This PSDI research paper examines the numerous reasons why people prefer to drive. While not every reason applies to every person, there is clearly an overwhelming preference for driving in North America and elsewhere, regardless of the significant efforts and massive expenditures to try and shift people from private vehicles to others forms of travel.
The reality is that expenditures on other non-car forms of travel do not meet the needs of people in the 21st century. Indeed, the options being prompted are rooted in an understanding of societal patterns from 60 or more years ago. Planners and decision-makers need to remember that their roles are to ensure a good quality of life for people and not control or dictate behaviour patterns that are clearly out of touch.
The Value of Time
Time is a scarce resource that cannot be retrieved once spent. With people’s increasingly busy schedules, the significant loss of time using public transit can likely deter people from utilizing it. That is why time saved by driving is valuable. Between work, family and household responsibilities, most people feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, let alone to have time for leisure and recreation. As people accumulate wealth, one of the first things they often do is buy back their time, by hiring out household chores such as yard work and housecleaning. Driving is another example of a way that people can buy back their time.
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