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Social networks as a source of private-vehicle transportation: The practice of getting rides and borrowing vehicles among Mexican immigrants in California

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  • Lovejoy, Kristin
  • Handy, Susan

Abstract

We examine the role of social networks in enabling access to private-vehicle transportation, through getting rides and borrowing cars. Based on qualitative findings from ten focus group discussions with recent Mexican immigrants to California, half of whom have no car, we describe the extent to which participants depend on rides and borrowed cars for transportation. We highlight the unique aspects of informal access to cars, drawing on social exchange theory and related research to characterize the procurement process and likely levels of exchange. We discuss the implications of these findings for transportation services that might serve this and other community groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Lovejoy, Kristin & Handy, Susan, 2011. "Social networks as a source of private-vehicle transportation: The practice of getting rides and borrowing vehicles among Mexican immigrants in California," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 248-257, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:4:p:248-257
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sandra Rosenbloom, 2001. "Sustainability and automobility among the elderly: An international assessment," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 375-408, November.
    2. Heisz, Andrew & Schellenberg, Grant, 2004. "Public Transit Use Among Immigrants," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2004224e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Kerwin Kofi Charles & Patrick Kline, 2006. "Relational Costs and the Production of Social Capital: Evidence from Carpooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 581-604, April.
    4. Lovejoy, Kristin & Handy, Susan L, 2007. "Transportation Experiences of Mexican Immigrants in California: Results from Focus Group Interviews," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt0jj8h2cf, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    5. Juan Antonio Carrasco & Bernie Hogan & Barry Wellman & Eric J Miller, 2008. "Collecting social network data to study social activity-travel behavior: an egocentric approach," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(6), pages 961-980, November.
    6. Nan Marie Astone & Constance A. Nathanson & Robert Schoen & Young J. Kim, 1999. "Family Demography, Social Theory, and Investment in Social Capital," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 1-31.
    7. Kristin Lovejoy & Susan Handy, 2008. "A case for measuring individuals’ access to private-vehicle travel as a matter of degrees: lessons from focus groups with Mexican immigrants in California," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(5), pages 601-612, August.
    8. Tim Schwanen, 2008. "Managing uncertain arrival times through sociomaterial associations," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(6), pages 997-1011, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matsuo, Miwa, 2016. "Gender differences in mobility of Hispanic immigrants," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 209-230.
    2. repec:eee:trapol:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:79-88 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Chatman, Daniel G. & Klein, Nicholas J., 2013. "Why do immigrants drive less? Confirmations, complications, and new hypotheses from a qualitative study in New Jersey, USA," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 336-344.
    4. Schwanen, Tim & Lucas, Karen & Akyelken, Nihan & Cisternas Solsona, Diego & Carrasco, Juan-Antonio & Neutens, Tijs, 2015. "Rethinking the links between social exclusion and transport disadvantage through the lens of social capital," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 123-135.

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