Brother can you Spare a Ride? Carpooling in Immigrant Neighbourhoods

May 3, 2014 | Uncategorized

Blumenberg, Evelyn, and Smart, Michael. 2014. “Brother can you Spare a Ride? Carpooling in Immigrant Neighbourhoods.” Urban Studies. 51(9): 1871-1890.


Immigrants are more likely to travel by carpool than the US-born. Strong ethnic ties within immigrant communities may contribute to immigrants’ propensity to carpool, enabling residents to find carpool partners more easily and increasing the likelihood that residents will travel to and from common destinations. Drawing on data from the 2000 US census and a 2001 regional travel survey, this paper examines whether residents of ethnic neighborhoods in Southern California are more likely to carpool than other residents. A strong positive relationship is found between the percentage foreign-born in a census tract and carpooling rates. Analysis of individual data shows that this relationship is strongest for immigrants who live in immigrant neighborhoods; immigrants living in non-immigrant neighborhoods are less likely to carpool. These findings suggest an important role for social networks in travel behavior and the potential benefits of linking land use to the specific needs of local residents.