze, T.A., Timmermans, H.J.P.: Car allocation between household heads in car deficient households: a decision model. Eur. J. Transp. Infrastruct. Res. 8(4), 301–319 (2008)Google Scholar
  4. Bhat, C.R., Guo, J.Y.: A comprehensive analysis of built environment characteristics on household residential choice and auto ownership levels. Transp. Res. Part B Methodol. 41(5), 506–526 (2007).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trb.2005.12.005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blumenberg, E., Brown, A., Ralph, K., Taylor, B.D., Voulgaris, C.T.: Typecasting neighborhoods and travelers: Analyzing the geography of travel behavior among teens and young adults in the U.S. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies (2015). https://www.its.ucla.edu/publication/typecasting-neighborhoods-and-travelers-analyzing-the-geography-of-travel-behavior-among-teens-and-young-adults-in-the-u-s/. Accessed 2017
  6. Blumenberg, E., Pierce, G.: Automobile ownership and travel by the poor. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2320, 28–36 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.3141/2320-04 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blumenberg, E., Pierce, G.: Car access and long-term poverty exposure: evidence from the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) experiment. J. Transp. Geogr. 65, 92–100 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2017.10.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, A.E.: Car-less or car-free? Socioeconomic and mobility differences among zero-car households. Transp. Policy 60(Supplement C), 152–159 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2017.09.016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. California Department of Transportation: California Household Travel Survey [dataset]. Author, Sacramento, CA (2012)Google Scholar
  10. Chu, Y.-L.: Automobile ownership analysis using ordered probit models. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 1805, 60–67 (2002).  https://doi.org/10.3141/1805-08 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Clark, B., Chatterjee, K., Melia, S.: Changes in level of household car ownership: the role of life events and spatial context. Transportation 43(4), 565–599 (2016a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark, B., Lyons, G., Chatterjee, K.: Understanding the process that gives rise to household car ownership level changes. J. Transp. Geogr. 55, 110–120 (2016b).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2016.07.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dargay, J.M.: The effect of income on car ownership: evidence of asymmetry. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 35(9), 807–821 (2001).  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0965-8564(00)00018-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davis, S.C., Williams, S.E., Boundy, R.G.: Transportation Energy Data Book, Edition 35 (No. ORNL-6992). Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dawkins, C., Jeon, J.S., Pendall, R.: Vehicle access and exposure to neighborhood poverty: evidence from the Moving to Opportunity Program. J. Reg. Sci. 55(5), 687–707 (2015).  https://doi.org/10.1111/jors.12198 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Delbosc, A., Currie, G.: Choice and disadvantage in low-car ownership households. Transp. Policy 23, 8–14 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tranpol.2012.06.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dieleman, F.M., Dijst, M., Burghouwt, G.: Urban form and travel behaviour: micro-level household attributes and residential context. Urban Stud. 39(3), 507–527 (2002).  https://doi.org/10.1080/00420980220112801 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ewing, R., Cervero, R.: Travel and the built environment. J. Am. Plan. Assoc. 76(3), 265–294 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Federal Highway Administration: 2009 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) [dataset]. U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC (2009)Google Scholar
  20. Giuliano, G.: Travel, location and race/ethnicity. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 37(4), 351–372 (2003).  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0965-8564(02)00020-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Giuliano, G., Dargay, J.: Car ownership, travel and land use: a comparison of the US and Great Britain. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 40(2), 106–124 (2006).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2005.03.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Glaeser, E.L., Kahn, M.E., Rappaport, J.: Why do the poor live in cities? The role of public transportation. J. Urban Econ. 63(1), 1–24 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Goetzke, F., Weinberger, R.: Separating contextual from endogenous effects in automobile ownership models. Environ. Plan. A Econ. Space 44(5), 1032–1046 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1068/a4490 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goodman-Bacon, A., McGranahan, L.: How do EITC recipients spend their refunds? Econ. Perspect. 32(2), 17–32 (2008)Google Scholar
  25. Gurley, T., Bruce, D.: The effects of car access on employment outcomes for welfare recipients. J. Urban Econ. 58(2), 250–272 (2005).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jue.2005.05.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hensher, D.A., Reyes, A.J.: Trip chaining as a barrier to the propensity to use public transport. Transportation 27(4), 341–361 (2000).  https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1005246916731 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kawabata, M., Shen, Q.: Commuting inequality between cars and public transit: the case of the San Francisco Bay Area, 1990–2000. Urban Stud. 44(9), 1759–1780 (2007).  https://doi.org/10.1080/00420980701426616 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Klein, N.J., Smart, M.J.: Car today, gone tomorrow: the ephemeral car in low-income, immigrant and minority families. Transportation 44(3), 495–510 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-015-9664-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Kneebone, E., Holmes, N.: The growing distance between people and jobs in metropolitan America. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution (2015). https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Srvy_JobsProximity.pdf. Accessed 2017
  30. Maat, K., Timmermans, H.J.P.: Influence of the residential and work environment on car use in dual-earner households. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 43(7), 654–664 (2009).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2009.06.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Martin, E., Shaheen, S.: The impact of carsharing on household vehicle ownership. Access Mag. 38, 22–27 (2011)Google Scholar
