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More People Own Cars, Including the Poor
Daniel C. Vock has some good news and some bad news about car ownership among low-income Americans.
"The good news is that more low-income Americans report they have access to vehicles than they did a decade ago, before the Great Recession," according to Vock. "The bad – or at least, unsettling – news is that even a subtle shift in car usage could have big impacts on transit ridership and other transportation policies, and public officials are still trying to determine how to respond."
The contemporary connection between increased car ownership and reduced transit ridership was first elucidated by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles in a study focusing on the Los Angeles region. Vock follows the reasoning of that study to a broader conclusion about the United States reverting to the pre-Recession norm in terms of car ownership and usage.
"Urban planners who want to push for walkable neighborhoods and transit-oriented development can still make a compelling case for certain areas, particularly urban centers," writes Vock.
The article includes more details about the implications of increased car ownership, for both urban and suburban environments, as well as in other sectors of the economy, like auto loans.