In this study, using the statistical models recently introduced by Goodman, we analyze the reasons why individuals choose the car or public transportation for the journey to work and draw out some of the implications of our analysis for public policy. Building on the work of Schnore, we develop a model in which both structural and individual variables are interrelated and show that the structural contexts within which individuals make decisions about their choice are crucial. We also show that, while status differentials are largely accounted for by income differences, male preferences for the automobile tend not to be due either to the structural variables or to income differences. Our findings suggest that present policies designed to induce people to shift to public transportation for the journey to work are not likely to be effective, since they do nothing to alter present cost differentials between the two modes.

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