ECONOMICS OF CAR OWNERSHIP AND USE BY TEENAGERS (ABRIDGMENT)

Disaggregate income and expenditure data were produced as part of a comprehensive, exploratory study of subgroup travel behavior and mobility barriers. Information from small panels of 50 white male high school studies from 3 working-class Boston suburbs generated insights that could help refine the analysis of metropolitan transportation planning and programs. Traveler benefits and costs used to investigate and forecast trip and modal-choice decisions must consider perceived costs and anticipated incomes of relatively homogeneous population segments, such as older teenagers, rather than average costs and past incomes for heterogeneous population groups or households. Travel cost estimates of engineers and economists seem to be higher than those of teenagers. Incomes for teenagers and their desire to work to pay for high-quality private transportation seem to be underestimated by planners. The study discussed in this paper suggests that teenagers want jobs and cars as means to other objectives such as avoiding boredom, socializing, and obtaining goods and services. Active teenagers appear willing to spend as much as 50 percent of their budgets on transportation that satisfies their complex requirements for off-peak, unchaperoned dating and social and part-time employment trips. Policymakers should consider that many teenagers' perceptions of car ownership and use benefits far outweigh their perceptions of car costs; no evidence suggests that increased public education programs dealing with true car costs or the provision of inexpensive transit service are likely to significantly affect the modal preferences and travel behavior of older, working-class male teenagers. Public policies that reflect the economic behavioral preferences of these teenagers (and probably many other transit-dependent travel subgroups as well) would promote job-development activities and programs to reduce costs of car ownership and use.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: pp 78-83
  • Monograph Title: Social, economic and environmental implications in transportation planning
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00141410
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309024978
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Conf Paper
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Nov 3 1982 12:00AM