Economic Opportunities According to Automobile Ownership
Car ownership can be a factor supporting mobility gaps. An individual having access to a car has a more significant commuting range (CR(A)) than an individual without a car (CR(B)). The shape of the commuting range also varies with car ownership. While a car theoretically involves an uniform range (the reality is somewhat different with highways), an individual without a car is very likely to rely on a public transit system that is commonly shaped along corridors. The commuting range reflects accessibility to employment, but also the range of commercial and personal interactions. For instance, an individual located at H can have access to employment zones E1, E2 and E3, while an individual without an automobile may only access employment zone E1. In this case, access to an automobile implies larger economic opportunities and the mobility gap is simply CR(A) - CR(B).
Poverty, handicaps, age and gender are all factors which influence the variability of mobility gaps. Therefore, people with low incomes make less trips, which incidentally restricts their access to jobs and other services. People suffering from physical handicaps are further limited in function of the severity of their handicap. Age also engenders mobility gaps. Elderly persons are further limited in their movement due to the precarious nature of their health, their physical capacity and other factors. Youth are also limited in their travels but only until they reach driving age. Finally, gender differences also involve mobility gaps.