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Why People Drive

Most people rely on cars for transportation—even in metropolitan areas where other modes such as public transportation, cycling, and walking are available.  If given the choice, despite the costs, people prefer to drive than using other methods of transportation.  This raises a major question—is all the extra effort toward public transit worth it?  Most big cities continue with massive transit projects—all of which will require continuous subsidies in an attack on the widely preferred means of transport.   

In addition, transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft are also making it easier for people to want to drive.  These companies allow individuals who might take public transportation, bike or walk to get around, make car transport more accessible.  Since they are more affordable than taxis and convenient when pressed for time to get around, they are getting more and more common.

“79.6% of Canadians depend on a car to get to work.”

Factors that contribute to why people prefer driving

  • Shorter travel time
  • Value of time
  • Flexibility
  • Comfort
  • Personal safety
  • More than a means of transportation
  • Emotional value
  • Symbolic value


Why people with choice avoid public transit

  • Reliability
  • Hygiene
  • Personal safety
  • Comfort
  • Convenience
  • Passenger behaviour

Individual transportation decisions are deceptively complex—to understand the decisions people make we must look at the whole picture and recognize how travel mode fits a person’s lifestyle, needs, and attitudes as well.  These are just a few of our findings from our report; please visit our website (psdinst.com) for the full analysis.

By | 2017-01-06T16:46:40+00:00 August 17th, 2016|Transportation|Comments Off on Why People Drive

About the Author:

Adrienne has her BA in Sociology from San Francisco State University, and her MES degree from York University. Her research and background focuses on innovative and efficient sustainable business practices.