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Automobile Reliance Among the Elderly: Race and Spatial Context Effects


  • Brigitte Waldorf


Abstract Mobility is a necessary condition for the social and emotional well‐being of older people. To meet their mobility needs, the elderly assign pivotal importance to the automobile despite the potential challenge of driving cessation and searching for alternatives to automobile transportation. Older persons’ generally strong reliance on the automobile varies, however, by land use patterns (density) as well as by demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. This paper analyzes the effects of spatial context and personal attributes on automobile reliance among the elderly. Using the 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey (NPTS) trip data, two models of automobile reliance among elderly (65+) trip makers are estimated. The results show that spatial context effects of automobile reliance vary by demographic characteristics; in particular, they are more pronounced for black than for white elderly. Moreover, race variation in automobile reliance is strongest in urban locations rather than less dense spatial contexts. Finally, the differentiation between being a passenger rather than a driver is salient in order to understand locational and racial variations in automobile reliance among the elderly.

Suggested Citation

  • Brigitte Waldorf, 2003. "Automobile Reliance Among the Elderly: Race and Spatial Context Effects," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 175-201, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:34:y:2003:i:2:p:175-201
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-2257.00213

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    Cited by:

    1. Darren M. Scott & Kenneth Bruce Newbold & Jamie E.L. Spinney & Ruben Mercado & Antonio Páez & Pavlos S. Kanaroglou, 2009. "New Insights into Senior Travel Behavior: The Canadian Experience," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(1), pages 140-168, March.
    2. repec:kap:transp:v:44:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11116-016-9680-z is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hitomi Nakanishi & John Black, 2015. "Social Sustainability Issues and Older Adults’ Dependence on Automobiles in Low-Density Environments," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-21, June.
    4. Theo Arentze & Harry Timmermans & Peter Jorritsma & Marie-José Olde Kalter & Arnout Schoemakers, 2008. "More gray hair—but for whom? Scenario-based simulations of elderly activity travel patterns in 2020," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 613-627, August.
    5. repec:eee:jotrge:v:47:y:2015:i:c:p:90-99 is not listed on IDEAS

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