Car ownership and low income on the urban fringe: benefit or hindrance?

This paper addresses conflicting views about how owning or not owning a car affects disadvantage for low income groups. Contemporary research has suggested that a lack of access to a car is a major cause of transport disadvantage; however there is also a contrary view that high car ownership creates disadvantage and that car ownership is “forced” upon this group. The paper explores the factors affecting travel and disadvantage as they impact low income groups living in fringe urban Melbourne by contrasting low income no car ownership (LINCO) households (HH) and low income and high car ownership (LIHCO) HH. It is based on the results of a household travel survey covering 535 households selecting using a targeted random sample approach. Although random sampling was adopted the sample was modest and results need to be interpreted with caution. Overall the paper finds that that those with and without cars have different forms of disadvantage suggesting both sides of the argument are both right and wrong. LIHCO HH demonstrate clear vulnerabilities to higher future transport and housing costs which should be addressed by research and policy. LINCO HH in contrast demonstrate both financial and environmental sustainability which should be encouraged by transport and land use policy. (a) For the covering record of the conference, please refer to ITRD no. E218380.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 11P (SESSION TUES 2A)
  • Monograph Title: ATRF 2009: 32nd Australasian Transport Research Forum: the growth engine: interconnecting transport performance, the economy and the environment: 29 September-1 October 2009, Auckland, New Zealand

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01153074
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 23 2010 9:14AM