  32. Mattioli, G.: Where sustainable transport and social exclusion meet: households without cars and car dependence in Great Britain. J. Environ. Plan. Policy Manag. 16(3), 379–400 (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1080/1523908X.2013.858592 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mattioli, G., Anable, J., Vrotsou, K.: Car dependent practices: findings from a sequence pattern mining study of UK time use data. Transp. Res. Part A Policy Pract. 89, 56–72 (2016).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2016.04.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McGuckin, N., Zmud, J., Nakamoto, Y.: Trip chaining trends in the U.S.—understanding travel behavior for policy making (Vol. Paper # 05-1716). Presented at the Transportation Research Board, Washington DC (2005)Google Scholar
  35. Mendenhall, R., Edin, K., Crowley, S., Sykes, J., Tach, L., Kriz, K., Kling, J.R.: The role of earned income tax credit in the budgets of low-income households. Soc. Serv. Rev. 86(3), 367–400 (2012).  https://doi.org/10.1086/667972 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mitra, S.K., Saphores, J.-D.M.: Carless in California: green choice or misery? J. Transp. Geogr. 65, 1–12 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Oakil, A.T.M.: Securing or sacrificing access to a car: gender difference in the effects of life events. Travel Behav. Soc. 3, 1–7 (2016).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tbs.2015.03.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Oakil, A.T.M., Ettema, D., Arentze, T., Timmermans, H.: Changing household car ownership level and life cycle events: an action in anticipation or an action on occurrence. Transportation 41(4), 889–904 (2014).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11116-013-9507-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Oakil, A.T.M., Manting, D., Nijland, H.: Determinants of car ownership among young households in the Netherlands: the role of urbanisation and demographic and economic characteristics. J. Transp. Geogr. 51, 229–235 (2016a).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2016.01.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Oakil, A.T.M., Manting, D., Nijland, H.: Dynamics in car ownership: the role of entry into parenthood. Eur. J. Transp. Infrastruct. Res. 16(4), 661–673 (2016b)Google Scholar
  41. Pucher, J., Renne, J.L.: Socioeconomics of urban travel: evidence from the 2001 NHTS. Transp. Q. 57(3), 49–77 (2003)Google Scholar
  42. Ralph, K., Voulgaris, C.T., Brown, A.: Travel and the built environment. Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 2653, 1–9 (2017).  https://doi.org/10.3141/2653-01 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Raphael, S., Rice, L.: Car ownership, employment, and earnings. J. Urban Econ. 52(1), 109–130 (2002).  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0094-1190(02)00017-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ruggles, S., Genadek, K., Goeken, R., Grover, J., Sobek, M.: Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 7.0 [dataset]. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (2017).  https://doi.org/10.18128/D010.V7.0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Santos, A., McGuckin, N., Nakamoto, Y., Gray, D., Liss, S.: Summary of Travel Trends: 2009 National Household Travel Survey (No. FHWA-PL-ll-022). Federal Transit Administration, Department of Transportation, Washington, DC (2011)Google Scholar
  46. Scheiner, J., Holz-Rau, C.: Gender structures in car availability in car deficient households. Res. Transp. Econ. 34(1), 16–26 (2012a).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.retrec.2011.12.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Scheiner, J., Holz-Rau, C.: Gendered travel mode choice: a focus on car deficient households. J. Transp. Geogr. 24(Supplement C), 250–261 (2012b).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2012.02.011 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Schimek, P.: Household motor vehicle ownership and use: how much does residential density matter? Transp. Res. Rec. J. Transp. Res. Board 1552, 120–125 (1996).  https://doi.org/10.3141/1552-17 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schwanen, T., Mokhtarian, P.L.: What affects commute mode choice: neighborhood physical structure or preferences toward neighborhoods? J. Transp. Geogr. 13(1), 83–99 (2005).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2004.11.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Shen, Q.: A spatial analysis of job openings and access in a U.S. metropolitan area. J. Am. Plan. Assoc. 67(1), 53–68 (2001).  https://doi.org/10.1080/01944360108976355 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Syed, S.T., Gerber, B.S., Sharp, L.K.: Traveling towards disease: transportation barriers to health care access. J. Community Health 38(5), 976–993 (2013).  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-013-9681-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. U.S. Department of Agriculture: Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food: Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and their Consequences. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC (2009)Google Scholar
  53. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Smart Location Database. Author, Washington, DC (2014)Google Scholar
  54. Van Acker, V., Witlox, F.: Car ownership as a mediating variable in car travel behaviour research using a structural equation modelling approach to identify its dual relationship. J. Transp. Geogr. 18(1), 65–74 (2010).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2009.05.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Voulgaris, C.T., Taylor, B.D., Blumenberg, E., Brown, A., Ralph, K.: Synergistic neighborhood relationships with travel behavior: An analysis of travel in 30,000 US neighborhoods. J. Transp. Land Use (2016).  https://doi.org/10.5198/jtlu.2016.840 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Yamamoto, T.: The impact of life-course events on vehicle ownership dynamics. The cases of France and Japan. IATSS Res. 32(2), 34–43 (2008).  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0386-1112(14)60207-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Ye, X., Pendyala, R.M., Gottardi, G.: An exploration of the relationship between mode choice and complexity of trip chaining patterns. Transp. Res. Part B Methodol. 41(1), 96–113 (2007).  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trb.2006.03.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Transportation StudiesUCLA School of Public AffairsLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.School of Planning, Public Policy and ManagementUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

Personalised recommendations