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Peak car?: Drivers of the recent decline in Swedish car use
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Transport planning, economics and engineering.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Transport Science, Transport planning, economics and engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9235-0232
2015 (English)In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310X, Vol. 42, 94-102 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It has long been well-known that economic variables such as GDP and fuel price as well as socio-demographic characteristics and spatial distribution are key factors explaining car use trends. However, due. to the recently observed plateau of total car travel in many high income countries, it has been argued that other factors, such as changes in preferences, attitudes and life-styles, have become more important drivers of car use. This paper shows that the two variables, GDP per capita and fuel price, explain most of the aggregate trends in car distances driven per adult in Sweden: as much as 80% over the years 2002 to 2012. The estimated elasticities are well in line with previous literature and can reasonably well reproduce the trend in car distances driven per adult back to 1980. We find, however, a substantial variation in elasticities between municipalities depending on public transport supply, population density, share of foreign-born inhabitants and the average income level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 42, 94-102 p.
Keyword [en]
Peak Car, Fuel price elasticity, GDP elasticity, Transport forecasting, Car use
National Category
Economics Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-172708DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2015.05.005ISI: 000358389400011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84934878034OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-172708DiVA: diva2:850015
Note

QC 20150831

Available from: 2015-08-31 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Explaining Trends in Car Use
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Explaining Trends in Car Use
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many western countries have seen a plateau and subsequent decline in car travel during the early 21st century. What has generated particular interest and debate is the claim that the development cannot only be explained by changes in traditional explanatory factors such as GDP, fuel prices and land-use. Instead, it has been argued, the observed trends are indications of substantial changes in lifestyles, preferences and attitudes to car travel and thus, not just a temporary plateau but a true peak in car use.

This thesis is a compilation of five papers, studying the issue on a national, international, regional and city scale through quantitative analysis of aggregate administrative data and individual travel survey data. It concludes that the aggregate development of car travel per capita can be explained fairly well with the traditional model variables GDP and fuel price. Furthermore, this thesis shows that spatial context and policy become increasingly important in car use trends: car use diverges over time between city, suburban and rural residents of Sweden and other European countries, while gender and to some extent income become less differentiating for car use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2017. 23 p.
Series
TRITA-TSC-PHD, 17-003
Keyword
car use, peak car, VMT, VKT
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Research subject
Transport Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-214558 (URN)978-91-88537-01-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-13, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20170918

Available from: 2017-09-18 Created: 2017-09-15 Last updated: 2017-09-18Bibliographically approved

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Börjesson, Maria

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