Transportation Expenditures of Low-Income Adults

Getting Around When You're Just Getting By: The Travel Behavior and Transportation Expenditures of Low-Income Adults

Highlights from this study:

  • Most low-income families are concerned about the cost of transportation.
  • Low-income people benefit from policies that reduce their transportation burden and/or increase their mobility. Although members of low-income households can minimize their transportation expenses by forgoing travel, such short-term financial strategies entail longer-term costs to quality of life.
  • Low-income individuals actively and strategically manage their household resources in order to survive on very limited means and to respond to changes in income or transportation costs.
  • When making travel decisions, low-income families evaluate the costs of travel (time and out-of-pocket expenses) against the benefits of each mode of transportation.
  • One tactic to increase the affordability of transportation is to offset the cost of automobile ownership. Organizations that offer low-income auto ownership programs can help offset the initial cost of owning a car.

Read the report