Adapting to car culture: The process of immigrant transportation assimilation in new gateway cities




Cline, Michael E.

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New gateway cities in the United States have emerged in the past few decades as a result of economic growth and immigrants settling in areas where their labor is needed. These immigrants impact demands for local services such as new and different demands for educational services, among other things. Presumably, changes in demographic characteristics of local areas may impact demand for transportation services---both the level of overall demand and the demand in different types of services (i.e. public transportation). Despite the potential for these changes in demand as a result of growth in immigrant populations, our knowledge about how immigrants use transportation and assimilate to U.S. norms is limited. This dissertation expands our knowledge of the process of assimilation by understanding household automobile acquisition and use for Hispanic and Asian immigrants in selected new gateway cities in the U.S. In this dissertation, immigrant assimilation to the U.S. norm of vehicle ownership and driving alone on the work commute is modeled using logistic regression. I find that immigrants assimilate to the U.S. norm rapidly within the first five years of arrival in the U.S. but that there are differences in vehicle ownership and use that are not explained by demographic, household, and socioeconomic characteristics.


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assimilation, automobile, demography, immigration, transportation