The Impact That Not Owning a Car Have on Low Income Families and Individuals (Jun. 17th, 2009) – An important amount of research in the past years has shown that automobiles are most important in helping the low-income families to get out from the general poverty. It is well known the fact that having access to a private transportation vehicle, such as a car, can represent an essential factor and determinant of the labor market outcomes. So, simpler said, if you are having a car, you will have a bigger chance to obtain and maintain a job, and also earn more money. All the things are interconnected between them in a ”chain of weaknesses”.

Nowadays, owning a car is something that people are mostly preoccupied. Due to studies in this domain from the University of California and Portland State University (with the collaboration of researchers Kerri Sullivan(1), Steven Raphael and Michael Stoll(2)), it has been found the fact that owning a car was more important in ensuring a form of employment for non-high-school graduates than getting a high-school degree. A high-school graduate will have 80% more chances to get a better paid job than a high-school graduate who does not possess a car. In addition, his or her monthly salary will start from $1100, a considerably bigger amount than the one in the case of a person who does not own a car(1).

Another study from the University of California made by researchers Steven Raphael and Michael Stoll, has shown the fact that there are still some little discrepancies between the Afro-American population and the white segment of the US population, and also between the American citizens and the growing number of immigrants. This is mostly because some of the Afro-American US citizens are still having low incomes or suffering from bad credits. This gap of percents will most surely be filled in the years that will come, but it is important to know and understand this statistical information. Only by applying for low-income auto financing or by getting interested in participating in low-income car ownership programs, a family with financial problems will possess a car. It will be a little struggle and you will consume your nerves and lose a little bit of hair, but eventually you will receive a car loan or a car lease that it will be suitable for your specific requirements(3).

Owning and using a car can definitely shorten the time spent from home to the office. As many of the families are living in the residential spaces outside the cities and towns, going to the office which is located in downtown, can be made easily by driving a personal car. Also, in the case a person is living in a town and he or she is working in other city, the best solution is to drive till there. With a car, these kinds of distances can be made in just 20 or 30 minutes, not more. So, as a result, cars are most important for employment because they are faster and more flexible than any other kind of public transportation. In most of the cases, public transportation is not as reasonable to substitute the private vehicles, in the case of most of the poor people. Although they are poor, they will need to get a car in order not just to have a proper job and survive, but also to have the opportunity of a prosperous life. In the case of a regular need of transportation, owning a personal car represents the most reliable solution.

Because auto mobility is something most important in the case of low-income families, there have been created and developed a series of anti poverty groups that are insuring that such kinds of families are having access to cars. There are solutions for each and every person, but there need to be searched and found.

1 ”Transportation & Work”, By Kerri Sullivan, National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (U.S., Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 2003.).

2 ”Redefining urban and suburban America”, By Bruce Katz, Alan Berube, Robert Lang, 2006 (Chapter 6, ”Modest Progress: The Narrowing Spatial Mismatch between Blacks and Jobs in the 1990s”, by Steven Raphael & Michael A. Stoll, page 119.).

3 ”Taking the high road: a metropolitan agenda for transportation reform”, by Bruce Katz, Robert Puentes, 2005, page 223.

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