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Automobile Dependency: An Unequal Burden
Automobile-dependent planning has changed automobiles from a luxury into a necessity. Excessive vehicle costs leave many households without money to purchase essential food, shelter and healthcare. They need more affordable transportation options.
Low-income households that obtained a car were able to work more hours and earn approximately $2,300 more per year, which sounds great, but they spent an additional $4,100 annually on their vehicles, so they ended up with less time and less money overall.
For many lower-income people, automobiles are an economic trap: they force people to work harder so they can earn more money so they can pay vehicle expenses to commute to their job, making them worse off overall.
Because residents must drive everywhere, they have high transportation costs, leaving inadequate money for other essentials like food, shelter and healthcare, which forces them to depend on charity. Many of these families would not need food bank help if they could cut their vehicle expenses in half, saving $250-500 per month, but that is often infeasible because they lack affordable mobility options.
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