A description of urban travel behavior before and during the energy crisis of 1973-74 is developed in this paper. Using a home interview survey taken in Buffalo in the fall of 1973, just before the crisis, a view of pre-crisis urban travel patterns is developed, emphasizing the differences in gasoline use by demographic groups, in order to recognize potential hardship. Three results were uncovered: (1) men travel about 2 times as far per day as do women; (2) travel increases at a decreasing rate as auto ownership increases; (3) the middleage groups (21-50) travel significantly more than the young or elderly. A review of travel behavior changes during the energy crisis is also conducted. Several general conclusions are evident from the studies reviewed: (1) the availability of gasoline is a more important factor in determining travel demand than its price; (2) only those persons with some flexibility in travel behavoir do the conserving and those travelers usually have high levels of auto ownership and income; (3) although transit ridership rose during the crisis, for most people it was not an important alternative in combatting the gasoline shortage, even in areas with good transit service. These results seem to indicate that policies using price to reduce gasoline consumption will be ineffective among the higher income households (those with the greatest potential to conserve) and severely impact the lower income families. Policies aimed at travelers with some flexibility in travel choices would be the most effective in conserving fuel, and would not impose severe hardships on any one group. /Author/

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 25 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00179030
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Res. Rpt. 131
  • Created Date: Jul 29 1981 12:00AM