Man waiting at bus stop

Blumenberg on Car Access and Upward Mobility

Urban Planning Professor Evelyn Blumenberg spoke to station WFAE about attempts to increase transportation options for low-income residents of Charlotte, North Carolina. Officials have adopted a plan to make the city more dense, walkable and transit-accessible, but it would take decades to implement. Since the city was designed around the automobile, some are advocating increasing access to cars. Options include subsidies to purchase a vehicle, vouchers for ride-share services and neighborhood car-sharing programs. Blumenberg, director of the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, said her research shows that low-income people with cars are able to move to better neighborhoods and are more likely to find and keep a job. “A car gives you a lot of flexibility and a lot of choice,” she said. Blumenberg also described the Los Angeles program BlueLA, which subsidizes the sharing of electric vehicles, noting that encouraging the use of EVs could make increased access to cars more politically palatable.


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