IMPACT OF THE ENERGY SHORTAGE ON TRAVEL PATTERNS AND ATTITUDES

This paper examines the effect of the energy shortage on transportation patterns and attitudes in the automobile- oriented, suburban Dutch Fork area in Columbia, South Carolina. Data from several nationwide surveys and selected transit operations are also used. The findings from the Dutch Fork area show that the energy shortage did not appreciably reduce (10 to 15 percent) the amount of automobile travel and did not substantially affect transit patterns or attitudes. Traffic volumes decreased primarily on weekends; there was less decline on weekdays. Travel was reduced by driving slower and limiting social- recreational and shopping trips. Shifts in travel behavior were moderate, although people expressed an interest in public transit. Gasoline supply more than price appears to have greatly affected travel habits, although the effect of price appears to be reflected in the buying of more small cars. In other words, people did not move away from relying on the car but rather adjusted their driving behavior to conserve gasoline. Data from national surveys also show this pattern. Possibly, local public transit will not realize appreciable comparative advantage against the automobile on the basis of price, and this further emphasizes the inability of transit to serve a substantial ridership. In addition, failures of public transit to capture and hold a greater part of the market during the energy shortage are a product of poor service quality. The one favorable result for public transit is the verbal support given to transit as a method for dealing with the energy shortage. Public transit can benefit from this support by garnering greater governmental resources, although there are still many reservations about the likelihood of converting public support and governmental investment into substantial patronage increases.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 1-11
  • Monograph Title: Transportation energy conservation and demand
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00134003
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309024714
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 13 1981 12:00AM