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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Spatial Pattern of Vehicle Ownership by Vintage

  • Author(s): Ong, Paul;
  • Lee, Cheol-Ho
  • et al.

This study examines the spatial pattern of older and newer vehicle ownership rates by using aggregated census and non-census data for small geographic units. Although there is considerable research on how overall ownership varies among neighborhoods, there is a paucity of research on how the age composition of personal vehicles varies across space. While we expect disadvantaged neighborhoods to have fewer and older vehicles, it is important to quantify these phenomena. The spatial pattern and its determinants are critical to answering basic policy questions such as the impact of transportation on accessing economic opportunities, and to estimating large-scale transportation models for urban planning. Moreover, the age of car also has broadersocietal consequences because of externalities. An older vehicle produces much more pollutants per mile, therefore contributes disproportionately to the mobile emissions (Dill, 2001). For example, a 1985 vehicle tends to generate nearly 38 times more carbon monoxide per mile than a 2001 model (Beydoun and Guldmann, 2006). For individuals and households, vintage is important because older vehicles are less reliable, thus offering less service to their owners.

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