Blumenberg on the Persistence of Driving

Urban Planning Professor Evelyn Blumenberg commented on the decline in ridership on public transportation in a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article. “Even among population groups where transit ridership and transit use has been highest — low-income, immigrants, recent immigrants, in particular — we found a growth in driving,” Blumenberg said, referring to a Southern California study that reflects a nationwide trend. The article focused on the declining usage of public transportation in lower-income neighborhoods in Philadelphia due to the expense of automobiles, the hours lower-income jobs require, the demands of parenthood and concerns about safety. “We’ve created urban environments that privilege the automobile that make it difficult no matter what transit does,” said Blumenberg, who is also director of the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies at UCLA. “If jobs are dispersing and things are spread out in metropolitan areas, transit is going to have an increasingly hard time meeting those travel needs.”


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