Manville Links Poverty, Car Access and Transit

New Geography article on the links between car access and poverty summarized the conclusions of a paper co-authored by Associate Professor of Urban Planning Michael Manville. The paper, which was published in the Journal of Planning Education and Research, argued that proximity to transit does not necessarily correspond with transit use and effectiveness. While 89% of workers live “near transit” in Los Angeles, only 5% of Los Angeles commuters use transit. Furthermore, Manville and co-authors David King and Michael Smart found that U.S. households without access to vehicles have a 70% greater chance of being in poverty than those that have access to vehicles. In addition, they found that the incomes of households without vehicles rise at a lower rate than households with vehicle access. The authors pointed to door-to-door access as the ultimate solution and concluded that universal auto access would lead to less unemployment, less poverty and higher standards of living.

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