for Vehicle ownership
Has the disparity between telecom costs on the one hand, and motor vehicle costs on the other hand, led to a shift in consumer behavior?
As with physical sprawl, social sprawl generally causes fuel consumption to increase, through initiating several mechanisms leading to both increased vehicle ownership and increased vehicle travel.
If the ability to pay for a new automobile is impaired by the taxation of student debt forgiveness, the costs of vehicle ownership relative to available household funds could escalate beyond affordability.
Portland, Oregon has higher transit ridership levels and lower vehicle miles traveled (VMT) than other metro areas of similar population.
Understanding the “urbanization of the suburbs” may provide insight into future vehicle ownership levels and in turn fuel demand. At the margin, would changes in suburban design prompt households to reduce vehicle ownership?
Monthly debt payments of several hundred dollars, or more, mean that personal vehicle ownership may become impacted. At the margin, households may choose to own fewer vehicles to account for the need to make student loan payments.
If future population growth occurs in suburbs of lower-density and higher income, then vehicle ownership will likely rise, whereas if future population growth gathers in higher-density, lower-income cities, vehicle ownership may decline.