Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Eric Helland

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Kyle RL Jenkins

Abstract

Rates of car ownership in the United States exceed that of all other large nations in the world. This high rate contributes to the unexpressed demand for road space that renders highway expansion useless as a strategy for decreasing traffic congestion. It also necessitates the provision of on-site parking in residential buildings, decreasing the affordability of housing in urban areas. Furthermore, the curb-side parking needed to make room for the high number of cars in the country takes away space that could be used for bike lanes, transit lanes, or widened sidewalks. Therefore, the United States could benefit from a reduction in rates of household car ownership. In this paper, I use cross-sectional data from the National Highway Transportation Survey to determine the impact on heavy and light rail on car ownership in American cities. I find that the presence of heavy rail is associated with a lower rate of car ownership, while the presence of light rail is not.

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